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How To Clean Your Dog's Ear (or Cat), Or Instill Ear Medication In Your Dog Or Cat

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How To Instill Ear Medications

How to clean your dog's (or cat's) ear or medicate an ear: Don’t squirt in solution! Most pets hate this. Instead,

  • soak a cotton ball with cleaner or medication
  • put the cotton ball into the ear
  • close the ear flap, and very gently massage
  • clean the ear flap with a warm, damp cloth after to wipe away the excess

Take your time, work when the pet has exercised and welcomes the opportunity to sit quietly. Give a big reward—we recommend Healthy & Natural Liver Treats —after medicating.

Warm ear medications that have been kept in the refrigerator. Use a hot water bath rather than a microwave, or leave the medication out until it reaches room temperature. Your pet appreciates receiving ear medications at body temperature.

What not to do when cleaning your cat or dog's ear

You’re a great pet guardian and doing a good job to fix your pet’s ears, but

  • Do not massage firmly and do not rub the ear firmly
  • Do not let the pet scratch or rub its ear firmly either
Why not?

The 7th (Facial) and 8th (Vestibulocochlear) cranial nerves travel together and are easily damaged. When these nerves are stretched, or irritated by rubbing, your pet can lose hearing and equilibrium. Some pets, especially cats, develop Horner’s syndrome: the pupil of the eye constricts, the 3rd eyelid elevates, the upper lid drops. Other pets lose their balance, become ataxic (uncoordinated), circle, and fall over. Fortunately, these symptoms are preventable if you DON’T rub or massage too firmly.

Please see our list of ear medications.

 

The articles here were answered by a variety of pharmacists and veterinarians
 
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  • Flush gently & massage gently

  • Use the right medication for the problem
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    This information is for educational purposes only and is intended to be a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise and professional judgment of your veterinarian. The information is NOT to be used for diagnosis or treatment of your pet. You should always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the treatment of your pet.

    The information about medications is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, allergic reactions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for your pet. It is not a substitute for a veterinary exam, and it does not replace the need for services provided by your veterinarian.

    Note: Any trademarks are the property of their respective companies