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Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Download this Pet Care Guide – PDF

Step 1
Lift up on the ear flap to straighten the ear canal.Pour in a liberal amount of ear cleaner to fill the canal.If your pet resists putting the bottle by the ear, try soaking cotton balls and then squeezing the soaked cotton into the ear.  Or you can slowly dribble the cleaner against the upper inside ear flat and let gravity draw the cleaner down the canal.
Step 2
Use one hand to lift up the ear flap.With the other hand, massage the firm cartilage at the base of the ear where the ear meets the head.  You should hear a squishing sound as you do this.  
Step 3
Wipe out the debris in the outer canal using natural cotton.Only go to the depth your finger can reach.Synthetic cotton balls can be irritating, so only use the natural cotton.Do not use Q-tips as they can tear the fragile irritated lining of the canal and predispose to chronic ear infections.  Q-tips can only be used to clean debris caught between the heavy folds above the canal.
Step 4
Stand back and allow your pet to shake debris and cleaner out of the ears.Repeat steps one through four.Wait at least 30 minutes before applying medication.  Otherwise medication will be lost in the cleaner fluid and may get shaken out.
  • Follow the directions on your medication as frequency and length of treatment varies.
  • Ear cleaning is messy so dress appropriately and do in a room that is easy to clean.
  • Progress exams are needed to make sure the acute infection has been completely resolved.  Missing progress exams puts your pet at risk for the acute infection to turn into a chronic ear problem.
  • Underlying causes may need to be investigated at the progress exam.  Allergies, mites, ear tumors, swimming and bathing habits, and genetics may need to be addressed.
  • If your dog growls or resists ear cleaning, please seek our help before cleaning the ears.