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Ear Care

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Ear problems are one of the most common reasons people seek veterinarian care, Here are some simple things you can do to keep your pet’s ears healthy.

Water

Water is a major factor in the likely hood of developing ear infections. Preventing water from getting in the ear canal can be done by inserting cotton balls into the ear canal (remove after use). This is most helpful during bathing. If your dog is a frequent swimmer you can us cleaning solutions with drying agents, these can be acquired from your vet or over the counter.

Weed or Grass Seeds

The ear canal is L-shaped and foreign matter can slip into the ear canal. Often, it is some sort of weed or grass seed (cheat grass, foxtails). These cause irritation and can lead to infections. If you suspect foreign material in the ear canal, consult your veterinarian as it can be extremely difficult to remove without sedation. Avoidance is the key, so be sure you groom under and around your dog’s ear flaps, particularly after they have been running in the tall grass, weeds, or brush.

Grooming

Professional groomers will often pluck the hair out of the ear canals. The ear then oozes a serum from the pores. This is a perfect medium for bacterial growth so it is not recommended that this procedure is done unless there is a medical reason to do so. One reason is that the hair growing in the ear canal is obstructing the air flow in the ear canal, allowing moisture to accumulate.

Ears normally do not need regular cleaning, if there is an accumulation of dirt, wax or debris, however, the ears should be cleaned; using a cotton ball moistened with an ear cleaning solution. Do not use alcohol as it can cause pain. Do not use cotton-tipped swabs except to get into the crevices of the outer ear flaps. If you observe your pet’s ears to be red, inflamed, moist or have any discharge, contact your veterinarian as you may have an infection.

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