Ear Cleaning and Product Administration

This ear shows signs of irritation and inflammation. This is most likely due to the dog scratching and rubbing the ear because of an infection or a foreign body (grass awn/seed, etc.) in the ear. The more common causes of infectious ear problems are bacteria, fungi, yeast, or mites. If the external ear canal is inflamed, it is termed otitis externa.


The first step in treating a problem is to clean the ear. Only products labeled for use in the ear should be administered. When administering these products, insert the tip of the bottle into the base of the ear towards the ear canal. Gently squeeze the container until the ear canal is filled with the liquid.


Once the proper amount of liquid has been given, aggressively massage the base of the ear. This will help to remove debris from the ear canal.


After the ear cleaning product has been used, it is safe to remove any debris that can be seen with the eye. A clean wash cloth, gauze pads, or cotton balls can be used. Placing something into the ear canal like a Q-tip should be avoided. This cleaning procedure may need to be done multiple times until all the debris has been removed.


After the ear has been cleaned, an ointment or solution can be administered. In this case, Otomax is being administered. The tip of the ointment should be inserted carefully into the outside opening of the ear canal. Because of the possibility of injuring the ear drum, caution should be used to avoid inserting the tip of the tube too far into the canal of a smaller dog. (This picture shows proper placement for the average pet.)


After the ointment or solution is administered, the ear should be gently massaged. This will help distribute the medication evenly throughout the ear and canal. A video of this procedure can be found below.


Videos Available in Full Book