The pain and discomfort experienced by dogs and cats because of ear infections are a significant concern for pet owners. Regularly cleaning your pet’s ears to maintain good hygiene can prevent ear infections.
It is beneficial in breeds that tend to have pre-disposing factors to ear infections or recurring problems to regularly clean their ears. Some general maintenance tips may include clipping the hair away from the inner surface of the earflap, gentle plucking of excess hair from the internal canal where possible and the routine application of ear cleaners.
- Choose an ear cleaner that best suits your pet’s needs. This will depend on a variety of things so it’s best to discuss this first with veterinary staff.
- With dogs, depending on their size, place them on top of a table so they are at your chest height. Gently place your arm under their chin and gently restrain them whilst holding with your other arm. Examine the ears for trapped moisture, debris and ear wax. With cats, you may find it easier to wrap them in a towel exposing only their head.
- After examining the outside of the ear, wipe away any discharge that is visible with a cotton ball or piece of cotton wool. Never use cotton buds/tips as you may cause more damage such as puncturing the ear drums.
- Hold the ear flap and lift it into a vertical position. Apply a liberal amount of ear cleaner to the ear canal to enable a flushing action.
- Gently massage the groove from the base of the ear downward and inward in order to disperse the ear cleaner throughout the ear canal. Massaging the base of the ear will help break up the debris and wax inside the ear. Allowing you pet to shake their head may also help dislodge any material build up. You should aim to massage the ear for at least 1 minute.
- Remove the excess fluid and debris with a ball of cottonwool. Also ensure to clean the inside of the ear flap and in between all the grooves to remove any debris.
- You may have to clean the ears more than once to remove all debris from the ear. Continue to do this until the excess fluid no longer looks dirty.
- Repeat these steps for the other ear.
Always allow your pet to shake their head to remove any excess fluid left behind.