Bat-eared dogs are prone to a number of ear issues and one of the most critical is the tendency to be an automatic dust and dirt catcher. This can cause the ear to become a warm environment for bacteria to reproduce.
The breeds that are usually considered bat-eared are those that have very erect ears with smooth curvature and they look a bit like mini-satellite dishes on a dog’s head!
The bat ear is broad at the base and long with a round top.
The opening of the ear usually faces front. The inner portion of the ear has folds where debris and wax can collect. The area is also a moist environment, so yeast infections can grow as well. Anything caught in the ear can slip into the ear canal and cause other conditions.
You can use a home mixture of warm water and white vinegar or a purchased product made for cleaning ears. It is best to get a product that is for canines since some products sold for humans or other animals may have drying chemicals that aren’t good for dog skin.
- Put a large clean towel on the floor and place your dog on top. Use a dropper to release the cleaner into the ear. Wash your hands thoroughly and/or use latex or nitrile gloves. Work the liquid into the ear and skin with your hand. This massage process works the solution into the ear and keeps it warm.
- Allow the liquid to run further down into the ear and repeat this process if you don’t feel the debris has been well loosened. Release your dog and chances are, he will shake his head vigorously and rub his head on anything nearby, including you! Try to direct him to rub against the clean towel on the floor or in the bathtub.
- Start cleaning the inside of the ears with a soft cloth. You never want to use a cotton swab on an ear as it can shove bacteria deeper and cause even more problems. Move the cloth in a gentle circular motion on the inside of the ear instead.
- Inspect the ear and see if there is any sign of more dirt. If so, repeat the process and be especially sure to allow the dog to shake and rub. Your dog will do a better cleaning job than you will if given space after the cleaning solution is introduced!
- Dry the ears with a fresh soft cloth or a hairdryer. Make sure the ears are mostly dry to discourage the production of yeast.
Preventing Future Issues
A bat-eared dog will typically need more frequent ear cleaning than a dog with floppy ears. By doing cleanings 2-3 times per week you can make the cleaning process very easy and prevent buildup. An infection can be costly to treat and of course, few dogs enjoy a trip to the vet. You and your dog will appreciate avoiding a vet trip!
Once you get the hang of it, cleaning your dog’s ears will become a fairly simple process and probably won’t take you more than 10-15 minutes, especially after your dog get used to it.
Most dogs will enjoy the time with you and feel content with the massages and scratches. Your dog will probably learn to come running when she sees the cleaning items come out! It can become a bonding experience for you and your dog.