Why Are My Dogs Ears Cold? 7 Interesting Reasons According To A Vet

Why are my dogs ears cold? Do your dog’s ears feel cold when you touch them? We’ll explain why this occurs and when you should be concerned. Your dog’s ears are incredible. You may have noticed that they can hear the sound of a cheese wrapper opening from two rooms away when they’re sound asleep. Your dog’s ears, on the other hand, can get quite cold when it comes to temperature.

Before you freak out, keep in mind that your dog’s ears are far from its heart. Their ears are one of the first parts of their bodies to feel cold because blood circulation takes a long time to reach them. When your dog is playing outside in the rain or snow, his ears, paws, and fur are all likely to get wet. However, there are a few other reasons why your dog’s ears may be cold.

7 reasons your dog’s ears feel cold

dog's ears cold

 Ear Anatomy

The most vulnerable part of your dog’s body is his ears. Your dog’s ears are incredible. You may have noticed that they can hear the sound of a cheese wrapper opening from two rooms away when they’re sound asleep. Your dog’s ears, on the other hand, can get quite cold when it comes to temperature.

Before you freak out, keep in mind that your dog’s ears are far from its heart. Their ears are one of the first parts of their bodies to feel cold because blood circulation takes a long time to reach them. When your dog is playing outside in the rain or snow, his ears, paws, and fur are all likely to get wet. However, there are a few other reasons why your dog’s ears may be cold.

The cartilage in the ears is what gives them their shape. In the ears, the blood vessels are small and close to the surface.

The ear’s interior is frequently hairless. As a result, it lacks the insulation that hair can provide. Warmth and insulation are also generated by fat and muscle, but the ears are not insulated because they are made of cartilage. Because of these factors, they become cold much more quickly than other parts of the body.

Breed and Size

The speed with which your dog’s ears become cold is also determined by his breed and size. Ears that point up are more exposed to the elements than ears that lay flat against the head, so they get cold faster.

Short-haired dogs, including their ears, will become colder faster than long-haired breeds. Small dogs are more susceptible to cold than large breeds. They are unable to regulate their body temperature in the same way that large dogs can.

Frostbite

If your dog has spent a lot of time outside, he or she may be showing signs of frostbite. Take a look at the color of their ears to see if this is the case. The presence of bright pink coloration is a major cause of concern.

Frostbite is a condition in which the tissue is damaged. The tissue may become blackened and fall off depending on the severity of the problem. This is common in extremities with poor blood circulation. The ears, tail, and paws are frequently the first parts of the body to be affected.

What You Need to Do

If you notice your dog’s ears are turning pink, you should immediately bring them inside. Then, for 5 to 10 minutes, apply a warm compress to the ears. Because your dog’s body temperature is likely to be lower, it’s a good idea to wrap them up as well. If the situation is serious, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a veterinarian. They’ll be able to tell if your dog is suffering from hypothermia and what steps should be taken next.

Circulation Issues

The causes of cold ears that we’ve already discussed can usually be treated quickly and effectively. But what if the issue continues? It could be a systemic disorder caused by circulatory issues in that case.

Circulatory problems can affect dogs of all ages, though they are uncommon. It’s most common in senior dogs. Blood is transported throughout your dog’s body by the circulatory system. The system’s heart is at its core. It circulates warm blood through the veins of your dog. As a result, the circulatory system maintains body temperature while also ensuring that all vital organs receive adequate nutrition.

When a problem prevents the circulatory system from working properly, it must be addressed right away. The longer you wait to address the issue, the worse it will become.

Circulation in your dog can be harmed by a variety of factors. Heart conditions, bleeding tumors, organ infections, and anemia are the most common. Circulatory problems are frequently accompanied by a variety of symptoms. You may notice redness around the paws, regular shivering, and noticeable lethargy in addition to cold ears and other extremities.

What You Can Do

dog's ears cold

If you suspect that your dog’s cold ears are due to circulatory problems, you should take him to the vet right away. Your veterinarian will be able to run several tests to determine the exact cause of the issue. They can then collaborate with you to develop a care plan.

If an infection or tumor is the source of the circulation problems, resolving the problem usually restores circulation. Heart problems, on the other hand, are more difficult to manage. In such cases, dogs are usually required to take medications and make significant lifestyle changes to remain healthy. Early diagnosis is crucial to helping your dog manage a life-long condition, so don’t put off going to the vet.

Age

The rate at which your dog’s ears become cold is also affected by his age. Puppies and senior dogs, as well as adult dogs, are unable to regulate their body temperature. Puppies are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures when they are young.

A person’s level of experience is also a consideration. Dogs who have never been exposed to the cold will struggle to regulate their body temperatures. Colder temperatures are more likely to be unfamiliar to young dogs.

Illness

Illness can cause your dog’s ears to become cold, which is surprising. Fever is a common symptom of a dog illness. Many dogs, on the other hand, have cold ears when they have a cold or the flu. It may also cause their ears to become warm to the touch.

