How to Identify Signs of Ear Discomfort in Lhasa Apsos


As a responsible pet owner, keeping your Lhasa Apso happy and healthy is a top priority. Ear discomfort is a common issue that many Lhasa Apso owners face, and it’s vital to identify the signs and causes of this discomfort to properly prevent and treat it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about identifying signs of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, so that you can ensure your furry friend lives a comfortable and healthy life. From preventative measures to treatment options, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive right in!

What are Lhasa Apsos?

The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog that originated in Tibet. These dogs were originally bred as guard dogs for temples and monasteries in the Himalayas. Lhasa Apsos are known for their long, silky hair and independent personalities. They are also known to be loyal, affectionate, and protective of their owners.

Some key characteristics of Lhasa Apsos include:

  • Small size, typically weighing between 12-18 pounds
  • Long, thick coat that requires regular grooming
  • Independent and sometimes stubborn personality
  • Protective of their owners
  • Potential to develop ear health issues if not properly cared for.

Because of their thick, heavy coats, Lhasa Apsos require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangles. This includes regular brushing, bathing, and clipping. In addition to their coat, it’s important to pay attention to their ears to prevent ear infections and other ear health issues.

Proper ear cleaning techniques are essential for Lhasa Apsos to prevent discomfort and pain in their ears. To learn more about ear cleaning for Lhasa Apsos, check out our article on Lhasa Apso ear cleaning tips. It’s also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, which we’ll discuss further in the upcoming section.

Lhasa Apsos are a unique and beloved breed of dog that require special care and attention to maintain their health and happiness. By understanding their specific needs and characteristics, owners can provide the best possible care for their furry friends. For more information on preventing ear health issues in Lhasa Apsos, read our article on Lhasa ear problems prevention, and for remedies for ear infections, check out our article on Lhasa ear infections remedies.

Why is Ear Health Important?

As a pet owner, it is important to know that a Lhasa Apso’s ear health is just as important as any other part of their body. Neglecting this aspect of their health can result in uncomfortable and potentially serious ear infections. According to veterinarians, Lhasa Apsos are known for their long and floppy ears which can be prone to infections and other issues. Ensuring your Lhasa Apso’s ears are healthy and well taken care of can help prevent discomfort and pain for your furry friend. Here are some reasons why paying attention to your Lhasa Apso’s ear health is crucial:

1. Ear Infections: Ear infections are among the most common issues that can affect a Lhasa Apso’s ear health. These infections can cause a lot of discomfort and pain, leading to scratching, rubbing, and head shaking. Some of the factors that can lead to infections include yeast, bacteria, and ear mites. Without proper treatment, ear infections can damage your Lhasa Apso’s ear canal, resulting in permanent hearing loss.

2. Allergies: If your Lhasa Apso suffers from allergies, it can make their ears a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, leading to ear infections. Common allergens include pollen, dust, and food. Allergies can cause itching and inflammation in the ears and skin, which can lead to further complications if not treated properly.

3. Ear Mites: Ear mites are tiny parasites that can infest your Lhasa Apso’s ears and cause a lot of discomfort. These tiny bugs can cause intense itching and irritation, leading to inflammation and infection. Regular ear cleaning can help prevent ear mites and other pests from inhabiting your Lhasa Apso’s ears.

To keep your Lhasa Apso’s ears healthy and prevent discomfort, it is essential to take a proactive approach to their health. Regularly checking your pet’s ears for any signs of infection, inflammation, or discharge can help detect any issues early on. It is also important to follow proper ear cleaning techniques and use pet-friendly cleaning products to avoid any negative reactions. For more information on Lhasa Apso ear cleaning tips, check out our article “Lhasa Apso Ear Cleaning Tips.”

Symptoms of Ear Discomfort

Symptoms Of Ear Discomfort
As Lhasa Apsos can’t voice out their discomfort, it’s important for pet owners to recognize the physical signs of any discomfort or pain. There could be various symptoms of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, and it’s essential to know what to look out for. From persistent scratching to foul odor emanating from their ears, detecting these signs can indicate issues that need to be addressed. In this section, we’ll delve into some common symptoms of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos that pet owners should be aware of.

