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How to clean your dog's ears

A dog’s ears must be checked every week to see if there is no bad smell, dirt,  or worse, some thick wax coming out of the ear.

Cassie, a beagle, had otitis when she was rescued from a puppy mill by Save ALL. It took monthsto treat this condition. Her ears are now regularly examined and cleaned.
To clean the ears, you only need to clean the OUTER area inside the ear flap, and not inside the canal.  Only vets should clean the part leading to the canal as you might hit the eardrum. But vets can teach you to  “irrigate” the canal or drench the canal to remove the hardened wax.

Here are tips  on how to clean your dog’s ears from Wikihow:

1. You can buy a  bottle of dog ear cleaner or you can make your own using common household products. Use only for the outer portion of the inside of the ear flap.

To make your own ear cleaner, mix a few tablespoons of alcohol and a few tablespoons of vinegar in a clean bowl.  The mixture should not be cold.  Dogs, like humans,  do not like cold fluid on their ears. Use this mixture only on the visible inner part of your dog’s ears.

DO NOT POUR THIS MIXTURE INSIDE THE  EAR CANAL.

DO NOT USE THIS MIXTURE IF YOUR DOG HAS AN EAR INFECTION.

2. Dip a cotton ball into the MIXTURE, or the commercial ear cleaner.

You have to squeeze out the excess liquid so that the cotton is wet but not dripping. If your dog is very small, you can use half of the cotton ball.

You can also use a piece of gauze by wrapping this around your pointer finger. Again,  remove the excess liquid.  This is less likely to make your dog uncomfortable than using cotton buds because gauze feels more gentle on the ears.

To be continued next week

3. Gently wipe the inside of your dog's ear flap. Remove all dirt and debris. This may take long if your dog’s ears are very dirty.  But as long as you are very gentle and stay at the outer part of the ear (do not poke the inner part or the canal), your dog will likely not mind this at all.

Clean gently so that the skin will not be wounded or broken as vinegar and alcohol can sting when applied on broken skin. Gently clean out the crevices as dirt and wax can build up in these areas.

4. Allow your dog to clear out its ears after cleaning. Your dog will want to shake his or her head after cleaning. This is natural. But turn you head away as the fluid or dirt might go to your eyes. Shaking the head helps clear the ears of excess cleaning fluid.

After your dog has shaken his/ her head, wipe the ears again to remove the dirt that came out after shaking the head and to dry the areas you cleaned.

5. Weekly inspection is important to see if the dog’s ears need cleaning.  Cleaning the dog’s ears regularly is important to avoid serious  ear problems. Dirt accumulates fast in the ears and can lead to an infection.

6. Irrigating your dog's ears fully should be done only when recommended by the veterinarian.  It is  best to  ask your vet to do it the first time to show you how it is done.  Your vet will advise irrigating the ears when the ears are full of dirt and wax. The ear cleaner is used to irrigate or drench the ears to remove the sticky thick material from the ear canal.

The vet will do the following (but again, ask your vet to show you how it is done first):

- Position the tip of the ear cleaner bottle at the opening of the ear canal inside the ear flap.

- Squeeze the bottle to “irrigate” the ear canal with fluid.

- Gently rub the base of the ear (thumb on one side, fingers on others) and very gently massage the ear for 60 seconds.

- Use gauze or cotton to clean out the dirt that will come out of the ear.

Topics: Save ALL , Pets , Healthcare , Animal Welfare
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