Why Are My Dog's Ears Hot?
As a loving pet parent, you may notice any time something seems a little off about your best bud. That's a good thing because the early signs of an illness can be subtle. One thing you might pick up on while giving her cuddles is when your pup's ears seem hotter than normal. Dog ears are naturally warmer than ours, but ears that feel hot to the touch can be a sign of a greater concern.
What's Causing Hot Ears?
Your little buddy's ears may be overly warm due to a number of reasons. It's important to look her over carefully and pay close attention to any other symptoms so you and your veterinarian can determine the cause.
A dog's normal body temperature is higher than a human's: 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. The most accurate way to check a doggo's temperature is using a rectal digital thermometer. Depending on her temperament, this might be a two-person job or something for your vet to handle.
Body temperatures fluctuate all day long. Your pup might have a higher temperature if she's excited or active. If it's 103 degrees or more even after she's been at rest, though, it's time to see the vet. Go immediately if it's above 106 degrees — that's a serious emergency.
In addition to a high temperature, other symptoms of fever can include:
- Red eyes
- Extra panting
- A runny nose
- Low energy levels
- A reduced appetite
Injury or hematoma
Sometimes a pupper's ears feel warm not because of illness but because of an injury. If her ear has been pinched, bitten, or otherwise banged up, it can swell and heat up because of bleeding in the cartilage. You may even notice a mass of pooled blood under the skin called a hematoma or blood blister. Not only are those uncomfortable, but they can lead to scarring or disfigurement. Check with your veterinarian if you suspect an injury.
Infection or allergies
Because of the shape of their ear canals, dogs are prone to ear infections. The L-shape traps moisture, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Allergies or ear mites can also cause affect your pal's ears. If she's whining, scratching her ears, or shaking her head along with her ear being hot to the touch, she could have an infection. It's time to call the vet.
Diagnosing the issue may take time. Recount your dog's recent history: Have you taken her on trips or new walks? Does she have allergies? Are you giving her any medications? Look around your home to see if you have any plants or cleaning products that are toxic to dogs. Every little clue can help.
What to Do if You're Concerned
If your pup's hot ears lead you to suspect a serious issue such as high fever, injury, hematoma, or infection, call your vet.
If her temperature is over 106 degrees, take her directly to the vet or emergency clinic. Don't give her any human medication or fever reducers because they can be dangerous for dogs.
If it's not an emergency, here are other things you can do:
- Place a cool, damp cloth on or near her ears to help her feel better.
- Spray or splash cool water around her feet, coupled with a gentle fan.
- Encourage her to drink water to ensure she doesn't get dehydrated.
- Help her relax in a quiet, cool, shady space.
The answer to "Why are my dog's ears hot?" can be complicated. Tell your vet what you've noticed so they can identify the best treatment and help your pooch get on the road to recovery. You'll both feel better knowing she's getting the care she needs.