Dogs. Your key to paradise. The company you wouldn’t trade the world for. The ones you can always lean on. You are always assured that someone is awaiting you back at home. And you know it’s them. They listen to you when no one else does. Their presence makes you profoundly happy and their absence, well, it’s excruciatingly painful, at the very least. There’s nothing like ordinary, obviously. So, the care should always be something extraordinary for the extraordinaire.
Our topic of discussion isn’t really extraordinary, it seems. Reluctantly using the cliched phrase ‘without further adieu’ let me enlighten you about the topic this article revolves around. It’s Grooming. Dog Grooming, to be specific. to clean dog ears!.
Hygiene is contentment. To me, at least. And it shouldn’t be ignored. Like most of us, if not all, I do not limit hygiene to myself but to my surroundings as well. To those of us with pets, it is not unknown that our pet’s cleanliness is really important for their overall health. Therefore, we must be very careful when it comes to hygiene. Because, as their guardians and friends, it’s our responsibility to take care of them. So, let’s know what are the DOs and DONTs when it comes to clean dog ears!
why clean dog ears?
Ear cleanliness is an important part of your dog’s grooming routine, provided it has one and shouldn’t be ignored, of course. If your dog’s prone to ear infections, the importance only grows.
Talk to your veterinarian before proceeding because the process varies with the breed of your dog, it’s ears, medical conditions and, lifestyle. Regular at-home cleaning has its benefits but talking to your veterinarian is obviously informing and utterly helpful.
To ease your tension, let me tell you that it doesn’t require loads of tools. Many of the items include cotton balls and tissues which are human grooming tools basically. Asking your veterinarian what ear cleaner to use will certainly work.
About 20% of dogs experience an ear disease. A lot of dogs may experience pain while cleaning or would outrightly oppose it. In such cases, your veterinarian might administer a sedative or anesthetic and perform the ear cleaning at their clinic. Many dogs are fine with their guardians cleaning their ears and treats and patience will help them develop the habit.
Reasons for an ear infection
The shape of their ear canals makes them more prone to ear infections than humans. They are caused by bacteria, yeast, or sometimes both. Ear mites may also serve as a source.
1) Moisture, the primary reason for the growth of bacteria.
2) Various allergies
3) Endocrine and autoimmune disorders
4) Wax accumulation
5) Injury to the ear canal and foreign bodies
6) Too much of anything is bad. Excessive cleaning also serves as a cause.
You should consult your veterinarian immediately if the following signs of infection appear:
5) Dark discharge
6) Redness in the ear canal
7) Crusting in the ear
8) The dog may behave in a different manner than usual.
9) It may shake it’s head or hold it’s head to one side.
After examining your dog’s ears, the veterinarian will take a sample of discharge for evaluation, recommend medications, and perform the ear cleaning.
Information you should provide to your veterinarian
1) Enlighten your veterinarian with the history of the problem.
2) The dog’s medical condition
3) What the dog eats
4) Products you use to clean your dog’s ears and how often you clean it
5) If you’ve removed or plucked hair in the dog’s ears
6) The dog’s activities in recent
Anatomy of a dog’s ear canal
It is important to know that you need to clean the outer ear only. The three major parts of the ear are:
1) Outer ear: it includes the ear flap. Then comes the outer ear canal. It is long, narrow and, bends at a somewhat 90-degree angle before the eardrum and middle ear.
2) Middle ear: the eardrum acts as the separation between the outer and middle parts of the ear. The eardrum is fragile i.e. it may rupture easily. So, it is to be avoided while cleaning.
3) Inner ear: cochlea, nerves, and balance mechanisms are found here.
Clean dog ears at home
1) Removal of hair
Use hemostat or forceps to remove hair. It is not recommended to remove hair from ear canals routinely but if it is a roadblock to the treatment of an ear infection, removing it might prove to be helpful. For breeds with a hairy canal, removing or trimming hair timely is fine.
2) Introduction of ear cleaning
Positive training to clean dog ears will come in handy. You should go through the process thoroughly before actually applying the ear cleaner. Reward your dog with treats after completion of an ear cleaning session. Make their comfort your priority.
3) Make sure the dog is relaxed
Exercise your dog before a grooming session. This would definitely make the ear cleaning session a lot easier and a better experience for both you and your dog.
4) Setting up of an area
Cleaning ears can be a messy job. You can use a towel and clean your dog’s ears in a bathroom or outdoors too. Outdoors would be a better option in my opinion. The natural light would prove to be helpful when cleaning the small areas of the dog’s ear flaps.
How to clean dog ears
Ensure the dog is comfortable. Start handling them whilst they are puppies if you can because it will be easier. They will get more and more comfortable as they get older. It will not always be possible because some of you may definitely have a rescued dog which usually is a dog and not a puppy. Also, chances are they never had their ears cleaned before. So, it will be difficult.
Start by stroking them or gently touching their ears. If they react negatively when touched, then do not force it. The dog may get upset and God forbid, you may both end up hurting yourselves. If the experience isn’t what we all expect, take the easy road. Take them to the vet and to clean dog ears.
Step by step procedure
1) The importance of your dog’s comfort should be a priority. It cannot be stressed enough. First, take a good look inside the dog’s ears.
2) Examine the ear and check for something odd like redness or some discharge.
3) A small amount of wax is normal. But, larger amounts of debris, swelling, and redness aren’t normal and require immediate veterinary attention.
4) Wipe around the entrance of the ear gently. This will remove excess dirt or wax.
5) The tip of the prescribed dog-friendly ear cleaner should be inserted into the ear canal. Do not insert it too far.
6) Squeeze the bottle to release the ear cleaner then.
7) Massage the ear’s base to allow the cleaner to pass into the ear canal.
8) Wipe away the excess cleaner.
9) Repeat the same process for the other ear.
10) If the veterinarian has prescribed ear drops to use, then it’s best to use them within a short span of time after the ear cleansing. This will help the ear drops to get absorbed well and not get stuck in the ear wax.
Now you are done with the process to clean dog ears.
Some Pro Tips
Dogs, being pack animals depend on love, warmth, and protection. Humane training with your dog might be helpful in any activity that two carry out together. Interact with your dog. Do not shy away from asking for help when necessary. It’s absolutely normal to run into problems when you start something new. Feed your dog properly. Provide them with a balanced diet. Help your dog exercise. Take them for regular walks. Do not leave them unsupervised at places they know nothing about.
Provide them with a clean living environment. Do not be blind to their needs. These animals cannot speak for themselves and it is thus, our duty to be there for them especially when they need us. Has your dog examined by the veterinarian timely? This will help prevent infections and other diseases. Communication between you and your dog is important. Make use of various opportunities to develop a healthy relationship with them.
Taking care of these little bundles of joy isn’t hard. It requires love and a little bit of effort. Your dog is a part of your family and it should be our natural instinct to protect, help, and love them. Take care of their health. Because their health is just as important as ours. Big gestures are never necessary. It’s the love that counts. Just a little bit of effort does the work. So, help your dog grow and Cherish them. It’s probably the only company you can always count on.
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