Cleaning your dog’s ears can be a bit frustrating since most dogs do not like sitting still. However, keeping your dog’s ears clean is the best prevention against potential health hazards such as ear mites, ear infections and wax build up (which in turn can be excruciatingly painful for your dog).
To help reduce your dog’s risk for experiencing any of these problems perform a routine ear check during your weekly grooming sessions.
Below we have listed tips as to what you should be looking for when checking your dog’s ears:
- Check the ear for any dirt, wax, foreign objects, or redness in the ear canal.
- Smell your dog’s ear; if there is a foul smell present, this is usually indicative of a more serious problem.
- Mites, fleas and ticks like the dark, moist inaccessible area of your dog’s ear. Check for dark waxy substance in your dog’s ears, it will almost look like dark brown coffee grinds.
- If you think your dog may have any of these symptoms listed above it is imperative that you call and make an appointment to see your Veterinarian. If left untreated these symptoms can worsen and lead to more severe problems.
Below are some tips to what you should NOT do when checking or cleaning your dog’s ears:
- Do Not use soap and water to clean your dog’s ears.
- Do Not poke or probe the internal ear canal, or surrounding tissues.
- Do Not use Q-tips or any other objects in the ear canal. This can push the dirt further into the ear canal leading to more serious problems for your dog. It is safest to only clean the part of the ear that you can visually see.
Signs your dog might exhibit that indicate that your dog might have a problem:
- Your dog is shaking his head uncontrollably and more often than usual.
- The inside of the ear appears to be constantly moist.
- You think you may see fleas, ticks or mites inside the ear.
- A strong foul odor coming from the ear.
- A waxy discharge is present.
- Your dog yelps or cries when you see him scratching his head.
Now that you know what to look for and what NOT to do, below you will find information on how to clean your dog’s ears:
- You may need to have someone present to help you restrain your dog. Have them hold your dog’s legs and body, while you rest his head in your lap and clean his ears, or you can wrap your dog in a towel, exposing only his head, (if size permits).
- Start by cleaning the ear lobe with a wet cotton ball.
- Using a cotton ball or gauze gently clean any dirt you see.
- Now clean the cartilage of the ear using a Q-tip moistened with water to clean any dirt or debris from the hard to reach places of the ear. DO NOT place the Q-tip in the ear canal, as this can cause your dog to flinch and possible ear damage can occur.
- Remember it is best to only clean the part of the ear that you can visually see.
- Spend a few moments petting your dog after you are done and give him a treat so he will look forward to his next ear cleaning!
The information provided above is solely for the purpose of informing and educating our visitors and should not be used to replace the advice or care of a professional, qualified veterinarian.