A Goldendoodle ear infection is one of the most frequent medical concerns for this breed of dog. Ear infections are a common problem, with 20% of all dogs having some form of ear disease according to the AKC.
Dogs with floppy ears and dogs with hairy inner ears are both at increased risk for ear infections—which means that Goldendoodles fit squarely into the “at risk” category.
If treated quickly and effectively, a Goldendoodle ear infection is usually a relatively low-risk and low-cost veterinary issue. However, without proper prevention they can reoccur frequently and without proper treatment they can become a much more serious problem, potentially causing permanent hearing loss.
In this article, we’ll dive deeper into Goldendoodle ear infections and what you need to know as an informed pet parent. We’ll talk about potential causes, help you identify common symptoms, as well as discuss proper treatment and prevention options.
Goldendoodle Ear Infection Causes
Most ear infections in Goldendoodles are caused by bacteria or yeast. The floppy and hairy ears of Goldendoodles are a prime habitat for these organisms to thrive as they block airflow and trap moisture. Bathing or swimming can sometimes contribute to this moisture buildup and make ear infections more likely.
Besides yeast and bacteria, other potential causes of Goldendoodle ear infections are allergies, hormonal imbalances, injury to the ear canal, wax buildup, foreign bodies, and excessive cleaning or plucking.
While we’ll discuss some effective ways to help prevent a Goldendoodle ear infection, given the prevalence of the issue in this breed, ear infections may still occur despite our best efforts. These costly, unplanned veterinary expenses can add up quickly. For this reason, we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.
Related: Veterinarians Weigh In: Should You Get Pet Insurance?
Goldendoodle Ear Infection Symptoms
Ear infections can be uncomfortable and painful for your Goldendoodle. It’s important to identify the symptoms early so treatment can occur as soon as possible. Some symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
- Excessive Ear Scratching or Head Shaking
- Ear Odor
- Discharge or Wax Buildup
- Redness and Swelling
- Crust or Scabs
- Walking in Circles
- Disorientation / Loss of Balance
- Hearing Loss
Related: Why Do Goldendoodles Smell Bad? Advice from a Veterinarian!
Once your dog is showing symptoms of a Goldendoodle ear infection, it is too late to take preventative measures as they may worsen the issue rather than making it better.
If your dog is experiencing symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian or at least give them a call. Alternatively, you can click here to be connected 24/7 to a verified, licensed veterinarian to gain additional insight on the severity of your dog’s issue and discuss potential treatment options.
Goldendoodle Ear Infection Treatment
Treatment for a Goldendoodle ear infection depends on a few factors:
- The cause of the infection
- Whether the infection is located in the outer or inner part of the ear canal
- The severity of the infection
As part of their exam, your veterinarian will perform a variety of tests to discover this information and provide an effective treatment option for your Goldendoodle’s ear infection.
They will likely start with a basic visual assessment of the ears, looking for redness, swelling, and discharge while evaluating your dog’s pain levels. From there they’ll examine your Goldendoodle’s ears with an otoscope which will allow them to see the ear canal and eardrum more closely and clearly.
In addition, your veterinarian may do additional tests including swabbing the ear for microscopic examination, doing a culture of samples from the ear, and taking x-rays or biopsies in severe cases.
In most cases, your veterinarian will clean your dog’s ears and prescribe either an ear cleanser and/or topical medication for you to use at home. For more severe Goldendoodle ear infections, an oral medication may be prescribed.
In rare cases, for very severe or chronic Goldendoodle ear infections, your veterinarian may recommend surgery to prevent the infection from worsening or reoccurring.
No matter which treatment option is necessary, having pet insurance can help you save up to 90% off your vet bills. This means that you’ll never have to choose between what’s best for your Goldendoodle’s health and what’s best for your wallet. For this reason, we recommend all responsible dog owners get a free, online pet insurance quote from Healthy Paws.
Related: Is Pet Insurance a Waste of Money?
Goldendoodle Ear Infection Prevention
Luckily, there are a few easy steps we can take to help prevent the occurrence of a Goldendoodle ear infection. These preventative measures are designed to fight off yeast and bacteria by reducing the amount of excess moisture in your Goldendoodle’s ears.
Keep Your Dog’s Ears Dry
Thoroughly dry your Goldendoodle’s ears after they bathe, swim, or become wet for any other reason.
Related: Do Goldendoodles Like Snow? (+Cold Weather Safety Tips!)
Cleaning the Inner Ears
Clean your Goldendoodle’s ears weekly with a veterinarian-recommended ear cleansing solution or wipes like these available from Amazon:
Cleaning your Goldendoodle’s ears regularly will keep them free of bacteria and wax buildup and will also force you to monitor them for any symptoms of infection. That way if there is an issue, you’ll know about it quickly and be able to seek treatment.
Regular ear cleaning is not always a simple task, as it can be uncomfortable or freighting for your dog until they get used to it. You also want to make sure you’re doing it correctly, as improper methods can damage your dog’s ears or actually push harmful debris further into the ear canal.
Popular YouTube dog trainer, Zak George, has an informative video where he demonstrates how to clean your dog’s ears while training them to become more comfortable with the process.
While Zak gets paid to recommend a particular brand of ear cleaning products, I prefer saving money with these less expensive but just-as-effective options from Amazon:
Trimming Inner Ear Hair
Keeping the hair in your dog’s inner ear trimmed will help increase airflow and make your Goldendoodle’s ears less of a hideout for bacteria and yeast. It will also make them easier to clean!
Your groomer will likely do this automatically, but it’s always best to double-check. Give special attention to it if you choose to groom your doodle at home.
Related: Short Goldendoodle Haircut Ideas: 30 Before and After Photos!
Don’t confuse trimming your Goldendoodle’s ear hair with plucking it. While plucking used to be recommended as a preventative measure against Goldendoodle ear infections, veterinarians now advise against it. Plucking the hair can cause your dog’s ear to become inflamed and actually increase their risk of a Goldendoodle ear infection.