Since Chihuahuas are small, it's sometimes easier to damage their ears while cleaning. It's important to remember that Chihuahua ears are even smaller than our own and patience is required in ear cleaning.
To clean your Chihuahua's ears, you'll need cleaning solution (obtained from your veterinarian or local pet store), cotton balls, a few tissues and a cotton swab. The procedure for cleaning a dog's ear is similar to cleaning a human's.
Inserting a swab too deeply into your dog's ears can result in an ear drum rupture. If you aren't comfortable cleaning the ears, take your dog to a groomer or veterinarian. (Go here for specific cleaning instructions and tips.)
If you own a Chihuahua mix or a dog whose ears do not remain straight up, enjoy that floppy-eared cuteness! Even show-quality Chihuahuas do not have cropped ears or tails--the ears usually stand up naturally. If your Chihuahua or Chi mix has floppy ears, avoid the pain and expense of cropping or taping and let your dog exist with the floppy ears.
Floppy-eared dogs like Golden Retrievers, Boxers and Chihuahuas who develop different ears require a bit more attention from owners. Floppy-eared dogs are prone to infection more than other dogs because there is less air flow into the ear. Simply clean more frequently and check for odor.
Since most Chihuahuas don't require professional grooming, owners must stay on top of ear care. Groomers often take care of ears on dogs who require frequent grooming.
If your dog's ears smell, it's an indication that it's time for a cleaning. A smell can also indicate infection.
If ear problems do not clear up after a few days, it's best to consult a professional: call your veterinarian.
Chihuahuas usually respond pretty quickly to their medical problems--you'll notice a definite change in his behavior if there are ear problems. A dog with ear problems can become more lethargic, snappy or hesitant.
This post was originally published on Examiner.com as Chihuahua Examiner. Republished with permission of the author.