Dogs enjoy going on adventures outside. Unfortunately, their natural curiosity can lead to mischief. In this post, our Orange Park vets detail the steps you should take if your dog has something stuck in its ear.
If you see your dog coming inside the house shaking its head and scratching at its ears, it is possible that something has become lodged in its ear canal. It is possible for foreign bodies, such as bugs, burrs, and even grass to get into your dog's ears. They have the potential to make your dog extremely uncomfortable when this occurs.
Sometimes a dog will shake with such force that the cartilage of the ear flap will be fractured, which will cause the flap to bleed. Because the blood has nowhere else to go, it is forced to squeeze into the space between the cartilage of the ear and the skin, resulting in the formation of a large, squishy lump that is known as an aural hematoma. Granted, an aural hematoma is usually the result of a dog scratching too much, but a vigorous-shaking hematoma is possible. In fact, vets will check for instructions in the ear anyway if they diagnose your dog with an aural hematoma.
If your dog has something foreign stuck in its ear, follow the steps below.
1. Restrain Your Dog
If your dog has something foreign stuck in its ear, you will need to restrain it until the object is removed. If you do not have a traditional muzzle on hand, you can muzzle a dog by wrapping a piece of soft fabric around its nose and tying it off. After that, have another person hold your dog still from behind while you walk him. Your dog might try to bite you if you start working on its ears, but if it has a muzzle on, it won't be able to do so.
2. Remove the Reachable Parts
Once your dog is restrained, you can begin removing the parts you can reach. Lift the ear flap carefully to provide a clearer view of the inner ear. Use tweezers to carefully remove the object from the ear, If you need to, shine a flashlight into the ear canal to locate and remove the object.
3. Rinse Your Dog's Ear
How can you clean your dog's ear afterward? After cleansing the area with a sterile saline solution, massage it into the ear canal. Using a cotton ball, remove the saline solution from the affected area after cleansing. Spray a small amount of saline solution into the ear canal of your pet and massage it for several minutes.
Can I use hydrogen peroxide to clean my dog's ears?
No. Do not administer hydrogen peroxide to your dog. This common household substance can in fact irritate healthy skin cells. Ears contain extremely delicate tissue, and prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide could cause permanent damage to the ear. Stick to cleaners approved by veterinarians.
4. See Your Vet
Sometimes foreign objects can get lodged deep inside your dog's ear. In these cases, you'll have to go see your veterinarian. They have the tools and knowledge to remove foreign objects safely and efficiently.
If your dog develops ear pain, becomes lethargic, or has a foul-smelling ear discharge, you must contact an emergency veterinarian immediately. The foreign object may have caused the development of an ear infection.
If something is stuck in your dog's ear, you must remove it. Follow these straightforward instructions to remove the object and clean the area. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you are unable to remove the object or are unsure of how to remove it.