Diseases of Ear Flaps in Dogs

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The outermost part of your dog's ear, the ear flap, or pinna, channels sound into the ear canal. It’s the part of the ear most vulnerable to external sources of disease. Healthy ear flaps are essential for your dog’s hearing.

Types

Your dog's ear flaps, says Glendale Animal Hospital, are at risk of infection from bacteria and fungi, infestation from mites and biting flies, alopecia (hair loss) or seborrhea (dry flaky skin). Systemic diseases such as allergies might affect the ear flaps. Puppies get an inflammation called strangles.

Symptoms

Ear flap diseases share common symptoms, including hair loss and scab-encrusted skin. Sarcoptic mites (scabies) cause intense itching. Strangles causes redness, swelling and pus. Your dog might try to relieve his discomfort with frequent head shaking.

Treatment

Oral antifungals and antibiotics and disinfecting shampoos treat fungal and bacterial infections. Clip hair and use disinfecting shampoo on mites and medicated ointment on fly bites. Steroids and antibiotics treat strangles and seborrhea.

Treatment for Systemic Related Symptoms

Ear flap symptoms resulting from allergies or endocrine diseases such as diabetes or hypothyroidism will resolve when the primary diseases are treated. These symptoms include hair loss, ulcers, itching and serious infection.

Warning

A dog with painful itchy ear flaps might shake his head vigorously enough to cause a fluid and blood-filled pocket called an aural hematoma, requiring surgical removal, so it's important to treat your pet's ear flap problems before hematomas develop.

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