Why Is My Dog Licking My Other Dogs Ear Infection

Our canine friends are renowned for displaying a variety of adorable, funny, and occasionally even odd habits. Many of them are the result of some form of communication or evolutionary activity. Some are merely exclusive to the household dog.

It’s possible that you caught your pet licking the ears of a different dog, cat, or even a family member. Dogs frequently engage in this borderline disgusting practice, but most pet owners are baffled as to why their dog is licking their ears. This age-old query has two potential solutions.

Ear Licking is a Complex Canine Behavior

Due to their nature as pack animals, dogs communicate in most of their daily activities. The constantly shifting social structure in a pack necessitates that dogs have effective communication skills.

Mutual grooming between two dogs who are close buddies or family members occurs frequently. Dogs are unable to properly groom their own ears, which can become rather dirty. When a dog licks the ears of another dog, a cat, or even you, he or she is communicating two things:

  • I feel at ease around you and welcome you into my pack.
  • I adore and respect you.

As a display of respect and adoration, the more subservient of the two dogs will frequently be the one doing the licking. The next time your dog gives you a tongue lashing, just know that he just loves you!

Your Dog is Licking Ears Because Dogs Can Be Gross

However, ear licking occasionally refers to another innate dog behavior: occasionally being a little repulsive. Some dogs grow to like the taste of ear wax. When your feline friend’s ear canal is clogged with wax, who needs a peanut butter-filled Kong?

Since ear wax has a slight saltiness, it can be a tasty treat for dogs with refined palates. When an infection is present, the discharge in an ear changes in scent (and likely flavor), which attracts other canines. If a pet suddenly becomes interested in another pet’s ears, there may be an issue with the ear canal.

Dogs use their lips to explore the world, and licking their ears is one method. You do need to use caution, though, if the behavior is excessive. It is best to discourage frequent licking because excessive ear moisture might occasionally lead to an ear infection.

If your pet starts licking his ears excessively, try to divert him with interactive toys and other forms of attention. Every now and then, a pet will exhibit behaviors that are nearly compulsive and call for medical attention.

Please let us know if your dog is excessively licking the ears of other animals. If necessary, we are pleased to examine both the lick-er and the lick-ee for indications of an ear issue.

|2019-01-14T06:29:31+00:00Billings Animal Family

Ask a Vet: Why is My Dog Licking Ears? published May 1st, 2015|Training & Behavior|Comments Off on

Can an infection result from a dog licking another dog’s ear?

When a dog licks another dog’s ears repeatedly, the other dog may develop major ear issues. It may lead to lobe pain or, worse yet, an ear infection in the dog. Participating in training classes where your dog can interact with others and learn again at what level he needs to use his social skills is a fantastic alternative. Constantly licking one’s ears may indicate the onset of a compulsive behavior disorder. It may be worthwhile to see your dog’s veterinarian if you are concerned about the severity of your dog’s ear-licking and believe it is necessary to stop your dog’s excessive ear-bashing.

Why is my dog constantly licking the ears of other dogs?

Your amiable dog can enjoy the other dog and wish to demonstrate it by giving them a good brushing. They groom themselves by licking themselves, but they can’t get to their own ears, so other dogs assist them out.

When two dogs live in the same household and get along well, they get very at ease grooming one another. One technique to do that is to lick each other’s ears. Additionally, it can prevent ear mites, although excessive licking might irritate the ear and possibly result in an ear infection.

Canines can contract ear infections from one another?

Do my dog’s ears need to be cleaned? Although you might be tempted, Roth advises against using a cotton swab to clean out any debris in the ears. He warns, “You might do additional harm, especially if something is stuck in their ear.” Let the veterinarian handle the medical care.

Do I require a specialist’s opinion? According to Roth, a veterinary dermatologist can assist in determining the root causes of persistent ear infections and developing a customized treatment regimen.

Are contagious ear infections? No, in a nutshell, but Roth cautions that parasites and ear mites can spread from one dog to another and may trigger an illness that results in the ear. Preventative parasite treatments for your dog may be helpful.

