The internet has a wealth of information available for all to access. However not all of this information is accurate and can be taken out of context. Due to these factors it is important to let your pet’s veterinarian make a diagnosis for your pet. Gaining a baseline of knowledge from online research can be helpful but making your own diagnosis and treatment plan can be dangerous and cause more harm than good. It is also important to understand that veterinary laws are the same as laws regulating human medicine; they prohibit the sale of prescription medication without a proper doctor-patient relationship and doctor made diagnosis.
Home remedies for ear problems are available over-the-counter at the pet stores and online shopping. However there is a real danger of harming the ear further by using these products if you do not know the underlying issue. Even when the ear looks better on the surface, the real problem could still be deep inside the ear canal out of view and getting worse. This scenario is often how chronic problems start and even spread further into the middle ear, making proper treatment more difficult.
Simply, putting the OTC products in the ears without knowing the origin of the problem and without seeing how the product is working deep inside the ear, it is very risky. This is because there are number of reasons why problems occur in the ears and each one requires a unique treatment. So, unless a proper diagnosis is made, at home treatment is all guess work. In medicine the more you guess the more you can go wrong. The more precise the treatment is the better the results will be.
Always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and be sure to read and follow the directions on the label of the specific ear cleaner you are using. It is very important to use ear cleaning products appropriately. It is just as important to use the correct product for treating your pet’s unique condition since using the wrong type of product can be harmful and cause more problems.
Direction to clean ears:
- Hold the pinna (ear flap) erect.
- Fill the ear canal with ear cleaner.
- Massage the base of the ear. This will work the cleaner into the ear and help loosen up any debris.
- Let your pet shake their head.
- Wipe the debris out of the ear using cotton balls or gauze. Take care not to insert anything into the ear farther than you can see. Do not use Q-tips as they will only push the debris deeper into the ear canal.
- Repeat these steps several times until no more debris is visible.
- Ensure that you thoroughly dry the ear canal after cleaning. Removing moisture from the ear is a very important step to preventing infection.
WARNING: IN THE CASE OF IMPACTED EAR CANALS THIS PROCEDURE WILL ONLY CLEAN THE EARS SUPERFICIALLY. TO ENSURE THE EAR CANALS ARE CLEANED THROUGHLY INSPECTION WITH THE VIDEO-OTOSCOPE MUST BE DONE IN ORDER TO SEE DEEPLY INTO THE EARS WHERE BIOFILM OFTEN GETS STUCK. MOST EAR MEDICATIONS FAIL TO TREAT EAR CONDITIONS WHEN THE BIOFILM IS PRESENT.