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ChristineLVT, Certified Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3307
Experience:  Licensed veterinary technician (B.S. Mercy College), 10 yrs in animal medicine and training
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My dogs ear keeps twitching.....

Customer Question

My dog's ear keeps twitching.....
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.
Any scratching noticed?

Can you see anything in the ear or on it?

What breed of dog?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
He is a chiuhauha mix. I have not noticed any scratching. Nothing in his ear.....
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for replying.

Something is definitely bothering this left ear of your dog, and it could be either something bit him (which should then fade this symptom by tomorrow) or something inside the ear is itching him.

A dog's ear canal makes a sharp L shaped turn, and thus we cannot see the start up of debris, infections, etc. Instead, we need to start cleaning them out to see if this is the problem, or else have a vet use an otoscope to visualize the canal.

I would get an ear cleaner from the pet supply store which is made for dogs, squirt a small amount into this left ear, massage the base of the ear very well, and let your dog shake out the debris. Massging well should break up anything in there bothering your dog 9whether it be wax or infectious mnaterial). Just do this once and that should be enough if just waxy or itchy from inflammation.

However, if you see the twiching continue, or scratching, shaking the head, or walking with a head tilt, then I would clean the ears like this 2-3 times a week, and make an appointment for the ear the be checked for infection or inflammation. Don't clean the ears the day of the appointment so a sample can be taken to determine best treatment.

Again, don't clean the ears tonight, see if the symptom is still there tomorrow so you know if it was just something biting his ear (insect, etc) to bother him temporarily or if this is caused by something within the ear.

Let me know if any other symptoms come up or if you have further problems.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I have that ear cleaner that you are talking about. I should wait till tomorrow to clean. But if the twitching stops, should I clean it anyway?
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.
Unless you actually see debris in the ear, there's no rush, but certainly cleaning the ears isn't going to harm anything. I only say wait until tomorrow because this way you can likely judge better is any debris was the true cause of the twitching, or to see if something else temporarily bothered the ear. If it doesn't matter, if you're fairly certain this may be something building up in her ear, or if it doesn't matter what caused this to you and you'd rather try to find relief now, then go right ahead and clean the ears tonight, it can't hurt. Do know that some head shaking often occurs after an ear cleaning, that is normal due to the 'wet' feeling.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you....
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 8 years ago.
Best wishes,

Hope everything is back to normal quickly.