Why Are My Dogs Ears Hot?

Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by ellen

So, why are my dog’s ears hot? Learn more about why your pup’s ears feel hot and if it means there is an infection.

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So, why are my dog's ears hot? Learn more about why your pup's ears feel hot and if it means there is an infection.

Why Are My Dogs Ears Hot?

Have you ever felt your dog’s ears and thought that they felt warmer than normal? If your dog’s ear feels warmer than normal, does that mean they have a bacterial infection?

Let’s start by understanding that a dog’s normal body temperature is a bit higher than ours. So, it’s not unusual for your furry friend’s ear to feel slightly warm to the touch. However, if your pet’s ears feel hotter than usual, it may be a cause for concern.

You don’t need to panic right away, but it’s worth paying attention to other symptoms. If your dog shows discomfort or constantly scratches its ears, then it could be more than just a warm ear.

It’s best to consult with your vet if you notice these signs. Remember, quick action can prevent minor issues from turning into major ones.

Is it normal for dog’s ears to be warm?

In general, yes, it is normal for a dog’s ears to be warm. Since dogs have a higher body temperature than humans, their ears may feel warm to us. However, excessively hot ears or signs of discomfort, such as scratching or shaking of the head, may indicate a health issue like an infection or allergy. If you’re in doubt, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian.

So, why are my dog's ears hot? Learn more about why your pup's ears feel hot and if it means there is an infection.

Does your dog have a fever?

One common cause of hot ears in dogs could be a fever. Just like in humans, a fever can make your dog’s body, including its ears, feel hot to the touch. If you suspect your dog has a fever, you can check by using a pet thermometer.

Remember, a dog’s normal body temperature is higher than ours, typically between 99.5°F and 102.5°F. If your dog’s temperature exceeds this range, it might have a fever. Another sign of fever is lethargy, or being less active than usual.

If you’re unsure or if your dog seems unwell, it’s always a good idea to call your vet. In simple words, if your dog’s ears are hotter than usual and it seems tired or unwell, a fever might be the reason.

Fevers can indicate ear infections. Warm ears are a possible indication. Your veg can inspect the ear canals and check.

veterinarian doing an exam

Do hot ears mean an ear infection?

Yes, hot ears can indeed indicate bacterial infections in dogs. Just like in humans, if a dog’s ear is infected, it may feel warmer than usual. This is due to the inflammation and increased blood flow that occurs in response to an infection.

A viral infection might also cause your dog to scratch its ears, shake its head frequently, or even exhibit signs of discomfort such as whining or whimpering. There may also be a noticeable odor or discharge from the affected ear.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s crucial to get your dog checked by a vet as soon as possible. In a nutshell, a warmer-than-usual ear could be a sign of an ear infection in your dog.

So, why are my dog’s ears hot? It could be an ear infection. You will need to take your dog to the veterinarian. They will look in the ear canal and check for ear infections. You won’t be able to inspect the ear canal yourself.

the inside of a dog's ear

Do your dogs ears have an injury?

Just as in humans, physical injuries can cause a dog’s ear to feel hot to the touch. If your dog has been playing rough or has had a recent accident, this could be a possible reason for the warm ear. Injuries can lead to increased blood flow to the affected area, resulting in warmth when touched.

Signs to look for include swelling, redness, or your dog showing discomfort when you touch their ear. Be sure to consult with your vet if you suspect an injury. So, if you’ve noticed your dog’s ears are warmer than usual, and it’s been involved in some rough play or an accident, an injury might be the cause.

checking a dog's ears for mites

Does my dog have ear mites?

Ear mites might be another possible explanation for your dog’s unusually warm ears. These tiny, highly contagious parasites can cause severe itching and inflammation, resulting in your dog’s ears feeling hotter than normal. You can lift the ear flap and check.

Symptoms include excessive scratching of the ears, head shaking, dark, coffee-ground like debris inside the ear, and sometimes, a strong odor. In order to verify if your dog has mites, you can use a cotton swab to take a sample from inside your dog’s ear and examine it under a bright light.

