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Nasty Ears (gross pics)


Big Dog
Okay, so when we first got Meesha she had lots of allergy issues. These manifested themselves in hives, nasty ears, nasty breath, lots of itching. Through trial and error we found she had a grain allergy. She's currently eating Acana Wild Prairie. Since switching, all of those past issues disappeared.

Well about a week ago, she started itching randomly and I thought maybe it was the flea topical bothering her and I noticed her ears were a little dirty. I cleaned them up and didn't think much of it. But she kept itching occasionally and I figured it was ragweed or whatever causes allergies in the fall. Checked her ears this morning and her left on is NASTY. The right one is nice and clean and pink and cold and the left one is warm, red, and caked with earwax. Here are some pictures from AFTER I cleaned it up about 5 qtips covered in earwax worth.

So. Knowing she is prone to allergies, could just the normal fall allergies cause this? It doesn't look like the "coffee grounds" of ear mites. Or is it a plain ol' ear infection from playing in the sprinklers too much.

I've got her some anti-itch pills from the vet from last time. I'll give her one and see if that helps.I just don't want to take her back to the vet if it's just seasonal allergies. Or maybe if I could just change up the protein in her food.


Good Dog
Premium Member
The only way to know for sure what type of infection (yeast vs bacterial) it is is to have your DVM do an ear swab and cytology.

My bet is on bacterial from too much moisture, but exam, cytology and treatment are the way to go.
FWIW if you have made really good friends with your DVM, some will allow you to just bring in an ear swab without bringing her in for a full exam and an office visit charge. Wouldn't hurt to call and ask if this would be an option.

Cosmic Charlie

Good Dog
How do you clean your dog's ears? You should ask your vet for a good flushing solution (medicated) and regularly flush and use soaked cotton balls. I keep up regularly with most of my dogs as some are prone to ear infections more than others.


Big Dog
Oh good thinking guys. It would be great if the vet could just take a swab. I didn't give her ear wash or anything so it is uncontaminated.

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My girl has seasonal allergies and this past year she had a double infected ear. I brought her to the vet and got some daily drops and a cleaner to use eavery three days. I naturak way to clean the ears would be to use apple cider vinegar. Dab it on a cotton ball for use.


Little Dog
joker just got over one in his right ear, i clean them regularly with a medicated rinse, but the last one seemed to happen overnight lol, from your pics it looks very similar to what joker gets i would get it swabed and on any meds she may need, my vet usualy gives me a double supply of ear drops incase the infection flares up again so that i dont have to come back in, he is farly prone to yeast infections in his ears


Basically same here. We have been having very humid weather and rain lately. Boris developed an ear that looked much like the pic. The vet did swabs and discovered he had a yeast infection with some bacteria present, as well. He gave us some medicated ear drops, and ear cleaner. Three days later it is looking almost back to normal.

We also learned we were not cleaning ears properly. We were following the instructions on the cleaning solution's label -- putting in the solution, massaging the base of the ear, then allowing our dogs to shake 'gunk' out. Our vet instructed us to use cotton balls as Cosmic Charlie said.


I know here allergy season has been absolute never ending hell. I never thought I'd be excited for winter.

Taking a dirty swab in is a good idea. If it continues to be a problem next allergy season talk to your vet about getting a bottle of ear cleaner from them to have on hand when her ears get grody.

If it is allergies, get used to regular cleaning. I alternate between Zymox ear cleaner (can get it online or at a pet store) and Mal A Ket Plus TrizEDTA flush from my vet. I give Ethel's ears a good flush, let her shake her head and wipe everything out. I also give her ears a serious deep cleaning whenever I groom her (usually 4 or 5 times a year).

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Goren was having a bad ear from a lady that would toss him crappy treats (I have posted about it before, she is a lady that doesn't remember a word you say...I JUST got my sign in that says "medical diet do not feed" so will be putting that up) he has medical wear wash and a treatment of antibiotics if it gets bad but it hasn't gotten bad enough to cause me to use the antibiotics and I haven't seen the lady in a few weeks so I think because the allergen is gone he is not having such issues.


Big Dog
Thanks for all the tips guys! She doesn't seem like she's feeling well so I think it might be more than allergies. I'll gather a sample of nasty wax tomorrow. Haha

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Little Dog
One of my dogs had a really nasty ear infection earlier this year that looked like that.... No matter how much I cleaned it, it just kept coming back and it was always a little worse each time.. I left it alone for a few days (literally, like, 3 days) until I could get him into the vet, and in that time, it spread almost down to his eardrum. It bled like crazy when the vet cleaned it out and was so painful for him that it took 3 people to hold him down while the vet did her thing.

It was a yeast/bacterial infection.

Oh, and the pain/discomfort was obvious with Dexter... He didn't feel well for a while but bounced back very quickly after getting treated.