Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth

Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth

Taking care of a dog requires a lot of work. You need to be committed and dedicated to giving it the best life it deserves. Keeping check of its health status is vital when taking care of it.

Seizures are not something you might often hear about happening on dogs, but it is possible to occur. Seizures could occur due to many reasons.

Many dog owners have one question: ‘can an ear infection cause a seizure?’ An ear infection, in itself, is a cause for concern and one that needs immediate attention.

Visit PetLab for expert guidance and specialized solutions to address your dog’s health concerns. Regular veterinary consultations, combined with a proactive approach to your dog’s well-being, can contribute to a happy and healthy life for your beloved pet.

Read on to find out the truth about ear infections and seizures in dogs.

Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure?

Different types of ear infections could occur in dogs depending on the area that is infected. Inner ear infections are some of the more severe types that could happen.

Inner ear infections could make the eardrum perforated, in which case the dog may display specific neurological symptoms that need immediate attention. Common neurological symptoms include the following.

  • Lack of coordination and balance
  • Rolling
  • Circling
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Dilates pupils
  • Sudden collapse

Therefore, an ear infection can cause a seizure.

An ear infection should not be ignored as it could lead to permanent damage, such as deafness. You need to take your dog to a vet as soon as you identify the symptoms of an ear infection.

Ear Infections In Dogs

Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth
Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth

There are two main types of ear infections; middle ear infection (otitis media) and inner ear infection (otitis interna).

All dogs are prone to ear infections. However, specific breeds are more at risk of ear infections than others. These breeds include dogs with drooping ears, such as Dachshund, Beagle, and Basset Hound.

Dogs with narrow and hairy ear canals are also at risk of developing ear infections. These breeds include Cocker Spaniel, Shar-Pei, Poodle, and Schnauzer.

Symptoms Of Ear Infections

The following symptoms could indicate an ear infection in your dog, so you should take it to the veterinarian.

Outer, middle, & inner ear infection symptoms

  • Scratching of the ear.
  • Scratching of the head.
  • Rubbing ears on the floor or other objects.
  • Scratching under the ear or near the cheek.
  • A foul smell coming from the ear.
  • Cocking the head to the side.
  • Discharge from the ear.
  • Continuous crying or whining.

Middle or inner ear infection symptoms

  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Discharge from the eyes.
  • Unable to blink.
  • Drooling from the side of the mouth.
  • Difficulty in eating.
  • Drooping food out of the mouth.
  • Leaning or falling towards the affected side.
  • Drooping of the eyelids, lips, and nostrils.
  • Walking in circles towards the affected ear.
  • Inflamed ear canal.
  • Pain when touching the ear.
  • Sudden hearing loss in the affected ear.
  • Nerve paralysis in the face.

Causes Of Ear Infections

Several reasons could cause ear infections in dogs. A vet can conduct specific tests on your dog and determine the cause of the ear infection.

Here are the most common causes of ear infections in dogs.

  • Food or environmental allergies.
  • Not cleaning the ears properly.
  • Cleaning the ears excessively.
  • Humidity.
  • Water in the ears.
  • Ear mites.
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Certain antibiotics.
  • Bacterial overgrowth.
  • Ear polyp.

Diagnosis Of Ear Infections

It is easy to detect an outer infection but not as easy to detect middle and inner ear infections. Vets need to examine the ear canal to identify if there is any inflammation inside the ears.

Vets also determine if a dog has ear infections by checking its previous history and other signs.

If you suspect an ear infection in your dog, you need to detect it soon before it gets more painful and severe. Ignoring ear infections could cause lasting damage to the ears, including permanent deafness.

Diagnosing and treating ear infections as soon as possible reduces the risk of developing permanent damage to the ears.

Diagnosis may also include taking a swab for cytology, a culture and sensitivity test, and a CT scan.

Treatment Of Ear Infections

Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth
Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth

Early detection is the best way to control ear infections. Once detected, your vet will treat the infection to prevent any long-term effects such as deafness. Treatment usually includes thoroughly cleaning the ear and flushing it with a saline solution.

Depending on the severity of the infection, your vet might anesthetize your dog to clean its ears, especially if it is in a lot of pain.

Your vet might prescribe an antiparasitic, antibiotic, or antifungal medication for an ear infection. In some instances, he might prescribe a steroid to reduce inflammation.

There are also several effective holistic dog ear infection treatment options that you can try. These treatments are natural and can be used to prevent ear infections from recurring.

