Otitis Externa- How To Clean Your Pet's Ears - Litchfield Veterinary Hospital - Litchfield, CT

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Litchfield, CT 06759



Otitis Externa- How To Clean Your Pet's Ears

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By Carol S. Foil, DVM, MS, Diplomate A.C.V.D.
Board-certified specialist through the American College of Veterinary Dermatology


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Otitis Externa

Otitis externa is an inflammation or infection of the external ear canal. Bacteria, yeast, ear mites, and allergies can all cause otitis externa. Addressing this problem involves four steps:

  1. Cleaning the ear canal thoroughly to remove excessive ear wax and other debris.
  2. Applying medication into the ear canal.
  3. Allowing your veterinarian to re-examine the ear until the infection is cleared.
  4. Identifying and correcting the underlying cause of the otitis externa.

Ear Cleansing and Medicating Instructions


  1. Apply cleanser to ear liberally as shown or by soaking a cotton ball and placing it in the ear.
  2. Massage into ear canal by gently massaging the base of the ear.
  3. With a cotton ball over your fingertip, wipe the accessible portion of the ear clean. Let your dog or cat shake out any excess. Clean the same portion of the ear with a dry cotton ball once again. Repeat if necessary.
  4. Apply the medication deeply into the ear canal.

DO NOT INSERT COTTON SWABS INTO THE EAR CANAL. Use cotton swabs only to clean the parts of the ear you can actually see.

photographs courtesy of Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine

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