Acute Ear Pain in a Dog: What Caused Obi’s Severely Painful Ear?

What do you think can cause acute severe ear pain in your dog?

The severity, speed of onset, and circumstances are some of the key criteria to consider when assessing the big picture. Would you expect an ear infection to go without any signs and then suddenly have your dog screaming in pain? Maybe.

The typical signs of an ear infection might include:

  • excessive head shaking
  • scratching or pawing at the ears
  • rubbing on surfaces
  • head tilted to the affected side
  • bad odor
  • redness
  • discharge from the ear

Obi exhibited none of these signs. There was no reason to suspect a problem until she started squealing in pain.

Acute Ear Pain in a Dog: What Caused Obi's Severely Painful Ear?

Obi’s story

Obi is a lovely female Cocker Spaniel who loves her daily country adventures. She likes to rush through undergrowth, looking for scents and following them. The vegetation to run through is plentiful–tall grass and barley fields. That’s where the critters are.

The fateful afternoon

That day, Obi went through her favorite routine, having a blast in the fields. Shortly after she returned home, though, she started to squeal in pain. She kept pawing at her left ear, whining, and ran away when her dad tried to see what happened. Terrified, Obi hid under a bed and kept on crying.

Trying to get your dog in a car and to a veterinary clinic under such circumstances is no easy task. Obi’s dad eventually succeeded and rushed to their veterinarian.

At the veterinarian

Obi was so hysterical, though, it was impossible for the veterinarian to examine her. She was too scared and in too much pain. The only way to having a proper look at Obi’s ear was sedating her.

Shortly after, now sleeping Obi no longer resisted examination. At the first sight, there was nothing wrong with her ears other than a very mild infection on both ears–nothing that should explain her reaction.

Determined to figure out the cause of Obi’s pain, her veterinarian kept looking.

The diagnosis

Peering all the way to Obi’s ear drum, he discovered what happened. All the way down there, stuck in Obi’s ear canal, was a small blade of grass. Regardless of its size, the sharp tip was rubbing directly against Obi’s ear drum. Ouch.

Easy fix

However dramatic the whole situation was, it was easy to solve as soon as the culprit was discovered. Carefully, with his forceps, the veterinarian pulled out the piece of grass out of Obi’s ear.

When Obi woke up from her sedation, she was perfectly fine. Thanks to Obi’s dad’s quick thinking and their veterinarian, the ordeal was over.

Make no mistake, though foreign bodies in an ear canal can cause serious trouble, particularly some of the more dangerous ones such as grass awns.

Source story:
Obi the Cocker Spaniel Had a Blade of Grass Stuck in Her Ear

Related articles:
Symptoms To Watch For In Your Dog: Changes In Behavior
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: The Big Picture

Further reading:
Examining and Medicating the Ears of a Dog

Categories: ConditionsEar conditionsForeign bodiesReal-life Stories

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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