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Should You Pluck Your Dog's Ear Hair?


Have you ever looked in your dog’s ears and seen a bunch of hair growing inside? Some dog breeds naturally grow hair inside their ears, such as Shih Tzus and Poodles. I’ve noticed that as my Corgi has gotten older, she has thicker fur growing inside her ears than she used to — I call it her “grandpa ear hair.”

Hair inside the ear can make it more difficult for your dog’s immune system to keep levels of yeast and bacteria at a manageable level, can block the flow of air that keeps the ear canal dry, and trap dirt, excess ear wax, and debris inside. So if you’ve noticed that your dog’s inner ears are getting a bit overgrown, what should you do about it?

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Topics: Dog Health, Puppy, Dog, canine care, Grooming, Ears, Ear Cleaning, Ear Infections

Ear Infections Are Very Common—Drying Your Dog's Ears Helps


Ear infections are one of the most common reasons why people have to bring their dogs to the vet. And they tend to happen most often in the summer, when dogs are more likely to be swimming and getting baths... both high-risk opportunities for dogs to get water in their ears!

The vicious cycle of yeast, bacteria and infection

The reason why you want to clean and dry your dog’s ears after swimming or bathing is because the water that gets into their ears during these activities is likely to create a warm, moist environment within their ears that will allow for an overgrowth of the yeast and/or bacteria that are normally present on their skin and in their ears. This increased growth of yeast and/or bacteria will irritate and inflame your dog’s ears, starting a vicious cycle that will make the infection and pain even worse.

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Topics: Dog Health, Grooming, Ears, Ear Cleaning

When NOT To Clean Your Pet's Ears


This Guide Is For Both Cats & Dogs

Lots of cats and dogs get itchy, dirty ears. It's sometimes safe to clean their ears at home, but not always. Not every “itchy ear” episode is the same.

Diving right in with a medication or cleaner — even one that your vet previously prescribed — can cause problems.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Itchiness, Bacterial Infection, Yeast Infection, Ears, Ear Cleaning

How To Clean Your Pet's Ears


A Step-By-Step Guide to Cleaning Your Pet’s Ears

While it is always in your and your pet’s best interest to have red, itchy, foul-smelling ears evaluated by your veterinarian, at some point cleaning of those ears will likely be part of the treatment plan. And since we vets don’t always do the best job explaining or demonstrating the proper way to clean your pet’s ears, I’ve put together this step-by-step guide to help.

This guide is appropriate for both dogs and cats.

Supplies you’ll need

  • A safe and effective ear cleaner. Be aware that not all cleaners are created equal. Some are better than others at treating yeast infections, while others are better for treating bacteria. Some help dry the ears, while others don't. And some that dry do so because they contain rubbing alcohol or witch hazel, both of which can be downright painful and irritating to your pet’s already inflamed ears. 

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, Itchiness, Bacterial Infection, Yeast Infection, Ears, Ear Cleaning

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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