Basic ear care is important for all dogs and cats. Pet owners should develop the habit of checking their pet's ears at least on a weekly basis. In conjunction with the ear exam, regular cleaning is also important.
Close observation of your pet should start before even looking in the ears. Look for evidence of increased scratching at the ears and shaking or tilting of the head. Lift the ear flap and look into the ear. Examine the area closely noting any excessive redness, unpleasant odors, discharge or pain upon examination or manipulation. Look for any swelling of the ear flap that could result from rupture of a blood vessel in the ear flap due to excessive scratching or head shaking. If any of these are noted, it is important to promptly see your veterinarian.
Ear infections are one of the most common problems seen in pets. Most infections are caused by bacteria or yeasts and will require medication. But many times there are additional factors that create a favorable environment to start an infection. Predisposing factors can include:
- Ear shape- dogs with long, floppy ears are especially at risk
- Excessive hair in the ears
- Moisture- from bathing or swimming
- Ear mites
- Foreign objects in the ear canal - burrs or plant awns, seeds
- Hormonal abnormalities
- Decreased immunity
Cleaning your pet's ears on a regular basis (1-2 times per week) will allow you to be familiar with the normal appearance of the ears and find any problems before they become more serious. Regular cleaning can also help to prevent infections. Consider using CalmCoat® Calm Ears™ as your ear cleanser.
CalmCoat Calm Ears™ is a veterinarian formulated ear cleanser that was scientifically developed to deodorize,gently clean, dry and acidify the ear canal. It does not sting or burn and is gentle enough for daily use. In addition, it can be used in dogs and cats of any age.
To use CalmCoat Calm Ears, apply liberally (up to 8-10 drops) into the ear canal and massage the base of the ear for 20-30seconds to loosen debris. Wipe out loose debris and excess liquid with a cotton ball.Cotton swabs should not be used in the ear canal, but can be used to help to remove debris from the ear flap. If the ears are excessively dirty, apply CalmCoat Calm Ears 2-3 times daily for several days followed by thorough cleaning.