Scratching and Shaking the Head

Lhasa Apsos are prone to experiencing ear discomfort, which is why it’s important to be able to identify the signs early on. One of the most common indications that your Lhasa Apso is experiencing ear discomfort is scratching and shaking the head. Scratching and shaking the head can be caused by a variety of factors, including ear infections, allergies, and ear mites.

If you notice your Lhasa Apso scratching its ear or shaking its head excessively, it could be a sign that something is bothering them. You may also notice your dog rubbing their head against objects or furniture in an attempt to relieve the discomfort. Other signs of ear discomfort include vocalizations or whining, loss of balance or coordination, and a reluctance to chew or eat.

It’s important to take action if you suspect that your Lhasa Apso is experiencing ear discomfort. Left untreated, the discomfort can lead to more serious issues, such as infections or ruptured eardrums. If your dog is showing symptoms of ear discomfort, it’s important to take them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

In summary, scratching and shaking the head are common signs that your Lhasa Apso is experiencing ear discomfort, which could be caused by a variety of factors. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Redness and Inflammation

One of the most common signs that your Lhasa Apso is experiencing ear discomfort is the presence of redness and inflammation in their ears. This can be attributed to various causes such as ear infections, allergies, or ear mites.

To identify redness and inflammation, closely examine your dog’s ears. You may notice that their ear canal and surrounding skin appear redder than usual. There may also be swelling and visible heat in the area. Be sure to use caution when examining your dog’s ears, as they may experience pain or sensitivity when touched.

If you notice redness and inflammation in your Lhasa Apso’s ears, it’s important to take action promptly to alleviate their discomfort. Leaving it untreated can lead to further complications, such as infection or hearing loss.

Below is a table outlining possible causes of redness and inflammation in Lhasa Apsos’ ears:

Ear Infectiondischarge, foul odor, sensitivity to touch
Allergiesitching, sneezing, watery eyes, skin irritation
Ear Mitesscratching at ears, black discharge resembling coffee grounds

If you suspect that your Lhasa Apso’s redness and inflammation is a result of an ear infection or ear mites, it’s important to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. In the case of allergies, identifying the source of the allergen and making necessary lifestyle changes can help alleviate symptoms.

Remember that identifying and addressing redness and inflammation in your Lhasa Apso’s ears is crucial to their overall ear health and comfort.

Odor and Discharge

When it comes to identifying signs of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, odors and discharge are important symptoms to take note of. Your Lhasa Apso’s ears should not emit any unpleasant smells, and there should not be any discharge present. If you notice any unusual odors or discharge, it’s important to take immediate action to address the issue.

To help you better understand this symptom, here are some common causes and treatments for odors and discharge in your Lhasa Apso’s ears:

Possible CausesTreatments
Ear infection: Bacterial or yeast infections can cause a foul odor and brown, yellow, or bloody discharge.Antibiotics or antifungal medications prescribed by a veterinarian. It’s important to properly clean the ears before applying medication.
Ear mites: These tiny insects can cause a dark discharge and a strong odor.Medicated ear drops or topical ointments prescribed by a veterinarian. It’s important to treat all pets in the household for ear mites.
Allergies: An allergic reaction can cause discharge and itching in the ears, which may lead to a bacterial or yeast infection.Identifying and removing the allergen, and treating any resulting infection with medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
Foreign object: If something like a grass seed or foxtail gets stuck in your dog’s ear, it can cause irritation, discharge, and odor.A vet may need to remove the foreign object and prescribe medication to treat any resulting infections.

If you notice a foul odor or discharge, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem can lead to more serious ear issues and discomfort for your furry friend.

Pain and Sensitivity

Pain and sensitivity are two common signs that your Lhasa Apso may be suffering from ear discomfort. If your furry friend is tilting their head, whining or whimpering, or avoiding being touched around their ears, it may be a sign of pain. Sensitivity can be identified when your Lhasa Apso reacts negatively to touch, sound, or movement near their ears.

Here are some additional signs to watch out for:

SignsPossible Indicators of Ear Discomfort
Loss of balance or coordinationThis may indicate that the ear discomfort has progressed to an inner ear infection, which can affect your Lhasa Apso’s balance and overall health.
Head shaking and scratchingThis can indicate that your Lhasa Apso is trying to relieve itching or discomfort in their ears. However, excessive head shaking and scratching can lead to further damage or injury to the ears.
VocalizationYour Lhasa Apso may yelp, whimper, or whine when you touch or move their ears, indicating discomfort or pain. It’s important to take note of any unusual vocalizations and report them to your vet.

