Dog ears are sensitive because they can hear a broader range of frequencies over longer distances than humans. Even though dog ears are mostly self-cleaning, we occasionally need to help them get rid of excess sand and dirt. Some dogs have naturally healthy, clean ears and may need minimal to no ear cleaning.
Whereas others require regular ear cleaning to prevent dirt build-up. Ear infections are more common in dog breeds with long-hanging ears, such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels due to lack of ventilation and breeds with long coats as the wax build-up gets stuck to hair around the ear opening causing infections.
Cleaning your dog's ears is essential, but it can prove to be difficult if the dog is not used to it or if you are not comfortable doing it. Follow this simple beginner's guide on how to clean their ears and what symptoms to look for if they have an ear infection.
Things to look out for:
Before you get jumbled up with random trivia on WebMD, we need to ensure a few things to determine if your dog really has an ear infection. Ear infections could be caused by allergy-related issues, foreign bodies such as ticks or fleas, or maybe because of the anatomy itself.
- A healthy ear looks light pink and clear, so look for any signs that make them have a mild smell and start looking red or inflamed.
- If your dog is shaking their head or scratching the ear area more than usual.
-If your dog’s ears start to smell yeasty or stinky.
In extreme cases, our dogs need urgent medical attention and a visit to the veterinarian.
-Put coconut oil on a cotton swab and clean your dog's outer ear. Its antimicrobial and antioxidant properties help improve skin health.
-Pet wipes are also a handy alternative to clean their ears. They are great at cleaning surface area dirt and bacteria from their coat. Wrap it around your finger and wipe their ears while focusing on the folds.
-While we have these home remedies to our rescue, it is always recommended that you go to the veterinarian and get their ears flushed and cleaned once a month.
-Use ear drops after cleaning your dog's ears. There is a large assortment of ear drops that dissolve wax, and it's better to get it prescribed by the veterinarian.
-For dogs with longer coats, always trim their fur around the ear area to maintain hygiene and avoid stagnation of any bacteria or ticks.
-Do not use human earbuds to clean out your dog's ears as there are chances that you could push the ear wax and debris further down their ears, as their ear anatomy is vastly different from human ear anatomy.
-Never clean your dog's ears immediately after bathing, as the pores are unclogged and open, which leaves a risk of the wax melting and travelling further inside the ear canal.
-Despite the DIY solutions you see on the internet, do not make a homemade vinegar mixture for cleaning. It will only cause them more harm.
How do we go about the cleaning part?
Dogs need gentle handling and love when they are having their ears cleaned, especially a dog who isn't used to it. They may try to struggle or break free, but remember to be patient and loving towards them.
Step one: To begin with, hold your dog gently but firmly, and pour in the recommended amount of dog ear cleaning solution. The physician would prescribe the quantity.
Step two: Massage their ear from top to bottom after injecting the liquid, making sure that the solution spreads evenly throughout the inner structure of the ear. Clean the excess using a cotton swab. Let your dog shake out the remaining liquid away from their ears.
Step three: Lastly, take a soft tissue or cotton to clean out the outer folds of the ear and any accumulated ear wax or debris from the outside.
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