What’s In an Ear: The Importance of Regular Ear Care for Pets
Looking into your pet’s ear is probably not up there on the list of your favorite things to-do, but did you know that cleaning them regularly is important for their health?
Pet ears can trap a lot of things, from bacteria to parasites, which can go unnoticed if not attended to. The ears are home to one of the keenest senses your pet – has and their overall health is a must for continued good hearing.
The Pet Expects at Springbrook Animal Care Center take a closer look at what’s under those adorable floppy ears to help you learn to incorporate ear care into your pet’s routine.
Issues that Affect the Ears
Ears are susceptible to a number of problems because the canal can trap dirt, parasites, bacteria, yeast, and so on. If these issues are not attended to, infection and hearing loss can result. Yet, many pet owners do not notice ear problems until they worsen.
Some signs of ear issues include:
- Persistent scratching or pawing
- Shaking head
- Discharge from the ear
- Scabbing or dryness
- Redness or inflammation
- Imbalance in gait
If any of the symptoms appear, follow up with your veterinarian for an examination.
Mites are common parasites that infect the ears. One of their tale-tell signs is dark, spotty wax that resemble coffee grounds. These parasites are barely visible and highly contagious, causing infestation between pets. Your pet will need to be treated for ear mites to avoid infection.
Ticks and fleas can also hide out under the ears and inside the ear canal, which is why you should examine your pet’s ears regularly, and especially after being outdoors.
Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears
A simple way to clean your pet’s ears is to first get them used to being touched. Massaging the ears and lifting up the flaps periodically gets them desensitizes over time.
- Gather cotton balls, a pet ear cleanser, wash cloth, flashlight, and treats
- Have you pit sit in front of you
- Massage the base of the ear and ear flap, looking for redness or parasites
- Use your flashlight to look into the ear canal, looking for discharges and other problems
- Squeeze some of the solution into the canal, while massaging the base
- Allow your pet to shake the remaining off, then clean them with a towel
- Use your cotton balls to wipe away debris
- Give your pet a treat, then repeat on the other side
This procedure should be done at least once a month or more, if your pet’s ears are furry and lay flat. Check for parasites each time your brush your pet’s hair.
For more information on cleaning your pet’s ears or to schedule an appointment, please call us.
We accept walk-ins during our Doctor’s Hours to meet your busy lifestyle. If you’d prefer to make an appointment, we offer those too!
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