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  • Post published:06/05/2021
  • Post last modified:06/05/2021

Cute little kittenCleaning your pet’s ears may be necessary, but contrary to popular belief, the task doesn’t have to be stressful. Some pets require more attention to the ears due to allergies, infection, or simple anatomy, but the reality is that all pets deserve ear hygiene and care throughout life.

Because of the ear canal’s design, bacteria and yeast can quickly grow, and any debris or water can get caught without an easy way out. For these reasons,  The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital want to share these recommendations for pet ear care.

A Part of the Routine

One of the best ways to get your pet used to having his or her ears cleaned is to add it to your grooming routine. When you brush your pet’s teeth or trim his or her nails, look into the ears for any evidence of infection or unhealthy wax accumulation. Doing this at home increases the chances for early detection of any problems, potential loss of hearing, and possible pain or discomfort afflicting your pet.

Attempt regular ear cleaning once a month, or more regularly for water-loving dogs.

What to Expect

Floppy, pointed, furry, or fuzzy, your pet’s ears will have the following general anatomy:

  • The outer ear (pinna) funnels sound toward the ear canal
  • A vertical and horizontal ear canal should be a soft pink shade
  • A coating of pale yellow wax is considered normal
  • The tympanic membrane is at the end of the horizontal canal
  • The middle ear is just beyond that and is covered with tiny hairs that help transmit sound
  • Inside the skull lies the fluid-filled inner ear that helps with balance
  • Pet ear cleaning is a wonderful way to maintain health, but it’s crucial to call us if you ever notice the following:

  • Discharge
  • Redness in the ear canal
  • Swelling
  • Odor
  • Change in behavior
  • Excessive scratching or rubbing at the ears
  • Pain or sensitivity
  • Tackling Pet Ear Care

    Pet ear care at home should not involve the use of cotton swabs, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or soaps that are not specifically designed for an animal’s ears. The pet experts are happy to recommend a mild ear cleaner that will either help to remove wax or dry up any bacteria or yeast growing in the ear canal.

    First Things First

    Before you clean the inside of your pet’s ears, the outside deserves attention. Clean any hair around the ear opening and remove any dirt, debris, or oil buildup. Heavy hair growth around and inside the ears can minimize how much air the canals receive, adding to the risk of infection.

    Removing hair from the inside of the canal must be done carefully; our professional groomers can help you with that.

    Being extra gentle and mindful of the delicate structure of the ear, clean your pet’s ears by:

  • Slowly fill the ear canal with the appropriate cleanser (but do not overflow)
  • Massaging the base of the ear (if this causes your pet pain, please call us)
  • Allowing your pet to shake the head
  • Cleaning up the drainage
  • Repeating on other ear
  • Wheaton Animal Hospital is happy to assist you with pet ear care. Please call us with any questions or concerns.

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