All medications prescribed by your vet should be given as directed. Any side effects experienced should be referred to the vet.

Deeper ear infections might require a myringotomy to be performed.

Recovery Of Ear Infections

If the ear infection is treated early, dogs don’t respond to treatment fast and do not have long-term effects.

If detected and treated late, it could result in long-term effects such as deafness and an altered sense of balance.

For visible improvement, an ear infection takes between two to six weeks following the initial diagnosis and treatment.

Ensure to note your vet’s instructions and complete all follow-up visits. It will result in the infection being correctly treated.

What Causes Seizures In Dogs?

Several reasons could cause seizures in dogs. These causes include specific medications, foods, plants, illicit drugs, and insecticides.


  • Fluoroquinolone antibiotics
  • Fluorouracil (5-FU) cream
  • Isoniazid
  • Ibuprofen
  • Ivermectin
  • Vilazodone
  • Lamotrigine
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Metronidazole
  • Phenylpropanolamine
  • Amphetamines
  • Procaine Penicillin G
  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
  • Diphenhydramine


  • Caffeine
  • Dark chocolate
  • Xylitol
  • Ethanol
  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Moldy foods such as moldy cheeses.


  • Mushrooms
  • Sago palm
  • Brunfelsia

Illicit drugs

  • Amphetamines
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Synthetic cannabinoids


  • Bifenthrin
  • Metaldehyde
  • Zinc phosphide
  • Strychnine
  • 4-Aminopyridine


  • Mycotoxins
  • Ethylene glycol
  • Homemade dough such as play dough
  • Bee sting envenomation

It’s vital to monitor your dog and prevent it from taking in any of the above that could lead to seizures. Always keep an eye on your dog, especially when outdoors.

When going for walks, dogs tend to run away. Your dog may eat some of the toxic plants stated above.

Use a no-pull training collar when taking your dog outdoors, especially to avoid roaming in unknown territory. It will prevent your furry friend from eating toxic plants and falling into trouble.

Are Seizures Painful For Dogs?

It’s hard to tell for sure if seizures are painful for dogs. Vets say that dogs look violent when they have seizures.

Dogs have a tonic-clonic seizure, a whole-body convulsion that is very painful and can make dogs violent.

Even people who have had seizures don’t usually remember experiencing pain or anything that happened during that time.

However, seizures in humans are known to be painful. So, even seizures in dogs are assumed to be extremely painful for them.

Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth
Can An Ear Infection Cause A Seizure? The Truth

Are Seizures Dangerous For Dogs?

Seizures are dangerous in both humans and dogs. Usually, seizures last less than two minutes. However, some seizures last more than two minutes, also known as status epilepticus.

The longer the seizure, the more impact it has on different parts of a dog’s body. A significant organ that long-term seizures could impact is the heart. Therefore, seizures could be fatal in dogs.


Ear infections can cause seizures in dogs. You must identify the symptoms of an ear infection and direct your dog to a vet without delay.

Failure to diagnose and treat an ear infection on time could cause permanent damage to the ears, including deafness.

Seizures in a dog are not to be taken lightly. You must ensure that your dog stays away from everything that could cause a seizure.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dog Allergies Cause Seizures?

For some dogs, having allergies might trigger seizures. Besides that, food or environmental allergies could cause ear infections which can lead to seizures.

Can Dog Flu Cause Seizures?

Dog flu alone may not cause seizures. However, being systemically ill can lead to organ failure somewhere in the body, which could affect the brain and cause a seizure.

Can Dog Food Cause Seizures?

Ordinary dog food will not cause seizures unless they have been adulterated. However, giving your dog moldy foods like moldy cheeses could cause a seizure. Ensure to feed your dog fresh food to avoid this situation.

What Can Mimic Seizures Do In Dogs?

Head tremors, either in a side-to-side or an up-down plane, can mimic seizures in dogs. However, this is referred to as a head bob and is not a seizure. Head tremors are more significant when dogs are less active.

What Foods Should You Avoid Giving To Dogs With Seizures?

You must avoid giving your dog foods that cause seizures, such as dark chocolate, caffeine, mushrooms, xylitol, ethanol, and theobromine.

Dive in!

Discover hidden wildlife with our FREE newsletters

We promise we’ll never spam! Read our Privacy Policy for more info


Founder and Executive Editor

Share this post with your friends

Leave a Reply

Notify of