How To Care for Your Dog's Ears

Dog with animal doctors

Caring for your dog's ears can be a simple, yet very important task for any dog owner. Clean, healthy ears are important for a dog's health, as well as his ability to hear. Here are a few tips for keeping your dog's ears clean and healthy:

  1. Take your dog to your veterinarian to learn how to properly care for your dog's ears. Your vet can recommend products and the proper method to clean your dog's ears. Ask your vet how often your dog's ears should be cleaned, and be sure to clean them using the methods and products recommended by your veterinarian. If you do not feel comfortable cleaning the dog's ears yourself after your vet shows you how, be sure to make an appointment to have the vet do it.
  2. Try using a baby wipe to clean the outside of your dog's ears. Simply use the wipe to gently clean away any build-up the dog may have outside of his ear canals. For a dog with cropped ears, a damp Q-tip may be used outside of his ear canal to remove any wax or other build-up. Make sure that you do NOT stick your fingers, Q-tip or any other objects into your dog's ears unless instructed by your veterinarian.
  3. If you have a long-haired breed of dog, be sure to trim the hair in his ears regularly. This will help to avoid build-up as well as limiting his excuses for not coming when called.
  4. Be sure to check for ear mites. If your dog is scratching his ears a lot or rubbing them on any surface he can find, check inside for any mites. If you find a waxy build-up or little bugs living in there, contact your veterinarian immediately to determine the best method for treating the mites.
  5. If you notice your dog's ears are swollen or have any "gross" build-up in them, be sure to consult your vet to be sure the problem isn't a bigger one. If there is a problem, your vet can prescribe an otic ointment to help take down the swelling or cure the problem. If the swelling is really bad in the ear, they may prescribe Prednisone or a similar medicine to help with the swelling.

My dog has a problem with her ears swelling to the point of being almost closed, regardless of how often they are cleaned and cared for. The only thing we've found to help her is 20mg of Prednisone given as prescribed by our veterinarian. Though this isn't a prescription a dog can be on for long periods of time, as it has other negative effects if taken regularly, it works very well for quite some time after she takes it. Hopefully this won't be your dog's situation, but know that your vet can be an excellent resource for ideas of how to treat the "really big" problems, as well as the everyday problems.

Keep a close eye on your dog's ears on a regular basis, keep them clean and trimmed and hopefully they will stay clean and healthy. If problems arise, don't be afraid to ask your vet. I hope this has been helpful and that your dog stays happy and healthy!

 

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