How to Identify Ear Infections in Pets

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Hi, I’m Doctor Fiona Caldwell, and today I’m going to show you how to tell if your dog or cat has an ear infection.

When your pet has an ear infection, typically they’ll give you some signs. Some things to watch for are a head tilt. Oftentimes, they’ll tilt towards the ear that’s hurting them. Some pets will just shake a lot, too. So head shaking or scratching, they’ll bring that back leg up and scratch. Those can sometimes be signs that the ear is uncomfortable.

If you go to inspect it, really what you should see is a nice, pink inside of the ear flap. You should be able to see the hole, it should be open. If the hole is stenotic or starting to close, that can often indicate inflammation or swelling in the ear canal. There really shouldn’t be an odor. If you’re seeing a lot of brown debris, swelling, an odor, or redness on the ear, or if it’s painful, those are all signs that your pet probably has an ear infection, and would warrant a trip to the veterinarian.

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