A simple guide to cleaning your dog’s ears and knowing when to seek medical attention.
There are so many different kinds of dogs in the world and different breeds have different looking ears. The outer flap of the ear is sometimes long and droopy, like in a Great Dane or Bassett Hound, or the ear could be short and constantly exposed to the elements. Breeders often snip dog’s ears as well, like in the case of Dobermanns.
In India, you might have also noticed many dogs with clipped ears. They are more common in stray dogs. When you see this, it is usually a sign that the dog has been sterilized by an animal welfare organisation.
If you have a pet dog at home, one of your big responsibilities is regular grooming. You can learn all about basic dog grooming and dog care, here.
A dog’s ears are sensitive and so you have to be careful when you clean its ears.
Ask your vet for advice
Your dog’s vet can teach you the appropriate ways to get in there and clean out your dog’s ears without damaging its eardrum or any other part of the ear. Your vet will also teach you how to get your dog to be comfortable with a good ear cleaning. Bassett Hounds and Cocker Spaniels tend to suffer from more ear infections than other dogs, so your dog’s vet will prescribe the medication you might have to put in your dog’s ear.
Does your dog spend a lot of time in the water?
If you take your dog swimming or you live in a rainy place and get drenched during every walk, you will have to be more observant of your dog’s ear hygiene. Check your dog’s ears regularly for infection and keep it dry and clean as much as you can, especially after a swim.
Fleas, ticks and other insects
Regularly clean your home and make sure that you check your dog for ticks and fleas. They can enter the dog’s ear and start to irritate very fast. Your dog might start scratching its ears all the time, and the ears end up becoming red and inflamed. If you are unable to control this, contact your veterinarian and make an appointment.
What can you use to clean a dog’s ears?
Never use Q-tips or pointy objects to clean your dog’s ear. Remember that your dog won’t like someone prodding inside its ear, so be very careful and slow. Clean its ears with a towel or a soft cloth.
Buy an ear-cleaning solution
Ask your veterinarian for a hygienic recommendation. If there’s an excess of dirt and debris, you can use the solution to dissolve it. Research and find out which products will be safest to use on your dog.
Be careful when applying a solution
Put the solution in the dog’s ears without letting the applicator touch the inner ear. Keep the applicator clean always, so that there is less chance of germs entering the ear. Once the solution is inside doing its work, lightly massage the outer ear. You might be able to feel dirt getting dislodged. Leave the solution in for a few minutes. After that, use the soft cloth and slowly take out the dirt, and don’t delve deeper than three or four inches.
Pay attention to bad smells
If your dog’s ear is emitting a strong odour, then it is probably infected. Seek medical care as soon as you can if this is happening. Chances are it is painful for the dog.
Do you find this information useful? Visit the VOSD website for more general and medical advice on dogs and dog care. You can also contact us if you want to learn about how you can help dogs.