If your Lhasa Apso is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can help prevent further damage or infection and improve your dog’s overall health and well-being.

Causes of Ear Discomfort

Causes Of Ear Discomfort
As a Lhasa Apso owner, you may notice that your fluffy companion is experiencing ear discomfort. This can be distressing for both you and your pet. It’s important to identify the root cause of the issue to ensure proper treatment. There are various reasons why Lhasa Apsos can experience ear discomfort. Let’s explore some of the potential factors that could be contributing to your furry friend’s discomfort.

Ear Infections

Ear infections can be a common cause of discomfort in Lhasa Apsos. The sensitive nature of this breed’s ears makes them more susceptible to infections, which can cause significant pain and discomfort. If you notice your Lhasa Apso pawing at their ears or shaking their head more often than usual, there may be an underlying infection. Some common signs of ear infections include:

  • Unusual odor: One of the most obvious signs of an ear infection is a strong, unpleasant odor coming from your Lhasa Apso’s ears. This is often caused by the buildup of bacteria, yeast, or other organisms in the ear canal.
  • Discharge: Infected ears can produce a variety of different types of discharge, ranging from pus to a watery discharge. This discharge can be either white or yellow and may be accompanied by crusts and scabs around the ear.
  • Redness and swelling: Ear infections can cause the ear canal to become inflamed, leading to redness and swelling. You may notice your Lhasa Apso scratching at their ears more frequently, which can make the irritation worse.
  • Pain and discomfort: Ear infections are often accompanied by pain and discomfort, which can cause your Lhasa Apso to rub or scratch their ears. They may also tilt their head to one side or try to avoid having their ears touched.

There are several factors that can increase your Lhasa Apso’s risk of developing an ear infection, such as allergies, a weakened immune system, or exposure to certain types of bacteria. Treatment for ear infections may include medications such as antibiotics, ear drops, or anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to address chronic infections or underlying structural problems within the ear canal. Preventative measures such as regular ear cleaning and maintaining good dental hygiene can prevent infections from developing in the first place. If you suspect your Lhasa Apso is suffering from an ear infection, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to prevent the infection from spreading and causing more serious health problems.


Allergies are another common cause of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to a wide range of things, such as pollen, mold, dust, and certain types of food. When a dog’s immune system overreacts to an allergen, it can cause inflammation and irritation in the ears, leading to discomfort and pain.

Some common signs of allergies in Lhasa Apsos include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, and watery eyes. Allergies can also cause skin irritation and itching, which can lead to your dog rubbing their head against objects or constantly scratching their ears.

To diagnose allergies, your vet may perform a skin test or a blood test to identify the allergen that is causing the reaction. Once the allergen is identified, your vet may recommend avoiding exposure to it whenever possible. For example, if your Lhasa Apso is allergic to pollen, you may need to keep them indoors during peak pollen season.

If avoiding the allergen is not possible, your vet may prescribe medications like antihistamines or corticosteroids to help manage the allergy symptoms. These medications can help reduce inflammation and alleviate discomfort in your dog’s ears.

It’s important to note that allergies can be a chronic problem for some Lhasa Apsos, so it’s essential to work with your vet to find a management plan that works best for your dog. In some cases, your vet may recommend immunotherapy or allergy shots, which can help desensitize your dog to the allergen over time.

Allergies can be a cause of ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, and it’s essential to work with your vet to identify and manage the allergy properly. Avoiding the allergen, medications, and immunotherapy can all be effective ways to manage allergies in Lhasa Apsos.

Ear Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasites that feed on the wax and oils in a dog’s ear. They are most commonly found in cats, but they can also affect dogs, including Lhasa Apsos. These mites can cause a lot of discomfort and irritation to your dog’s ears if left untreated. Here are some signs to look out for and ways to prevent and treat ear mites in your Lhasa Apso.

