Ear complications in pets is one of the most common reasons owners bring their pets to the veterinarian. As veterinary professionals, we will most likely see pets with ear conditions on a daily basis. In those cases, the first step in treating and preventing an ear conditioned is with a thorough ear cleaning. In this video, we will discuss how to safely and appropriately clean a pet’s ears. In those cases, a thorough cleaning of the entire ear canal is the first step in treating an ear infection; however, it may be a good idea to clean the ears more routinely to help prevent future infections. Ear infections are often caused by allergy related issues, foreign bodies in the ear, and often even the actual anatomy of the pet’s ears. This is Jack. He is going to help us demonstrate how to clean ears today and this is Kelsey, our handler. It is always important to have a handler when you are doing this because you are working up around the face and the mouth, you want to make sure that you have good control of the head, so Kelsey is going to help get him positioned here. Ideally if he is an animal that is going to want to back up on you, you will want to put him up against the wall or in the corner, so we can move him to the corner a little bit, and then Kelsey is just going to help restrain his muzzle and the back of his head, and with the ear, there are actually 2 canals. There is a vertical canal and then there is a horizontal canal. The vertical canal and the horizontal canal almost make an ‘L’ or 90-degree turn from each other, so as you are cleaning the ear, you are actually going to want to just gently pull the ear up and out away from the head to open up this area down here. Now for this, you are going to use a veterinary approved ear cleaner, some cotton balls or cotton swabs, and some gloves to prevent any debris or fluid from getting on your hands. You may also want to have a towel handy just to keep us dry during this process. So, again pulling the ear gently away from the head and up just to open up those canals in there, you are going to actually just take the fluid and pour straight in there. I know it is a little cold and you want to fill up the ear canal all the way until you see the fluid. At this point, it is completely full. You are going to take this area down here and just gently massage in a circular motion with maybe an emphasis on the upward part of your circular motion. This will help loosen any debris that may be sitting in there, and oftentimes, will hear a squishing sound when you do this. This is where things can get a little bit messy because the next option is to have the towel handy to keep us dry because as you see Jack wants to shake his head, so I am just going to place this over and that kept us a little bit dry as you shook your head and what that did was help loosen any debris that was further in there bringing up to the outer area for you to be able to take your cotton swab and just gently wipe away any debris that you see in there. Now depending on the amount of debris in the ear, you may want to repeat this process several times, but Jack’s ears look really good, so I think we are just going to move on to the other side. Again, pulling the ear gently away from the head and up, we are going to fill up the ear canal with your fluid. We are at the top, massage in a circular motion, again with the emphasis on upwards and hear that nice squishing sound, and using the towel just to shield us from the shaking. Now, I am going to demonstrate how to clean the ear using a Q-tip. Now, this is something that should only be done in a veterinary office. I would never recommend that you tell a client to use a Q-tip at home when cleaning the ears as it can be dangerous. You want to make sure that your patient is very well restrained for this as well and you only want to clean what is in the vertical canal, so as you can see from Jack’s shaking some of the debris has already moved to the outer pinna, but with the Q-tip, we are just going to insert it into these little folds making sure that we never go past where we can see and just remove that debris that has moved out. Once the ears are clean, we just want to make sure that you give lots of praise. Good job, and this concludes how to properly clean a pet’s ears.