Ear Exams and Cleaning

Many dogs end up with ear issues. It is most prevalent in dogs that have floppy ears, but others can certainly have issues as well. If your pets’ ears are smelly, moist, or irritated, then it is best they see their veterinarian.

An ear exam will consist of checking:

  • Is it swollen? Can they see in the canal? Can they see the eardrum?
  • Is it red? Does it look or seem painful?
  • Is there debris? Blood? Pus?
  • Does the ear smell? Like infection? Like yeast?
  • Can they get a swab to stain and check under the microscope?

All of these things make up an ear exam and in turn what they find will make a difference in what they may potentially need to do or send home for you to do.

One way to try to avoid an issue with ears is to do routine cleaning. It involves purchasing a gentle safe alcohol-free cleanser (many are available here in the clinic) and using it routinely. It could be weekly in dogs with issues and now and then or after baths with dogs who do not have problems.


  1. Massage the solution into the ear – make sure that you are using enough that you get a good “squishy” sound.
  2. Let the solution be in the ear for a good 5-10 minutes. It can lead to the dog to shake its head!
  3. Wipe out the excess solution and debris that comes up.
  4. Make sure the ear seems somewhat dry.

Hopefully, this will help to keep your dogs’ ears clean and less likely to have issues.

Written by: Manitou Animal Hospital