How to Manage German Shepherd Ear Infection?

German shepherds are prone to ear infections, but as long as you know how to manage it, there is nothing to be worried about. Though you may know all about German shepherd ears already, treating ear infections requires extra care and attention. Moreover, you should be aware of the causes behind it so that you can avoid it from happening in the first place.

Being a dog owner is not easy-peasy; there comes a bunch of responsibilities and obligations. A German shepherd is a large breed known for its high energy level, strength, and loyalty. Being an active dog requires a considerable amount of exercise and nutrition to stay fit and healthy.

Hearing ability is a secret weapon of German shepherds, and it is one of the reasons why shepherds are used as guard dogs. German shepherd’s ears start to develop from an early age, and they are usually fully grown as they reach the age of 8 months. However, it can vary slightly for each dog.

Ear infection in German shepherds

An ear infection is common among German shepherds, and it must be treated and taken care of, or else it leads to complete hearing loss. Save your shepherd from total deafness and read how to manage German shepherd ear infections.


It does not happen overnight, but it takes days to show its effects. You have to catch it before it becomes severe and difficult to treat. You can detect the issue at its earliest stages by observing certain signs.

For example, if you notice your shepherd doing head shaking or scratching ear against anything, it shows that there might be a problem, and you need to check it out. Similarly, if you notice redness, swelling, ear scabs, or anything unusual, it is a sign that you must check and identify the problem. Ear infection will also cause pain, due to which you might see a change in behavior. Early diagnosis is the key to treating and managing the ear infection rightly.

Loss of hearing, unpleasant odor, and discharge are other vital signs that require immediate attention.

What causes ear infections in German shepherds?

The common cause behind ear infections is yeast and bacteria that affect the internal part of the ear. However, there can also be other factors. The ear shape and environment also play a role in infection progression. Shepherds with floppy ears and who are involved in excessive outdoor activities are more likely to be affected with an ear infection than those with straight ears and a moderate level of outdoor activity.

The factors behind ear infection in shepherds include allergies, wax buildup, injury, parasites, hormonal disorder, and frequent swimming. Additionally, excessive cleaning also leads to an ear infection.

How to take care of a German shepherd ear infection?

Though it’s not a veterinary emergency, it needs immediate attention and care. In the absence of timely diagnosis, it could result in severe problems, not to mention the pain your shepherd will experience.

Remember that prevention is always better. So, you should try your best that your shepherd does not have to go through the suffering of an ear infection.

For that, keep an eye on your shepherds, thoroughly inspect ears for any kind of buildup or any signs that show the possibility of infection.

Cleaning the ear is important for grooming, but as discussed above, over-cleaning can also lead to infection.

Other than that, moisture and allergies are the reason behind the development of yeast and bacteria, which then give rise to the infection. If you can control moisture or allergies, you can prevent infection beforehand. For that, make sure you carefully dry shepherd ears completely, especially after bathing or swimming.

If, in any case, you have diagnosed the infection, either through inspection or following the signs, do not take long to take your shepherd to the veterinarian. Your vet will ask the relevant question such as the signs you have been noticing, the duration, and your shepherd’s routine. Share all required details as it is necessary for precise diagnosis.

Your vet will perform a physical examination or conduct a few tests and suggest a remedy based on that. Considering how much the infection has spread, the vet will prescribe appropriate treatment, antibiotics, or medicated ear cleanser.

Follow your vet’s instructions strictly, and do not miss the next appointment. Meanwhile, carry on checking if the condition is improving or not and keep posted.


An ear infection is a recurring problem, but you can prevent it with proper care and attention. However, if there are signs of infection, do not ignore them and take the veterinarian’s help to sort out the problem before it becomes complicated and difficult to manage. Other than healthy ear hygiene, what steps are you taking to manage or prevent ear infections in German shepherds?