A crucial aspect of your dog’s grooming requirements is ear cleaning. Different canines require ear cleaning more frequently than others. Ear cleanings should be done more frequently on dogs who are prone to ear infections.
Why is it important?
Due to the shape of the dog’s ear canal, debris lodged deep within the horizontal canal is challenging to remove without the aid of cleanings. If left in the ears, this substance can cause itching and ear infections.
Do I need to use an ear cleaner?
It is strongly advised that you use a high-quality ear cleaning. Cleaning solutions containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide may irritate the ear canal, especially if the canal is irritated or ulcerated. To assist prevent ear infections, some ear cleaners contain antibacterial or antifungal chemicals. Additionally, some cleansers work better at removing wax buildup. Which ear cleaning solution is best for your pet can be determined with assistance from your veterinarian.
What do I need to clean my dog’s ears?
There is no specific equipment required to clean your dog’s ears. All you need is some cotton balls or gauze, an effective ear cleaning solution, and some dog treats to encourage good behavior. Avoid using cotton tip applicators (Q-tips) due to the possibility of damaging the ear canal or perforating the eardrum. Furthermore, using cotton tip applicators may force dirt deeper into the ear canal.
Do all dogs need to have their ears cleaned?
No. Even while it’s crucial to clean your dog’s ears when necessary, excessive cleaning might irritate the ear canal and result in infection. Some dogs with clean, healthy ears may never require ear cleaning. Cleaning your dog’s ears is advised, though, if you detect a discharge or smell when looking within the ear. You can get advice from your vet on how frequently to clean your dog’s ears. Consult your veterinarian before cleaning your dog’s ears if they are red, inflamed, or hurting. Your dog may have a ruptured ear drum or an ear infection.
Step-by-Step Guide for Ear Cleaning
- Put your legs together and your dog should sit in front of you with his back between them. If you have a huge breed dog, sit him with his back against the wall and one side against the corner of the room. Move to his other side.
- Grab one ear and raise the pinna (ear flap) vertically to reveal and straighten the ear canal.
- Hold the ear cleaning solution in your other hand while gripping your dog’s ear flap firmly yet gently with one hand.
- Fill your dog’s ear with ear cleaning solution. Fill the ear canal with enough cleanser to cover it fully. If some of the cleaner leaks into the ear canal, that is acceptable. Never insert the bottle’s tip into an ear. To stop the spread of bacteria or yeast, wipe the bottle’s tip with a clean cotton ball dipped in alcohol if it contacts your dog’s ear.
- Hold the ear flap vertically in place for a further 30 seconds while using the other hand to gently massage the base of the ear below the ear entrance. As a result, the debris in the ear canal can be broken up by the cleaning agent. As the cleaning solution flows around in the horizontal portion of the ear canal, you should hear a squishing sound.
- Use a cotton ball or piece of gauze to clean the inside portion of the ear flap and the upper ear canal while still holding up the ear flap.
- Your dog is free to shake his head. This enables the leftover ear cleaning solution and ear canal debris to exit the canal and reach the outer ear opening.
- Holding the ear flap up once again, use a cotton ball or piece of gauze to remove the loose debris and cleaning solution from the outer aperture of the ear canal.
- Use a cotton ball or piece of gauze to clear out the ear canal of any debris and leftover cleaning solution. Only insert your finger as far as the ear canal will allow. Never remove a solution from an ear canal using a cotton-tipped applicator (Q-tip). By doing so, you run the risk of damaging your ear canal, ear drum, or advancing ear canal debris.
- Give your dog snacks and compliments.
- With the opposite ear, carry out the same procedure.
- During the cleaning process, if your dog seems to be in pain, stop and call your veterinarian. As often as your veterinarian recommends, repeat the cleaning process. If your dog needs medication to be applied to the ears because of an ear infection, clean the ears first and then use the medication.
Step-by-Step Guide for Medication Application
After cleaning your dog’s ears, you can frequently provide medication right away. More details on how often the medication should be administered and how many drops are required will be given by your veterinarian.
- Grab the ear tip firmly but gently, and raise the ear flap straight up to reveal and straighten out the ear canal.
- Apply the prescribed number of drops of medication as directed by your veterinarian. Never insert the bottle’s tip into an ear. To stop the spread of bacteria or yeast, wipe the bottle’s tip with a clean cotton ball dipped in alcohol if it contacts your dog’s ear.
- For about 30 seconds, keep the ear flap vertically raised while giving a gentle massage to the area beneath the ear entrance. This enables the drug to completely coat the ear canal. As the drug coats the horizontal portion of the ear canal, you should once more experience a squishing sound in the ear.
- Put the recommended dose of medication on the infected part of the ear flap if the inner section of the ear flap is affected by the infection. By distributing the drug using your finger (preferably while wearing a glove).
- If necessary, repeat this procedure on the other ear.
- The flap portion of the ear can be cleaned with a cotton ball dipped in ear cleaning solution if debris or medication builds up there.
What can I use at home to clean my dog’s ears?
The ear of a dog has multiple components. The flap on the outside is the area that you often scratch (you know, the part that sticks up in breeds like a German shepherd or folds over in breeds like the beagle.) There is also the ear canal, which connects to the inner ear, middle ear, and eardrum. Those areas need more care than just a damp washcloth because they are more fragile.
According to Dr. Jennifer Coates, simply washing the inside of the pinna (ear flap) is not a full ear cleaning.
Without harming the eardrum and the delicate tissues that line the ear, we must remove all (or at least the majority) of the debris from the canal.
Which ear cleaning solution is best for your pet can be determined with assistance from your veterinarian. Dr. Amy Panning, DVM of VCA Hospital cautions on their blog not to use cleansers containing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide since they can aggravate already inflamed or ulcerated dog ear canals.
