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Long ears, droopy ears, pointy ears or fluffy ears… they are all very important! Ear disease is very common in dogs and a frequent reason for dog owners to seek veterinary advice. Regular ear maintenance, such as using a dog ear cleaning solution, can be helpful in dogs who suffer from ear complaints but must be done carefully and with the correct products. Ears are delicate and important structures and must be looked after. Looking for the best dog ear cleaner? Unsure what, how and when you should be cleaning your pooch’s ears, read on for more information.
Catching ear problems early is essential to minimise the pain and irritation that serious ear problems can cause for your dog. Making a regular ear check part of your doggy maintenance routine is quick and easy, and can pay dividends. Getting your dog used to having their ears gently handled will also be helpful if they need any treatment in the future.
Check the whole ear, inside and out, looking for any of the following signs:
Recurrent head shaking
Scratching at ears
Discharge or smell
Crusty skin, rash or pustules
If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your vets, as your dog may need medicated drops or other treatment. If your dog’s ears are normal skin tone, with no pain, smell or discharge but are just slightly waxy, treatment at home may be more appropriate.
Cleaning your dog’s ears with a suitable cleaner helps to keep them clean, and free from wax and debris. If your dog is a regular swimmer, has long droopy ears, narrow ear canals or is prone to wax build-up, they will be more likely to develop ear problems and will need ear cleaning more frequently. Careful monitoring for wax build-up and early signs of poor ear hygiene and minor irritation is useful to know whether they need cleaning.
Yes, you should always use a proper dog ear cleaner, preferably a veterinary recommended product. These can be bought over the counter without a prescription, but are designed with the correct pH to clean and balance your dog’s ears without causing further irritation. Ear cleaners contain solvents to dissolve wax and remove debris from the ear canal, and then dry quickly without leaving residue or irritation.
Ear cleaning should be a simple, stress-free, and gentle activity. Here are some tips:
Get your dog used to having their ears touched by regular, gentle handling alongside lots of treats.
Use a small amount of cleaner in each ear and then gently massage the base of the ear so that the cleaner reaches deep into the canal.
Never insert the ear cleaner nozzle deep into the ear canal, or use cotton buds or anything else to try and clean out the canal.
Don’t use a cleaner if there is any ulceration or wounds to the ear: seek veterinary advice.
If you notice a bad smell, redness, discharge or pain, your dog may need more than a cleaner so contact your vets.
This depends a little on your dog and their lifestyle. If your dog is blessed with naturally clean ears, they don’t swim or get overly mucky and you rarely see any wax, then hurrah! You probably don’t need to clean them out regularly, just keep an eye out for any waxy deposits. If you have a dog with waxy ears prone to irritation, aim to clean them around once a fortnight. If your dog is prone to ear problems, swims regularly, and has very droopy or waxy ears, you might be looking at weekly cleaning. If unsure, have a chat with your vet about the best routine for your pup.