Regular cleaning and attention to your dogs ears will prevent most problems. We recommend cleaning on a weekly or biweekly basis depending on whether there is a history of ear problems. You should check your dog’s ears for dark or yellow discharge, excess hair buildup, redness or swelling around the ear canal. Smelling your dog’s ears can help you detect a problem. The presence of a foul or yeasty odor is usually indicative of an infection. Often the dog will scratch at the ear, or shake it’s head. If you think there may be a problem schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
To gently clean your dog’s ears, use a product specifically made for ear cleaning such as Vet Solutions Ear Cleaner. Soak a cotton ball and gently squeeze into the ear canal. wipe surface of the external ear. Massage the base of the ear to loosen debris in lower canal and allow the dog to shake out the excess. Alcohol and vinegar mixtures are not recommended as they may sting the ear if it is infected.
Dogs with skin conditions, especially allergies are much more likely to develop ear infections. Treating for skin allergies may reduce the frequency and severity of ear infections in these cases. Cats have few ear problems compared to dogs. A dark dry discharge in a cat’s ear is likely ear mites. (dogs seldom get ear mites)
If you suspect ear mites call your veterinarian to schedule an appointment. Terriers and Poodles grow a large amounts of hair in their ear canals. This tends to retain moisture and wax inside the ear canal. The hair should be removed regularly by trimming or plucking. Groomers should remove this hair as a part of a normal grooming. For breed specific problems, it is best to talk to your veterinarian.