Are cat ear infections possible? According to Roth, cat ear infections are less frequent. Make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out ear infections if your cat has ear pain, swelling, or discharge.

My dog licks my other dog, but why?


In an effort to keep things tidy, many dogs lick various portions of their buddy’s body repeatedly. It’s completely normal and shows how closely the dogs are connected. It’s not unusual to see a dog licking away with their snout buried in the ear of another dog.

How can I take care of the ear infection in my dog without seeing the doctor?

I don’t think apple cider vinegar is a good idea. It didn’t work for us, and if done incorrectly, it might do more harm than good. But if you’re seeking for home-made natural cures, this is the most popular one.

If your dog’s ears are red or have open sores, DO NOT use this cure. She will feel the burn and the sorrow. In order to work, apple cider vinegar must destroy both yeast and bacteria.

Use a cotton ball soaked in a solution of 50% organic apple cider vinegar and 50% water to clean your dog’s ears.

Stop using it and take your dog to the doctor if you see any signs of discomfort or excessive ear drying.

Do dogs experience pain from ear infections?

Otitis externa, also referred to as an outer ear infection, is one of the most typical types of infections observed in dogs. Although ear infections can affect any breed, some breeds, particularly those with large, floppy, or hairy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, or Old English Sheepdogs, tend to be more susceptible.

What are the symptoms of an ear infection?

Infections in the ears hurt. Many dogs will shake their heads and rub their ears in an effort to feel better. Ears frequently get red, swell, and produce an unpleasant odor. It frequently manifests as a black or yellowish discharge. Due to the ongoing inflammation, in chronic cases the ears may seem crusty or swollen, and the ear canals frequently narrow (stenotic).

Don’t these symptoms usually indicate ear mites?

These signs, which include a black discharge, itching, and head shaking, can all be brought on by ear mites. However, puppies and kittens are more likely to get ear mite infections. On rare occasions, infected kittens or pups can give ear mites to adult dogs. The environment that ear mites produce in the ear canal frequently encourages subsequent bacterial or yeast (fungal) infections.

Since these symptoms are similar and usually mean an infection, why can’t I just get some ear medication?

Ear infections are frequently brought on by a variety of bacteria and at least one form of fungus. It is impossible to know which treatment to use without knowing the precise type of infection that is present. A tumor, polyp, or foreign body may occasionally be the issue. These issues cannot be solved by medical treatment alone. It’s crucial to check your dog’s eardrum to make sure it’s intact. If the eardrum ruptures after taking certain drugs, hearing loss may follow. Only your veterinarian’s comprehensive ear examination will be able to identify this.

How do you know which drug to use?

An otoscope, which has magnification and light, is used to check the ear canal first. With the help of this examination, your veterinarian can find out if the eardrum is healthy and if the canal contains any foreign objects. It could be essential to sedate or anesthetize the dog for a comprehensive inspection if the dog is in excruciating pain and won’t accept the examination.

To identify the kind of organism causing the infection, a sample of the ear canal’s material is examined under a microscope in the following step. Your veterinarian’s decision regarding the best medication to treat the inflamed ear canal depends in part on the results of a microscopic examination. To make sure your pet is getting the proper treatment, culture and susceptibility testing are frequently utilized in cases of severe or persistent ear infections.

How are ear infections treated?

The diagnosis and course of treatment are often determined by the findings of the microscopic and otoscopic examination. The ear canal will be cleaned of any foreign objects, wax plugs, or parasites. For this or to enable a thorough ear flushing and cleaning, some dogs must be anesthetized. Many dogs will have many infections at once (e.g., a bacterium and a fungus, or two kinds of bacteria). Typically, a broad-spectrum medicine or a combination of medications are needed in this circumstance.

Many dogs with recurring or chronic ear infections also have hypothyroidism or allergies.

The detection of underlying disease is a crucial aspect of the patient evaluation. Numerous canines with recurring or chronic ear infections also have allergies or thyroid issues (hypothyroidism). If an underlying condition is thought to be present, it must be identified and treated for the pet to stop having ongoing ear issues.

What is the prognosis?

