Ear Care is important for all dogs. Deep, dark, moist and twisty, the canine ear canal is not relatively short and linear like a human’s, but instead forms a long, distinct “L” shape. The ear canal’s curvature makes it difficult for debris that gets in to work its way back out. Dogs ears are the perfect breeding grounds for various nasty problems. Many breeds grow hair in their ears, trapping debris and promoting health issues. Regular cleaning keeps your pets ears healthy and problem-free.
Your dog’s ears are important. They allow him to maintain balance, chase squirrels, know when it’s time for dinner and respond to your voice. Ear cleaning can seem like a messy chore, but the importance of this grooming task cannot be overstated. Routine ear care is a crucial part of preventive care.
Even though cleaning is a necessary inconvenience, dogs generally don't like to have their ears cleaned. Starting when they are young helps your pooch learn to tolerate it. Don't use cotton swabs, as they can push wax and foreign debris further into his ear, not to mention that one wrong move by either of you can injure his eardrum. Pluck excess ear hair to promote proper evaporation.
Numerous things can work their way deep into your pup's ears and cause problems, including bacteria, ear mites, and tiny seeds and grass bits he collects as he romps in the yard.
Although all dog breeds are susceptible to ear infections, those with drop ears are more likely than their erect ear counterparts to suffer problems. Moisture is a necessary ingredient for many infections, and the floppy ears on some breeds prevent proper air circulation. No circulation means no evaporation, letting the moisture trapped in their ear provide the perfect breeding grounds for yeast and bacteria growth.
One of the most important reasons ear care is to prevent ear infections. These can be painful and even cause deafness if left untreated. Routine ear cleaning helps prevent the accumulation of yeast (a common cause of canine ear infections). Many ear cleaners contain witch hazel, a drying ingredient. Do not clean your pets ears if they show any signs of an ear infection. These include foul odor, discharge, redness, swelling, hair loss or crusty skin. Cleaning his ears during an active ear infection could further inflame the delicate ear canal and eardrum. Seek veterinary care if you believe your dog has an ear infection.
Dogs can experience temporary partial to full deafness as a result of wax buildup in their ear canals. Routine ear cleaning will prevent excess earwax accumulation, and is extremely important. Your vet will likely send you home with a prescription ear cleaner and specific ear cleaning instructions if he diagnoses temporary deafness due to earwax buildup. However, you can prevent this stressful situation in the first place by routinely having your dog’s ears cleaned.