If your dog has a runny nose, sneezing, or coughing, as well as cold ears, it could be a virus. Because only a few dog viruses can infect humans, it’s unlikely that you’ll catch your dog’s cold.

Heart Condition

Heart disease affects about 10% of all dogs in the United States, but many owners are surprised to learn that their pets can be affected. Valvular disease is responsible for 70% of heart disease in dogs. Heartworm disease, a preventable condition caused by the heartworm parasite, is responsible for another 13% of cases.

Heart disease often has no symptoms in its early stages. Something’s wrong when heart disease progresses to congestive heart failure. Coughing, breathing difficulties, and a swollen abdomen are all symptoms of heart disease. Your dog may become tired easily or refuse to exercise. Weight loss, a loss of appetite, and sleeping problems are also common. A bluish tinge to the skin and fainting can occur in severe cases.

Diagnosing causes of cold ears in dogs

Because a variety of conditions can cause your dog’s ears to become cold, you should take him to the vet to get a proper diagnosis and determine the cause. Your veterinarian will most likely ask you when you first noticed your dog’s cold ears, what they’ve been up to, and how long they’ve been outside. They’ll be able to discuss possible causes and treatment options with you after they’ve performed a physical exam and any necessary diagnostic testing, such as blood work or a urinalysis.

Common Signs Your Dog Is Cold

Look for the behaviors that most mammals exhibit when they are cold. Shivering, cold extremities, slow movements, curling up, and excessive sleeping are some of these symptoms.

When a dog becomes cold, it will try to protect its limbs, nose, and ears by curling up in a ball and tucking its head under the warmth of its body.

Hypothermia and frostbite can occur after prolonged exposure to the cold. If your dog’s skin turns a bright pink color after being exposed to extreme cold or snow for an extended period, it’s worth a trip to the vet to have it treated.

How to treat cold ears in dogs

A dog with cold ears can indicate a variety of pathologies and medical conditions, as we’ve seen. The dog’s blood pressure and heart rate both drop as their temperature drops. Arrhythmias, poor circulation, and even cardiac arrest can result from this. Blood oxygen levels will be lower, metabolism will slow, and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome may result (MODS).

We should do the following if our dog’s ears become cold due to a drop in body temperature or hypothermia:

  • Create a comfortable environment by using lamps, electrical appliances, or heating to gradually raise the temperature.
  • We should not attempt to rapidly raise their body temperature because this will cause them to go into shock.
  • If the dog is wet, it should be dried as soon as possible.
  • Provide them with blankets and coats to keep them warm. Take them in your arms if they’re small so we can share our body heat.
  • If it’s cold outside, try to take the dog out during the hottest part of the day. Keep them warm and don’t let them sleep outside.
  • Fluid therapies or even warm enemas may be administered by a veterinarian.
  • Glucose can be used to treat or prevent hypoglycemia.

Before the onset of the aforementioned symptoms, the dog should be taken to the veterinarian. Take a temperature reading if you notice their ears have become cold. If their temperature has dropped, they must be taken to the veterinarian for evaluation.

Conclusion

Something harmless and easy to treat is most likely causing your dog’s cold ears. Warm compresses and a slew of warm towels and blankets are usually sufficient. If the problem persists or your dog exhibits other, more serious symptoms in addition to cold ears, it’s time to see your veterinarian. A professional medical opinion is invaluable, and your veterinarian can help you and your dog get back on track.

FAQs

Why are my dog’s earshot?
Ear infections, both bacterial and yeast, can make a dog’s earshot. You may notice your pet shaking his head or scratching his ears more frequently than usual. If their ear canal has redness, inflammation, or an odour, you should consult your veterinarian to rule out an ear infection.
Do dogs' ears get cold in winter?
Because dogs’ ears are thin and located far from the center of their bodies, they are the first to lose heat when they become cold. If you have a small dog, a dog with short hair, or an older dog, you must be extra cautious when taking them out in the cold.
How can I tell if my dog is cold?
There’s a good chance your dog is cold if they avoid going outside, shiver, or walk more slowly in certain conditions. In cold weather, limit your dog’s time outside and consider giving him a jacket or a protective layer to keep him warm.
Is it normal for dogs’ ears to feel cold?
Yes, it is possible. The paws and ears of a dog are the furthest from their hearts, so they’re the first parts of the body to get cold.
Why is one of my dog's ears cold?
Something harmless and easy to treat is most likely causing your dog’s cold ears. Warm compresses and a slew of warm towels and blankets are usually sufficient. If the problem persists or your dog exhibits other, more serious symptoms in addition to cold ears, it’s time to see your veterinarian.
Is my dog cold if his ears are cold?
Should my dog’s ears be warm or cold? The temperature of your dog’s ears should be the same as the rest of his body. Ears that are excessively warm or cold may indicate that something is wrong.

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