When detected and treated correctly, almost all ear infections are treatable. The result will be less favorable if an underlying problem is not discovered and treated. Before the result is successful, there may be a requirement for several recheck exams.

How important is it to treat an ear infection?

Ear infections in dogs are uncomfortable. They frequently shake their heads and itch their ears because they are in constant agony. A disease known as a “aural hematoma” may result from this in which blood vessels in the ear flap rupture, resulting in a painful swelling that needs surgical intervention. An internal ear infection and potentially irreversible hearing loss can result from deep ear infections that damage or rupture the eardrum.

My dog’s ear canal is nearly closed. Is that a problem?

A chronic ear infection can also cause the ear canal to close. This is referred to as stenosis or hyperplasia. Medication penetration into the horizontal canal is either impossible or very difficult if the ear canal is enlarged. In some dogs, anti-inflammatory drugs may be able to reduce the swollen tissues and widen the canal. The majority of hyperplasia instances will eventually need surgery.

What is the goal of ear canal surgery?

This issue is treated surgically using a variety of techniques. A lateral ear resection is the procedure that is carried out the most frequently. The surgery’s objectives are to remove the horizontal canal’s enlarged tissue and the vertical canal’s vertical portion. The vertical canal can be removed rather easily, however it is more challenging to get rid of a lot of tissue from the horizontal canal. Total ear canal ablation is the term used when the entire ear canal must be removed, which may cause long-term hearing loss. For further details on this procedure, refer to the handout “Total Ear Canal Ablation with Bulla Osteotomy (TECA-BO)”.

Is there anything I need to know about administering medication in the ear?

It’s crucial to provide the drug to the ear canal’s horizontal portion.

It’s crucial to provide the drug to the ear canal’s horizontal portion (see above diagram). The dog’s external ear canal is formed like an L, unlike ours. The upper portion of the letter “L” is the vertical canal, which joins the outside of the ear. Deeper in the canal, the horizontal canal comes to an end at the eardrum. The lower ‘L’ of the horizontal ear canal is where the drug is to be injected.

The following procedures can be used to treat the ear canal:

  • Holding the earflap with one hand, gently draw it straight up and slightly back.
  • Keeping the earflap raised, insert a small amount of medication with the other hand into the vertical portion of the ear canal. Hold the ear up for a sufficient amount of time to allow the medication to reach the bend in the vertical and horizontal canals.
  • Put your thumb behind and at the base of the earflap, then place one finger in front of it.
  • Your finger and thumb should be used to rub the ear canal. You may tell the drug has entered the horizontal canal when you hear a “squishing” sound.
  • Your dog can shake its head when you release the ear. Many drugs contain a wax solvent, and as your dog shakes its head, you could notice debris dissolved in this solvent exiting the ear.

Apply a second dose in the same way if you need to. Usually, you need to wait between 5 and 30 minutes before using any further drugs. Ask your veterinarian for detailed instructions before using any ear medications or cleaning solutions.

Q-Tips should not be used for this since they have a tendency to drive debris back into the vertical ear canal.

Once all meds have been applied, use a cotton ball soaked in some of the medication to clean the inside of the earflap and the exterior portion of the ear canal. Use a cotton swab instead of a Q-Tip to remove the debris; Q-Tips have a tendency to push it back into the vertical ear canal.

Will an ear infection in a dog resolve on its own?

A dog’s ear infection typically won’t go away on its own. Even worse, if you put off getting the ear infection treated, it can be considerably harder to treat later on. Untreated ear infections can result in long-term problems, hearing loss, and perhaps the requirement for pricey surgery.

Do dogs have a sense of death?

We are aware of how frightening this inquiry might be, but Dr. Ann Brandenburg-Schroeder want to bring some comfort to pet owners going through a trying period. After seeing the gentle loss of her own cherished canines, she realized it was her calling to offer an at-home euthanasia service to help other animals experience the same blessing. She reassures owners on her website, Beside Still Water, “Animals know when they are dying. At least not in the same way that we are. They do not fear death. They reach a point of acceptance as they draw closer to death and make an effort to convey it to us.

If you want to know how a dog can express that they are ready to die, continue reading.