Why Does My Dog Scratch Their Ears So Much?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. May 24, 2017
Why Does My Dog Scratch Their Ears So Much?

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Those who live with dogs will have noticed on many occasions that they can easily communicate with us. But, sometimes it is still hard to know what might be going on in their body and mind. Maybe you have noticed your furry friend is continuously scratching their ears. Have you ever wondered why they do this?

The ears are a delicate part of the dog's body and for this reason it is very important to know what problems can occur. You must act quickly and discover what exactly is causing a problem in their ears.

Keep reading and discover the various reasons that answer the question: why does my dog scratch their ears so much? AnimalWised will help you tackle each case.

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Parasites make your dog scratch their ears constantly

External parasites in dogs are one of the most common reasons why dog scratch their ears a lot. These are easily spread and make our furry friend excessively scratch and rub themselves on the floor. Due to bites of ticks, mites and fleas, dogs can spend the day trying to relieve itching and pain. Some may even suffer allergic reactions. They are usually in the dog's ears because this part of the body is easily accessible for them to bite and feed. So if your faithful companion is scratching their ears non-stop, they may have some of the following parasites:

Ticks on dogs

There are many species of dog ticks but these are mainly divided between hard and soft ticks. Some of these species are Ixodes, Haemaphysalis, Hyalomma and Dermacentor. It is important to remove ticks and to do so properly to avoid damage to your dog's ear. You need to use special products recommended by your vet or use tweezers carefully. Take the parasite as close as possible to its mouth and pull it out slowly, without turning or sudden movements.

Fleas in dogs

Fleas are one of the most common parasites in dogs and these are usually spread throughout their body. So if you notice that your dog scratches their ears a lot but also scratches other parts of the body then they probably have fleas. In this case, consult your veterinarian as to which product is best to help you remove fleas from your dog. Be careful with the dosage indicated set by the weight of the animal.

Mites in dog ears

Amongst mites found in dog ears there are two particular species that prefer to be in the ears. Particularly Otodectes cynotis mites which cause ear scabies and the Demodex canis mites which cause localized demodectic scabies. If your dog has ear mites you will notice lots of dark ear wax and see them shaking their head abruptly. You may also see some sores or scabs on their ears due to intense scratching. In this case you should go to your vet to diagnose what type of mite it is and they will prescribe the best treatment.

Why Does My Dog Scratch Their Ears So Much? - Parasites make your dog scratch their ears constantly

Fungus in dog ears

Another possible cause for which your dog scratches their ears a lot is fungi, which easily occurs when there is moisture and heat. One of the most common fungi in dogs is ringworm, but there are many more species. If you find that your dog has a sore ear and cannot stop scratching, they have lost fur on this area and has reddened or darkened skin, they are likely to have some type of fungus that causes itching and discomfort.

In this case, you should go to your trusted veterinarian to diagnose what the species of fungus is and to prescribe the appropriate treatment that you must follow.

Otitis and infections may cause a dog to scratch their ears a lot

Otitis in dogs is one of the main reasons why dogs may scratch endlessly due to its intense itchy feeling. This is an inflammation of the ear canal which may be caused by a foreign body in the ear, like parasites or allergies, among other possibilities. Some symptoms that will help you know if your dog has an ear infection are:

  • Scratching the ears a lot
  • Rubbing their head against surfaces like the floor, sofa or bed
  • Shaking their head a lot
  • Secretions of the ear canal
  • Inflamed ear inside and outside
  • Wounds and fur loss
  • Loss of balance

Often, it results in an ear infection and, therefore, you should see a specialist to diagnose the otitis and possible ear infection before it becomes much more complicated and causes ear problems for your dog.

In addition to all these causes, there are some simpler and easier issues to treat. For example, if your dog has ran through a field, a blade of grass could have entered the ear. You must withdraw it immediately to avoid problems that can result in infections. It may also be due to injuries from a fight or when playing with other dogs, in such cases you should go to the vet.

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Why Does My Dog Scratch Their Ears So Much? - Otitis and infections may cause a dog to scratch their ears a lot

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why Does My Dog Scratch Their Ears So Much?, we recommend you visit our Other health problems category.

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