Just like small children, most pets do not like getting their ears cleaned. However, it is essential that you clean your pet’s ears weekly to inspect them for ear mites and prevent ear infections. This is especially true for pets that have large, floppy ears, as they are prone to infections.
What Can Wax Build-up Do to Pets?
Without regular ear cleaning, wax can build up in your dog or cat’s ears inhibiting proper air flow. This, in turn, creates a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow, which can lead to ear infections. Furthermore, if ear infections are not treated promptly, they can cause partial or complete hearing loss.
Gather Your Supplies
The first thing you will want to do is gather the supplies you will need. Cleaning your pet’s ears is really quite simple and does not require a lot of supplies. In fact, you may already have many of the following supplies in your bathroom’s medicine cabinet:
- Cotton Pads or Balls
- Ear Cleaning Solution
- Ear Drying Powder
Next, sit your dog or cat in front of you or if you wish, you can have it lie on its side. Gently hold the ear while squirting some of the ear cleaning solution into one of the ears. Massage the base of the ear for about 15 or 20 seconds. After that, allow your pet to shake its head, as this will help loosen wax and remove the fluid.
Use a sterile cotton pad or ball to wipe out any remaining fluid and wax. Be sure to pet your dog or cat and talk to it to help keep it calm during the ear wax removal procedure. Use a Q-tip only to clean the outside crevices of your pet’s ears. Never insert a Q-tip into the ear canal. This can cause wax to become impacted and can damage the ear drum.
Use either tweezers or your fingers to pluck any dead hair from the ear. Finally, add some of the drying powder to help keep the ear canals dry, which will also discourage bacteria and fungus from growing in the ears. Repeat the procedure on the other ear, and be sure to offer plenty of praise. A few dog treats will help make the process easier as well.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Infections?
Sometimes, even a well-kept pet can develop an ear infection, and if your dog or cat does, it is essential to take it to your veterinarian right away. However, how do you know if your pet has an infection? There are some symptoms you can be on the look-out for, and they are as follows:
- Foul Odors Emitting from the Ears
- Dark discharge in the Ears
- Shaking of the Head
- Holding the Head to One Side
- Scratching or Pawing at the Ears
- Inflamed or Swollen Ear Flaps
- Painful Ears
If you have a pet, regular grooming and ear wax removal is essential for your dog or cat’s health. When ears are not cared for properly, it can lead to such pet health concerns as infections and hearing loss. However, if you follow the above easy steps, you will find that cleaning your pet’s ears is really quite simple.