Ear cleaning is an essential part of keeping your dog clean. Endeavoring to clean your dog ear on a regular basis is a guaranteed way to prevent dog ear infections, which are dominant infection in dogs.
Different dog breeds are prone to ear infections to varying degree, hence the need to understand your dog breed well to know how to prevent painful bacterial and fungal infections of the dog ear.
Dog’s Ear Structure
Before we move to cleaning 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 practice 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.
It is very important to be prepared with the right tools and equipment before starting the process. These include: Ear Cleanser: A quality natural ear cleaner is the best. Do not be lure into buying ear cleaning solution that has hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in it – they are a good source of irritation and Cotton Balls or Gauze: These are important as they are used to wipe and clean the dirt in the external canal.
How To Clean Dogs Ears
First, soak the cotton balls with your chosen ear cleaner solution (for example the Rockwell Pets Pro Natural Ear Cleaner). Hold the ears flap firmly (for floppy ear) and carefully clean the inside of the flap. Once this is done, it is time to use a new cotton ball to carefully wipe the external canal of the ear. Apply a small amount of the ear cleaning solution for best results.
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.
Then, gently massage 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 (you will need to confirm this before starting the process).
You should be very careful with the applicator so that you do not end up damaging the eardrum.
It is very possible that you will need to repeat the process as there might still be dirt in the dog ear. Do not be surprised, this it is very normal. Just start again from the beginning and follow the individual steps. It is also common that he shakes his head after procedure.
ATTENTION: Under no circumstances use cotton swabs to clean the ear, since this condenses the ear wax and the eardrum of the dog can be seriously damaged.
You might also be interested in leaning more about How To Cure Dog Ear Infection.
Please also visit the Shop to learn more about the Rockwell Pets Pro Natural Ear Cleaner.