People are aware that a dog’s hearing ability are several hundred times better than what we have. A dog’s ears though is a very fragile and sensitive organ that is not only prone to infection but tends to get damaged easily as well. It is therefore necessary to include regular ear cleaning to the grooming routine of the dog. A dog’s ears are prone to infection but a few minutes spent each week to groom the ears will prevent health concerns that would need the vet’s attention.
All dog breeds are prone to ear infections. Otitis Externa is a type of ear infection common in floppy eared breeds as well as in retrievers that spend much of their time in water. This ear infection occurs when the moisture is trapped inside the ears and prevented from being air dried as the ear opening is covered by the dog’s droopy ears. Bacteria and yeast would flourish in the damp, warm and dark environment of the dog’s ears. Other causes of ear health concerns are foreign objects like foxtail and grass seeds that get lodged in the dog’s ears, excessive accumulation of ear wax and ear mite infestation. These health concerns can be prevented by regular ear cleaning as any developing problem can be resolved at once with prompt administration of medication.
The right ear cleaning tools and supplies will make this part of dog grooming easy and less time consuming. A commercial ear cleaning solution, a hemostat, medicated powder and cotton are the basic supplies needed in cleaning the dog’s ears. The dog’s ears must be inspected for foreign objects and signs of infectious before starting with the cleaning procedure. Smell the dog’s ears as a rancid smell is a sign of infection. Foreign objects like bits of grass and grass seeds must be carefully removed.
Start the cleaning procedure by exposing the inside of the dog’s ears. Hair inside the ears must be gently plucked for ease of cleaning. Gently clean the ears using cotton dampened with the cleaning solution. Be careful not to damage the ear drums when cleaning the dog’s ears.
A once a month ear cleaning would usually suffice for most dog breeds though some ear conditions will require more frequent ear cleaning. An ear mite infestation for instance is characterized by excessive ear wax build up. To smoother the ear mites infesting the dog, a liberal amount of mineral oil can be used to massage the ears. A cotton ball moistened with mineral oil or with the ear cleaner can be used to remove the softened ear wax.