Ear Care: Why You Should Give a Pluck!

Posted by Daryl Conner on Feb 10th 2021

Ear Care: Why You Should Give a Pluck!
Just as every dog is unique, so are its ears. Some dogs go their entire lives without ever having their ears cleaned or showing any sign of irritation or infection. Other dogs seem to suffer from yeast and/or bacteria overgrowth constantly. Frequent cleaning of a healthy ear can alter the delicate natural balance and cause problems where none existed.

Most pet groomers incorporate ear cleaning as part of the pets grooming. By applying the appropriate type of cleaner after the pet is bathed, the groomer helps ensure that any water introduced during bath time is dried up and shaken out, along with normal ear wax and secretions.

Adding ear cleaner to an inflamed ear can make it difficult for the veterinarian to diagnose the problem, and can even make existing problems worse. If the dog shows any of the following signs, it is recommended to leave the ear alone and seek veterinary care.
  • Redness
  • Odor
  • Swelling
  • Itchiness
  • Discharge
  • Head Tilt
  • Tenderness
If the dog's ear appears normal but has some waxy build-up, you can take these steps to clean the ear:
  • Gently squeeze a small amount of ear cleaner into the ear. (Avoid touching the tip to the ear to prevent possible contamination.)
  • Massage the base of the ear, working the cleaner around, allowing it to loosen wax and debris.
  • Allow the dog to shake vigorously. This will help dislodge the cleaner and residue.

Next, use a cotton ball or gauze pad to wipe any residue remaining on the outer ear. The old maxim is to “never insert anything larger than an elbow into the pet's ear.” Cotton swabs can push debris inward, possibly damaging the delicate structures of the inner ear.

There are many ear cleaners designed specifically for dogs. Some contain alcohol, and these can irritate if the ear has an undiagnosed infection. Others contain wax dissolving agents, and some are designed to be astringent to aid in drying the ears of dogs that are frequent swimmers. The best practice is to ask your veterinarian for advice on what type is best for your needs. Here at Show Dog Store we carry a variety of canine ear cleaning solutions for you to choose from.