Keeping Your Pet's Ears Healthy
If you notice that your dog is shaking his head, scratching his ears, or find that his ears are smelly, there is a chance that it is a symptom of an ear infection. You can prevent infections by cleaning your pets ears.
- Avoid putting anything down the ear, including swabs or cotton tips.
- One of the safest ways to clean the ears with either a cotton ball or tissue, lightly moistened with a little oil, vinegar, or water. Gently stuff the ear with the tissue or cotton, massage the outside, then remove.
- Repeat this process until the tissue comes out clean.
- Avoid over-cleaning, plucking hairs, or using too much ear cleaner, since this can actually change the environment of the ear and may cause irritation and infection.
There are usually several commercial ear cleaners available from your veterinarian or pet store for purchase, or try the home remedies below.
Home Remedies:Vinegar Rinse: Vinegar keeps bacteria and yeast under control. Mix 1/3 apple organic cider vinegar (2-2.5% acetic acid) with 2/3 water. Using a syringe, gently flush the ear canal with 1 and 5 ml of the solution. This can be used got long-term prevention of infections in cats and dogs that get frequent mild ear infections. Use weekly. It is also useful to flush your dog's ears after swimming. Do not use in inflamed ears.
Yogurt Ear Cleaner: When you allow yogurt to settle, a small amount of liquid (the whey) pools at the top. Dip a cotton ball or tissue in this to wipe the ear. The good bacteria in the whey can help control yeast and bacteria.
Other Options:Gentle Massage: A massage at the base of the ear can help stimulate circulation to the area, and most pets love it!
Acupressure or Acupuncture: Acupuncture can reduce pain and help resolve ear problems. Acupressure points that are useful for any ear problems include TH 21, SI 19, GB 2, TH 17, LI 4, and LI 11.