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Ear Cleaning Top Tips

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Cleaning your pet’s ears can have a lot of benefits. Many dogs struggles with the build-up of wax and debris in their ear canals, this could lead to discomfort and irritation. Certain breeds such as cocker spaniels, shar-peis, labradors, bulldogs and bull terriers may have narrow ear canals which can lead to a greater build up. Some dogs such as the bichon frise and the poodle can also have a large amount of hair in the ear canals. Cats are generally very good at cleaning their own ears but occasionally wax can build up and cleaning may be required.

Ear cleaning helps to maintain the normal environment in your pet’s ear. It helps to remove wax, debris and even small foreign objects from the canal. It is important to remember not to over-clean the ears as this can cause irritation. Cleaning can also make it easier for your vet to see what is going on in your pet’s ear canal on routine visits. If you are unsure whether ear cleaning will benefit your pet, speak to your vet who will be happy to give you advice.

To help you get started, we have put together a few tips on ear cleaning for you:

  1. Ear canals can be simply cleaned by introducing the cleaning fluid directly into the ear and massaging the ear canals, working debris to the surface. Remember to be gentle.

  2. Routine cleaning for dirty ear canals can be done once or twice a week, or as directed by your veterinary surgeon.

  3. It is important not to ‘over-clean’ as this can cause discomfort. Clear ear canals do not need to be cleaned.

  4. Do not use cotton buds in the ear as these could potentially damage the delicate ear drum.

  5. If you are worried that your pet’s ears are sore or that there may be an infection (if you notice an abnormal odour or see redness or swelling) contact your veterinary surgeon for a check-up.

  6. Finally, make ear cleaning fun for your pet! Be sure to give them a big fuss or a treat afterwards so that it becomes an enjoyable experience.


About the author

Felicity Holford, Technical Services Manager at Vetoquinol

Felicity Holford, BVetMed MRCVS
Technical Services Manager at Vetoquinol.

Felicity qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 2009. She have spent 8 years in predominantly small animal practice in Shropshire. Her clinical interests are internal medicine and ultrasonography. In her free time she enjoys running, netball, fine dining and long dog walks with her husband. She has four pets, two dogs (Merlin and Ramsey) and two cats (Lily and Mitten).


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