How Do You Clean Dog’s Ears? Your Carmel Pet Clinic Explains Dog Ear Cleaning

How Do You Clean Dog’s Ears?  Your Carmel Pet Clinic Explains Dog Ear Cleaning

Are certain dogs more likely to get ear infections?  Ear infections are the third most common problem I see at our Carmel pet clinic in many breeds.  The dog breeds that are most likely to get ear infections are the ones who have floppy ears like a Cocker Spaniels or Labrador Retrievers, dogs with narrow ear canals like Bulldogs and Pugs, as well as dogs that grow hair in the ear canal such as Poodles.  These types of ear canals are dark, warm, and moist–the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast to grow.  Dogs with upright ears like a German Shepherd Dog are much less like to get ear infections.  Dogs with allergies are also more likely to develop ear infections.

What are the signs my dog has an ear infection?  The most common signs of ear infections in dogs are shaking the head excessively, pawing at the ears, redness of the ears, and increased ear wax buildup.  If you are noticing these signs, call your Carmel pet clinic.

What is the best way to prevent ear infections in dogs?  The best way to prevent ear infections is to clean the ears regularly.  Just like our underarms are prone to producing stinky bacteria if there is poor hygiene, dog ears will grow bacteria and yeast if they are not cleaned.  At our Carmel pet clinic, I recommend the following steps to clean your dogs ears and prevent future ear infections.

  1. Shake the liquid ear cleaning solution you obtained from your Carmel pet clinic.
  2. Pull the ear flap straight up gently with your other hand.
  3. Apply a small volume of the ear cleaner into the ear canal opening and gently massage the base of the ear.  You should hear a “squishing” sound as you massage.  (If you do NOT hear this squishing sound, apply more volume of the cleaner).
  4. Repeat this step on the other ear.
  5. Allow your dog to shake his/her head several times.
  6. Using a clean cotton ball or square gauze, wipe out the discharge from both ears.  You can go as far as your finger will let you, then wipe out any excess wax and debris to clean your dog’s ears.  (Dogs have an L-shaped ear canal and your will NOT go to far with your fingers.)dog ear model

How often should I clean my dog’s ears?  This depends on your dog’s anatomy, history, and home ear cleaning.  Dogs with floppy ears, narrow ears, hairy ears, or dogs with allergies are all more prone to ear infections.  These dogs have their ears cleaned more regularly than other dogs.  Some dogs who go to their groomer monthly will be fine; others need the owners to clean their ears more regularly at home to prevent infection.  At our Carmel pet clinic, I recommend regular grooming or bath once a month with an ear cleaning for all dogs.  Dogs with history of ear infections should have there ears cleaned more frequently every 1-4 weeks.

For more information on our Caring Hands Compassionate Hearts, click on this link to your Carmel Pet Clinic.