How to Clean Your Pet’s Ears

Cleaning your pet’s ears is an important part of preventive health care.  It is also something that most pets resist and many pet owners do not know how to do correctly.  A major factor influencing ear cleaning techniques is the anatomical difference between your ears and your pet’s.  (show model) A portion of your pet’s ear canals is vertical or straight up and down and the other portion of your pet’s ear canal is horizontal.  This necessitates cleaning the ears with a liquid ear cleanser to float material out of the ear canal.    It is also important to choose an ear cleansing product that is safe and effective.

Hold the ear flap firmly with one hand while applying ear cleanser with the other.  Some pets require another person holding to prevent any sudden movements.  It is important to apply the cleanser liberally, filling the ear canal with liquid.  Some pets, especially cats, prefer to have ear cleanser applied by wringing out a saturated cotton ball into the pet’s ear canal.  This seems to be a more gentle way of applying the cleanser rather than squirting it directly from the bottle.  After the cleaner is in the canal, gently massage the base of the ear to distribute the cleanser and loosen debris.  At this point it is helpful to let the pet shake their head to help bring debris and cleanser to the ear canal opening.  Then simply wipe out the excess cleanser and debris with a cotton ball to finish the process.  After you are finished wiping, repeat this process for the other side. Once you are finished, it is important to give your pet a treat to make a positive association with ear cleaning.

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