Why is ear care important?

Our pets can suffer from many of the same illnesses as us, and that doesn’t stop at their ears. When it comes to ear care, it’s important that we take the time to look out for irregularities and discomfort. Pet ears can trap a lot of things – from bacteria to parasites, and if left unnoticed, these issues can worsen quickly. Let’s take a closer look at how you can care for your pet’s ears.

Symptoms of ear issues

Your pet’s ears are susceptible to a range of problems. Their ear canals can trap dirt, bacteria, parasites, yeast, and so on. With that in mind, here are some symptoms to look out for in your pet’s ears:

  • Scratching or pawing at the ears
  • Head shaking
  • Foul smell or odor from the ears
  • Discharge
  • Scabs or dryness
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Lack of balance

How to clean your pet’s ears

If you’re a pet owner, you’ll likely be presented with the daunting task of cleaning your dog or cat’s ears. Because the inner ear canal shape varies in most animals, the end is hard to see and self-clean. Earwax, debris, and even dirt accumulate there where it’s tough for pets to clean themselves.

Your pet’s ear canal is not self-cleaning if it has lots of hair in it, making it necessary for us to help out with cleaning every once in a while.

Luckily, caring for your pet’s ears is not as complicated as it may seem. This can be done by following these steps:

  • Gather all of the necessary supplies (i.e., cotton balls, treats) before beginning to clean your pet’s ears
  • Massage the ear, look out for redness or parasites
  • Look into the ear canal for discharge, scabs, and other problems
  • Clean out any discharge from the ear canal using a cotton ball dipped in warm water
  • Dry out both sides of the ear canal by gently patting them with another clean cotton ball

Ear cleaning is an important part of ear health. Ear wax and debris are regular occurrences in both dogs and cats, but they can cause several problems if left unchecked. For this reason, ear cleaning is very important.

When should I take my pet to the vet for ear care?

You should take your pet to the vet at the first signs of discomfort or pain in their ears. Other scenarios when vet intervention is crucial include:

  • Difficulty Cleaning: If you notice an excessive amount of discharge coming from your dog or cat’s ears, use cotton balls or gauze to wipe away the discharge. You should never attempt to use cotton swabs or anything else that could push debris further into the ear canal. If your pet seems uncomfortable with this process, bring them into our animal hospital for professional treatment by one of our veterinarians.
  • Signs of Abnormalities or Mites: If there is moderate swelling or a large amount of debris in the ears, we recommend cleaning by a professional before beginning treatment for mites.
  • Signs of Abnormal Behavior: If you notice your pet scratching their ears or shaking their head, call the vet immediately. The veterinarian may recommend that you clean the ears before treating for mites, especially if there is moderate swelling or a large amount of debris in the ears. If this is necessary, we recommend that you visit our hospital and speak with one of our helpful staff members about how to properly clean your pet’s ear canal so that no damage occurs.

Book your pet’s next ear exam today

If you have any concerns about your pet’s ears or if you would like to make an appointment for an examination or to have your pet’s ears cleaned, the team at VIP Animal Hospital can help you. We take the time to understand your pet’s personality and unique needs so we can customize ear treatments to suit them. Contact us today to book an appointment!

VIP Difference: Same day appointments always available!

We will never delay taking care of your pet's health. Your pet is VERY IMPORTANT and we will see you TODAY! Call now to schedule a visit or just come on in!