Every time it comes to your mind to keep your dog in good conditions and in the right shape, it is very important to keep every part of the body clean. Knowing how to clean dog ears is important in numerous ways than you can’t but take to heart.
Ear cleaning is an essential part of keeping your dog clean. Endeavouring to clean your dog ear on a regular basis is a guaranteed way to prevent it from dog ear infection which is dominant infection in dogs.
Different dog are prone to ear infections in different degree, hence the need to understand your kind of dog and how to prevent her from falling a victim of this very painful bacterial and fungal infection of the dog ear.
Dog’s Ear Structure
Before we move to how to clean to clean dog ears, it is quite important to understand the anatomy of the dog ear. Below is what you need to know about the dog’s ear.
- Pinna: This is most visible part of the ear. it is the outside flap of the ear that you always have contact with every time you get to see the dog. The pinna differs in dog as there are dogs that have it flop while others have it straight. Dogs that have floppy ears allow lesser airflow into the dog ear; this is because the flap is covering the ear completely. The difference in the pinna structure of the dogs is a key factor in determining the probability of your dog coming down with ear infection.
- External Canal: Immediately after the ear opening, you find the external canal of the dog ear. The ear is more of a vertical canal in the initial point and becomes horizontally inclined towards the end of the canal. This is the part of the ear where you get to feel the cartilage of the ear – this cartilage is responsible for creating ridges on the surface. Glands that oils and wax into the ear is contained in this part of the ear.
- Eardrum: This is the site for the tympanic membrane which is responsible for protecting the middle and inner ear. Aside from protecting the middle ear and the inner ear, this part of the ear also shoulders the responsibility of vibrating in response to sound waves and aid hearing. It is a very important cog in the anatomy of the dog ear that must not be tempered with.
- Middle and Inner Ear: Just after the eardrum lie the middle ear and then the inner ear. These are the points where most, if not all, of the delicate structures that deal with hearing and balancing is located. In other word, it is the most important part of the ear and any damage to these parts of the ear can lead to permanent loss of hearing and balancing.
Now that you know the structure of the dog ear, it is high time you knew the core concept that makes cleaning a dog ear important. That is, why exactly do you have to take cleaning a dog ear into heart and practise it constantly?
Importance of cleaning dog ears
The most important concept to put in mind when you are thinking of dog ear cleaning is the fact that the external canal is the most vital part of the ear that need thorough cleaning at regularly interval without compromising on the safety of the ear.
One of the causes of ear infection is lack of airflow in the right quantity and quality into the ear. What this does to the ear is to increase the rate at which it can have ear infections. This is why dogs with floppy outer ear are more prone to having the infection that the ones with a regular straight outer ear.
Basset Hounds is a breed of dog that has excessive glands in the external canal of their ears and this in turn lead to the over secretion into the ear. This cumulates to form debris which is the sole fundamental of ear infection.
Bacteria and fungi are the other factors that improve the chances of your dog coming up with ear infection. The more the bacteria in the ear, the higher the risk of getting the infection, because the infection is in line with excess bacteria presence in the ear.
How do you now conquer all these problems without breaking the bank?
This is where dog ear cleaning comes in! The main point of cleaning the ear is to
- Keep it clean,
- Remove the debris in the ear completely,
- Mitigate the growth of bacteria and fungi in the ear, and
- Keep the ear as dry as possible.
These are the main importance of cleaning the dog ears at regular intervals. The use of the right cleanser and other cleaning materials will make it easier and more effective.
By now I am very sure that you are getting yourself acquainted with the important and vital concepts of how to clean dog ears.
Before I give you the concise breakdown of what you need to do and how you need to do it, it is very important that I highlight the substances, equipments, and materials that would be needed in the course of the cleansing. These include;
- Ear Cleanser: One mistake you should not do when choosing this cleanser is not to pick at random without consulting your veterinarian about it. A quality natural ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian is the best. Do not be lure to buying ear cleaner that has hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in it – they are a good source of irritation.
- Cotton Balls: These are important as they are used to wipe and clean the dirt in the external canal.
- Tweezers: These are used for dogs that have excessive hair growth. The hairs are removed during the course of cleaning as it is presume to be another contributing factor to the dirtiness of the ear.
- Towel: The towel is used for protecting your face during the head tilting part of the cleaning procedures.
Since you are now comfortably with everything you need to know before getting into how to clean dog ear, here is what you have been waiting for since you came in contact with the article.
How to clean dog ears
Hold the ears flap firmly (for floppy ear) and have a few drops of your desired cleanser squirted into the inside of the flap. The spot where you should squirt the cleanser should be very close to the ear opening.
Once this is done, it is time to get the cleanser into the external canal of the ear. Point the tip of the cleanser bottle to the external canal (don’t let it go deeper than you can see with your eyes) and squirt a few drop inside as well.
The purpose of doing this is to dilute the debris and make it possible for the dirt to become a sort of liquid substance that can be easily cleaned.
Once the cleanser drops into the external canal of the ear, you will notice that the dog would want to start moving her head in reaction to the foreign liquid. Your task is to restrict that movement and immediately commence what is next in the procedure.
Start massaging the base of the ear. this is the part where the ear cartilage is present, it is very close to the jaw. Upon thorough massaging, you will hear a snacking sound that would emanate from the process.
The massage is very important as it is the process that helps the cleanser gain access to the ridges in the canal and invariably loosens the debris that has been accumulated for a long period of time.
Few seconds of massage should be sufficient for regular dirt, you will need to do more if you know that the ear is very dirty (this is known through checking before cleaning).
Immediately after the massaging process is deemed to be effective and sufficient enough for the dog, it is time to let go of the dog.
When you let go of the dog, the spontaneous action that comes from the dog is to shake it head as much as possible to release some of the debris that had been turned into a form of liquid which can easily move out of the ear.
Just before the dog commences the head tilting procedure, it is very important for you to shield yourself from the dirt by making use of the towel that you have made available before the commencement of the cleaning processes.
This third procedure is a guaranteed way to remove some of the dirt from the dog ear, thereby making the remaining cleaning procedures easy and effective.
Once the dog is satisfied with the shake, it is time to make use of the cotton balls. Before you get to this point, you must have soaked the cotton balls in the cleanser that you are making use of. This soaked cotton balls are what is needed at this point of the cleaning.
Use the cotton balls coupled with your finger to wipe out the dirt from the ear canal. Your finger should only go as far as you can see or as far as the dog feels comfortable with. This is a precaution that must be adhered to in order to prevent any form of damage to the ear.
You should be very careful with the applicator so that you won’t end up damaging the eardrum. This is very important as any damage to eardrum might results into permanent damage to the hearing and balancing abilities of the ear.
To set the records very straight, it is very possible for you to do all of these procedures and still end up with dirt in the dog ear. Don’t be too shocked or surprised at the result you get, it is very normal.
All you need to do to get the desired results is repetition. You will have to repeat the process from step one to the final step of the process. You can possible go through the process thrice before the result is right.
When this is going on, you should pay attention to the reaction of the dog and the visible signs of redness which would come up in the ear surface when the dog starts to reacts to the excessive cleaning process.
Once you have establish satisfaction in the cleaning if the dog ear, the next line of action is to dry the ear. the best option for this is to leave the dog ear to naturally dry up. On average it should dry in about 10 minutes.