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Dog’s Ears Are Hot: 5 Causes & What To Do

If you have noticed that your dog’s ears are hot, there are a handful of possible explanations. Some of these may be more serious, while others may have simple solutions.

It’s essential to consider your dog’s recent behavior, the events leading up to this moment, and any other symptoms your dog might be exhibiting.

This article explains the common causes behind hot dog ears, when it’s time to worry, and what to do to help.

The quick answer: Ear infections, allergies, heatstroke, fever, and injuries are the main reasons a dog’s ear might become excessively hot.

hot dog ears

Hot Dog Ears: Explained

After consulting with our resident veterinarian that works with me on My Happy Husky, we found five main reasons causing a dog’s ears to become hot. These include:

  • Ear infections
  • Allergies
  • Heatstroke
  • Fever
  • Injury

It’s natural to want to diagnose your dog at home, but this isn’t always accurate.

Sometimes it might be easy and obvious (like a visible injury or ear infection) but judging other causes like allergies or fevers, can be more challenging.

If the cause isn’t obvious, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian before taking any action at home.

5 Reasons Why a Dog’s Ears Become Hot

Let’s explain in more detail each reason behind a hot dog ear.

1. Ear infections

Ear infections usually cause inflammation and swelling in the ear, which can lead to a feeling of heat due to the increased blood flow to the area.

In addition, the accumulation of pus and other fluids in the ear canal can also contribute to a feeling of heat.

2. Allergies

Allergies in dogs can cause various symptoms, including inflammation and swelling in the ear.

This can lead to a feeling of heat in the affected ear, as well as other symptoms such as redness, itching, and discharge.

Allergies in dogs can be triggered by a wide range of substances, including certain types of food, pollen, mold, and chemicals.

If your dog is experiencing a hot ear due to allergies, they may also show other signs of discomfort, such as scratching, biting, or rubbing at their ear.

3. Heatstroke

A more serious cause of a hot ear in dogs could be heatstroke.

Heatstroke is a potentially life-threatening condition that can occur in dogs when their body cannot regulate its temperature properly.

Heatstroke can be caused by exposure to high temperatures, high humidity, or a combination of both, and can occur quickly if a dog is left in a hot environment without access to shade or water.

4. Fever

Fevers are usually caused by an infection or other underlying health condition.

A dog experiencing a fever will nearly always have a higher overall body temperature, which can lead to a feeling of heat in their ears and other areas of the body.

In addition, a fever can cause an increase in blood flow to the ears, which can also contribute to a feeling of warmth.

☝️ Side note:

The normal body temperature range for a dog is typically between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38-39 degrees Celsius).

It’s important to note that body temperature can vary slightly from one dog to another and may also be influenced by factors such as age, breed, size, and activity level.

5. Injury

An injury to a dog’s ear can cause inflammation and swelling, leading to a feeling of heat in the affected ear.

Injuries to the ear can be caused by a variety of factors, such as trauma, infection, or the presence of a foreign object in the ear canal.

If your dog is experiencing a hot ear due to an injury, they may also show other signs of discomfort, such as shaking their head, holding their ear to one side, or crying out when their ear is touched.

What’s The Normal Temperature For Dog Ears?

It’s important to know that a dog’s body temperature does run a little hotter than ours, meaning when we touch them, it will always feel “warmer” to us.

☝️ Your dog’s ears should range between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38-39 degrees Celsius).

In some cases, temperatures as low as 99.5 Fahrenheit are also considered normal.

You can test this at home with regular thermometers, but for dogs, the most reliable way is by using a rectal thermometer with lube.

  • If your dog’s temp is ever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit, you must take them immediately to the vet or vet ER.

Can You Treat Dog Ear Infections Without a Vet?

In most cases, a hot ear will likely be caused by an ear infection or the start of an ear infection. So what should you do?

It’s still the safest option to seek help from your vet, but there are few things to try at home.

☝️ For mild ear infections, mix 1 part apple cider vinegar with 1 part water (ideally filtered).

  1. Inject a small amount of the mixture in your dog’s ears with a syringe (do not excessively push the syringe!)
  2. Gently massage the base of the ear to ensure the liquid hits all spots
  3. Allow your dog to shake their head, then wipe away the remaining liquid

This mixture is both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. Apple cider vinegar is known to kill bacteria and yeast, which are the two most common causes of canine ear infections.

  • If you follow this method, you can apply the solution, 3 or 4 times per day for up to 7 days.

Treating With OTC Solutions:

If you would prefer to opt for a medical solution straight away, the best one to try is Zymox Otic Enzymatic solution.

This solution will ease inflammation and will eventually help treat the ear infection (assuming it’s only mild to start with).

When To Contact Your Veterinarian

So what should you do next?

☝️ Consult your veterinarian if:

  • You suspect a severe ear infection
  • You see puss coming from the ear
  • You see mites or fleas
  • You see an injury, wound, or blood
  • You suspect heatstroke
  • It’s already been multiple days without improvement
  • Your dog is displaying other symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and unusual behavior

Identifying The Cause of Your Dog’s Hot Ears

To help your dog in the best way possible, it’s necessary to identify the cause. Let’s run through the basic symptoms of each cause listed above.

Ear infections:

  • Redness and swelling
  • Discharge or puss
  • Smelly odor
  • Itching or scratching
  • Shaking their head
  • Scratching
  • Irritable behavior

Allergies:

  • Redness
  • Excessive scratching
  • Happens during spring or high periods of pollen
  • Changes in appetite
  • Dry scaly skin

Heatstroke:

  • Temperatures above 25c (77f)
  • Your dog has been outside for hours in direct sunshine
  • Your dog has not drunk enough
  • You witness lethargy, disorientation, dizziness, shaking, seizures, dry sticky gums, sticky saliva, sunken eyes, hot body temp
  • Your dog is finding it hard to stand up

Fever:

  • Body temperature above 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit (38-39 degrees Celsius)

Injury:

  • Wounds
  • Bleeding
  • Deep scratches
  • Change in behavior
  • Frequently pawing at their ear
  • Holding head to one side
  • Crying when ear is touched

For ear infections, owners may be able to treat them at home if they’re mild.

If you suspect an injury, allergy, heatstroke, or fever, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian for the best course of action.

Are Hot Dog Ears an Emergency?

In most cases, no. Unless you see blood coming from their ears or there’s an apparent wound, then you do not need to rush your dog to the emergency room.

Still, we advise owners to seek veterinarian help if the problem persists or they cannot figure out the cause and solution.

Last Thoughts

In most cases, your dog will have hot ears due to an ear infection, allergies, fever, heatstroke, or an injury.

Hot dog ears are typically not an emergency and can usually be treated at home, depending on the cause.

Mild ear infections can usually be solved at home with DIY solutions, or over-the-counter medical solutions like Zymox ear solution.

Always keep a close eye on your dog and if you notice any additional symptoms like lethargy, weakness, food refusal, diarrhea, vomiting, or other unusual behavioral changes, please talk to a veterinarian.

Disclaimer

The advice given in this article is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice in any context. Before making any decisions that may affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. For the FULL disclaimer Visit Here


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