Tiny white specks moving against a dark background could be mites. However, the most accurate way to diagnose mites is through a vet’s examination. It’s always wise to consult with your vet if you suspect mites.

In simple terms, if your dog’s ears feel warmer than usual and you see signs of excessive scratching or dark debris inside the ears, ear mites could be the reason. You can try these homemade dog ear cleaning wipes.

If your dog has floppy ears, they may be more susceptible to mites. If your dog has warmer ears than normal, this could be a reason. Check with your vet for medical treatment which usually includes a cream.

a dog panting in the heat

Are your dog’s ears hot from heatstroke?

Heat stroke can indeed make your dog’s ears feel hot to touch. It’s a serious condition that occurs when your dog’s body temperature rises dangerously above normal, typically as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Some common signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy, lack of coordination, vomiting, and a rapid heartbeat. Of course, hot ears can also be a symptom.

If you suspect heatstroke or your dog has a high temperature, it’s important to act swiftly and consult a vet immediately. Learn how to keep your dog cool at home.

To put it simply, if your dog’s ears are unusually hot and it’s been exposed to high temperatures or intense physical activity, heatstroke could be the cause. Check out these dog heatstroke symptoms.

vet examining dogs ears

When should you take your dog to the vet?

You should take your dog to the vet if you notice any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior. Warm ears combined with symptoms like excessive scratching, shaking of the head, or lethargy could indicate a health issue.

A veterinarian can perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your dog’s symptoms and prescribe treatment if necessary. Don’t delay if there is a high fever. Check by using a pet thermometer.

If your dog’s ears are persistently warm with no other symptoms, it’s still worth a check-up. While it may simply be due to their higher body temperature, it could also be a sign of an underlying issue. Regular check-ups can help catch potential issues early before they develop into more serious conditions.

Lastly, remember that your vet is the best source of advice for your pet’s health. Even if you’re not sure whether your dog’s symptoms are serious, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.

Reach out to your vet and describe what you’ve noticed – they can provide guidance on whether it’s something that can be monitored at home, or if your pet should be seen as soon as possible.

red dog with sad eyes

How to treat hot dog ears without the vet

While some minor issues may be treated at home, it’s important to consult with your vet if your dog’s ears continue to be warm or if you have any concerns. Your vet will provide professional advice tailored to your dog’s specific situation.

You can try a cool compress to bring the temperature down. But, it should be followed up by a vet visit.

In simple terms, if your dog’s ears are warm and you’re worried, don’t hesitate to contact your vet for guidance and peace of mind. Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health and well-being of your furry friend.

by using a pet thermometer.

How to keep your dog’s ears clean

Routine Checks: Regularly inspect your dog’s ears for signs of dirt, debris, or inflammation. This can help catch any issues early before they escalate.

Gentle Cleaning: Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the outer part of your dog’s ears. Never insert anything into the ear canal as this can cause damage.

Use Approved Products: If your vet recommends a specific cleaning solution, use it as directed. Always avoid using harsh chemicals or products not designed for dogs.

Avoid Water: Try to avoid letting water get into your dog’s ears during baths or swimming, as this can lead to infections.

Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular vet visits are essential for maintaining your dog’s ear health. Your vet can professionally clean your dog’s ears and check for any potential issues.

a woman brushing her dog

Most common reasons for dog’s ears feeling hot

The reasons mentioned in this article for a dog’s ears feeling warm include:

Injury: Rough play or an accident can lead to increased blood flow to the affected ear, causing it to feel warm to the touch.

Ear Mites: These tiny parasites can cause severe itching and inflammation, making a dog’s ears feel hot.

Heat Stroke: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause heatstroke, making a dog’s ears feel hot to touch.

Infection: While not explicitly mentioned in the article, infections often cause inflammation and warmth, and thus could be a reason for a dog’s ears feeling hot.

Please consult with a vet if you notice any unusual warmth in your dog’s ears, especially if accompanied by other symptoms.

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