Golden Retriever Ear Infections – Causes and Treatments

Golden Retriever Ear Infections

Although, the Golden Retriever can be your best companion and a perfect family dog. Yet, owning a pet like Golden Retriever is not so easy. The body structure and health status of the Goldens make them prone to many diseases and infections. And, Ear infections of Golden Retriever is one of them.

The bacteria, yeast, allergies, and mites are the probable reasons for ear infection in Golden Retrievers. The most common sign of which is redness in-ear, inflammation, itching, and scratching. However, if your Golden is showing such symptoms, visit the Veterinarian for inspection and seek their advice.

The long and dropping structure of your Golden Retriever ears makes them more susceptible to ear infections than dog breeds with short and pointed ears. Though, proper grooming can keep your Golden Retriever free from an ear infection. Yet, you must be careful about certain things if you want to prevent or treat ear infections in your Golden Retriever.

Surely I will elaborate more about the ear infections of Golden Retriever in this article. But, first of all, let’s learn: what is an ear infection?

How Can You Describe The Ear Infections Of Golden Retriever?

The American Kennel Club estimates that about 20% of dogs are suffering from some form of ear infections in one or both ears.

In general, ear infections are viral or bacterial infections in the ear. They result due to the inflammation and development of fluid inside the spaces of the ear.

At the initial phase, you may experience swelling, redness, and inflammation in the ear of your Golden Retriever. If you do not treat their infections, they can eventually get worse by spreading. And, finally leads to hearing loss, meningitis, and brain abscess of your Golden.

What Are The Types Of Ear Infections Of Golden Retriever?

The flopping ears of dog breeds like; Basset HoundsCocker Spaniel, and Golden Retriever make them more susceptible to ear infections.

Based on the infected part of the ear. There are generally three types of ear infections of Golden Retriever. That is:

Otitis externa is the inflammation of layers of cells in the external area of the ear canal.

If the infection spreads in the middle inner ear canal from the external portion ear, it is Otitis media.

Otitis interna is the infection of the inner ear after spreading from the external and middle ear.

However, among the three, infection of the middle and inner ear is more serious. It leads to deafness, facial paralysis, and vestibular signs if not treated in time.

How Will A Golden Retriever Get Ear Infections?

The dog breeds like the Golden Retriever have long, hairy and flopping ears. It creates a warmer and darker environment which promotes the growth of germs. Therefore, they frequently suffer from ear infections.

Though, the main reason behind their ear infection is the carelessness of the dog owner. Some of these causes are:

  • About 80% of dogs with allergies most probably suffer from ear infections.
  • The development of wax in the ear of your pet influences the growth of yeast and bacteria.
  • Use of excessive heat while bathing and excessive cleaning irritate their ear leading to infection.
  • When the ear of your Retriever traps moisture, the microbes get a perfect environment to grow.
  • As an influence of foreign material, the yeast and bacteria find a perfect environment to grow.
  • Some unknown growth of cells in the inner or outer ear
  • Autoimmune disorders cause swelling of the ear canal lining thus, promotes the growth of the microbe.
  • Thyroid diseases degrade the immune system. Thus, your Golden Retriever cannot fight the microbial infection.
  • The narrow and very hairy canals of the ear in Golden Retriever make it easier for microbes to accumulate and grow.

In addition to this, many other microscopic causative agents could cause ear infections in your Golden Retriever. These agents are:

Ear mites

Ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) are small agents which replicate the tiny white crabs or ticks. They are highly contagious minutes present in the external ear canal and are visible without a microscope. The most common sign of ear mites in your Golden is irritation and scratching.


A bacterial infection is a fatal infection and results in serious health issues if left untreated. Excessive moisture in-ear, allergens, and co-infections cause them. The common signs of this infection are redness, inflammation, itching, and fever in some cases. However, you can avoid this infection using gentamicin, tobramycin, or amikacin.


Yeast infection is a fungal infection common to the Gold Retriever with allergies. And the study proved that dogs with trees or cultivated plant allergies are more susceptible to fungal infections in-ear and skin. The signs of yeast infection are:

  • Brown or yellow discharge from the ear
  • Foul-smell of the ear discharge
  • Formation of crust outside the ear

Moreover, the most common yeast species that causes ear infection is Malassezia.

Does your pet have had an ear infection before?

How did you know about the infection of your pet?

How To Know The Ear Infection Of Your Golden Retriever?

The healthy ear of a Golden Retriever is pink, clean, and smell-free. And, every dog shows a slit different signs and symptoms of ear infections according to their nature. Yet, the most common initial symptoms of ear infections are:

  • Redness and inflammation of the ear
  • Inflammation of areas around the ear
  • Discharge of fluid which may be dark brown to yellow-green.
  • Persistent of an awful smell in the ear even after the bath.
  • Frequent signs of irritations like the scratching of the ear and shaking of the head
  • Whimpering and sounds of fear or pain due to discomfort.

If you also see such signs in your Golden Retriever. You must immediately seek medical help. And if you do not treat these signs in the initial phase. They will get worse. Eventually, leading to:

  • Unsteady movement of your pet due to the loss of balance.
  • Odd and unusual eye movements
  • Tilting of their head
  • Loss in hearing ability

Therefore, if your Golden Starts shows these symptoms, you must contact the Veterinarian as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Furthermore, sometimes your pet may not show any sign in the initial stage of infection. Thus, you should consult with the Veterinarian if you have any doubt.

