Why Do Your Dog's Ears Smell Gross?

Posted on: 19 July 2016


Do your dog's ears have a pungent, almost rotten smell? This is not a symptom you should ignore. Not only is the scent off-putting, but it's usually a sign of an infection. Here's a closer look at what causes stinky ears in dogs and what you can do about the problem.

What causes stinky ears?

Both bacterial and fungal infections can cause your dog's ears to smell. If the inside of the ear has a brownish tint, the problem is usually attributable to a yeast infection. If the ears are red and you see some white or yellow pus, bacteria are likely to blame. Dogs can pick up ear infections when they come into contact with another dog who is infected or when they rub their ears against surfaces that are contaminated with bacteria or fungi. Yeast infections are sometimes perpetuated by hormonal imbalances or an excess of sugar in the diet.

How are stinky ears treated?

If your dog has smelly ears, it's important to take him or her to the vet. The vet will take a swab of the ear and examine it to determine for certain whether the infection is fungal or bacterial. For a fungal infection, you may be instructed to apply a fungicide cream to your dog's ears every day for a week or so. Bacterial infections are often treated with a combination of oral and topical antibiotics.

In either case, the treatment protocol you'll follow is about the same. You'll need to wipe out the ears with some gauze and a cleaning solution that your vet provides. Then, you'll need to apply a cream – whether it's antibiotic or antifungal. Your dog's ears should clear up within a week or so.

How can you prevent stinky ears?

Dogs with floppy ears, like basset hounds and beagles, are more prone to ear infections than those with pointed, open ears. This is because the floppy ear traps heat and moisture inside, making the ear a more appealing place for bacteria and yeast to grow. If your dog's ears are floppy, lifting them up and wiping them out with a dry cloth once a day can be helpful for preventing stinky ear infections. Your vet may also recommend a special ear wash, which you can use to rinse the ears out every few days. You'll also want to minimize contact with other dogs who are prone to ear infections, and perhaps switch your dog to a low-sugar dog food – especially if the infections have been yeast-based.

For more information, contact a company like Clovis Veterinary Hospital P A.