Signs of Ear Mites

The signs of ear mites in Lhasa Apsos are similar to those of other ear infections or ear problems. Some of the common signs include:

Signs of Ear MitesDescription
Head shaking or tiltingEar mites cause a lot of irritation and discomfort, prompting your dog to shake or tilt their head.
Scratching or rubbing of the earsThe mites can cause severe itching, leading your Lhasa Apso to scratch or rub their ears.
Black or brown debrisYou may notice a dark, crumbly discharge inside your dog’s ears or on their ear flaps. This is a sure sign of ear mites.
Redness and swellingThe constant scratching and rubbing can cause the ear canal to become inflamed and swollen, leading to redness around the ear.
Foul odorEar mites often lead to a strong, foul odor in the ear area. This smell is caused by the discharge and wax buildup created by the mites.

Prevention and Treatment

The best way to prevent ear mites in your Lhasa Apso is to keep their ears clean and healthy. Regular ear cleaning can help remove any dirt, wax, or debris that can attract mites. You can use a pet-friendly ear cleaner or make one at home using equal parts white vinegar and water. Gently massage the solution into your dog’s ears with a cotton ball, and then wipe away any excess.

If you suspect that your Lhasa Apso has ear mites, you should take them to a veterinarian immediately. The vet can examine your dog’s ears and prescribe an appropriate treatment, including medicated ear drops or oral medication. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the mites from your dog’s ears.


Ear mites can be a painful and frustrating issue for your Lhasa Apso. By keeping their ears clean and monitoring their behavior closely, you can prevent ear mites from becoming a major issue. If you suspect that your dog has ear mites, be sure to get them checked out by a veterinarian right away. Early detection and treatment can help prevent the mites from causing further damage to your pet’s ears.

Prevention and Treatment

When it comes to your beloved Lhasa Apso’s ear health, prevention is always better than cure. Taking care of their ears can go a long way in preventing discomfort and infections. However, if you suspect any signs of ear discomfort, it’s crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent the situation from escalating. In this section, we’ll dive into some preventative measures and different treatment options available for Lhasa Apso ear discomfort.

Regular Ear Cleaning

One effective way to prevent and treat ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos is through regular ear cleaning. Keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry is crucial to avoid any chances of infection or inflammation. Here are some important things to keep in mind when cleaning your Lhasa Apso’s ears:

Ear CleanserUse an alcohol-free ear cleanser recommended by your veterinarian to gently remove dirt, wax, and debris from your dog’s ears.
Cotton Balls or PadsUse cotton balls or pads to clean inside the ear folds and around the ear canal. Do not use cotton swabs as they can push debris further into the ear canal.
Tweezers or ForcepsUse tweezers or forceps to gently remove any hair that may block the ear canal. Be careful not to pull too hard or pluck hairs from inside the ear.

When cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure to only clean the outer ear flap and the visible portion of the ear canal. Do not insert anything into the ear canal as this can cause trauma and damage to your dog’s ear. Additionally, be sure to dry your dog’s ears thoroughly after cleaning to prevent moisture buildup that can lead to infection.

Regular ear cleaning should be done at least once a week or as recommended by your veterinarian. However, if your Lhasa Apso is prone to ear infections, you may need to clean their ears more frequently. By following these ear cleaning tips, you can help ensure your Lhasa Apso’s ears stay healthy and comfortable.

Diet and Nutrition

The diet and nutrition of Lhasa Apsos play a vital role in their overall health, including the health of their ears. By providing your dog with a balanced and nutrient-rich diet, you can reduce the chances of ear infections and other ear-related issues. Here are some essential nutrients that your pet’s diet should include:

NutrientBenefitsFood Sources
ProteinImportant for cell growth and repair, and for maintaining a healthy immune systemMeat, fish, eggs, dairy products
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsReduces inflammation and supports healthy skin and coatFish oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds
Vitamin AProtects against infections and helps maintain healthy skin and mucous membranesCarrots, sweet potatoes, liver
ZincHelps maintain the integrity of the skin, reduces inflammation, and supports the immune systemBeef, chicken, pumpkin seeds
Vitamin EActs as an antioxidant and helps reduce inflammationAlmonds, sunflower seeds, spinach

It’s important to ensure that your Lhasa Apso’s diet is free of potential allergens, such as wheat, soy, and corn, as food allergies can cause ear inflammation and discomfort. A high-quality, grain-free dog food with minimal fillers and additives is ideal for promoting good ear health.

