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German Shepherd Ear Infection

German Shepherd ear problems are a common pet peeve that most GSD owners share. Whether problems arise from German Shepherd ear allergies or serious German Shepherd chronic ear infections, GSD ear health is a priority for all GSD owners. Read on to learn what may be causing your GSD ear unnecessary pain and discomfort.

What causes German Shepherd ear bleeding?

German Shepherd itchy ears are not in and of themselves a major problem, but leaving them unchecked may lead to expensive issues later on. German Shepherd ear bleeding (also known as ear hematoma), happens when your GSD excessively scratches its ears. When this happens, blood from the broken capillaries and vessels in the ear will tend to pool and leave a bulge in the affected area. If left untreated, your GSD may be at an increased risk of contracting German Shepherd chronic ear infections.

GSD ear hematomas are different from bloody ear discharge. More on this in the next section.

What are the risk factors for ear hematomas?

A hematoma forming from a German Shepherd scratching ears excessively is usually caused by an underlying problem. Bacterial or viral ear infections, an allergic skin disease, or even ear mites may be the reason. In addition, German Shepherd floppy ears may increase your GSD’s risk of contracting German Shepherd ear allergies (causing hematomas); in this sense, changes in anatomy make German Shepherds prone to ear infections.

When you find your German Shepherd scratching ears and shaking head incessantly, you will want to treat this as soon as possible; these are common German Shepherd ear infection symptoms.

How can I treat my German Shepherd ear bleeding?

German Shepherd ear surgery is typically what will need to happen to properly cure and get rid of GSD ear hematomas. To drain out the fluid, your vet will need to make an incision in your GSD’s ears, then tack them down afterwards to ensure they heal properly. This type of German Shepherd ear surgery is typically done with your GSD under anesthesia.

If the underlying cause of the hematoma is German Shepherd ear allergies, your vet may need to prescribe a certain diet regimen and have your GSD undergo allergy tests to accurately pinpoint the cause of the hematoma.

On the other hand, your vet may need to start cleaning your German Shepherd ears if the ear hematoma is caused by ear mites. A German Shepherd ear cleaning solution will need to be used to fully rid your GSD’s ears of the mites and will typically need a follow-up treatment of topical ointments for a short period of time afterwards.

What are some good ways to prevent German Shepherd ear bleeding?

Because German Shepherd ear bleeding is a multi-factored problem, there may not be a single “good” solution or prevention for this ailment. It certainly will help if you regularly check to see if your German Shepherd ears are red inside, have bulges, or your GSD’s skin for any rashes or abnormalities. Above all, be mindful and take note of your GSD whether it scratches its ears often or not. Clean ears are healthy ears!

What are some German Shepherd ear infection symptoms?

The question, “Are German Shepherds prone to ear infections?” redirects here. And the answer is typically “no” because of how normal GSD ears are constructed. German Shepherd ears that are red inside, give off a dark, waxy discharge or smell bad are warning signs you should take note of. 

Bad odor

Healthy GSD ears should not smell bad. If you notice a pungent smell emanating from your GSD’s ears, it may simply be a case of German Shepherd dirty ears and can be solved by washing their ears gently using a German Shepherd ear cleaning solution. Most of these ear cleansers contain small amounts of hydrocortisone, salicylic acid and/or aloe vera. Usually, this happens because too much dirt or dead skin cells get trapped in your GSD’s ears (never try to use a sharp or thin instrument to dislodge earwax or dirt in your GSD’s ears).

Alternatively, the most probable cause of bad-smelling GSD ears is a bacterial or yeast infection. A yeast infection in German Shepherd ears usually happens because your GSD gets exposed to a lot of moisture in its environment; this paired with the natural design of your GSD’s ears provides very favorable conditions for yeast to grow in.

Foul discharge

Yellow, brown or even bloody discharge (which may also accompany a pungent smell) from your GSD’s ears are signs of ear mites or serious outer and inner ear infections. 

Yellow discharge is most commonly associated with a yeast infection in German Shepherd ears. 

As mentioned previously regarding ear hematomas, ear mites are typically the cause of waxy or crusty, blackish-brown ear discharge. 

A more serious symptom is bloody discharge. Yeast and bacterial infections may be secondary in causing this, but the more likely cause is either parasites, growth masses or a torn eardrum. Parasites like ticks, fleas and mites propagate in your GSD’s ear areas because of the warm, moist environment and the blood-rich vessels that inhabit them. Masses (benign or malignant) are believed to happen because of constant inflammation in your GSD’s ears. Torn eardrums are usually a severe problem and will require immediate German Shepherd ear surgery if your vet deems this to be the cause of bloody ear discharge.

How do I cure these GSD ear problems?

Unless your vet deems the problem severe enough to warrant surgery, German Shepherd itchy ears may require simple, non-invasive treatments that can be performed or even made at home. Take note of the following when figuring out what to do about your German Shepherd ear infection.

Yeast infection

Your vet will need to prescribe antifungal medication or ointment if a yeast infection in German Shepherd ears is diagnosed. Tablets and vaccinations will be prescribed if necessary. If the vet deems that your GSD’s middle or inner ear have been compromised, a deep clean of its ears may need to happen and the prospect of German Shepherd ear surgery may need to be considered.

Prevent this by cleaning your German Shepherd dirty ears and keeping them dry afterwards.


Your vet will begin treatment by cleaning your GSD’s ears, but will also most likely require you to continue German Shepherd ear infection treatment at home by prescribing medication, special cleansers or shampoos and even showing you how to clean your GSD’s ears. Not following your vet’s orders may result in damage to your GSD’s inner and outer ears and even permanent hearing loss.

You will also want to inquire about how contagious the ear mites are and if your other pets (if any at all) will need to be checked as well.

What are some German Shepherd ear infection home remedies?

The following list of German Shepherd ear infection home remedies are options to consider when looking for more natural and inexpensive methods to clean German Shepherd dirty ears.

Boric Acid

A solution of 4% boric acid in distilled water is a good German Shepherd ear infection home remedy. Mix these two ingredients together and apply topically to your GSD’s ears or as an additive for their next bath. This should keep you from spending an arm and a leg on costly antibiotics for German Shepherd chronic ear infections.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil may be used as a treatment for parasites, but it is recommended to consult with your vet first. Coconut oil has been proven over the years to contain both antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Apply a small amount of this to your GSD’s ear canal and it may help prevent ear mites and yeast infection in German Shepherd ears.

Less starchy diets

A deductive and preventive approach to German Shepherd ear infection home remedies, you may want to consider feeding your GSD less starchy meats and food. Starch is known to slow down GSD’s metabolism, which in turn may affect its inflammatory response. Cut chicken and whole grain foods from your GSD’s diet and substitute them with more turkey or beef.

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