Dog Breed Info

Ear Cleaning

Ear cleaning is a standard procedure in a dog grooming and styling salon that every pet should receive in order to maintain clean and healthy ears. Routine cleaning helps prevent ear infections, keeps ears smelling fresh and establishes a system of checking ears for issues that may need to be checked by veterinarian.

Why
Cleaning ears help prevent infection and keeps ear smelling fresh.


When
Ears should be cleaned on regular schedule during bathing phase, after hair is removed from ear canal.


Where
Dog should be placed in bathing station and safely secured to clean ears properly.


How
Ear cleaning solution is placed in ear canal and base of ear gently massaged. Ear canal and area around canal is then swabbed with cotton ball to remove dirt and wax.


Tools
Hemostats
Technique to Use Hemostats
Hemostat should be held same way you hold your scissors for control and also to prevent damage to your hand and arm.
  • Place thumb and ring finger in hemostat.
  • Do not allow thumb ring to go past base of your thumb nail.
  • Keep finger ring on second joint (from base of finger).
  • Use entire hand to balance hemostat to create more control.
  • Place index finger as close to pivot point as possible.
  • Move only your thumb to open and close hemostat.
  • Keep 90 degree angle, also called right angle, with hemostats and your forearm.
  • To better understand this angle, visualize corner of picture frame that forms right angle.
  • Use gentle plucking type motion when using hemostats.

Be Prepared for Pet's Reaction
Professional must be prepared to react to dog's reaction at all times during ear cleaning procedure especially with dogs that have had previous ear infections or dogs that have excessive amounts of hair in ears.


Dogs often get very nervous around their ears. Check safety loop and make sure it is adjusted properly. Massage opposite ear as a calming and distracting technique. If dog resists and begins to struggle, stop procedure and ask a salon buddy to assist you. After task is complete, use both hands to massage ear area to praise dog for allowing you to complete task.

Procedure: Ear Cleaning Using Thumb and Forefinger or Hemostats
Pet's Position: Sitting or Standing
Professional's Position:
Front/Side
  • Stand in front of dog and gently secure head.
  • Use both hands to gently massage both ears.
  • Bring one hand forward and gently hold underside of muzzle.
  • With other hand, lift ear leather to expose ear canal.
  • Apply ear cleaner to ear canal or on a cotton ball.
  • Massage ear to work solution around in ear.
  • Use thumb and forefinger or hemostats to hold cotton ball or ear wipe and gently swab ear canal.
  • Replace cotton ball as many times as necessary until cotton ball is clean.
  • Use fresh cotton balls to clean folds on underside of ear.
  • Disinfect hands and hemostat before cleaning other ear.

Safe & Gentle Handling
Professional must take care during procedure to avoid injury to ear. Inner ear canal is very sensitive and can be damaged by using thumb and index finger or hemostats incorrectly. Never attempt to diagnose a medical problem, but be able to recognize symptoms and suggest visit to veterinarian. Do not attempt to clean ear that shows signs of infection or ear mites. Ear may be sensitive and dog may attempt to bite. Never use cotton swabs to go deep inside ear canal. Never use water or oil base ear cleaners. Water or oil ear canal can cause an infection. Tip of hemostat should not be placed in ear deeper than you are able to see. Make sure cotton ball is securely wrapped around tip of hemostat to prevent scratching ear.

Professional Image
The professional must focus on how to safely secure head of pet when conducting grooming task to maintain a professional image. Many dogs react in a negative manner creating the impression professional is hurting dog. Use soothing techniques to encourage dog before task and reward after completing task.

Sanitation
Ear mites can be transmitted from one ear to another, or from one dog to another, by hemostats or under fingernails. Disinfect hemostats and hands between ear cleaning and after procedure is completed.


Client Relations
Notification to Pet Family
Notify pet family to schedule an appointment with veterinarian to have ears checked and treated if necessary if there are signs of ear mites.

Recommendation to Pet Family
Recommend more frequent ear cleaning schedule on dogs with drop ears and previous ear disorders to keep ears clean and smelling fresh.

Pet Family Education
Ear cleaning should be a standard procedure for pets overall health. Routine cleaning prevents ear infections and keeps ears smelling fresh. Ear infection and odor can be caused by poor ventilation. Explain how to trim around ear opening to create better ventilation and schedule routine ear cleanings. Also dogs with fleas are likely to
get ear mites.
Pet Grooming Training