Why is My Dog’s Ear Swollen? Possible Causes and Treatments

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Why is My Dog’s Ear Swollen? It could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Or, it may be due to an injury, such as a bite wound or ear infection.

Sometimes, your dog’s ears might seem swollen and even red or painful. This could be because of one of many different reasons.

The most common is simply an infection caused by bacteria or yeast, which can occur due to a skin fold in the area. Other factors include allergies, ear mites, and ear infections.

However, once you know more about the possible causes of the problem it’s easier to address them.

We’ll go over some of the most common reasons why your dog’s ears might be swollen followed by some tips on how to clear up the issue if your pet does have a fluid buildup.

Why is My Dog’s Ear Swollen?

The most common reason your dog’s ears might be swollen is because of an underlying medical condition. Here are a few of the more common ones:Acute Ear Infection

Some dogs will develop an ear infection once in a while, but it’s also common for your dog to develop an ear infection if it’s frequently in the past.

This condition can cause some of the fluid in your dog’s ears to collect, which can result in an excessive amount of fluid accumulating in your dog’s ear.

If your dog’s ears are constantly red or inflamed, you may notice that her ears appear swollen.

In this case, it’s a good idea to take her to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. It may take a little while to get your dog’s ears cleared up, so this is a good idea to get her in right away.

What are the possible causes of my dog’s ear swelling?

Aside from infections and other skin fold infections, swollen ears are usually due to one or more of the following issues:

  1. Bleeding or drainage
  2. Dog breeds that have longer or shorter hair than the rest of the dog
  3. Ear mites
  4. Ear infections
  5. An injury
  6. Skin fold infections

If your dog’s ear is swollen or feels odd to the touch, it’s likely that it’s due to an ear infection.

But, if the ear can’t pop or if the ear doesn’t look swollen it could be caused by a skin fold that’s infected or other ear condition, such as a fractured eardrum or fractured cartilage that’s caused by an impact.

Some of the signs of an ear infection include ear discharge, drainage, redness and swollen ear tissue.

What do I do if my dogs ear is swollen?

The most obvious thing to do is to take your dog to your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health conditions. Your veterinarian will then give you a treatment plan, which will vary depending on what is causing the swelling.

If your dog has an ear infection, your veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic to clear the infection.

They may also prescribe a steroid to help reduce inflammation. If you notice the ear does not drain properly or the ear infection is only in one ear, you may need to treat both ears.

If the drainage appears clear but the ear still looks swollen, your vet may also refer you to an otolaryngologist (ENT) to further investigate. In this instance, your veterinarian will order an ultrasound or an MRI to look inside your pet’s ear and remove fluid buildup.

How can I treat my dogs swollen ear at home?

Many people keep their pets in natural environments, meaning they’re exposed to a lot of bacteria. In addition, they tend to come into contact with a variety of common environments, such as dirt, petting zoos, and other areas in which pets are kept.

This can lead to an increase in yeast, bacteria, and fungus in your dog’s environment. In turn, these bacteria and fungus can cause infections in your pet’s ears.

In most cases, treatment for swollen ears can be done at home. The most important thing to remember is that once an infection is found, it needs to be treated.

Therefore, you should first determine whether or not your pet has a condition that needs medical attention.

If your dog is a candidate for medical treatment you should contact your veterinarian for a diagnosis.


Ear mites and ear infections are two common reasons why your dog might be swollen in their ears. Although there’s not a magic bullet for treating ear infections, it’s possible to treat ear mites.

Ensure your dog is treated before it develops any complications by removing mites from the ear using cotton swabs. Keep in mind that only using warm soapy water to clean the ears could also be a contributing factor.

Lastly, make sure your dog is up-to-date on its vaccinations. A mite infection is contagious and can cause severe ear infections.

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