It’s important to know how to clean your dog’s ears the right way.
If you observe your dog repeatedly shaking its head or rubbing its ears along the nearest available surface, or if you smell a foul odor coming from its ears, check the ears for a waxy build-up. In addition, the ears may be red and painfully inflamed.
All of these signs are symptoms of otitis externa, or more commonly referred to as ‘ear infections’. As I write this my own dog has decided to demonstrate it for me. He sat up abruptly, starting shaking his head furiously, then lay back down on the rug and began rubbing the side of his head back and forth on the rug.
Canine ear infections result from an overgrowth of yeast or bacteria in the ear canal, causing redness, irritation and a heavy accumulation of wax. These conditions are usually skin reactions to inhaled allergens – like pollen, mold or dust mites. They can also be caused by food allergies and sensitivity to other external sources. If your dog has large ears like mine, it will be predisposed to ear infections.
We humans usually develop ear infections as a result of viral infections, usually when we’re babies or very young. The Eustachian tubes in our ears are very small and respiratory congestion can lead to blockage of these canals, resulting in a middle ear infection. Because the infection is internal, oral antibiotics are usually required to clear up the infection.
In contrast, dogs usually develop ear infections after they become adults, and the infection is almost always confined to the external portion of the ear. In most cases, the application of an effective ear wash made especially for dogs will clear up a mild infection and leave your dog’s ears clean again. I have used Ear Wash for Dogs from DogsHealth. This is an all-natural, proprietary blend of citrus oils with deionized water. It helps clear my dog’s ear canals of any accumulated debris and reduces wax buildup without alcohol, harsh chemicals or irritants that are common in other leading brands.
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from a serious ear infection that doesn’t respond to cleaning, you should check with your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a topical medicine and advise routine cleaning with a product like Ear Wash for Dogs.
Knowing when and how to clean your dog’s ears is an important part of the care and maintenance required of all dog owners.