Goldendoodle Ear Infections – Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions


Goldendoodle ear infections are a common problem for the breed. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and solutions for Goldendoodle ear infections.

If your Goldendoodle is experiencing any of these problems, it is important to take action right away to prevent further damage, so let’s get to it, shall we?

Disclaimer: This article was reviewed and edited by a Vet, but it doesn’t replace your own vet. Please seek veterinary help if needed.

Common Goldendoodles Ear Infections

Goldendoodle side profile to show ears and why are Goldendoodle ear infections common

 There are three types of ear infections in any dog;

  1. Otitis externa 
  2. Internal 
  3. Media 

Each one of them affects a different part of their ears. Let’s explain each of them briefly:

Otitis Externa 

Otitis externa is the most common infection in dogs and it affects the outer ear.  It is usually caused by bacteria, yeast, or parasites. 

Here are the symptoms of this infection;

  • scratching at their ears
  • Shaking their head
  • Brown or yellow discharge from the ear.
  • Odor
  • Redness of the skin
  • Increased discharge 
  • Scaly Skin
  • Swelling 

Internal 

Internal ear infections affect the inner ear and are usually caused by bacteria or viruses. 

Here are the symptoms of this infection;

  • Balance problems
  • Head shaking
  • Ear pain.
  • Ear discharge
  • Vomiting 
  • Pain when they open their mouth
  • Redness of the ear
  • Scratching the affected ear
  • Reluctance to chew

Media 

Middle ear infections are the least common type of ear infections in dogs, but they also can be the most serious.  They are caused by bacteria or viruses and affect the middle ear. 

Here are the symptoms of this infection;

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression.
  • Head shaking
  • Vomiting 
  • Ear discharge 
  • They can’t chew properly 
  • Having a hard time opening their mouth
  • Pawing their affected ear

If your Goldendoodle is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the vet right away. Ear infections can be very painful and can cause permanent damage if left untreated.

Are Goldendoodles More Prone To Ear Infections?

Some Goldendoodles are prone to ear infections, there are some factors that may make Goldendoodles more prone to ear infections. 

Their floppy ears and dense fur can create a warm, moist environment that is perfect for bacteria and yeast to grow. 

They also have a higher risk of developing allergies, which can lead to ear infections.

However, they are not more prone to ear infections than most dogs because all dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear infections for the exact same reasons Goldendoodles are, and without regular cleaning, typically, they will develop ear infections.

Why Are Goldendoodles More Prone To Ear Infections?

There are a few reasons why Goldendoodles may be more prone to ear infections. 

The first reason is that their floppy ears can create a warm, moist environment that is perfect for bacteria and yeast to grow. 

Another reason is that they have a higher risk of developing allergies, which can lead to ear infections.  

Also, their dense fur can trap dirt, debris, and moisture in their ears, which can also lead to ear infections.

Lastly, They may have an ear infection because of the ear mites.

The Anatomy Of A Goldendoodle’s Ear

Canine Ear Anatomy

The ear is made up of three parts; 

  • The outer ear 
  • The inner ear 
  • The middle ear 

Outer Ear 

The outer ear is the part of the ear that you can see. It is made up of the auricle and the external auditory canal.

The auricle is the floppy part of the ear and the external auditory canal is the tube that leads from the auricle to the eardrum.

Inner Ear 

The inner ear is made up of the cochlea, vestibular apparatus, and semicircular canals. 

The cochlea is a spiral-shaped structure that contains nerves that send sound signals to the brain. The vestibular apparatus is responsible for balance and movement, and the semicircular canals are responsible for controlling balance. 

Middle Ear 

The middle ear is made up of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and the three ossicles.  The tympanic membrane is a thin sheet of tissue that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. 

The three ossicles are tiny bones that transmit sound waves from the tympanic membrane to the cochlea.

Goldendoodles have long, floppy ears that can make them more prone to ear infections.  Their dense fur can also trap dirt, debris, and moisture in their ears, which can lead to ear infections. 

If your Goldendoodle is experiencing any of the symptoms of an ear infection, it is important to take them to the vet right away. 

What Causes Ear Infections In Goldendoodles? 5 Causes

There are many things that can cause ear infections in Goldendoodles, but there are 5 very common ones that are responsible for the large majority of these infections, these are:

  1. Bacteria or yeast. 
  2. Allergies
  3. Parasites 
  4. Dirt and debris
  5. The moisture

Let’s quickly discuss each of these causes and what are the signs your dog has it:

Bacteria Or Yeast 

Bacteria or yeast can cause ear infections by growing and multiplying in the warm, moist environment of the Goldendoodle’s ears. 

Signs of bacteria or yeast in Goldendoodles;

  • Irritated ears
  • Pawing the ear
  • A cheesy odor coming from their ears
  • Red ears 
  • Brown or red discharge in the ear
  • Exessive scratching and itching at the ear

Allergies 

Allergies can cause ear infections in Goldendoodles because they can lead to inflammation and swelling of the ear canal. 

Signs of allergies in Goldendoodles;

  • Itching ears
  • Swelling around the ears
  • Pawing at the ears
  • Reddish-brown wax or discharge in the ear
  • Shaking their head 
  • Rubbing their fears or face on the furniture 
  • Redness in the entrance of the ear canal 
  • Excessive licking or itching of other parts of the body as well.
  • Thickening of their ear canal

If you noticed one or a few of these signs in your Goldendoodle then you should definitely take them to the vet as soon as you notice.

Parasites 

Ear mites are tiny parasites that live in the ear canal and feed on wax and oils. They can cause irritation, itching, and inflammation of the ear. 

Signs of ear mites in Goldendoodles;

  • Excessive scratching of their ears
  • Shaking their head
  • Rubbing their ears or face on the furniture
  • Brown or red discharge in their ears
  • Itching of other parts of the body as well. 
  • Strong odor coming from their ears 
  • Inflammation of their ears 
  • The debris in their ear canal looks like coffee grounds

If you think your Goldendoodle has ear mites, you should take them to the vet so they can prescribe a medication to kill the mites.

Dirt And Debris 

Dirt and debris can cause ear infections in Goldendoodles because they can get trapped in their long, floppy ears. This can lead to bacteria or yeast growth, or even parasites. 

Signs of dirt and debris in Goldendoodle’s ears;

  • Wax that is darker than normal 
  • Excessive scratching of their ears
  • Shaking their head
  • Pawing at their ears
  • Brown or red discharge in their ears
  • Itching of other parts of the body as well. 

If you think there is dirt and debris in your Goldendoodle’s ears, you should clean them with a gentle ear cleaner.  You can buy ear cleaners at most pet stores or you can get it on Amazon. You can also learn how to thoroughly and gently clean your dog’s ears here.

The Moisture 

The moisture can cause ear infections in Goldendoodles because it provides a warm, moist environment for bacteria or yeast to grow. 

It can also lead to irritation, itching, and swelling of the ear canal. 

Signs of moisture in Goldendoodle’s ears;

  • Wet or damp ears
  • Swimming a lot
  • Excessive scratching of their ears
  • Shaking their head
  • Pawing at their ears
  • Brown or red discharge in their ears
  • Itching of other parts of the body as well. 

If you think there is too much moisture in your Goldendoodle’s ears, you should try to keep them dry.  You can do this by using a dryer when you bathe them and then wiping their ears with a cotton ball after swimming.

If your Goldendoodle is experiencing any of the symptoms of an ear infection, it is important to take them to the vet right away. 

The vet will be able to diagnose the infection and prescribe the appropriate medication.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ear Infections In Goldendoodles?

There are many symptoms that your Goldendoodle may show when they are experiencing ear infections;

  • Head shaking (the most common symptom of ear infection)
  • Balance problems
  • Ear pain
  • Fever
  • Bad Odor From Their Ears 
  • Brown or red discharge 
  • Brown particles inside their ears 
  • Brown waxy secretion 
  • Inflammation of the ear 
  • Excessively itching and scratching 
  • Crusting or scabs in the ears
  • Swelling of the ear canal 

If your Goldendoodle is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to take them to the vet right away. 

How To Diagnose Ear Infections in Dogs?

If you think your dog may have an ear infection, the first step is to take them to the vet. 

The vet will examine your dog’s ears and may also need to take a sample of the discharge from their ears for testing. 

They will also ask about your dog’s medical history and whether they have any allergies. 

You should never give any pet medicine that you haven’t been prescribed because you believe it will help, especially human medications. It can lead to a lot more terrible things.

If the situation is only dirt, debris, or dampness, you can easily handle it at home without having to visit their veterinarian; if it’s any of the other reasons, though, you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.

How To Treat Ear Infections in Goldendoodles?

As stated before, you should take your Goldendoodle to the vet if you think they have ear infections. Your veterinarian will use a medicated ear cleanser to clean your dog’s ears thoroughly. 

Your veterinarian may also suggest an ear cleanser and a topical medication applied at home in addition to anti-inflammatory meds if necessary. 

Oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications, on the other hand, might be needed in severe situations. The most typical ear infections respond favorably to proper treatment and clear in 1–2 weeks.

Chronic problems, on the other hand, are more difficult to treat since they are caused by persistent infections or underlying diseases.

Your veterinarian may recommend surgery such as a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) in cases of severe chronic illness where other treatments have failed.

A TECA surgery removes the ear canal, which eliminates infected tissue and prevents recurrence of infection.

It’s critical to follow your veterinarian’s instructions precisely, and any recommended recheck appointments should be made at the veterinarian’s office. Lapses in your dog’s treatment may lead to a resurgence of the disease.

It’s especially vital that you finish your dog’s full course of therapy, no matter how much better they seem to be getting. Unless the dog is cleared by the vet, you should follow the medication and therapy course exactly as the vet prescribed.

If you stop giving them their medication early, they run the danger of developing more serious ailments, for example, resistant infections.

9 Home Remedies For Ear Infections

There are a few home remedies that you can try to treat ear infections in Goldendoodles. 

  1. Green tea
  2. Tree oil
  3. Apple cider vinegar 
  4. Grapefruit seed extract 
  5. Mullein drops
  6. Oil of oregano
  7. Calendula tincture 
  8. Yogurt 
  9. Coconut oil

Green Tea

Here is how to use green tea to remedy your dog’s ear:

  • Bring 8 fl oz of water to a boil, then add two green tea bags. 
  • Allow the tea to steep for a few minutes before removing the bags.
  • Wipe out the ear canal with clean and dry cotton gently. 
  • Then use another syringe or cotton to extract some of the liquid and put it in your ear canal.

Tree Oil 

Tree Oil is a natural anti-microbial that can be used to treat mild ear infections. You can apply it topically two to three times a day by using a dropper or cotton ball. 

If you are treating an infection that is more severe, you may need to take your Goldendoodle to the vet.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is effective in treating ear infections because it relieves itching and discomfort.

  • Mix 1 part vinegar and 1 part unfiltered or spring water to make a solution.
  • Clean the visible areas of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in the mixture.

The most important thing is to keep your dog still so you can pour the liquid into their ear canal then you should start massaging their ears gently and start from below their ears and keep working your way till the top of their neck.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is a strong antioxidant in its own right. It’s antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal as well.

  • Mix 10 drops of GSE with half an ounce of pure aloe vera juice to use topically.
  • Clean their ears with it.
  • You can also add it to their meals to improve their overall health and make sure they stay healthy.

Mullein Drops

Most ear infections can be treated with a mullein mix. You may either make your own or get one from a health food shop.

To prepare your own mullein drops, fill a jar halfway with mulleins leaves and flowers and cover with olive oil.  To improve the effectiveness of antibiotics, add a clove or two of garlic to each pint of oil. 

Allow the mixture to rest for 2 to 3 weeks. Strain and apply several drops of heated oil into the ear canal twice daily.

Oil Of Oregano

Oil of oregano is a powerful antibacterial. Add one drop to half an ounce of warm pure aloe vera juice for dog ear infections.

Using a cotton ball moistened in the solution, clean the visible parts of the ear.

Calendula Tincture

Calendula can help decrease pain and inflammation. It also has antifungal benefits to assist with infection prevention.

Calendula is sold for herbal use in tincture form. 5 to 10 drops of calendula tincture should be added to a cup of lukewarm filtered water.

Then insert a dropper or sponge into the ears and drip a few drops.

Yogurt 

One of the most efficient forms of treatment for a range of issues, from digestive difficulties to fungal infections, is plain yogurt with live cultures and no added sugar.

Because yogurt is high in probiotics and has beneficial bacteria, it may be used to treat early ear infections.

Fill an eye dropper with plain yogurt and extract 1-2 drops into the ear canal with care.

The Coconut Oil

There is nothing that coconut oil can’t be used for, it’s always the one thing that saves the day.

Coconut oil is an effective antibacterial and antifungal agent, making it a useful item to have on hand if your dog gets frequent ear infections.

It may also be used to treat or prevent the same things that apple cider vinegar can. 

It’s not only for illness! For infections as well, insert one to two drops of melted coconut oil straight into the ear carefully and of course, make sure that it’s warm and not hot because it can literally make them deaf 

Simply use coconut oil on the outside of your ear with a cotton ball to prevent infections.

How To Prevent Ear Infections in Goldendoodles?

There are a few things that you can do to help prevent ear infections in Goldendoodles. One thing, and probably the most important thing, is to keep their ears clean and dry. At least try to do so as much as possible.

This means you should focus on drying their ears completely after they go for a bath or a swim. You can also check out this guide on how to dry your dog quickly from some pro tips that will save you a lot of time and effort.

Your dog’s ears should be cleaned at least once a month, but if he or she has ear issues, you’ll need to do so more frequently.

Another thing is to avoid letting your dog get water in their ears in the first place.  This means not only avoiding frequent baths but also avoiding swimming and even playing in the sprinklers, again, if you can.

If you must give your dog a bath, use a mild, veterinarian-approved cleanser and dry their ears thoroughly afterward.

You can also prevent ear infections by Wiping out their ears with a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, avoiding going deeper than the first knuckle on your finger.

You should always check their ears regularly, Examine the inner ear for dirt, scratches, parasites, or discharge. Then smell them carefully and there should be no unpleasant smell.

You should your Goldendoodle’s ears if they give you any signs of infections and if you noticed any of the signs mentioned above, you should take them to the vet so they can deal with it properly or if the infection is not severe then you can try one of the home remedies.

You can also try to reduce their exposure to allergens, which can cause allergies and lead to ear infections. 

If your dog has an ear infection, it is important to take them to the vet so that they can prescribe the proper treatment. 

How To Properly Clean Your Goldendoodle’s Ear Infections?

If you think your dog has an ear infection, it is important to take them to the vet so that they can prescribe the proper treatment, but if you believe the cause is something mild like dirt or moisture, you can probably just clean them well and see if this solves it.

Regularly cleaning their ears will also help prevent ear infections in Goldendoodles by keeping their ears bacteria-free and dry while also reducing their exposure to allergens. 

By doing these things, you can help keep your Goldendoodle healthy and free of ear infections. 

To properly clean your dog’s ears, you will need to use a solution of half hydrogen peroxide and half water. 

  • Apply the solution to a cotton ball
  • Then gently wipe the inside of your dog’s ear
  • Be sure to avoid getting the solution in your dog’s eyes. 
  • Repeat this process a few times a week to help keep your dog’s ears clean and infection-free. 

If you are looking for something more thorough (and more complicated), there are three easy steps that you can follow to clean your Goldendoodle’s ears properly, but before we get into the steps, there are some ear-cleaning supplies that you need to prepare first;

To clean your dog’s ears successfully, you’ll need a cotton ball or gauze, a dog ear cleaning solution, and a towel. Cotton-tipped swabs (Q-tips) and anything with a pointed tip should be avoided.

Ear cleaning brushes and other items that push dirt and debris deeper into your dog’s ears, creating infections, and even causing damage to the inner structure of his ear are on the very harmful side.

Ear cleaning might be a little difficult. If your dog shakes his head violently while you clean his ears, you may want to do it in a bathroom or another readily accessible area that is simple to tidy.

There are many homemade ear-cleaning treatments for dogs. Veterinarian-approved ear-cleaning solutions, on the other hand, are the safest option. 

Ear-cleaning solutions developed at home may include dangerous or unpleasant chemicals. Others simply don’t work well enough. Ear washes are available from most veterinarians as well and they are pretty affordable.

You may also inquire about the product your veterinarian recommends for your dog, as some treatments may be more suited to your pet’s particular requirements than others.

Now, let’s get to the steps;

  1. Assemble your necessary components and your dog. Cleaning your dog’s ears while he is calm will make the procedure go more smoothly. Treats might be used to sweeten the deal, so don’t be scared to use them.
  2. Squeeze a veterinarian-approved ear cleaning solution into your dog’s ear canal, then massage gently at the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. You’ll hear a squishing sound as dirt and gunk are dislodged. Don’t allow the applicator tip to touch your dog’s ear; this could transmit germs.
  3. Allow your dog to shake his head. The towel is useful for shielding you from the spray and cleaning their face. After your dog has finished shaking, remove the cotton ball or gauze and clean out his ear canal with care, going no deeper than the depth of one knuckle if he appears to be in discomfort throughout the procedure. Consult a veterinarian before you pursue.

Related Questions 

Should You use Hydrogen Peroxide To Clean Dog Ears?

No, you should never use hydrogen peroxide to clean your dog’s ears. While it is a common at-home remedy for humans, hydrogen peroxide can actually damage the delicate ear tissue in dogs and lead to infection ad irritation to their healthy skin cells, so instead use home remedies or vet-approved solutions.

What Is The Best Ear Cleaning Solution For Dogs?

The best ear cleaning solution for dogs will be one that is veterinarian approved and specifically designed to clean canine ears without causing harm. There are many different brands and formulas available on the market, so ask your veterinarian for their recommendation to find the best one for your pup.

How Often Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

You should clean your dog’s ears at least once a week to help prevent infection and keep them healthy. If your dog has a history of ear infections, you may need to clean them more often. Consult your veterinarian for specific instructions.

Helpful Resources 

Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prevention

How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Dog Ear Infections

Ear Infections in Dogs (Otitis Externa)

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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