Grooming Dog Basic: Veshët
Ear cleaning is an essential part of your dog’s basic grooming routine . All dogs should have their ears cleaned from time to time, but some dogs need more frequent and thorough cleaning than others. This is especially true for dogs prone to ear infections . Here’s what all dog owners need to know about cleaning dog ears.
Anatomy of a dog’s ear
A dog’s ear is a rather complex structure:
The outer bump of the ear is called the pinna.
This pinna will fall on some dogs while on others it stands upright. Floppy ears allow less air to flow into the ear canal, making some flaming back dogs more prone to ear infections.
Just inside the ear opening visible is the outer canal. This channel travels down the side of the head (vertical channel), then takes an internal turn (horizontal channel). The canal is covered with skin and contains cartilage that creates ridges and wrinkles on the surface. The external duct also contains glands that secrete wax and oils (sebum) into the ear.
The external duct terminates in the kidney (tympanic membrane). It is a thin piece of tissue that vibrates in response to sound waves and aids hearing. The tympanic membrane also protects the middle and inner ear.
Beyond the ear is the middle ear followed by the inner ear. These areas contain delicate structures related to hearing and balancing. Injury to the inner or middle ear can cause significant damage to a dog’s hearing, balancing.
In some cases, the damage is even permanent.
Why clean a dog’s ears?
When it comes to ear cleaning, we are focused on the outer ear canal. Ear wax and debris can easily form on the ridges of the external canal. If irritation and inflammation ( otitis ) occurs (either from garbage collection or from allergies), the canal can become infected.
Lack of sufficient air flow in the duct can accelerate an ear infection . This is part of the reason why floppy long-eared dogs are prone to ear infections. However, some dogs also have an excessive amount of glands in their ear canals and produce a lot of secretions. A couple of common canine dogs with genetic predispositions to ear infections include Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds.
Typically, dogs with ear infections will have an excess amount of bacteria or yeast in the ear. External ear infections cause itching and pain. They can also lead to middle / inner ear infections that affect hearing and balance. In addition, because dogs with itchy or sore ears tend to shake their heads violently, they can rupture blood vessels in the collision of the ears and end up with a pocket of blood in the back called the Arab hematoma. . Signs of an ear infection include odor from the ears, frequent shaking of the head, redness of the skin inside the ears, excessive itching in the ears, and excessive discharge of ear / debris.
Regular cleaning can help prevent ear infections . By using a suitable ear cleaner, you can release wax and debris from the duct and help dry the ear. Dogs can grow wax and debris at a faster rate than humans.
Some dogs have very little ear build-up and just need their ears wiped occasionally. Other dogs need thorough ear cleaning every week or two. Check your dog’s ears regularly and talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s needs. Excessive cleaning can cause irritation, but under-cleaning can make way for excessive lifting.
Supplies for cleaning dog ears
Before you start cleaning your dog’s ears, you will need some supplies:
- Ear cleaning solution: Look for a quality ear cleaner recommended by veterinarians. A top choice of professionals is “Epi-Otic” from Virbac bought on Amazon Avoid ears that contain alcohol or hydrogen peroxide as these can cause irritation.
- Cotton balls, cotton pads or gauze squares
- Applicants with cotton
- Pliers or hemostats (for dogs with many hairs in the ear canals)
- A towel or two
Start with ear cleaning
The best place to clean your dog’s ears is in the tub or outside. This is a great thing to do right in front of a shower . Remember: when he shakes his head, ear debris and cleaners have to go somewhere, and that includes the walls and you (so be careful). You may want to wrap a towel around it or place one under it to keep it clean and dry. You may also want a towel to keep it dry!
Before cleaning the ears, inspect them. You can get an idea of how dirty they are and you can check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, the hair may need to be removed. You can do this with your fingers, pliers, or hemostat. A special ear powder made for dogs can be helpful in capturing hair. Talk to your office or veterinarian office about how you should remove your ears without hurting your dog.
How to clean your dog’s ears
Start by holding the earlobe and syringing a few clean ear drops inside the bend near the ear opening. Next, gently place the tip of the bottle in the ear no further than you can see (not too deep). Give the bottle a gentle squeeze . Do not use excessive pressure when squeezing the cleanser into the ear.
Before you can shake your head, start massaging the base of your dog’s ear (this is the lower part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a “sitting sound”. By massaging, you are helping the cleanser to fill the ridges in the canal and release ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds (more on very dirty ears) you can release and let the dog shake. You may want to remove or keep a towel for this piece.
Once your dog has a good shake, lightly coat the cotton or gauze with the ear cleaner. Use cotton or gauze with your finger to erase the ear canal. You can place your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it.
You may want to use cotton applicators to clean stubborn debris from your dog crests.
VERY IMPORTANT: Never place cotton applicators on the ear beyond what you can see. Bee damage can occur!
If the ear still looks dirty, you can repeat the process. Stop if your dog’s ear starts to get red or bleed. Stop if your dog looks sore.
Go to the other ear and repeat all the steps. Finish by wiping out any visible debris and drying your dog’s head. Be sure to reward him with a treat and lots of praise!