Pet Ear Cleaning

How to...Clean your pet's ears.

Ear Anatomy
Let's start with a quick anatomy lesson. The ear canal of a dog is very long measuring 5-10 cm and is shorter in cats. In both species, there is a right angle present allowing foreign matter in, but making is difficult to get it out. When pets get water in their ears it can collect in the horizontal ear canal increasing the risk of infection

What You Need? 
  • Ear cleaner 
  • Cotton balls 
  • Treats (keep it fun)
What sort of ear cleaner? 
There are various types of ear cleaners, but the most important thing is that you only use a good quality pet ear cleaner. Never put olive oil, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, shampoo or any other substance in a pet's ear. Also avoid poking around with cotton buds in the ear, you will only work any wax and debris further in and potentially damage the ear drum.

Many dogs will come to like ear cleaning, so long as their ears are comfortable. This is the one place that dogs can’t scratch themselves, so most will absolutely love it. With lots of treats and encouragement, ear cleaning can become a part of your pet's regular hygiene routine.

Warning signs of ear disease to watch for:
  • Odor from ears 
  • Shaking head
  • Ear debris
  • Pawing at ear(s)
  • Red inflamed ear canal or pinnae (ear flap)
How To Clean Those Ears 
The process is the same for cats and for dogs. Firstly, if your pet has very red painful ears it may mean that they have an ear infection and you should see your veterinarian first. Ear cleaning can be a messy job, so find somewhere in the house that is easy to clean.
  1. Give your pet a treat before starting to clean their ears. Remember keep it fun!
  2. Gently hold the flap of the ear upright and fill the ear canal with ear cleaner. Direct the bottle tip vertically downwards.
  3. Keep hold of the ear pinnae and move your hand down to where the ear meets the head. Massage at the base of the ear, aiming to mix the ear cleaner around within the ear canal. You should get a “squishy” noise if you are doing this correctly. 
  4. After you have massaged the ear for 10 seconds, remove the debris from the top of the canal by using some cotton on your fingertip and to clean the folds ear canal opening until the cotton comes back clean. Your pet may shake their head - this is ok.
  5. Give your pet a treat and repeat with the other ear. 
The key with ear cleaning, is to use a large amount of ear cleaner. Since the ear canals are quite long, the wiping step is not to "reach in" and get all the ear discharge out, but rather when you massage the ear canal, you will be loosening the ear debris so that it can rise to the top of the canal and you can clean it out with the cotton covering your finger.

Remember Keep It Fun!!
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