How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

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Hi. I’m Dr. Fiona Caldwell and I’m a practicing veterinarian at Idaho Veterinary Hospital. I’d like to talk to you today about the importance of keeping your dog’s ears clean and how to do it.

Keeping your dog’s ears clean is important because if wax and moisture build up in the canal it can be a place for bacteria and yeast to grow. You’ll want to use a good ear cleaner that’s made for dogs. Typically, the cleaner can be instilled directly into the canal, kind of like this. You’ll want the moisture to go down into the canal. You can actually feel the base right here where that cartilage is, and you’ll want to just rub like this, in kind of a squishing motion. It takes about thirty seconds to a minute or so of just squishing it around.

Then I really like cotton balls. They’re a great way to just sweep your finger in through that canal and get any of that moisture out. Sometimes you’ll see a little bit of brown debris.

The average dog probably needs their ears cleaned every time you bathe them or groom them. If your dog has floppy ears or is prone to ear infections, you may find that it needs to be done more frequently. If you’re getting a lot of debris out, it could indicate an infection and typically they need to be treated with medication.

You’ll want to be cautious not to use Q-tips in your dog’s ears because Q-tips can push debris further in, and if your dog moves suddenly you can actually cause damage to the canal.

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A healthy ear tends to make a healthier pet. If you’ve got questions or concerns, you should call your veterinarian.

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