Signs of Ruptured Ear Drums in Canines

by Elizabeth Muirhead
    If your dog is shaking her head or walking funny, a ruptured ear drum is a possible cause.

    If your dog is shaking her head or walking funny, a ruptured ear drum is a possible cause.

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    If your pup has a persistent head tilt or unceasingly shakes her head, she might have a ruptured ear drum, or one of a number of other issues. Ruptured ear drums, or tympanic membranes, can be triggered by numerous causes, namely ear infections or trauma.

    Evidence of a Problem

    If Princess has a ruptured ear drum, she is at risk for middle and inner ear damage or infections. You will not be able to identify tympanic membrane damage at home, but your veterinarian can identify the problem. You may notice debris or discharge in the ear, which might be bloody or dark and waxy. The ear may look red, or Princess may cry out if you touch the side of her head. Some dogs tilt their head or continually shake the head. With potential inner ear damage, your pet may stumble or move her eyes back and forth.

    Diagnosis and Treatment

    Your veterinarian can diagnose a ruptured ear drum by visualizing the ear canal. Depending on the severity, your vet may have to sedate or anesthetize Princess because it can be very painful, and the ear canal may have to be flushed out. Princess’s underlying problem must be treated, especially with an infection. She may need surgery to correct the problem, but surgery is usually not needed if the damage is caught early. The symptoms of a ruptured eardrum are like those of several other conditions. Your vet will determine what's going on.

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    About the Author

    Elizabeth Muirhead is a practicing veterinarian with an undergraduate degree in biological sciences. She has real-world experience with the husbandry, grooming, training and feeding a variety of household pets.

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