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  • Writer's pictureVillage Veterinary Clinic

Understanding the Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats

Is your cat or dog suffering from an ear infection? Perhaps your pet is fine right now, but are frequent ear infections a problem for your furry friend? Either way, veterinary treatment may be in order. Fortunately, our veterinarians at Village Veterinary Clinic in Burke are here to help your pet manage painful symptoms, prescribe medications, and recommend other forms of treatment.

Common Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats

Ear infections are often caused by molds, bacteria, and other microbes. These microbes get into your pet’s ears and then grow out of control. In addition to microbes, irritants on the skin can also result in an ear infection. This can become a very painful condition for your pet and is best treated when symptoms are first observed.

Repeated exposure to water can also cause otitis externa or inflammation of the ear caused by trapped water. In fact, otitis externa is often called swimmer’s ear and is especially common among dog and cat breeds that love playing in the water. Pets that live in a humid environment, as well as dogs with floppy ears that are more inclined to trap moisture, may also be more susceptible to ear infections.

Symptoms of Pet Ear Infections

The most common symptoms of an ear infection are:

  • Rubbing the head/ears against the furniture or on the floor

  • Scratching or pawing at the ears

  • Head shaking

  • Foul smelling ears

  • A yellow waxy or black discharge.


If you are observing any of these symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention from one of our veterinarians at Village Veterinary Clinic. The doctor will perform a thorough examination of the outer and inner ears. Ear cytology helps us identify the organisms causing the infection so we can dispense the appropriate medications, which may include an ear cleaner and topical or oral medication. The doctor will also thoroughly clean your pet’s ears and provide instructions for regular ear maintenance (i.e., cleanings) to minimize or prevent future infections.

Pet Ear Infection Treatment in Burke, VA

Ear infections are a common and frequently treated problem in our area. Our veterinarians are very experienced in providing treatment options. Furthermore, dietary changes or allergy treatments may be warranted to treat chronic ear infections and other health problems. Call Village Veterinary Clinic today at 703-978-8655 to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians.


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