Ear Wax in Dogs

All dogs produce ear wax and this will require regular cleaning, to prevent balance problems or facilitate the occurrence of ear infections or parasites. You can learn how to remove the ear wax and perform this on a monthly basis, during the routine grooming procedure.

Ear Wax in Dogs

Many dog breeds have fur in their ears and they will also produce ear wax. The ear wax, also known as cerumen, is meant to protect the ear canal, but when in excess, this may cause a number of problems. The ear wax is produced in the outer part of the ear canal and will be made up of dead skin cells, keratin, fatty acids, lipids, squalene and cholesterol. The cerumen is secreted by the sebaceous glands and the apocrine sweat glands. You may identify the ear wax as a yellow-brown substance that you can see if you look inside your pet’s ears. In some dogs, the ear wax has a yeasty smell.

Dogs that have ear infections or stressed produce more ear wax. Certain dog breeds may also produce more cerumen.

Risks of Ear Wax Accumulation

The accumulation of ear wax can facilitate the occurrence of fungal or bacterial ear infections. Dogs that have floppy, furry ears are more exposed to these infections. Dogs that have a high amount of accumulated ear wax may have hearing and balance problems, as the wax presses against the ear drum.

In addition, dirty ears are also a thriving environment for mites or other parasites, so it’s best if you make a habit out of cleaning the dog’s ears on a regular basis, once every 3 to 4 weeks.

In some cases, if the ear wax is deeper in the ear canal, the dog may also experience pain.

Remove Ear Wax in Canines

Never use cotton swabs to clean your dog’s ears. Chances are that you will hurt the dog and there are risks to perforate the ear drum, which will result in permanent damage.

Firstly, you will have to trim the hair from the dog’s ears. You may use a pair of scissors or a special hair removing powder. Ideally, you should perform this on the day previous to the cleaning, to avoid irritation to the cleaning substance. The ear cleaning can be performed using some saline ear drops. You may also prepare a solution using vinegar and water. Insert the solution using a syringe and then massage the base of the ear. The dog will shake his head and this will remove the wax and the debris from the ears. Wipe the dog’s ears with a clean towel.

Dog breeds like cocker spaniels, poodles and greyhounds may need more frequent cleaning, as they produce more ear wax and have more fur in the ears and this will facilitate the buildup of dirt and moisture. The cleaning is more important for dogs that have floppy ears and the air doesn’t circulate into the ears.