Dog Ear Care for the DIYer

Are you wondering why your pet is shaking her head frequently or scratching her ears?  This could be a sign of excess wax or an ear infection. Because a dogs’ ear is a twisty, curvy maze, parasites, debris, yeast, and bacteria can get easily get trapped in the hair and wax and cause discomfort and even hearing loss if left untreated.  However, if monitored regularly, you can help maintain their ear health with a few simple steps.

    1. Check your dog’s ears regularly for redness, itching, hair mats and excess wax

Sad Dog
Photo submitted
    2. Clean the outer folds with a cotton ball or soft tissue… be gentle and do not penetrate the ear canal.
    3. Use a specially formulated ear cleaner (available at your vets’ office) to help dissolve wax build-up, and remove debris.
    4. Place cotton balls in your pet’s ears for bath time, or use an ear cleaner to evaporate water after their bath.
    5. Water play is fantastic for your dog, but be diligent about cleaning after a swim, especially a pond or lake water.
    6. Some dogs require their ear hair to be removed through regular tweezing, check with your vet to determine if your dog will need this service.  Your groomer can be the “bad guy” if this procedure is difficult for you.
Our vet techs would be happy to go over these procedures during your next visit.
Your veterinarian will check your dog’s ears during exams, but contact your vet immediately if you notice any of the following:
        ◦ Ear Discharge
        ◦ Bad smells
        ◦ Redness
        ◦ Swelling
        ◦ Crusty skin
        ◦ Hair loss
Please also be aware that brown or black ear wax-and dry, dark wax resembling coffee grounds-are classic indicators of microscopic ear mites. Only your vet can tell for sure, so please bring in your gooey-eared pooch in for a checkup without delay.
Note:  Dogs with floppy ears and allergies are more prone to ear infections and require more diligence.

Cat Ear Care for the DIYer

Cat Ears
Photo submitted

Our feline friends also require consistent monitoring of one of their natural defenses.  How else will they hear their canine brother sneaking up on them for an impromptu playdate? When you examine your cat, choose a quiet room away from distractions and other pets.  Their outer ear should be cool to the touch, fully-furred with no bald spots, free from scratches and punctures, with the interior pink and clear from wax and debris. Gently fold back the ear and peer into the ear canal.  There should be no odor, little to no wax, and no debris.  If there is an odor, discharge, excess debris or wax, SCHEDULE AN EXAM WITH YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY! Your veterinarian will be able to determine, through swabs, how to accurately treat your cat’s ears.

Maintaining clean ears is simple: simply moisten a cotton ball or cotton square with ear cleaner and gently “lift” debris and wax from the outer ear.  Do not penetrate the ear canal.
Wondering when to visit your vet’s office for help?  Watch for the following:
    • Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear or surrounding area
    • Sensitivity to touch around the ears
    • Head tilt
    • Frequent shaking of the head
    • Loss of balance and disorientation
    • Redness or swelling of the outer ear or ear canal
    • Unpleasant odor
    • Black or yellowish discharge
    • Accumulation of dark brown wax
    • Hearing loss
    • Bleeding from the ear
Our staff of techs and vets are here to make sure your cat gets the best of care so he can continue to hear that crinkly bag of treats for years to come.

West Chester Veterinary Center is located at 7330 Liberty Way, West Chester, OH 45069.

Call us at 513-755-2273 to schedule your pet care appointment today. Open 7 days!