The dog’s ear is the organ responsible for its extraordinary hearing ability. A dog can perceive sounds of up to 60,000 Hertz compared to the 20,000 Hertz heard by humans. This explains why sounds that are not perceptible to people are, however, visible to dogs. And not only that. In addition, the dog is better at distinguishing low-pitched sounds.
Its ear is divided into three parts:
- The external and visible part, which is the dog’s ear.
- The middle ear connects the ear with the deep cuts and protects the animal from excessive sounds.
- The inner ear is a set of intricate ducts and cavities filled with liquid that gives it the ability to hear and keep its balance.
The morphology of the dog’s ears is very varied. You will have noticed that depending on their breed, their ears can be drooping or pendulous, long, short, and pointed (like the divergent ones in the case of shepherds).
Whatever their shape, the fact is that cleaning your dog’s ears is very important. To do it properly, you have to know that the dog’s ear has an L-shape, so it is typical for the wax residue to remain at the beginning of the ear canal. Thus, there should not be excess earwax secretion at the bottom of the ear canal for proper hygiene.
If your dog has a lot of furs, the hair may invade part of the inside of the ear, and this can lead to some conditions, such as otitis, due to the following causes:
- Excessive moisture due to narrowing of the ear canal.
- Bacterial growth or infections due to excess hair.
When you are bathing your dog, please pay particular attention to his ears. The ear canal entrance should have a pale pink color: this is a sign of good health. A healthy ear, moreover, does not smell bad.
The abnormal presence of wax in this part of the auricle, on the other hand, can be a warning sign of an ailment. An unpleasant and intense stench coming from the ear area is a possible warning of an infection (canine otitis). Ear inflammation causes itching and discomfort: the dog scratches insistently and twitches its ears abnormally. A quick visit to the veterinarian is recommended in this case.
Once possible pathologies have been ruled out, you can proceed to the regular hygiene of the dog’s ears. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
Cleaning the external and generally hairy part of the ear is not particularly difficult. A towel dampened with lukewarm water and the usual shampoo of the four-legged friend is usually enough. The product is then carefully removed, and the entire wet coat is dried with a towel.
The bare pink part of the pinna and the inner portions of this organ needs a little more attention. A clean gauze is an appropriate material for this cleaning: the finger is covered with the gauze. The finger is inserted with extreme delicacy inside the ear, careful not to touch the bottom. The contact of the gauze with the walls cleans any wax that may have accumulated.
Specific products, such as ear spray for dogs, help the animal’s ear hygiene. For example, an ear spray for dogs will help dissolve the wax debris in the product. This type of cleaner is sold with an applicator, allowing to impregnate all areas of the inner ear, even the less accessible ones. Massaging the dog’s ear’s base helps the cleaner spread to all the nooks and crannies.
Beware, some products that, a priori, may seem innocuous are not advisable when it comes to cleaning the canine ear. This is the case of physiological saline solution since it remains trapped inside the ear. The retained liquid becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and other infection-causing microorganisms, so before using any product on your dog, make sure you have your veterinarian’s approval first.