For optimal health, check your pet’s ears, make sure they are healthy, and clean them when necessary. Here’s how you should do it.
Look In Your Pet’s Ears Regularly
When petting your dog or cat, get in the habit of looking at his ears and paying attention to how your pet reacts to having his ears touched. The inside of a pet’s ear should be coral pink and free of debris. Odor, redness, excessive debris, and itchiness are all signs of infection and/or irritation and should be treated by a veterinarian. Pets that go outside regularly, especially those that play in grass or shrubs, are likely to get pollen and other allergens in their ears that can cause itchiness and inflammation, both of which can lead to secondary infection. Cleaning your pet’s ears, once every two weeks or once a month, is a great way to get rid of dirt, built up wax, allergens, and to prevent infection.
To Clean Your Pet’s Ears, You’ll Need:
How to Clean My Pet’s Ears
- Soak the cotton ball with the ear cleaning solution and then place the wet cotton ball in the base of the ear.
- Close the flap of the ear, covering the cotton ball, and gently massage the cotton ball into the ear base. The cotton ball should be so saturated with cleaner that you hear the solution squishing inside your pet’s ear. Most pets like the way this feels and will lean into your hand as you perform the cleaning.
- After 15 seconds or so of cleaning, lift the earflap, and use the same cotton ball to mop up any left over dirt and solution out of the ear.
- Stand back. Once you’ve removed the cotton ball, the pet is likely to shake his or her head and send any solution left in the base of the ear flying. Because the solution may stain, clean your pet’s ears in an area where any shaken solution doesn’t fly onto hard-to-clean wood or upholstery.
- Repeat on the other ear.
Cleaning Won’t Cure an Infected Ear
Remember that no amount of cleaning is going to stop an ear infection. If your pet’s ears are red, sensitive to the touch, hot, inflamed or have signs of pus, do not clean them. Bring your pet to us first so we can sort out the cause of the dirt and odor and minimize the risk of exacerbating the issue with cleaning. Do not clean your pet’s ears more than every other week, unless directed by one of our vets to do so. Earwax is a natural defense against microbes and irritants. Removing it too often can increase your pet’s chance of allergic reactions and infection.
How To Administer Medicine To My Pet’s Ears
Depending on your pet’s ear condition, we may have prescribed a medicine. If you have been instructed by us to clean the ear as part of your pet’s ear treatment plan, apply the medicine after cleaning. The medicine is likely to be a cream, a salve, or drops. In all cases, place the prescribed dose into your pet’s ear and massage the medicine into the tissue and base of the ear. Do not touch the applicator tip to the pet’s ears to avoid contaminating the product and irritating your pet’s ear. Please remember: Never administer a medication to your pet’s ear unless it under the direction of a veterinarian. Dosing with leftover antibiotics or medicine can significantly complicate your pet’s recovery or further damage his or her ear.