Additionally, according to Dr. Panning, various ear cleansers serve various purposes. She notes that certain ear cleaners have antibacterial or antifungal chemicals to aid in preventing ear infections. Additionally, some cleansers work better at removing wax buildup.
Dr. Nelson advises Rover to use a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and white vinegar if your dog merely needs their ear flap cleaned and does not have an ear infection. According to her, this maintenance procedure can aid in preventing infection in an otherwise healthy ear. But once more, do this after your vet has established that your dog does not have an ear infection and simply for the ear flap.
Your dog will likely move their head erratically while you use an ear cleaning solution, spreading the cleaner all over. Bring them into the restroom or another spot that is simple to clean.
Can I clean my dog’s ears with hydrogen peroxide?
To free both of your hands for the cleaning, it could be necessary to have someone hold some dogs. To make sure that both you and your dog enjoy the cleaning process, we also advise that you follow each cleaning with some entertaining activity, such as treats or playtime.
The specified cleaning solution should be liberally poured into the ear canal. In order to make sure enough solution has been added, massage the base of the ear canal until you hear a squishing sound. Although you should let your dog shake their head, take care to avoid getting any liquid in your eyes. This enables your dog to push any deep debris out of the way or forward so that you can clean it up.
Absorb the extra solution and debris from the ear using cotton balls or squares of gauze. You are allowed to clean the ear canal as deeply as your finger can go. The ear won’t be hurt by this.
Till the cotton balls or gauze squares are clean, repeat the preceding processes. Congrats, you succeeded!
At the very least once a month, we advise cleaning your dog’s ears. You should speak with your veterinarian about whether more regular cleanings are needed for more severe chronic inflammation.
What is the ideal canine ear cleaning solution?
Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser for Dogs is our top pick for an all-purpose ear cleaner.
It doesn’t itch and stops bacteria from developing in your dog’s ear, which can stop ear infections and other issues. But it’s also delicate enough to apply frequently.
The main way that this remedy works is by assisting in clearing your dog’s ear canal of dirt and extra wax. However, it also aids in clearing your dog’s ears of germs and other similar microbes.
Any dog can benefit from this treatment. However, it might be most effective for dogs who frequently get ear infections and inflammation.
We also appreciate that this recipe has a low pH so that it won’t interfere with other ear treatments and solutions.
Can I clean my dog’s ears with saline solution?
It is very safe to use regular saline. This contains items like Epi-Otic Ear Cleaner from Virbac. Epi-Otic has a pH of 2.2 and no alcohol or chlorhexidine. These ear wipes and Zymox cleanser with bio-active enzymes are additional well-liked, secure solutions.
If your dog has an active ear infection, you will require a different treatment. Consult your veterinarian right away if you experience discharge, swelling, redness, or other concerning signs since a prescription medication may be necessary. A specialist drug must also be used to address the linked condition of ear mites.
How can homemade ear cleanser be made?
Dissolve In 2 ounces of warm water, dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Pour the solution into a dropper bottle if you have one. One drop at a time, carefully drip 5 to 10 drops of the solution into each ear while tilting your head to the side. After up to an hour, rinse the solution out of the ear with water.
How can homemade ear cleanser be made?
The natural and beneficial component of your body’s defenses is earwax. By capturing dirt and halting the development of bacteria, it lubricates, cleans, and protects your ear canal. When people attempt to clean their ears on their own by inserting cotton swabs or other objects in their ears, earwax obstructions frequently result. Frequently, this only serves to drive wax further into the ear, which can seriously harm the lining of your ear canal or eardrum.
Never use tools like a paper clip, cotton swab, or a hairpin to try to remove too much or hardened earwax.
If earwax blockage becomes an issue, you or your doctor can safely remove the wax by following a few simple procedures.
Lifestyle and home remedies
If your eardrum isn’t tube-shaped or has a hole in it, you might be able to unclog your ear canal by using these self-care techniques:
- Warm up the wax. Apply a few drops of baby oil, mineral oil, glycerin, or hydrogen peroxide to your ear canal using an eyedropper.
- employ warm water. When the wax has melted after a day or two, gently pump warm water into your ear canal using a rubber-bulb syringe. To straighten your ear canal, tilt your head back and pull your outer ear up and back. Tip your head to the side to allow the water to drain after you have finished irrigating.
- Dehydrate the ear canal. When finished, use a cloth or handheld drier to gently dry your outer ear.
Before the extra earwax comes out, you might need to repeat the wax-softening and irrigation process a few times. The wax might instead become more deeply embedded in the ear canal or up against the eardrum if the softening agents only manage to release the wax’s outer layer. Consult your doctor if your symptoms don’t go away after a few sessions.
Store-bought earwax removal kits can also be useful for removing wax accumulation. Consult your doctor for guidance on how to choose and employ effective alternative earwax removal techniques.
Earwax blockage symptoms and signs can include:
- a sensation of fullness in the impacted ear
- Noises or ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- hearing loss in the afflicted ear
Other conditions may be indicated by the signs and symptoms. You might believe that you can manage your earwax on your own, but there is no way to tell if you have an excessive amount of earwax without having someone look in your ears—typically your doctor. Even though you may have symptoms like ear pain or diminished hearing, wax accumulation is not always present. It’s conceivable that you have another medical issue affecting your ears that needs to be addressed.
The safest way to remove wax is by a doctor. A buildup of earwax can quickly harm your fragile eardrum and ear canal. If you have had ear surgery, have a perforation in your eardrum, are experiencing ear pain, or have drainage coming from your ears, you shouldn’t attempt to remove earwax by yourself with any instrument inserted into your ear canal.
As part of any medical examination, children’s ears are typically examined. If required, a doctor can clean out your child’s ear during a visit to the clinic.