sick dog

Dogs are one of the most popular pets in the world and for many good reasons. They’re loyal, friendly, and make great companions. But sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what’s wrong with them when they start exhibiting unusual behavior.

One common issue that pet owners may encounter is dogs with hot ears. So, what does it mean when a dog’s ears feel hot to the touch?

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Dog’s Ears Might Be Hot

1. Fever

Fever in dogs is not the same as in people. A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 and 102.5°F, so a reading of 103°F or higher is considered a fever in dogs. If your dog’s ears feel hot, it could be a sign that his internal temperature is elevated, and he may have a fever.

There are many potential causes of fever in dogs, ranging from minor illnesses to more serious health conditions. Infections are a common cause of fever in dogs and can affect any area of the body, including the ears.

Other signs:

  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Glassy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Vomiting
Sick Dog
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2. Ear Infection

One of the most common reasons why a dog’s ears may feel hot is due to an ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by a number of things, including allergies, bacteria, foreign bodies in the ear, and more.

Other signs:

  • Head shaking
  • Ear scratching
  • Red, swollen, or painful ears
  • Discharge from the ears
  • Bad odor coming from the ears

3. Overheating

Another reason why your dog’s ears may feel hot is due to overheating. If your dog has been out in the sun too long or has been exercising vigorously, his body temperature may rise to the point where his ears feel hot.

Heatstroke is a serious condition that can occur if your dog’s body temperature gets too high. If you think your dog may be suffering from heatstroke, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Other signs:

  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Glazed eyes
  • Weakness or collapse
Mastiff drooling
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4. Mites

Ear mites are tiny parasitic creatures that can infest your dog’s ears. They are most commonly found in dogs who live in close quarters with other animals, such as at a shelter or kennel.

Their presence in the ear can cause irritation, leading to your dog’s ears feeling hot. Ear mites are also a common cause of ear infections.

Other signs:

  • Head shaking
  • Scratching at the ears
  • Black, waxy discharge from the ears
  • Bad odor

5. Injury

If your dog has injured his ear, it may feel hot to the touch. Ear injuries can be caused by a number of things, including fighting with other animals, playing too roughly, and more.

If you think your dog has an injured ear, it is important to seek veterinary care. Untreated ear injuries can lead to serious complications, including infection.

Other signs:

Sick dog in bed scratching
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When to See a Vet

If your dog’s ears feel hot and he is showing other signs of illness, it is important to seek veterinary care. All the above inflictions range in severity but have the potential to worsen without professional attention.

Monitor your dog closely for strange behaviors and additional symptoms. It’s always best to exercise caution and contact a vet if you have any concerns.

An emergency might include these serious symptoms:

  • Extreme lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Unconsciousness

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why your dog’s ears might be hot to the touch. If you’re concerned about your pup’s ear health, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. In most cases, however, hot ears are nothing to worry about and will resolve on their own.

If your dog’s ears are especially hot, swollen, or painful, however, it’s important to seek medical attention right away as this could be a sign of an infection or other serious health condition.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay