Hearing the Issues of Pet Ear Care

A dog with perky earsYour pet’s ears are an important part of their existence. They allow them to hear the surrounding environment. They can alert to danger. They help your pet get oriented. They also help with balance and coordination.

Taking good care of your pet’s ears is an essential part of responsible pet ownership. Read on to learn about pet ear care and what you can do to protect one of your pet’s most vital senses.

Getting to Know You

Understanding pet ear anatomy can help you to feel a little more confident about taking care of your furry friend’s ears. There are four main parts of the ear that you should be familiar with:

  • The pinna (ear flap)
  • External ear canal
  • Middle ear
  • Inner ear

The pinna and the external ear canal are responsible for helping to channel sound into the ear. Pets have a long, “L” shaped ear canal, unlike the straight canal that people have. We are able to visualize the external ear canal with the use of an otoscope.

At the end of the external ear canal, the eardrum or tympanic membrane marks the beginning of the middle ear. This middle ear is filled with air and contains the Eustachian tube that drains the middle ear into the back of the throat. We cannot see the middle ear without advanced imaging, although the tympanic membrane is visible in most cases.

The inner ear contains nerves that communicate sound to the brain. The inner ear is also vital in aiding in balance.

Pet Ear Care Basics

Pet ear care is generally pretty simple; it just involves a little effort on your part. Be sure to do the following for your pet:

Take a peek – Looking inside your pet’s ears once or twice a week is a good habit to get into. This allows you to be familiar with what appears normal and alerts you to changes that could signify a problem.

Clean regularly – Most pets don’t need their ears cleaned more than once or twice a week. Use some cotton balls and a recommended veterinary ear cleaner to gently wipe out the folds of the pinna and external ear canal. It is prudent to clean and dry the ears after a bath or swimming, as well.

Keep up on wellness visits – During your pet’s routine examinations, we will be sure to check out his or her ears to keep tabs on any abnormalities. Just another reason why wellness care is so important!

Alert us to signs of trouble – Let us know right away if your pet’s ears seem painful, he or she is shaking or pawing at them, there is any redness, or you see or smell an unusual discharge. These are all signs of ear trouble, and the sooner we can take a look, the sooner we can help your pet.

Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital knows how important your pet’s hearing and balance is. If you have questions or concerns, need instruction on how to clean your pet’s ears, or need a recommendation for an ear cleaner, give us a call. We are all ears when it comes to concerns about your pet.

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