Why Does My Dog’s Ear Make a Crackling Noise [Guide]

Understanding the Causes of a Crackling Noise in a Dog’s Ear

A crackling noise in a dog’s ear can be created due to a number of different conditions. These conditions include things like infections, allergies, and foreign objects that are lodged inside the ear. Ear infections are also known as otitis external and be caused by a number of different bacteria or even yeast, these can all lead to negative consequences such as inflammation and discharge in the ear.

Why Does My Dog's Ear Make a Crackling Noise

Allergies are also a cause for concern and can lead to inflammation which in turn can lead to the “crackling noise” that you might be hearing from your dog’s ears.

Foreign objects such as twigs, grass, seeds, or even insects can become lodged in the ear canal these can all cause irritation.

We recommend if you are concerned about the crackling noise in your dog’s ear and you are unsure of the cause it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis from your veterinarian so you can get a treatment plan which can alleviate any pain and discomfort your dog is feeling.

Ear Infections Are the Most Common Cause of a Crackling Noise in Dogs

Ear infections are undeniably the most common cause of crackling noise in a dog’s ear. These infections are caused by various types of bacteria or yeast which leads to inflammation. Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to ear infections since their inner ear is sheltered and provides a warm and humid environment. This environment provides the perfect conditions for the growth of bacteria and yeast to grow.

dogs ear crackling

Symptoms of an ear infection include things like your dog scratching its ears, redness, head shaking, swelling in the ear, and potentially a foul odor protruding from the ear. If an ear infection is left untreated it can lead to some pretty serious issues, from serious pain and damage to the eardrum which can lead to hearing loss. We believe it’s important to consult a veterinarian if you have any worries regarding your dog’s ears as prompt treatment is sometimes necessary to prevent long-term damage.

Allergies and Ear Problems in Dogs: Understanding the Connection

Allergies are another cause of ear problems and could be the reason why your dog’s ear is producing a crackling noise. It’s true allergies are often overlooked when it comes to ear issues but they do also play a huge part in many issues. Allergies are usually caused by a variety of things including food, pollen, fleas, and sometimes even dust mites.

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Dogs who also have a history of allergies or atopic dermatitis are more likely to have ear issues including infection.

dog at the vet

If you believe your dog is suffering from allergies you can take your dog to the vet to have an allergy test. If you find out that your dog is suffering from allergies your vet with prescribe treatment in the form of antihistamines, corticosteroids, and immunomodulators.

It’s also important to note that your dog could be suffering from multiple issues. Your dog could have both allergies and an ear infection at the same time so if you are worried we would advise you to get a thorough diagnosis from a qualified vet.

Foreign Objects and Wax in the Ear Canal

Foreign objects such as dirt, dust, grass, seeds, and excessive wax in your dog’s ear canal can be a possible cause of cracking noise in your dog’s ear. All of these things and more can get lodged into the inside of your ear. Symptoms such as head shaking, scratching and foul odors are common signs that a foreign object is lodged in your dog’s ear.

dog getting a cuddle

Dogs that have long floppy open ears are more likely to get foreign objects lodged in their ears. Along with dogs that are more active and spend more time outside digging in the dirt. Similarly, dogs with lots of ear wax buildup usually have long hair in the inner ear.

Aural Hematoma: A Possible Cause of a Crackling Noise in a Dog’s Ear

Aural hematoma commonly known as a blood blister is another common cause of crackling noise in a dog’s ear. Blood blisters occur when the blood accumulates in the ear flap causing it to swell up. Blood blisters in dogs are formed when blood vessels rupture and blood leaks into the surrounding tissue. They can occur due to injury, such as a dog scratching or biting at a spot on its skin, or due to certain medical conditions, such as ear infections.

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It is important to contact your vet if you believe your dog has a blood blister as treatment is sometimes necessary to prevent long-term damage. Treatment usually includes draining the blister by making a small incision and draining the blood out.

How to Approach the Symptoms

To address the symptoms found associated with a dog’s crackling ear its important to follow these general tips and tricks:

  1. Clean and dry your dog’s ears. Keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry can help to prevent the build-up of wax. It also prevents the conditions needed for bacteria to form and spread.
  2. Reduce your dog’s head shaking and scratching, and try to take steps to prevent future damage to the ear caused by your dog’s actions, whether this is via training or via using a cone.
  3. Find the right medication to alleviate the symptoms of the crackling noise. These can be antibiotics, antifungal medications, and anti-inflammatory medication.
  4. Surgery: In the worst-case scenarios surgery may be necessary to treat underlying conditions, this is obviously case specific and you will need to consult a vet for an accurate prognosis.

Prevention: The Key to Managing Ear Issues

Prevention and early detection are the keys when it comes down to managing ear issues. It’s always better to prevent something that has to deal with the issue after its already presented itself. Here are some helpful tips and tricks you can use to prevent your dog from getting issues with its ears in the future.

  1. Regular ear inspections are essential: Catching any problem in the early stages can prevent the issue from getting worse. Take extra effort to look for signs of redness, swelling, and discharge. Ideally, take your dog to the vet for frequent checkups to try to prevent health problems.
  2. Keep your dog’s ears are hygienic as possible. Clean your dog’s ears and prevent the buildup of wax and debris. Use a gentle ph-balanced ear cleaner. You can seek advice from your veterinarian for the best current products suitable for your dog’s ears.
  3. Look for and treat underlying conditions: These are usually caused by allergies and skin conditions/disorders. If you believe your dog might be suffering from allergies it might be an idea to get an allergy test from your vet.
  4. Regular grooming – Especially of the hair inside the ear is necessary to prevent hair growth inside the ear canal.
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Talk to Your Veterinarian – A Proper Consultation Is Essential

Consulting with your veterinarian is essential so that your dog receives the proper diagnosis and treatment for any issues your dog might be experiencing. Here are the main reasons why its imperative to consult your vet before acting on your own.

  1. You need an accurate diagnosis. A veterinarian has the experience and training to make an accurate diagnosis. It can be dangerous if you decide to take your dog’s health into your own hands without the correct training.
  2. Professional treatment: Certain treatments without the correct training especially when regarding the ear of dogs need careful and delicate treatments with can only be done by professionals.
  3. Monitoring progress: A veterinarian will be able to accurately monitor the progress of the treatment and make necessary adjustments to ensure the treatment is working effectively.


The crackling noise in a dog’s ear can be caused by several different factors, ranging from wax buildup to more serious underlying conditions. The first step is always to consult a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment options. Treatment often includes medications and sometimes even surgery. We hope that if you are having issues with your dog you manage to fix them and they will be happy and healthy. Thanks for reading.