Regular ear cleaning & check ups is an important part of your dog’s overall health and well-being. Proper ear cleanings help prevent the onset of painful ear infections caused by bacteria, yeast and mites. Often times, ear infections can be triggered by wax buildup, dirt, hair mats, growths or ticks that disrupt drainage or promote ear moisture. Allergies from dust, food & pollen can also trigger ear irritations so keep a watchful eye.
On a side note when you bathe your dog place cotton balls in the ears to prevent water from entering the ears & ear canal. This is an important tip that should be used on dogs with floppy ears. The ears must remain completely dry to avoid providing a damp environment for bacteria and fungus to fester & take refuge.
So, what are the common warnings signs that your dog may have an ear infection?
1. Scratch at ears incessantly
2. Head shaking or tilting
3. May rub the infected ear alongside couch or carpet
4. Ears are sensitive to touch. Dog may shy’s away from being petted on or near the ears
5. Ears becomes red, irritated & swelled
6. Brown or yellowish ear discharge
7. Ears have a foul odor
8. Blood blisters on the ear flap
9. tumors or growth
If the symptoms do not subside or go away this may be a sign of something more serious. Please seek the help of a vet immediately to prevent hearing loss & other health complications.
Now that you know why it is important to clean your dog ears from the inside out now on to the question of the hour. How often should you clean a dog’s ears? Well, good question! Responsible & loving pet owners should clean practice preventative dog ear cleanings & check ups at least once a week. If you have a dog with floppy ears then twice a week since they are more susceptible to getting ear infections. Here are some simple & easy dog ear cleaning how to’s for you to follow:
1. Inspect your dogs ear prior to the cleaning them and jot down any abnormalities such as redness, irritation, odor, foreign matter or discharge needing your vets immediate attention. Don’t proceed with ear cleaning go see your trusted certified vet for help.
2. Once you have inspected your dogs ears and given them a clean bill of health you can start begin the ear cleaning process. You will need the proper tools a gentle dog ear wash specifically formulated for ear cleaning, cotton ball & cotton swab.
3. Soak a cotton ball gently & thoroughly in the ear wash. Squeeze out excess ear wash.
4. Place the cotton ball in your dog’s ear and slowly & gently rub up and down.
5. Allow your dog to shake off excess moisture & use cotton ball to gently rub dry. Since moisture is the breeding grounds for bacteria & infections it is important your dogs ears are completely dry.
6. Soak the tip of a cotton swab in the ear wash and run it along the nooks and crannies of your dog’s ears.
7. Avoid putting the swab down your dog’s ear canal; leave this type of cleaning to the veterinary medical staff.
**NEVER use alcohol to clean your dogs ears it could burn and cause more pain, distress & damage. Ear syringes should only be used by a certified veterinarian.
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