Pets who have ear aches could be suffering from any number of problems. The cause could be an insect inside the ear, or could be a serious infection. Knowing when your pet has an ear ache is very important because if neglected a problem could lead to deafness.
• Head Shaking. This is a very common sign of an ear problem. Shaking will be vigorous, as if the pet is trying to get something out of its ear. If this continues for a prolonged time or happens several times throughout the day, it is not normal.
• Itching their Ear. Pets will try to reach their ear with their paws, or may rub their ear on other surfaces. Itching of ears is very uncommon except when problems exist. Rolling around may be a form your pet takes as it tries to itch its ears.
• Head Shy. An animal who does not want its ears to be touched may be experiencing pain in their ears. Horse owners should keep this in mind when a normally quiet horse suddenly resists being bridled or having a halter put on.
• Moody. A pet suffering from any pain problem may not act like they normally would. They may become moody, withdrawn, or appear nervous. Abnormal aggression might be a problem in severe cases.
• Disobedient. A dog with an ear ache may not hear commands properly, as such he may act in a disobedient way.
• Barking, or meowing without reason. A pet who has ringing in their ears may be confused and are trying to answer an unknown sound. Remembering that your pets have sensitive hearing so you can understand why ringing in their ear would be a problem.
• Biting at the air. This is often a behavior noticed in dogs with ear aches. It may look like they are trying to catch invisible flies, but really indicates pain, usually ear pain.
• Visual Inspection. An ear that is sore may appear red. There may be a clear sign of infection, wax build up, or even dirt from ear mites.
• Bad odor. Many signs of ear problems can be detected because the ear will smell bad. Undoubtedly an ear infection is also painful to the pet.
• Heat. An ear with an infection will usually feel warm to the touch.
What to do if your pet has an earache
Once you have determined that your pet does have an ear ache, and the cause is not something that can be easily eliminated, as with a bug in the ear, a veterinarian should be contacted. People who try to fix the problem on their own may cause further damage or problems. A vet can determine the source of the ear ache be it ear mites, viral, or bacterial infection, or a foreign object.