The importance of keeping your pet’s ear canal clean

Why does my dog/cat get dirty ears or ear infections?

 Both dogs and cats can suffer from ear disease. They have an L-shaped ear canal which can make air circulation difficult, especially in breeds with floppy ears and/or hairy ear canals. Hair in the ear can help trap moisture and wax in the canal making them harder to clean and more prone to bacteria and yeast growth.

If your dog (or cat) is a swimmer, they can also be prone to ear infections as the water can get trapped in the ear canal making it a nice breeding ground for bacteria and yeasts. Dogs and cats with allergies or atopy are also at risk of developing ear infections due to their damaged skin barrier.

In cats, trauma, such as scraEar canaltches or bites near the ears, can cause infection. Their ears should be checked regularly, especially cats that go outside as they will be more prone to getting into fights or cause damage to their ears.

To help prevent build up of moisture, bacteria and yeast in the ear canal, regular ear cleaning can be of help.

When should I clean my pet’s ears?

Some dogs and cats will require more regular ear cleaning while others might not need it at all, or only occasionally. This depends on how quickly debris and wax builds up in your pet’s ears and the nature of their outdoor activities.

For pets with the characteristics discussed in the previous paragraph, more regular ear cleaning is likely to be needed to prevent ear infections and inflammation developing. This can range from several times a week to monthly. Your vet will be able to help you determine how often to clean your pet’s ears. The more prone they are to infection, the more regular cleaning may be required.

 

What are the signs of an ear infection?

 It is good to make a habit of checking your pet’s ears on a regular basis to know what normal looks like but also to be able to spot a potential infection early. Signs of infection can include:

  • Discharge in the ear/s (often brown/black in colour but can also be creamy looking)
  • Odour
  • Shaking of the head more than normal
  • Scratching at the ears or pain when touching them
  • Holding the head to one side

Regular ear cleaning and keeping the ears dry (e.g. after swimming) and free from excess fur can help to reduce the risk of ear infections developing.

If you suspect your pet may have an ear infection, get them checked out by a vet as soon as possible. Your vet will look down the ear canal and they may take a swab sample from your pet’s ear/s to determine what the best treatment will be. This usually includes ear cleaners and medicated ear drops.

Because infected ears often have a lot of discharge in them, cleaning out the ear 15-30 minutes before applying the medicated ears drops is very important as if the ears aren’t as clean as possible first, the ear medication won’t work. This is because it won’t reach the skin in the canal through all the discharge.

How do I clean my pet’s ears?

 When it comes to cleaning out your pet’s ear/s or administering ear drops, make sure you never insert anything into your pet’s ears that could damage the canal and eardrum. Cotton buds are a no-no; while they might be an effective way of cleaning your ears, they are not suitable for your pet. Not only do they push debris further into the ear, but they can rupture the eardrum if inserted too far. Normal cotton pads or cotton balls are sufficient to wipe out any excess ear cleaner that has been instilled into the ear canal. Medicated ear drops are not wiped out but left in the ear.

Douxo Ear Cleaner - How to clean your dogs ear

DOUXO CARE Ear Cleaner

DOUXO CARE Ear Cleaner is a gentle, non-oily ear cleaner designed to clean the ear canal of both dogs and cats. As well as being a cleanser it has soothing properties and it maintains the ear canal’s natural skin barrier. It can be used for regular ear cleaning or in combination with ear medications prescribed by your vet. It can also be used to clean skin folds.

Many ear dog with douxoclDouxo Care-Lotion Auriculaire-125mleaners can have a greasy feel to them but thanks to the micellar formulation of DOUXO CARE Ear Cleaner the solution feels like water which means your pet’s fur won’t end up looking and feeling greasy and sticky after use and neither will your hands.

Its soothing properties also allow for a more pleasant experience for those slightly sore ears.

 

Blog post sponsored by CEVA