Ask the Veterinarian/Cleaning ears

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Question
My ten year old Aussie has been suffering from allergies his whole life, his ears being a major problem. We used to use a prescription ointment for the inflammation in his ears but recently I've been cleaning his ears with witch hazel and a cotton swab (a more holistic approach which I appreciate) and it has been working. I only clean the outer most part of his ears, but further down I can see more gunk which I think is bothering him.  Is there a way I can clean his ears myself or should I have my vet clean them?

Thanks

Answer
A vet with the proper equipment can thoroughly clean the ears to assess the ear canal and the eardrum.  But if you cannot do that, there are many good ear cleaners that you can use at home.  They are used daily for about a week to remove a small amount at a time.  Avoid using Q-tips or cotton swabs.  Just use a piece of cotton to wipe the ear canal out of whatever the dog shakes up when using the ear wash.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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