Although a dog’s ears need to be regularly monitored for his entire life, a little basic maintenance is generally all that’s required to keep them clean and healthy.
Because of the twisty, curvy design of a dog’s inner ears, it’s easy for parasites, bacteria and yeast to hide and thrive in them. This also means that any debris in the canal must work its way up to escape. Infections can result from trapped debris. Dogs with allergies are particularly vulnerable, as are those with floppy ears, like Cocker spaniels, basset hounds and poodles.
Your dog’s regular grooming/maintenance routine should include regular ear checks. This is especially important for dogs who produce excessive earwax or have a lot of inner-ear hair:
Wet Behind the Ears?
If you’re not careful, frequent bathing and swimming can lead to irritation and infection. To prevent this from happening, place cotton in your dog’s ears before baths, and be sure to dry her ears as thoroughly as you safely can after all water sports and activities.
If your dog is prone to ear infections, you might want to pour a tiny amount of an ear drying solution made for dogs into her ear canals to help evaporate any water trapped inside. These ear washes, usually witch hazel-based, are available at better pet supply stores.
Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following symptoms affecting your dog’s ears:
Please also be aware that brown or black ear wax—and dry, dark wax resembling coffee grounds—are classic indicators of microscopic ear mites. Only your vet can tell for sure, so please don’t delay bringing a gooey-eared pooch in for a checkup.