How to clean your dog’s ears

There are specific reasons why you might want to clean a dog’s ears, and principally that reason is because the ear is dirty, but what I wouldn’t suggest you do is don’t clean an ear that’s infected, because you’re probably not going to do a whole lot of good, so very important before you’re using ear cleaners that we’ve had a little look-see at the patient, so come here for an examination first, so we can pop the periscope down, make sure that the ears are suitable for an ear cleaner and that you don’t need a medicated prep.

If we have had a look and we’ve decided that ear cleaning is appropriate then what tends to happen is we tend to get wax and debris and I’m just going to use the wellington boot as a model for a dog’s ear, there’s a vertical part to the dog’s ear which goes down the side of the face, so that bit there, and then it goes in underneath the skull so that’s kind of analogous to this area of the wellington boot here and the ear drum’s all the way down here. Now muck and debris tends to accumulate in this horizontal section so to clean an ear out effectively we’ve got to deliver the drop, the ear cleaner, down into this deep part of the ear, so you usually do need to actually insert the nozzle to actually achieve that. First things first, I’m just going to moisten a little bit of cotton wool with the ear cleaner, and then we’re just going to pop this into Dougie’s ear, and squeeze gently just to deliver some ear cleaner into it, little massage when we’ve done that, so in we go, there’s a little hole up there, whoops sorry Dougie, little squeeze, take it out, massage and you might hear a squelching sound when you do this, oh that’s good isn’t it, yes, ok and then we’ll let him shake his head if he wants to shake his head, he may or may not, and he’s not going to, typically most dogs do and then you can just take this cotton wool and you can wipe away any muck that comes up like that, and obviously you may need to repeat this process if the ears are particularly dirty but bear in mind as I said, it’s very important that we’ve examined those ears first.

Don’t habitually clean ears, some dogs’ ears don’t actually need it, and as I said in some instances it may be better to have that medicated ear prep if your dog’s ears are infected.