Your assessment results for:

Ear Problems

Urgency level: Medium priority

Contact your family veterinary practice in 1-2 days if not resolved, or if the situation gets worse

What to do next

Monitor your dog and prevent them from scratching

  • Contact your family veterinary hospital ASAP if the problem gets worse, or if your dog develops any of the following symptoms:
    • Swollen ear or ear flap
    • Constant head shaking or ear scratching
    • Damage from scratching (redness, bleeding etc)
    • Discharge from the ear that is bloody, purulent or odorous
    • Pain when you touch the ear
  • If you have a vet-approved ear cleaner, you can clean their ears (you can also use gauze or cotton pads with warm water). Do not use Q-tips as they may break or you may puncture the eardrum.
  • To prevent your dog from hurting themselves scratching, you can put a cone around their neck or socks/booties on their paws.


Why it’s medium priority

Mild ear problems can sometimes be treated at home

  • Based on what you’ve selected, your dog’s ear problems may resolve on their own with home management. You do not require immediate veterinary attention.
  • Ear problems typically require veterinary attention as they are delicate structures, however; based on your answers, it does not appear your dog requires immediate attention.
  • If the problem persists or if there are new symptoms, contact your family veterinary practice.
  • Some of the conditions we are worried about include infection, food or environmental allergies, parasites, and foreign body.


Home care tips

Keep your dog’s ears dry and clean, but don’t clean them too frequently

  • Make sure you dry their ears off after they get wet.
  • Avoid cleaning your dog’s ears too frequently, as this can actually increase the chances of your dog developing an ear infection.
  • A general rule of thumb for a healthy dog is to only clean your dog’s ears if there’s visible wax buildup, and no more than once a week.
  • Learn more about ear discharge in dogs


Talk to a veterinarian now

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Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.