Can You Hear Me? The Importance of Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears
Did you know that your pet’s ability to hear is three times that of our own? This may come as no surprise, given how those adorable ears perk up every time there is the slightest noise; but those amazing ears are also fragile. They are susceptible to a number of problems, including parasites and infection.
Learn more about cleaning your pet’s ears and why you should practice weekly ear inspections for good health and well-being.
Anatomy of the Ear
Without getting too deep into the ear, there are some special things about them to know about. The ear flap, called pinna, is the fleshy part of your pet’s ear that protects the internal structure. The pinna is vulnerable to animal bites, scratches, and plant thorns and awns, like foxtails.
The ear canal leads to the eardrum. The canal is shaped almost at a 90 degree angle, which permits fluid, debris, and other things to get trapped. Without cleaning, these problems can become more serious.
Pet Ear Problems
There are different sources that can contribute to ear problems.
Parasites – Ticks, fleas, ear mites, and lice are all possible problems that love to find their way to your pet’s ears.
Infection – Infection can be caused by microscopic organisms that live in a pet’s ears. These include yeast and bacteria.
Inflammation – External contaminants can cause ear inflammation, including chemicals, plant awns, ingrown hair, and dust. When the ear becomes inflamed, it can reduce the witch of the ear canal, resulting in hearing loss.
Other problems of the ear include lesions, benign or malignant mass, and injuries.
Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears
It may sound like an impossible mission, to clean your pet’s ears, but it can be done with ease (and without wrestling with your pet).
- Gather your supplies, including ear cleanser, cotton swabs, towel, flashlight, and treats
- Seat your pet in front of you in a well-lit area
- Begin by massaging the base of your pet’s ears, looking under the flaps and inspecting them for parasites like ticks, inflammation, injury, etc.
- Look into the ear canal with your flashlight, looking for the same
- Squirt some ear cleanser into the canal, rubbing the base of the canal with your thumb
- Allow your dog to shake the moisture out, then use a towel to dry up
- Use your cotton balls to wipe up any debris and cleanser
- Give your pet a treat and repeat on the other side
Pet ear cleaning should be done along with your pet’s regular grooming. If you have any questions about cleaning your pet’s ears, please call The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital.