Signs of an Ear Infection in a Shih Tzu

These are the signs of an ear infection in a Shih Tzu. You can prevent painful problems by regularly plucking and washing the canals with an inexpensive over-the-counter cleaning solution for dogs – 

I recently took my dog to the vet for his annual exam. I didn’t think that anything was wrong, but they surprised me with a long dirty cotton swab. They suspected that he had an ear infection. In hindsight, I should have noticed a few signs. Hopefully, his ear didn’t hurt but it must have. Unfortunately, our pets can’t let us know when something is wrong. In the future I’ll consider the signs of an ear infection in a Shih Tzu instead of assuming that all is well. I’ll take better care of his ears through regular plucking and cleaning. I don’t want him to suffer, and those vet bills are expensive!

Shih Tzus Require Special Ear Care

You might have noticed that Shih Tzus have fur in their ears. When they’re groomed, their ears should be plucked. I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t hurt, but it’s necessary to prevent painful infections. It would feel similar to eyebrow tweezing.

I take him to a groomer that works out of her home. She does a wonderful job, and my dog is used to her. However, she doesn’t always plucks his ears. I’ve noticed signs of an ear infection in a Shih-Tzu, but I’m not going to complain since she doesn’t charge much. I’m going to clean and pluck his ears myself. It isn’t a big deal. The vet said to use a Locking Hemostat Hair Puller for Ear Care. It’s a cheap little tool. I must admit that I haven’t used it yet, but the ear wash and dry I bought cleared up the problem without doing any plucking.

This is What I Used to Cure His Ear Infections –

It Got Rid of the Bad Smell and Completely Solved the Problem

“Vet's Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit, Ear Relief Wash & Dry

View at Amazon – Vet’s Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit, Ear Relief Wash & Dry


How to Prevent Further Ear Infections in a Shih Tzu

I have to take measures to prevent my Shih Tzu from getting ear infections over and over again. The vet recommended the product above to keep his ears clean and free from infection. They haven’t smelled bad since using it. In addition to plucking, the cleanser prevents harmful microbes from attaching to the ear canal. I use it once or twice a week to keep his ears clean. I don’t want him to suffer from ear pain ever again, not if I can help it. I’ll do my best to watch for signs of an ear infection in a shih-tzu as well as keeping them clean. I’ve posted a photo of the back of the box and a photo of the bottles of Ear Relief. What does it smell like? If I had to describe it I’d say it smells like fresh cloves. It has a spicy scent. It gave him immediate relief.

*Update: I took my dog to the vet for his annual check-up and shots on 7/7/2018. In years past the vet always found an ear infection. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrating (and expensive) it was. This year she said his ears looked great! It must have been the ear wash and dry that I’ve been using. I’m sharing it here with my readers since it worked to clear up and prevent ear infections. 

Don’t wait for your doggy’s ears to become infected before cleaning them. If you suspect a serious problem, take the dog to the vet for an ear culture. He might be in extreme pain. Animals don’t always show pain like people do. It’s a natural method of protection since a suffering animal is vulnerable. He’s relying on you for help.

Signs of an Ear Infection in a Shih Tzu 

Keep in mind that you might see many, few or all of these signs of an ear infection in a Shih Tzu. My dog occasionally rubbed an ear with his paw. I thought maybe it felt good. I didn’t realize that he had a problem. Thinking back, he also slid his ear across the Berber carpet. He was trying to scratch an extremely itchy ear deep down inside, but I didn’t realize it at the time.

  • Rubbing the ears with a paw
  • Sliding an ear across the floor
  • Ear drainage
  • Head shaking
  • Ear odor
  • Swelling 
  • Pink or red inner ears

How the Vet Treated the Dog’s Ear Infection

After the veterinarian ran the ear culture and found out that it’s definitely infected, she packed it with a thick antibiotic solution. I can’t bathe his ear or get water in it for two weeks. I plan on rubbing him down with baby wipes. That’s how I bathe him in between real baths. At least, he will still smell clean instead of having a doggy smell. The poor little guy has been through enough, and baths aren’t one of his favorite activities.

* I will continue using the ear wash to keep his ears healthy!


Kimberly Dalessandro (a.k.a. Crystal Ray) began her online writing career in 2005 with PageWise Incorporated and went on to become a top writer for both Associated Content and Yahoo Voices under the pen name Crystal Ray. In early 2017 she launched Blue Crystal Sky ~ Everything Under the Sun. She is continually coming up with new ideas to share with the world.

3 thoughts on “Signs of an Ear Infection in a Shih Tzu

  • July 2, 2017 at 5:55 PM

    Thank you for your article about ear infections and how cleaning a shih tzus ear my dog has pink around his ears he’s not complaining is the moist cuz I took him to go get groom for being playful and he’s worrying me and he doesn’t straight towards the carpet just do a little scratching and that’s it but there’s no smell coming out of his ear should I do

    • July 4, 2017 at 10:12 AM

      Hi, Papi. You’re welcome. Hopefully the groomer plucked and properly cleaned your dog’s ears. Hair grows in the ear canals of shih-tzus. Look to see that it was plucked. If not it needs to be done to avoid irritation and infection. It’s also a good idea to apply ear wash once a month to keep his ears clean and dry inside.

  • August 31, 2015 at 10:02 PM

    Great article. Very informative. I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. It was interesting, and I enjoyed reading it.

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