Northland Veterinary Services

8560 Topper Road
Iron River, WI 54847

(715)372-5590

northlandvet.net

CARING FOR YOUR PETS EARS
 

Pets can have ear problems for many different reasons:

__Allergies
__Parasites
__Microorganisms (Yeast and/or Bacteria)
__Foreign bodies
__Trauma
__Hormonal abnormalities (Hypothyroidism)
__Hereditary or immune conditions
 
Signs of ear problems include:
__Odor
__Scratching or rubbing of ears and head
__Discharge or debris in the ears
__Redness of swelling of the ear
__Shaking of the head or tilting it to one side
__Ears are painful when touched
__Change in behavior such as depression or irritability 



Otoscopes are used to look down in the ear canal and determine the amount of inflammation present, if the ear drum is involved,
 and if there are any foreign bodies, tumors, or other potential causes of the problem. Swabs of the ear can be taken, looked at
under the microscope, and examined for bacteria, yeast or mites. If a bacterial infection does not respond to the first antibiotic therapy,
a culture and sensitivity may need to be performed to select a different type of antibiotic.
 
Steps to cleaning your pets' ears:
                                                                                                     
1. Flood ear canal with cleaner
  • 2. Massage base of ear to soften and release debris
  • 3. Let your pet shake its head
  • 4. Wipe out the loose debris and excess fluid with cotton balls or soft tissues
  • 5. Always clean then treat your pets ears for the full 7 days, then use cleaner as needed to
  • prevent future infections
  • 6. Cotton tip swabs can be used to clean the inside of the earflap and the part of the ear canal you can see.
  •  They should NOT be used farther down in the ear canal since that tends to pack debris
  • in the ear canal, rather than removing it.
 
Some ear problems are so painful; your pet must be anesthetized to do a good job of cleaning
the ears. You may find your pet does not like to have their ears cleaned because it is uncomfortable. 
Talking to them during the process, stopping momentarily to give them a treat if they are doing well (
we do not want to reward fussiness) and doing something fun afterwards may also help.
After the ear is clean, let your pet shake their head and allow some time for the ears to dry. 
Then you can apply any ear medications that may have been prescribed. DO NOT over use prescribed medication, you will build up
resistance and may have to purchase a different, most often more expensive medication. Always use as directed.