Health Topics  >  Ears

Discharge from Ears

Ear scratching and ear wax are normal in dogs, but if it becomes excessive, it can indicate an underlying problem. To distinguish between a normal buildup of earwax and ear discharge, take note of the color, smell and consistency of the substance. Normal earwax is a pale yellow-ish color. It may be difficult to discern when there is excessive ear wax, as it varies from dog to dog, but if your dog is constantly scratching, or if their ears are inflamed, that’s when you know there’s a problem.

Ear discharge can present in many ways, varying in color, consistency and smell. There are many possible causes of variable severity, ranging from allergies to ear mites. Though it may sometimes be difficult to treat, the prognosis is generally good.

While cleaning your dog’s ear wax is beneficial when there’s a buildup, cleaning your dog’s ears too often can actually make them more prone to infection. Always check with your veterinarian before putting anything down your dog’s ears, as certain solutions can make the situation worse – especially without knowing the underlying cause of the ear discharge.

Pro tips for visiting the veterinarian:

  • Take note of what the discharge looks like – color, smell and consistency are details that will help your veterinarian arrive at a diagnosis.
  • Use gauze or cotton pads with warm water to remove discharge from your dog’s ears. Do not use a Q-tip.
  • Do not put ear cleaner or home remedies into your dog’s ear without consulting your veterinarian first.

References for Discharge from Ears

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