How To Diagnose Ear Infections Of Your Golden Retriever?

Since only a professional can diagnose ear infections, you should visit the Veterinarian with your pet for diagnosis. The Veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet along with their skin to detect the type of infection. In addition to this, they will take samples of ear content and analyze them under the microscope.

Consequently, if your Golden is in a lot of pain, the Veterinarian uses a sedative to anesthetize your pet for a complete examination.

Undoubtedly, the treatment is necessary if your pet has ear infections.

How did you diagnose your pet?

What did the Veterinarian do? What questions did they ask?

How To Treat The Ear Infections Of Golden Retriever?

Since an untreated ear infection may result in permanent damage to the ear. Eventually leads to the loss of balance and hearing ability. Therefore, treat the ear infections of your pet as earlier as possible. The ways to treat ear infections are:

  • Firstly, if you suspect that your pet may have an ear infection, make an appointment with the Veterinarian.
  • The Veterinarian will examine your Golden Retriever thoroughly and inspect their ears with an otoscope.
  • After an X-ray of the ears of your pet, the Veterinarian analyses the report. And recommends Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) surgery if the issue is serious.
  • However, the Veterinarian will professionally clean the ears of your pet with a catheter for mild cases. But, if your pet is whimpering or in a lot of pain, they use anesthetics to calm them.
  • Apart from this, you can use topical antifungal ointment or cream that your Vet has prescribed in case of a fungal infection. Miconazole and ketoconazole are the most popular and effective antifungal agents that most Vet recommends.
  •  In most cases, the moisture left in-ear leads to the ear infection. Therefore, use an ear cleaner and ear-drying solutions to clean the ear canal of the Retriever.
  • For bacterial ear infection, use gentamicin, kanamycin, and amikacin medicines as per the Vet’s prescription.

Can You Prevent Ear Infections In Your Golden Retriever?

Since the main reason for ear infection in the pet is the carelessness of the owner. Thus, if cared for properly, your Retriever may never get ear infections. For preventing ear infection, you must follow certain things. They are:

  • You must check their ears regularly when your Golden Retriever is swimming and bathing.
  • Keep them away from allergens and be very cautious about their diet and snacks.
  • Frequently groom your pet. Cut the hair around the ears. Trim the Retriever nail. All this will allow space for air movement, therefore, prevents infections.
  • Give your pet a nice bath at least once a month in a good dog bath that suits your pet.
  • Put a lot of antibacterial foaming ear cleansers carefully in the ears of your pet and gently rub them. Leave the cleaner to do its job for about 10 minutes. And then, carefully flush them.
  • Use a shower massage set and gently rinse the ear with lukewarm water. Also, don’t forget to massage them while cleaning their ear flap.
  • Dry the ear of your pet with cotton balls and remove the dirt and debris. Besides, you can also put some drying agents like; epi-otic or otic-calm.
  • Visit the Vet immediately if you see signs of infections on the ears of your pet.

I assure you all these steps will surely help you avoid ear infections in your Golden Retriever. But, do you know how to clean the ears of your Retriever?

How To Clean The Ear Of Your Golden Retriever?

Since the narrow ear space promotes the growth of microbes due to debris trapped in-ear. Thus, dog breeds with droopy-ear like Golden Retriever need regular cleaning of the ear. And, you will need few basic materials to make the cleaning process easy and effective. They include:

  • Damp cotton wool pads
  • Dog specific ear cleaner
  • Clean towel
  • Treats

After you ensure that you have all the equipment, use these steps for cleaning the ears of your Golden Retriever.

  • Make your pet comfortable and lift his ear carefully to observe the ear.
  • Check for redness, swelling, and smelly discharge. It is normal to have a small amount of light-colored wax. But if the ear has a large amount of wax, you must be attentive. It may be the first sign of infection.
  • Clean the area around the ear with damp cotton wool and gently wipe the dirt and excess wax.
  • Use the dog-based ear cleaner cautiously.
  • Massage the base of your Retriever ear after inserting the cleaner.
  • Use ear drops if your Vet has recommended ear drops, put them carefully.
  • Repeat all these processes in the other ear.

Do you follow these steps while cleaning the ear of your pet?

If you haven’t yet. Then, follow the steps and share your results.

What Are The Other Susceptible Infections In Golden Retriever?

The dense and long fur of Golden Retriever makes them susceptible to a lot of bacterial infections. For instance, parvo, rabies, and distemper. But you can prevent these infections by giving your Retriever proper vaccination. However, your Retriever is susceptible to many more health complications. Some Of them are:

  • Obesity of Golden Retriever
  • Skin infections and complications
  • Problems of joint and Bones
  • Parasitic infection such as fleas, tick, and worms
  • Cancer (lymphoma)
  • Bloating and Gastro-Intestinal problems
  • Diabetes
  • Eye problems
  • Epilepsy

However, if you give a little attention to the diet and exercise of your Golden Retriever, you can manage all these infections and complications. The routine diet, proper care, and regular exercising will not only increase the lifespan of your Golden Retriever but will also make them healthier, happier, and active.

So, it is up to you. What do you choose?

A healthier, longer, and active life for your beloved pet. Or a complicated and unproductive life.

What do you prefer neglecting the problems of your pet or solving them?

If you own a Golden Retriever, you must be careful. Your little recklessness will result in various health issues for them.

I hope this article helps you. Do leave your comments below?

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