Regular ear cleaning is an important routine for your pet's health. With practice, it's easy to care for your pet's ears. Specialized ear cleaners are available to help keep your pet's ears free from infection or mites. Ear mites can affect both cats and dogs, spreading quickly and easily from one pet to another. Left untreated, they can cause ear infections, constant itching, and sometimes deafness. That is why it's important to establish a regular ear cleaning regimen early to maintain good health.
Clean your pet's ears
Follow these tips to make cleaning your pet's ears as pain-free as possible:
Hold the bottle of ear cleaning product between your hands for a couple of minutes to warm the solution. This will make it more comfortable for your pet when you clean his or her ears.
Shake the bottle of cleansing solution well to mix it completely.
Before cleaning your pet's ears, gently pick up your pet and wrap him or her in a towel to offer a sense of security. Hold your pet firmly but gently to keep him or her still while you are cleaning the ears.
Squeeze the ear cleaning solution into your pet's ear canal to flush out any wax or other debris. Massage the base of your pet's ear to work the solution around for approximately 20 to 25 seconds.
After allowing some time for the solution to settle in, let your pet shake his or her head to clear the liquid out. Dampen a cotton ball with more cleaning solution and rub it around the inside of your pet's ear flap.
Repeat the process for your pet's other ear.
Check your pet's ears weekly
After cleaning your pet's ears, check them weekly for any dirt or wax you might have missed. Also look for ticks, ear mites, or signs of infection such as swelling or discharge.
Treat an existing ear infection
If despite regular cleaning your pet develops an outer ear infection caused by bacteria, fungus, or yeast, then Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution with Hydrocortisone can help reduce itching and swelling while treating your pet's ear infection. Do not pre-clean your pet's ears before using this product because pet ear cleaners can prevent the enzymes in Zymox from working properly.
Eliminate ear mites
Brown crusty spots in your pet's ears are a common sign of ear mites. Consider using Eradimite Ear Mite Treatment, a non-prescription medication that kills ear mites in cats and dogs. It also kills ear ticks and helps remove ear wax.
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By Dan Heims, president of Terra Nova Nurseries
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries
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