It’s also important to provide your dog with plenty of fresh, clean water to prevent dehydration, which can lead to dry and itchy ears. Additionally, offering your Lhasa Apso healthy snacks such as carrots, apples, and blueberries, can provide added nutrients and support their overall health.

Medication and Surgery

When dealing with ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos, medication and surgery should be a last resort. However, in severe cases where other treatments have proven ineffective, medication and surgery may be necessary. It is important to consult with a veterinarian before pursuing these options.

Medication: For ear infections, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or antifungals to combat the infection. In cases of inflammation, corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce the swelling. It is important to follow the dosage instructions carefully and complete the full course of medication as prescribed to ensure that the infection or inflammation is fully treated.

Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat chronic ear infections or growths in the ear canal. This may involve removing part of the ear canal or the entire ear canal altogether. While the thought of surgery can be daunting, it is important to remember that these procedures are often performed under anesthesia and with the utmost care by qualified veterinary professionals.

It is important to note that medication and surgery should never be used as a first line of defense against ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos. Regular ear cleaning and a healthy diet can go a long way in preventing these issues from arising in the first place. However, if these measures fail to provide relief, it is crucial to seek veterinary care and explore all available treatment options, including medication and surgery.


In conclusion, it is important for Lhasa Apso owners to pay close attention to their pet’s ear health. Ear discomfort can be a cause for concern, resulting in unnecessary pain, discomfort, and in severe cases, hearing loss. Early detection of ear symptoms and prompt treatment can prevent further complications from occurring.

Regular ear cleaning is essential for maintaining good ear hygiene in Lhasa Apsos. Be sure to use a veterinarian-recommended cleaning solution and avoid using cotton swabs or other objects that can cause damage to the inner ear.

Additionally, a balanced diet and proper nutrition can help boost the immune system and prevent ear infections caused by allergies. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian for advice on what types of food or supplements are best suited for your pet.

In cases where medication or surgery is necessary, it is important to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully. This may include administering medicines or scheduling routine check-ups to monitor your pet’s recovery.

Remember, as a Lhasa Apso owner, you play an important role in your pet’s health and well-being. By recognizing the patterns of ear discomfort and taking preventative measures, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How often should I clean my Lhasa Apso’s ears?

It is recommended to clean your Lhasa Apso’s ears once a week to prevent buildup of wax and dirt.

2. What type of solution should I use for cleaning my Lhasa Apso’s ears?

There are various ear cleaning solutions available at pet stores. Choose one that is specifically designed for dogs and consult with your veterinarian if you are unsure.

3. Can allergies cause ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, allergies can cause ear discomfort in Lhasa Apsos. Allergic reactions can lead to inflammation and infections in the ears.

4. Can I use Q-tips to clean my Lhasa Apso’s ears?

No, avoid using Q-tips as they can push wax further into the ear canal and potentially damage the eardrum. Use cotton balls or a soft cloth instead.

5. What are the signs of an ear infection in Lhasa Apsos?

Signs of an ear infection in Lhasa Apsos include scratching or rubbing of the ears, redness, swelling, discharge that smells bad, and sensitivity when the ears are touched.

6. How can I prevent ear infections in my Lhasa Apso?

Clean your Lhasa Apso’s ears regularly, avoid exposing them to allergens, and seek veterinary care promptly if you suspect an infection.

7. Can ear mites be prevented in Lhasa Apsos?

Ear mites can be prevented by keeping your Lhasa Apso’s ears clean and avoiding exposure to other animals that have ear mites. Consult with your veterinarian for preventative medication if necessary.

8. Can Lhasa Apsos be predisposed to ear problems?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos have a predisposition to ear infections due to the structure of their ears which can trap moisture and debris.

9. Can a poor diet affect the health of Lhasa Apso’s ears?

Yes, a poor diet lacking essential nutrients can weaken the immune system and make Lhasa Apsos more prone to ear infections and other health problems.

10. Do all Lhasa Apsos require ear hair plucking?

No, not all Lhasa Apsos require ear hair plucking as some have naturally occurring hair loss in their ears. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if your Lhasa Apso needs ear hair plucking.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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