Do I need to clean my dog’s ears?

April 13, 2012

Dogs are noted to have ultra sensitive senses. Next to the scenting prowess, a dog’s very sensitive hearing ability is the reason why these animals are highly valued as hunters and protectors. Did you know that a dog’s ears have ability to hear a wide range of sounds? Because the ears can be moved to face different directions, our four legged friends can pinpoint the origin of the sounds. Dogs hear much better than humans as these animals can pick up higher frequencies. While humans have a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000 Hz, a dog’s frequency range is from 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz. Dogs indeed have an incredible hearing ability.

Knowing about the amazing hearing abilities of human’ best friends, a dog owner would do anything necessary to safeguard the pet’s second best asset. A dog’s moist ear is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Moreover, thousands of ear mites may be living on the dark and moist ears of the pet. Bacteria and fungus would cause severe itching. Because of the dog’s very sensitive ears, thousands of scampering feet of ear mites would make the dog very uncomfortable. It is therefore very necessary to do everything to remove these pests from the dog’s ears. It is imperative that you clean the ears of your dog.

Cleaning the ears should be made a part of the dog’s grooming routine. The accumulation of ear wax and debris in the dog’s L-shaped ear canal can result to infection. Apart from the unpleasant odor that will emanate from the ears, the pain will make the pet uncomfortable. These infections can be prevented if the dog’s ears are regularly cleaned. The pet owner would brush the dog’s coat but similar to tooth brushing, cleaning the ears is a task that is often ignored. Ear inspection and cleaning will only be done when the owners notice a bad odor coming for the ears or when the dog seen is incessantly scratching and rubbing the ears against the carpet or against furniture. Oftentimes, the attention given to the pet’s ears is already too late as severe infection that has caused the perforation of the eardrum would mean loss of hearing for the dog.

Cleaning the ears of the pet should be included in the owner’s “to do” list. Inflammation, foul odor, discharge and excessive amount of ear debris are signs of infection. Cleaning infected ears is best left to the hands of the vet. Ear cleaning can be done by a professional groomer. However, since grooming routine is an ideal bonding moment between the owner and the pet, it would be best if you clean the dog’s ears yourself. Ear cleaning would be much easier if the pet is accustomed to being touched. While petting the pet you can occasionally lift the ears. You can also rub the inside of the ears every once in a while. This will make the dog tolerate your touch.

Before you start cleaning the dog’s ears, inspect for signs of ear problems. As mentioned, it would be best to let a vet do the cleaning of infected ears. Commercial ear cleaning solutions formulated for dogs can be used. Soak a cotton ball with the cleaner and use it to massage the inside of the dog’s ears. You can also use a dropper to apply the cleaner into the ear canal. Wait a few seconds to allow ear debris to soften. With another cotton ball gently remove as much debris as possible from the visible part of the inner ears. Depending on the accumulation of ear wax and debris you may need to clean the ears once a week or twice a month.

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