brown and white dog with ears flared out

Both cats and dogs are susceptible to infections if their ears are not properly cleaned. Ear infections are a top reason that people visit a vet and while we are always happy to see our clientele, we also want to arm them with the information and skills to maintain healthy ear cleaning habits for their pets. Generally, dogs and cats both share in common the distaste for having their ears cleaned as it is uncomfortable for them. If possible, promoting good ear health early on by starting to clean their ears at a young age will get them accustomed to the process.

Proper Cleaning Instructions

To clean, hold the cleaning solution in one hand and hold back the flap of your pet’s ear to expose their ear canal with the other hand. Place the tip of the cleaning solution at the opening of their ear canal and drop a small amount of solution into the ear. While making sure that your pet does not shake their head and spray the solution everywhere, close the flap of their ear and massage the base of the ear for around one minute to ensure that the solution is properly distributed down the canal. Once this process is done, your pet will want to shake their head rapidly which will release any debris that the solution has freed up – let them do so and be ready to avoid any flying debris. Finally, use gauze or cotton balls to clean up any remaining debris that moved to the top of the canal during the process. Be sure to avoid cotton swabs as they can inadvertently push the debris further down your pet’s ear canal.

Signs Your Pet Has An Infection Or Other Ear Issue

There are often easy-to-spot signs that your pet is experiencing discomfort or has an infection and the below examples are some of the most common:

  • Head shaking
  • Redness or swelling
  • Ear scratching (sometimes paired with whimpering)
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Odor near the ear
  • Unsteady balance
  • Hearing loss
    In the case of any of the above, it is recommended that you visit your local veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. At Village West Vet, we can walk you through or complete any part of the cleaning process you may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Contact us today to set up an appointment!

Source:
The Nest
Washington State University