Ear cleaning is an important part of your pet's health care. Many puppies and kittens first come to see us with itchy, ear mite infections in their ears.
Depending on the breed of your new dog or cat, ear cleanings may be required more frequently for some pets than others. Clean ears control wax buildup and prevent painful ear infections (otitis). By performing routine ear cleanings at home, you not only help prevent infections, but you are more likely to notice the early signs of infection.
Ear cleanings are easier if you "desensitize" your new pet right from the beginning. It is important to touch and handle your pet's ears often. Gently rub the ears, looking inside and touching all around. If you handle your pet's ears frequently, it becomes a normal routine which will make future ear cleanings easier for you and less scary for your pet. You will also know what normal ears look like if your pet gets an ear infection.
If you ever need to put medication in your pet's ears, your pet will be much more receptive if it's already used to you touching and cleaning its ears. A pet with painful ears is not only hurting but is also scared, and introducing something new at that time — like cleaning or medicating — creates a bad experience in your pet's mind and may make future ear cleaning difficult.
Ear cleaning is done in just a few simple steps:
- Use a cleaner that is specially made for pet ears. We will be happy to recommend one that would best meet your pet's needs.
- Squirt a small amount of the ear cleaner into the ear canal.
- Massage the ear to work the cleaner down into the canal. (Pets usually love this part of the cleaning!) Massage gently if the ears are infected so you don't cause pain.
- If your pet wants to shake its ears, that's okay. Shaking helps to break up any debris inside the ears and bring it to the surface.
- Use a piece of gauze or a cotton ball to gently wipe the inside of the ear canal to remove debris. Only remove what you can see; don't dig around.
Use gauze or a cotton ball to clean your pet's ears. Never use a Q-tip. Q-tips can push earwax back into the ear canal and increase the risk of infection. The only time you will see us use Q-tips is if we need to check for an infection deep in the ear. Please don't try it at home!
|Diagram of a pet's ear canal.|