Looking for information on how to clean shih tzu ears? This article will explain how to help your little pet keep his ears clean and free of infections. Shih Tzu is a dog breed that is prone to infections due to the fact that his ears are floppy and covered in fur. Keep reading below to learn all you need about how to keep him healthy and happy.
Maintaining hygiene is very important for the health of all members of the family, including your four-legged members. As a pet parent, it is your duty to keep your dog clean and well-groomed. You may bathe your champ regularly, but that’s only one aspect of hygiene.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is equally important, and many pet owners tend to forget this part when it comes to pet grooming. Poor hygiene is one of the leading causes of ear allergies and ear infections in dogs.
Not to mention, dogs with floppy ears, such as Shih Tzu, are more prone to ear infections than other breeds. The infection leads to extreme discomfort and pain; you may observe a dog shaking his head, scratching his ears, or rubbing his head on the floor.
How to Clean Shih Tzu Ears - The Structure of Shih Tzu’s Ears
Shih Tzus are some of the most lovable, happy, affectionate, and easy-going dogs. These toys pups love to follow their guardian from room to room. Shih Tzu is the perfect dog breed for people looking for a cuddling companion.
Like other small breeds, Shih Tzus also have drop ears with continuous hair growth. Since Shih Tzus have floppy ears, the ear canal does not get proper ventilation. As a result, debris and water are trapped in the ear canal.
The warm environment inside the ear canal serves as a breeding ground for bacteria and ear mites. The structure of Shih Tzu’s ears makes these cuties prone to ear infections. Not to mention, the continually growing hair in Shih Tzu’s ear canal combined with the ear wax causes a nasty smell.
Caring for Shih Tzu’s Ears
Image via k9deb
A healthy and well-groomed Shih Tzu has clean light-skinned ear canals with no smell. However, toy breeds with chronic ear allergies and infections suffer miserably. You can prevent your cuddle companion from the nasty smell, discomfort, and infections by keeping its ears clean.
Prevention is better than cure. Taking care of your Shih Tzu’s ears can help prevent ear problems in the first place. Caring for Shih Tzu’s ears involves three simple steps.
1. Look for the Symptoms of Infection
Firstly, examine the ears of your buddy and look for signs of infection and ear mites. Do you see redness or swelling around the ear? Are there little specs similar to coarse black pepper?
In addition, smell the ear canal. Does it smell bad? Is your dog shedding? If yes, then the presence of these symptoms indicates that your dog has developed an ear infection or ear mite infestation.
Don’t wait for the problem to grow; it will only cause discomfort and pain to the poor pooch. For instance, ear mites can lead to intense itching and head shaking. Take your dog to the vet for treatment.
2. Clean the ears
Wipe off excess wax and debris from your Shih Tzu’s ears using a cotton ball. Make sure to dip the balls in pet cleanser solution, specially designed for cleaning dog ears. We will discuss the ear cleaning process in detail in the next part.
3. Trim the Excessive hair from the ear canal
Shih Tzus continue to grow hair inside the ear from infancy to old age. Removing the excessive hair inside the dog’s ears periodically can prevent ear infections.
Steps to Clean Shih Tzu Ears
Not all dogs enjoy ear wiping sessions. However, you can make the process smooth for both parties, i.e., the pet and you, by following some simple steps.
Before we proceed to the ear cleaning part, it is important to gather the products and equipment for the “cleaning operation.” Make sure you have the following supplies:
- Ear cleansing solution (specially designed for pets)
- Cotton balls (cotton swabs are a big NO!)
- Cotton tip applicators (optional)
- Paper towel
Step#1: Calm Your Buddy
Your Shih Tzu may not find ear cleaning sessions amusing; he may show no cooperation in the process. Therefore, it is important to calm and soothe the pooch before you start cleaning his ears. Make the toy dog sit on your lap and rub his tummy or back.
Another way to soothe a dog is to wrap a bath towel from the neck down to his four legs. This technique is similar to swaddling a human baby. Once your dog calms down, you can begin the ear cleaning process.
Step#2: Squirt Ear Cleansing Solution into Your Dog’s ears
Grasp your champ’s ear flap and slightly pull them up. Squirt a few drops of the dog ear cleaner into the inner flap of your dog’s ear close to the opening. Now dip a cotton ball into the cleansing solution and squeeze the saturated ball into Shih Tzu’s ear.
Step#3: Gently Massage the Base of Your Dog’s Ear
The next step is to massage the base your Shih Tzu’s ears for 20 t0 30 seconds using your fingertips. The gentle massage moves the solution around and helps to break up the debris inside the ear canal. Clean the dirt using a dry cotton ball.
Step#4: Let your Dog shake its Ears
It’s time for the dog to take the lead position. Let the little fellow shake his ears to clean the dirt. The shaking activity allows the remaining debris to fall off. Also, it helps to get the excessive cleaner solution out of your dog’s ears.
Step#5: Wipe the Visible Parts of the Ear Canal
Now, use a cotton ball or gauze with ear solution to wipe the visible parts of your dog’s ear canal. Be cautious and wipe the ears gently. Do not push the cotton or gauze too far inside the ear as it can rupture the eardrum.
Step#6: Dry Out Your Dog’s Ear
Finally, dry your dog’s ears using a clean, dry cloth. Make sure that there is no moisture left as a damp environment can lead to fungus and ear infections.
Don’t forget to treat your furry friend for behaving well and cooperating with you throughout the ear cleaning process.
Final Words on how to clean shih tzu ears
Cleaning your shih tzu ear regularly is the easiest way to prevent ear infections. However, frequent cleanings can also damage the protective wax layer insider a dog’s ear. Observe your champ’s ears every now and then to look for the signs of infection. In case of foul discharge from the ear canal or inflammation, take your Shih Tzu to the vet immediately.