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How often should you clean your dog's or cat's ears? How much does it cost?

For both dogs and cats, hearing is an essential sense. Although both humans and animals have ears, their structural appearance is different. As a result, proper ear care must be provided. The middle and inner ear, as well as the outer ear (pinna), which has a unique shape, compose the ear. Animals' ear canals have a shape similar to the letter L. Similar to human glands, the ear canal in pets also has glands that produce ear secretions.

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How do I check if my pet's ears are clean? 

It is best to systematically check the condition of our pets' ears. Examine the ear canal no less than once every week. Look for foreign objects or dark earwax. The inside of the auricle should be pale pink and clean, with no odor or excess discharge. What should worry me? If you notice a dark, unpleasant-smelling discharge or your pet's ears are tender and red, you may need to see your veterinarian. Other symptoms of ear disease are head shaking or tilting to the side, frequent flapping of the ears, or rubbing the ear against furniture or bedding. Scratching ears can be a sign of pain or itching that your pet is experiencing. 

What causes ear disease in dogs and cats? 

The following factors may contribute to ear canal diseases: 

  • parasites, e.g., ear mitesyeasts,
  • bacteria,
  • foreign bodies, e.g., stalks and seeds. 

A common cause of yeast or bacterial infections is ear irritation or an allergy that increases the susceptibility of the ear to infection. Regardless of the color of the discharge in the ear, whenever you see disturbing symptoms, see your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

How often should I clean my pet's ears? 

Since it is a unique issue for each animal, there is no definitive answer to this question. The frequency of this procedure may depend on various factors. The very structure of the ear can predispose to infection and inflammation. This problem especially affects dogs with a long and drooping auricle. Additionally, an ear canal that is very narrow and overly hairy, which limits the air flow, can result in ear issues. There are additional elements that are unrelated to the ear's structure itself, such as allergies, skin conditions, different types of wounds, and lowered immunity. 

Do I need to clean my pet's ears prophylactically? 

Contrary to appearances, a dog's or cat's ears do not require routine cleaning. You shouldn't clean your pet's ears too frequently if the ear canal is clear and there are no signs of illness on their part. This may cause an increase in earwax production and other issues. Most frequently, a veterinarian will mention the need for ear cleaning to you during the visit. Then it is worth asking about the recommended frequency of the treatment and getting the right preparation. 

Where can I perform the procedure? 

Some pets feel most comfortable if the owner performs the treatment at home. It can also be done by a veterinarian or groomer. It's best to ask for tips on how to perform the procedure yourself at home the first time. As mentioned above, it is worth refraining from cleaning the pet's ears if there are no symptoms. If you notice any disturbing symptoms, consult a veterinarian, who will select the appropriate drugs and preparations that are safe for use in the ear.


Do you have any other questions?