Written by the Te Puna clinic team

Did you know your dog’s ears contain about 18 muscles, allowing them to raise, lower, rotate, tilt, and move them independently so they can hear better and express emotion?

Cats have 32 ear muscles, which allow them to swivel and rotate to pinpoint the source of a noise. They can also move each ear independently and rotate them 180 degrees.

Your pets’ ears play an important role in their overall health and wellbeing but can sometimes be overlooked. Knowing the signs associated with a possible ear infection could help reduce long term damage. If your pet is showing any of the following signs, contact your veterinarian straight away:

  • Scratching the ear
  • Shaking the head
  • Pain when touched around the ears
  • A foul odour or discharge emanating from the ear canal and/or
  • Swelling or redness of the skin lining the ear canal

Ear infections may have primary underlying causes, including:

  • Allergies (to the environment or food)
  • Parasites (eg. ear mites)
  • Foreign bodies (eg. grass seeds)
  • Medical problems (eg. endocrine problems, growths or skin disorders).

Other contributing factors may include:

  • Excess moisture in the ear (eg. from swimming or bathing)
  • Incorrect ear cleansing techniques
  • Chronic inflammation from ear disease that has gone unchecked

Make ear health a priority. Maintaining your pet’s ear health is easy, just ask us for a few tips next time you visit!