How to clean my pet's ears? | Twin Trees Vet Talk (PODCAST)

What is the best way to clean my pet's ears?
What solutions are toxic to the ears?

On today's episode of Twin Trees Vet Talk, we welcome our very special guest, Dr. Vincent Defalque. Dr. Defalque is a Board Certified Veterinary Dermatologist in Vancouver, BC (Canada). We discuss the best way to clean a pet's ears as well as common solutions that are toxic to the ear. [Full video of the interview coming soon, but in the meantime, please check out the written summary that Dr. Defalque provided, as well as the video he recommended that shows proper ear cleaning technique).

There is a proper method to clean a pet's ears.

The next time you are at your veterinarian,
ask the veterinarian or the veterinary technician to give you a demonstration in person.
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when all appointments were
curbside, this was difficult to do in our parking lot. I found a video on YouTube that I
think explains the ear cleaning process very well.

But here are some important tricks:

  • Always fill the ear canal with a large volume of ear cleaner. The ear canals need to
  • overflow with ear cleaner.
  • Massage the ears upwards.
  • Use cotton balls, tissue or paper towels to remove the debris.
  • Do not use cotton swabs deep inside the ear canal. One should only use cotton swabs
  • to remove debris from the crooks and nannies inside of the ears flaps!
  • You can avoid the contamination of the ear cleaner bottle by using reusable/cleanable
  • plastic syringes.
  • Use a veterinary ear cleaner.
  • Do NOT use chlorhexidine, povidone-iodine, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol in the ears.

YouTube video demonstrating proper ear cleaning technique:


About Dr. Vincent Defalque, DVACD:

Following graduation from the University of Liege (Belgium), Dr. Defalque completed an internship at Vet’Agro Sup (France), then a dermatology residency at Michigan State University. He became a board certified veterinary dermatologist in 2006. Dr. Defalque is a Past-President of the Canadian Academy of Veterinary Dermatology, and currently serves as the Canadian representative at the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology. Dr. Defalque works at North West Veterinary Dermatology Services in Vancouver, BC and St. Albert, AB. His special interests include the diagnosis and management of ear diseases in dogs and cats as well as feline dermatology.