Saint James Animal Hospital

538 North Country Road
Saint James, NY 11780


How to clean ears

Cleaning your dogs ears


This is best done outdoors, so you can make a mess without worrying. The next best place is the bathroom, where walls and floors are washable or wipe-able but be warned that it will be very messy

1. Gently pull your dog's ear straight up and hold it with one hand.

2. Fill the ear canal with cleaning solution, holding the ear up long enough for the cleanser to get into the horizontal part of the canal. Be generous! Fill it right up to the top.

3. Massage the ear canal between your thumb and fingers. There should be a squishing sound, like a wet sneaker. Some of the cleaner will probably leak out. This is why you are outside on the lawn, and not on the Persian carpet your granny left you.

4. Release the ear, stand back, and let your dog shake his head. Debris will be loosened and shaken out. Again, this is why you are outdoors.

5. Gently wipe the outside of the ear and the canal that you can easily reach with a cotton ball.  You don't need to jam your finger way into the ear. You are counting on the volume of liquid, your ear canal massage, and the head shaking to bring the  debris up out of the horizontal part of the canal that you can't reach anyway. Do not use Q-tips! You will either scratch the inside of the ear, or cram the debris farther into the canal.

6. Use the cleanser once a day for 7 days for inflamed ears. To help prevent future infections, clean the ear once or twice weekly or as often as needed.

Medicating the ear

1. Gently pull the ear straight up and hold with one hand. 

Medicating the ear

2. Apply the prescribed amount of the prescribed medication into the vertical part of the canal while continuing to keep the ear flap elevated. Hold this position long enough for the medication to run down into the horizontal canal.

3. Massage the ear canal between thumb and fingers as you did for the cleanser.

4. Release the ear; it is OK if your dog shakes his head.

5. Do not wipe the medication out of the ear.

6. Use the medication as directed by your veterinarian.