Why Is Your Dog Scratching Their Ears? 0

Although the most common symptom of allergies in dogs is itchy skin, ear infections, as noted by a dog shaking his head or when a dog keeps scratching his ear, is common as well. One study suggested that in 43% of ongoing ear infections in dogs, allergies were a main contributor to the problem.

dog scratching ears due to infection

Recurring ear infections are a common sign of allergies in dogs

The skin lining your dog’s ear canal isn’t very different to the skin on his body. If an allergy causes inflammation to his skin, it is likely to also cause inflammation in his ears. This makes them itchy, and he will scratch and shake ears frequently. This has several consequences:

Problems From Your Dog Scratching Ears Too Much

  • The inflammation causes the lining of his ear canal to become thicker, and this prevents the air from circulating. Moisture then get trapped in the ear, which will encourage bacterial growth. This infection, with bacteria and even fungi, will lead to an itching ear.
  • Dogs scratching ears can traumatize the inside of his ear, and that too can become infected.
  • A dog shaking his head and scratching ears can cause a blood vessel in his ear flap to break, leading to a hematoma and a swollen ear. This usually needs to be drained surgically by your veterinarian.


Indications of an Allergy

If your dog has chronic ear infections that don’t clear up, or they clear up but return again very quickly, this definitely points to an underlying allergic cause. The two main allergies that affect ears are dog food allergy and atopy (mainly an allergy to pollen in the environment). If you just rely on ear drops to help with the infection, without treating the underlying cause, you aren’t likely to be successful in permanently resolving the problem.

You need to figure out what the trigger is for your dog’s allergies. Until you can eliminate, or at least reduce, the allergen, you will continuously be fighting with constant ear infections in your dog, as well as constant dog itching.

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