Question from our reader
"Dear Veterinarian! My favorite puppy, named Patty, is a Miniature Pinscher, and lately she has been shaking and rubbing her ears with her paws.
I've also noticed that her ears are red and swollen on the inside, and sometimes smell funny. I have never experienced this before so I don't know what to think. Please help me!"
"Dear Owner! It appears that Patty is probably suffering from an ear infection.
Ear infections are a relatively common condition among dogs, especially breeds like the Dwarf Pinscher. With the dog's ears protruding, it is easy for water, dust or dirt to get in.
Causes of ear infections can include bacteria or fungi, as well as allergic reactions such as food allergies or atopy.
The ear environment, which is warm and moist, creates ideal conditions for bacteria and yeasts to multiply and cause inflammation.
Symptoms include shaking and scratching of the ears, red and swollen ears, and an unpleasant smell.
Pain is also a common symptom, usually expressed by the dog turning towards the ear when it is touched.
Treatment of ear infections involves cleaning the ear and the use of antibiotics or antifungals.
In severe cases, other medicines may be needed. It is important not to scratch or shake your dog's ears as this can cause further damage!
If Patty's symptoms do not improve despite treatment, or if the ear infection returns, further tests are needed to rule out underlying causes such as allergies.
The best thing to do is to take her to see a vet in person as soon as possible, who can start the appropriate treatment!
Ear infections are usually well managed if detected early and treated properly."