Some pets are more likely to have ear issues due to the following factors:
Confirmation of the ears – narrow ear canals means a reduction in air flow
Breed – hairy or floppy ears reduce air flow and increases wax build up
Swimmers – water getting trapped in their L-shaped canal
Allergies/sensitive skin – increased inflammation in the ear canal making skin moist.
Dogs and cats have an ‘L-shaped’ ear canal which makes hard for moisture to get out and air to get in for any ear, especially with one of the above factors.
How you can help
By starting and continuing a long-term ear care regime at home. This includes:
1. Clipping hair around the ears
2. Monitoring their ear health for wax accumulation or smell
3. Using a product which keeps the environment clean and dry
The product that we recommend is Epi-Otic, it’s a broad spectrum antimicrobial cleansing solution for superficial moist skin lesions with a non-alcohol drying agent.
How to clean ears
1. Use treats and rewards to make the experience positive, do not force your pet. This may be a two person job.
2. Hold the ear flap into a vertical position and apply a generous amount of Epi-Otic cleanser into the ear canal. For little dog or small ear canals a syringe may work better.
3. Gently massage the base of the ear in a downwards position to disperse the Epi-Otic throughout the ear canal for 30 – 60 seconds. If your pet is not used to having ears cleaned, try for as long has they will tolerate it.
4. Dog will generally shake their head with some cleaner and wax being shaked free from the ear canal.
5. Remove the excess fluid and debris with a cotton wool ball or make up pad. Take the time to clean the wax build up. Do not use cotton buds in the ears.
6. Repeat process for the other ear, remembering to go slow, use treats and lots of praise!
Dogs that are more likely to have ear infections should have their ears cleaned weekly to fortnightly, as well as after a bath or swimming.
What if the ear is infected?
Epi-Otic is an ear cleaner and can help with very mild ear infections but if your pet’s ears are sore or very inflamed then the drying agent can sting and will not be able to remove the yeast or bacteria. Signs of a sore ear include shaking head, holding head to the side, pain at touch, redness on the ear and a distinct yeast smell. If you notice any signs then make an appointment with the veterinarian so they can view the ear canal and start any medication the ears require.