- Proper grooming is one of the keys to giving your furry friend a happy, healthy life and that includes knowing how to clean dog’s ears at home. Ear cleaning is a very important part of your dog’s grooming needs. Certain dog breeds are more prone to ear infections than others.
- Their ears are sensitive so regular and careful dog ear care will help to prevent and detect any ear problems.If not done properly, however, it may lead to ear problems and sensitivity.
- Once a week is best to check your dog ears for any signs of infection given below.
CAUSES OF EAR INFECTION
- If your dog has floppy ears they will be more susceptible to infection due to the trapped moisture and dirt, however, upright ears need to be cleaned less due to the increased airflow.
- If your dog likes to swim, you should perform this task more frequently.
- YEAST AND BACTERIA: Yeast exists naturally in healthy ears, but can get out of balance causing a yeast infection (Dark Brown Discharge). Yeasty ears may be itchy but are usually not painful. Your dog can also get Bacterial Infections in his ears. You may notice Bad Smelling Yellow or Greenish Discharge
- EAR MITES: Ear mites are parasite infection. Dogs with ear mites will often shake their ears. They are common in young dogs and contagious, so you need to treat them fast. (Coffee Ground Discharge)
- ALLERGIES: If your dog has multiple ear infections, it is time to consider allergy testing.
COMMON SIGNS OF DOG EAR INFECTION
- Make a habit of sniffing your dog’s ears, starting when he is just a puppy, so you know how they smell normally. If his ears smell yeasty or downright stinky, it is likely that a bacterial or yeast infection is brewing.
- Excessive itching and scratching at the ear.
- Head shaking, particularly when it looks awkward or unnatural.
- Swelling and redness around the ear canal.
- Unusual discharge.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE FOR EAR CLEANING
- Tilt your dog’s head downward with one hand and squeeze some ear cleaner to completely fill the ear canal. DO NOT put the tip of bottle into the ear.
- Continue to hold the ear flap up vertically with one hand and gently massage the base of the ear below the ear opening for about 30 seconds with the other hand. This allows the cleaning solution to break up the debris that is in the canal.
- While still holding the ear flap up, wipe away debris from the inner part of the ear flap and the upper ear canal using a gauze.
- Step back and allow your dog to shake his head. This allows the remaining ear cleaning solution and debris from the ear canal to move out of the canal to the outer opening of the ear.
- Once again hold the ear flap up and remove the loosened debris and cleaning solution from the outer opening of the ear using cotton ball or gauze.
- Provide treats to your dog.
- Repeat the same procedure with the other ear.
- If your dog appears to be in pain during the cleaning process, stop and consult your veterinarian.
AVOID EAR INFECTIONS
- Your best bet for preventing ear infections is to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry.
- Bacteria and yeast love a warm, moist environment. Keep them at bay by drying your dog’s ears thoroughly after a swim or bath.
- Avoid excessive ear cleaning: Healthy ears should not need cleaning. A little wax in the ears is normal so it’s better to leave them alone unless your dog is uncomfortable. Over-cleaning disrupts the delicate balance of bacteria in the ear and can lead to skin irritation and inflammation.
HOW TO TREAT DOG EAR INFECTIONS
- Once your vet has determined the severity and type of ear infection your dog is experiencing, they will clean your dog’s ear thoroughly to remove debris, discharge and ear wax. They may use medicated ear cleaner or apply a topical medication.
- You can manage most dog ear infections at home, so it is best to avoid vet treatments for ear infections(depending on the severity of infection).
- Avoid Antibiotics and Steroids because these drugs only treat the symptoms you can see but the problem often returns later.
- Antibiotics disrupt the bacterial balance in your dog’s gut which can lead to more health issues and Steroids work by suppressing the immune system can cause harmful side effects.
- Topical Relief: There are some soothing remedies you can use to provide relief. They will soothe the itching and discomfort.
- Homeopathic Remedies: If your dog has chronic, recurring ear issues, it’s best to get help from a professional homeopath. They will do a complete analysis of your dog, then prescribe the appropriate remedy for all symptoms.