Whether short or long, floppy or pointy, dog’s ears are among the sensitive parts of their body. If you fail to clean your dog’s ears properly, they can develop ear infections which can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
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How to Clean Dog Ears
Ensure you call a vet immediately, if you notice signs of infections in your dog’s ears. A dog’s ears may be infected if you notice a foul odour from the ears, or your dog tugging the ears regularly. Also, a dog may wince in pain if you touch the ear, indicating infection. Here are a few tips in case you think cleaning your dog’s ears will help.
Examine the ears
Develop a habit of sniffing your dog’s ears regularly to ensure they are not infected. If a yeasty or stinking smell oozes from their ears, they are likely to have a yeast or bacterial infection. An infected ear may appear pink with a light coating of yellowish wax inside. There is nothing to worry if you see a small amount of wax in your dog’s ear. However, if your dog’s ears look red, or have a black or dark brown discharge, it could indicate an infection.
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To clean dog ears properly, following the tips below:
- Get some cotton balls and a pair of hemostats. Avoid using Q-tips so as not to push debris further inside their ears.
- Buy an ear cleaning solution designed for dogs or pets. You can make a solution at home by mixing 1 part of water and 1 part white vinegar.
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Steps on how to clean a dog’s ears
Here is how to proceed with cleaning a dog’s ears after getting everything in place;
- It will help to put your leg around the chest if your dog is big, as if you are straddling them. This will give you a better access and control to their ears. You can place smaller dogs on a counter or table and ask someone else to hold them while you do the cleaning.
- Hold your dog’s earflap with your hand, take the cleaning solution and then squirt the solution into the canal. Ensure you fill the canal completely.
- After this, you can gently press the earflap over the opening of the ear and then rub it in circles.
- Carefully let go of your dog’s head and move aside quickly because your dog will vigorously shake their head. This shaking will help push the debris outside so you could remove it easily.
- To remove the debris, wrap a napkin, paper towel or gauze around your finger. You can use a cotton-tipped swab to carefully clean the surface of the ear but do not push it into the canal.
- Keep repeating the same process several times until you know there is no more debris in the ear canal.
- You can apply topical medications recommended by a vet at the end of the cleaning process.
What to do if your dog ear is infected
If there is some debris in your dog’s ears, you can certainly try to clean it on your own. However, if you notice any symptoms of dog ear infection, you may need to consult a vet. Here are some common symptoms:
- Yellow, brown or bloody discharge from ear
- Dog scratches at their ears and the surrounding area.
- Swelling, redness, and odor in the ear.
- You will notice hair loss around their ears.
- Dog forcefully shakes their head and rubs their ears.
- Unusual eye movement
- Walking in circles
- Loss of balance
- Head tilt
- Loss of hearing
How to treat dog ear infection
You have to immediately take your dog to a vet if you suspect your dog has an ear infection. Early treatment will prevent complications. Your vet may prescribe oral or topical medicine, especially if your dog has recurrent ear infections.
How to prevent dog ear infection
- Dry your dog’s ears after swimming and baths.
- Check your dog’s ears regularly
- Clean your dog’s ears immediately if you notice any debris or dirt. You can take them to your vet for professional cleaning. This will help lower the risk of ear infections.
- Be sure to remove any excess hair in your dog’s outer ear canal. Your vet can help you in this regard.
- Consult your doctor if you notice discharge, redness, or odor from your dog’s ears.