Part of bathing and grooming your dog should be cleaning their ears. Certain breeds need more frequent ear cleanings. Spaniels and hounds are especially susceptible to ear infections due to their ears being long and floppy; some even have fluffy ears. This lack of airflow can cause debris to accumulate and get trapped in the ear canal, leading to an ear infection. Here are some tips on how to keep your dog’s ears clean.
Gather your Supplies
Get a special ear cleaning solution. Ask your vet for a recommendation for your dog. Don’t use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. These substances can cause irritation. You will also need cotton balls or cotton gauze, cotton swabs, and a towel. Set your supplies near at hand to where you are planning on cleaning your dog’s ears. You don’t want to have to go in search of an item or be stretching to reach items once you have started cleaning.
Contain your Dog
Some dogs may be more sensitive to having their ears cleaned. It is a good idea to have your dog contained so that they can’t run away after you have started. Try putting your dog in the bathtub. This can be a good transition straight into bath time. It will also get your dog used to the routine, and make them more willing to hold still for next time.
Hold your dog’s ear up. Squirt a small amount of the ear cleaning solution in the ear canal being careful to not go in too far. Massage the base of the ear. Try to prevent your dog from shaking all of the solution out of their ears. This will be difficult, so you will have to act quickly. Allow a few seconds for the debris to loosen up, and then your dog can shake their head. Squirt a little of the solution onto the swabs and gently wipe out your dog’s ear. The cotton balls or gauze are used for the majority of the ear, and the cotton swabs are used for those harder to reach places such as the ridges of the ears. Make sure not to put anything into your dog’s ear farther than you can see. Doing so can cause injury to your dog. Repeat the process as necessary until all of the debris is removed from each ear.
Signs of an Ear Infection
If there is an infection present, you will notice excess discharge that is brown, yellow, or even bloody. There will be a foul odor with redness and swelling in the ear canal. Your dog will be scratching their ears and be uncomfortable. Seek medical attention if you notice these signs in your dog.
Dog ear infections and frequent scratching are sometimes an indication of an allergy– environmental or in the food. Be sure to choose a high quality food and/or appropriate home cooked meal for dogs that provides the nutrients your dog requires to be healthy. It can sometimes take up to six months or longer for an allergy to work its way out of your dog’s system.
Keeping your dog’s ears clean can save you money on vet bills. Your dog will be happier not having to suffer through an ear infection. Cleaning your dog’s ears only takes a few extra minutes. Consider making it a part of your bath time routine.
Author bio: Lewis along with his trusty canine companion Toffee run a blog devoted to Spaniels – spanielking.com The Ultimate Resource for Spaniel Dog Owners, packed full of tips, tricks and guides on how to care for your dog.
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