Ensuring your pet’s ears are clean and healthy at all times is as important as checking every other health related concern, whether that is dental care or skin conditions. If your pet is prone to infections it makes sense to periodically check the animal’s ears for signs of bacterial infection or skin problems.
Using Comfortable Restraint
When checking your pet’s health a certain amount of physical restraint will be required. It is important to ensure your pet is in a comfortable and familiar environment, free from noise and small children. This will enable you to reassure your pet as you hold them in a restraining position to check for infection and cleanliness.
Working With Dogs
Place your pet on a table so that they are positioned approximately at your chest height. Place one arm gently around the animal, as you hug them under the neck, and the other arm around the back of the head if necessary. By hugging your dog in this manner you are able to control movement and to check the animal’s ears for infection.
Working With Cats and Smaller Pets
Smaller animals are best handled by gently wrapping them in a towel. Place the towel on a table and allow your cat to move towards the front of the towel. Bring the sides of the towel up and over your pet so that the head remains uncovered. Gently fold the flaps of the towel under your cat and hug your pet to you with one hand. This allows you to use your free hand to examine your pet’s ears comfortably.
How to Clean Ears Correctly
It is important, when cleaning the ears of a pet, to allow any discharge to rise to the outside of the ear canal. This means that Q-tips should not be used to poke around. Examine the ears and wipe away any discharge using a piece of gauze. As you gently pull up and open the ear it is safe to fill the ear with a pet friendly cleaning solution. As you straighten the ear the solution is able to flow down the ear canal to any debris or infection that is lurking there.
Gently massage the ear canal as the solution reaches the base of the ear. Then use the piece of gauze to soak up excess fluid that comes from the ear.
Canine ear infections are usually the result of yeast or bacterial build-up in the animal’s ear canal. This generally causes redness, wax build-up and irritation. Skin reactions can also be caused by allergens like mold and dust mites and can affect any furry pet. Ear mites can also pose a problem.
A healthy ear should be light pink in colour, dry and clean. If your pet’s ears show any sign of redness, scaling, discharge, bleeding or emit a foul smell then an infection is in evidence.
Medicating Your Pet
Once your pet’s ears are clean it is safe to add any medication drops your vet may have prescribed. If you are treating an infection you will need to repeat this cleaning and medicating procedure on a daily basis.