Dogs have a unique ear canal that is difficult to clean and susceptible to infection. Its L-shaped ear canal provides a moist environment where bacteria can easily accumulate and result in an ear infection.
Due to their pricked ears, which promote good circulation and airflow for good hearing, Chihuahuas have very few ear problems. However, ear cleaning should be done on a regular basis to avoid ear mites and infections. It’s far easier to prevent your dog’s problems than it is to treat them!
In this blog post, we review how to clean Chihuahua’s ears, potential ear problems, and the best way to prevent ear infection in this breed.
Proper Cleaning of Chihuahua’s Ears
Even if your dog’s ears look clean, there may still be debris in them which can lead to infection. Ear infections or a simple accumulation of dirt and bacteria in the ear canal can cause a very large problem.
Always keep in mind that you are preventing an issue, not curing one. Cleaning your dog’s ears is a very simple and quick task so it should be done often!
There are special tools available to help you clean your Chihuahua’s ears properly.
As your dog’s ears are small and hard to see into, it is very easy to clean them improperly. Not only can this contribute to ear infections but can also cause more serious problems such as a ruptured ear drum.
Always use a solution designed for cleaning a dog’s ears when using any product for this purpose. Make sure the solution does not contain either hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol as these items are caustic in nature and can damage your dog’s ears.
Your vet will have the best ear-cleaning solution for you to use, but over the counter solutions that are gentle on dogs’ ears are available at most pet stores.
An addition to your ear-cleaning solution is a wipe designed for cleaning your dog’s ears. These wipes contain gentle ingredients and will not cause harm when used properly.
Ear Cleaning Procedure
Inspect the Ear
Start by checking your Chihuahua’s ears for any signs of infection or dirtiness that requires a thorough cleaning. If the ears are dirty, gently wipe them with a cloth to remove any dirt or wax before proceeding.
Put a few drops of solution into your Chihuahua’s ear.
Massage the base of your Chihuahua’s ear for a few seconds to distribute the solution into their ear canal. Don’t put too much solution into their ears as this can lead to over-drying, which is bad for the skin.
Your dog will likely want to shake his head at this point. This is actually a good thing, as it helps loosen dirt!
Wipe Out Any Debris and Excess Solution
Use a cotton ball and wipe out the ears to remove any excess debris and solution. Do not go too far into your Chihuahua’s ear as this can damage their eardrum.
If there is still dirt or wax visible, put more of the cleansing solution on another cotton ball and gently rub it against the areas where the debris is present.
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Potential Ear Problems
One of the most common problems with Chihuahuas is ear infections.
Keeping their ears clean and dry can help prevent ear infections from developing, but an infection can happen to any breed at any time. The major symptom of a dog ear infection is a very strong unpleasant odor coming from your dog’s ears. If you notice this, see your vet immediately as the infection needs to be treated quickly.
Ear mites are a common problem with ears that aren’t kept clean. Although Chihuahuas don’t have a lot of problems with ear mites due to their small ears, this doesn’t mean it can never happen. Ear mites cause itching and discomfort in the ear which can lead to an infection if not treated right away.
Ear mites are easily diagnosed at your vet’s office with a simple microscope examination of your dog’s ear discharge. Your vet will prescribe medication for you that is applied directly into the ears to treat the infestation.
Chronic inflammation or allergies can also cause very severe ear problems for your Chihuahua. Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears can help prevent these problems from developing in the first place, but sometimes they still do occur.
Monitoring your Chihuahua’s ears regularly with a careful inspection will let you know when there is a problem. If you notice any of the signs of ear problems in your Chihuahua, bring them to a vet right away to get the problem diagnosed and treated.
How Often Should You Clean Your Chihuahua’s Ears?
Since Chihuahuas have very small ears, they often only need to have them cleaned 2-4 times a month.
Ear cleaning needs to be a part of your routine grooming routine. If you don’t keep up with ear cleaning and ear infections develop, it can become very expensive for you as you will likely need to see a vet and purchase medication to treat the infection.
Some Chihuahuas have ear hair growing inside their ears. This is normal and nothing to worry about, but it does require that you inspect your Chihuahua’s ears on a regular basis in order to remove any built-up dirt or debris.
You may shave or clip out this unwanted growth, as it will help keep dirt and wax from building up around their sensitive ears! Don’t pull on the hairs either — in addition to being painful for them and causing tiny wounds, pulling can cause infections due a gateway of bacteria into their body
Maintaining good ear hygiene is very important for your Chihuahua’s health. Maintaining their ears through frequent ear cleaning can help keep them free of dirt and wax buildups, which are both key to keeping the ears clear of infection.
If you are worried about hurting or agitating your Chihuahua by ear cleaning, don’t be! They will eventually adjust to your routine and it will become part of their grooming process. If you are having problems or if they show signs of ear pain, definitely bring them to a vet in order to get pointed in the right direction!