Tip of the Month

1/7/2013 Doggy Earwax - How To Clean It And When To Worry

If Your Dog's Earwax Could Talk...
What a dog's earwax can tell you about his or her health.

Believe it or not, your dog’s earwax can tell you a lot about what is going on inside its ears. By assessing the color and texture of the earwax, you can help prevent a small problem from turning into a much larger one.

Tips On Cleaning Your Dog's Ears

To properly clean your dog’s ears you will need cotton balls or gauze and ear wash made specifically for canine use. (Ear wash can be found at most pet stores that carry grooming supplies). Gently hold your dog’s head steady and apply several drops into its ear. (The directions on the bottle indicate how many drops to use). Massage the ear wash into the dog’s ear canal until you hear a “squishing” sound. Now release its head and allow the dog to shake. If your dog does not shake proceed to tilt its head to the side, allowing the excess ear wash to dribble out. You do not want any leftover fluid to remain inside as this can lead to ear infections.

Next, take the gauze or cotton balls and wipe the outside of your dog’s ears, removing excess ear wash and wax. Repeat this until the ears are free of any waxy substance. IMPORTANT: NEVER INSERT ANYTHING INTO A DOG’S EAR CANAL AS THIS CAN CAUSE PERMANENT DAMAGE. After one ear is sufficiently clean, move to the other side and repeat.

Signs of Possible Problems

Assess the earwax you removed. Black earwax with crumbly texture could indicate a mite infection. Reddish-brown or yellow earwax with a sticky texture could indicate infection, allergies or an overexposure to water. It is important to have your dog seen by a vet if any of these ear discharges are present. Leaving ear issues untreated can be painful for your dog and, overtime, can lead to deafness.

Remember to check and clean your dog’s ears regularly in order to have a happy, healthy pup.

By Shelly Navarro

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