Why does my dog have itchy ears?

Hi, my name is Dr. Uri Burstyn I’m a veterinarian in Vancouver, BC, and I’d like to welcome you to my series of practical skills for pet owners I’m here to talk to you today a little bit about dog ears. This is another one of those questions that’s come up on my Youtube channel, and I’d love to discuss with you a lot of people asking me about what to do about their dog’s inflamed ears and honestly ear infections, and I’d love to make air quotes, but you know I’m not gonna make air quotes ear infections are probably one of the most common things we see in veterinary practice with dogs dogs are always coming in with itchy ears, or rubbing their face on things, and let me just start off by saying 99% of the time, and I’m not gonna say a hundred because nothing’s 100% sure in life but 99% of the time, ear infections and dogs are a manifestation of food allergy. Alright, there you go. I just said it I wish more vets said that. Your dog has ear infections,. it probably has a food allergy You have no idea how many times I’ve seen dogs who are eight, nine ten years old, have had probably a dozen ear infections treated at various vets before they came to me and the owners are resigned to it. They’re like, yep, my dog gets itchy ears two or three times a year and we just put some drops in and it gets better and you know, we do ear swabs we work it upright we do food exclusion trials and the dog stops getting ear infections. This is the rule not the exception. Now there’s other reasons why your dog might have itchy years and let me just show you Amber’s ears. Amber has beautiful ears You can see that skin’s a nice light pink salmon pink color we call it really just kind of light pink. The hair is nice and fluffy around the opening of her ear canal So these are really beautiful healthy dog ears when you start seeing redness, like proper red redness, on the inside of the skin or you start seeing a lot of waxy build-up there that’s probably a sign of inflammation inside the ear and again, the vast majority of those are gonna be an infection that’s happened because your dog has chronic allergies because that skin’s inflamed and then bacteria and yeast just decide to set up shop there after some time and typically, these animals have uncomfortable ears year round, it’s just at two or three times a year it gets really bad and the owners notice and take them to the vet for the ear drops but those ear drops does not fix the problem they do make the patient more comfortable, but they don’t fix the underlying issue which is allergic dermatitis Now there’s of course other causes why ears can get inflamed in certain parts of the world Grass seeds that work the way the ears and get stuck in there. That’s usually pretty obvious Those are really mucky wet ears. A lot of people talk about plucking ear canals and about excessively hairy ear canals and my honest opinion is that that is just an old school thing that should be forgotten. You know, the only thing you’re gonna do about plucking an ear canal is irritate the skin there and make your dog feel worse It’s a very painful procedure, certainly can be done under sedation, but very few people bother to do that and really all you’re gonna do if you pluck hair from your dog’s ear canal its irritate the skin. Now, a dog’s ear canal is incredibly long and it’s L-shaped, shaped like this, and having done a lot of video otoscopy where we actually go in there with a fiber-optic camera and inspect the ear canal I can guarantee you, anybody who’s plucking a dog’s ears is plucking maybe the top ten, twenty percent of the canal There’s hair all the way down in some breeds You’re not gonna get at it no matter what you do in an awake animal so really the plucking those air canals is not doing much and you’d be better off trying to figure out what the underlying cause is, usually allergies and treating it appropriately and then preventing all of that build-up and all of that discharge from happening. So if there’s one takeaway that Amber and I would like you to get from this video, is that if your dog gets recurrent ear infections, don’t just treat the infections, look for the underlying cause and it’s probably going to be a food allergy. Treat that and then your dog is going to be much much more comfortable. It’ll save you some money and recurring vet visits and that’ll be better for everyone, right? So thank you for watching. I hope you find that valuable Amber wants to thank you as well No, she just wants to look at me and beg for a treat, but I’m sure she appreciates your attention Thank you very much for watching. Have a good day. Thank you very much for watching. Please click like and subscribe Feel free to share this video with your friends and if you want to support our good work Please check out our web store. We have some adorable Squish the Cat merchandise there for you Please give it a look and once more thank you very much for watching my videos.


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