Cleaning Dogs Ears Safely
If your dog is a little reluctant or skittish when it comes to having his ears handled, try to create an environment to get him relaxed such as gently petting him, playing some soothing pet music, or using calming pheromones.
Cleaning dogs ears begins with an ear inspection. If this reveals any sign of redness, inflammation, discharge, or funky odor, chances are your dog has an ear infection - particularly if you have noticed him doing a lot of recent head shaking or scratching. Ear mites might also be present. The best thing to do in this situation is to forgo the cleaning and take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis.
If the ear appears fairly normal but just looks dirty, the next thing to handle is the removal of excessive hair. This will improve air circulation and prevent wax build-up. Pulling out excess hair can be done with little discomfort to your dog if only small amounts are removed at a time and you use an ear powder. To do it safely, pull the ear flap back as previously described and shake a little of the dog ear powder into it. Rub the powder around a little and then proceed to quickly pull out the hair with your hemostat or your fingers.
Alternatively you can use the blunt nosed scissors to clip out excessive hair carefully.
Next you will want to pour some of the dog ear wash into the ear while holding the flap upright. To make sure the solution circulates, massage the outside base of the ear gently - you should be able to hear it sloshing around as you massage.
Once you let go of the ear, your dog will shake his head to remove the remaining dog ear wash, so be prepared! Wipe the skin of the ear flap, outside of the ear canal, with cotton balls or gauze pads to remove the dirt and debris. To protect the delicate nature of a dogs ears, never use q-tips of any kind for cleaning.
Alternatively you can use olive oil or mineral oil for cleaning dogs ears, but never use soap and water as this can cause ear infections!
Cleaning Dogs Ears - Ongoing CareTo help keep a dogs ears healthy requires ongoing preventative care. Regular inspection and cleaning is the best defense to spot and avoid problems. Dog breeds that are hairy, have pendulous ears, or spend considerable time playing in the water are the most prone to ear problems.
Puppies are the most prone to dog ear mites, but they can also pass them along to the mother or other adult dogs. Home remedies for dog ear mites often recommend using almond oil to smother the mites. A few drops placed in the ears after they have been cleaned and repeated daily is said to eliminate them after a few weeks.
There are also commercial products to deal with ear mites, such as PetAlive Ear Dr. - Ear Drops, a natural remedy that many owners find very effective.
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