Updated: Dec 27, 2021
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Bulldogs are known for having adorable folded ears often referred to as rose ears or button ears, The folded shape of a bulldogs ear can trap moisture which can in turn lead to infections so it's important to check your bulldogs ears to keep them clean.
If your bulldog is already unsure about having their ears handled you will need to use a gentle and sting free approach to cleaning, it is important you keep your pet calm and at ease so that they don't develop a bad association with ear cleaning so that you can keep your furry friends ear clean and healthy.
Do I need to clean my bulldogs ears?
To ensure your bulldogs ears are kept healthy it is important to check them on a weekly basis and clean when needed. The inside of your bulldogs ears should be a pale greyish pink in colour and odor free.
How to check your bulldogs ears
To check your bulldogs ears gently lift the ear flap and pull in an upwards motion to expose and straighten the ear canal. Once you do examine the inside of the ear you may notice some ear wax this is completely normal, like humans dogs also produce ear wax to protect and self-clean against pollens, dirt and debris. The colour of the ear wax normally ranges in colour from a pale yellow to a brown colour and is usually semi soft in texture.
Differences in ear wax
As mentioned normal ear wax is semi soft in texture and can range from a pale yellow to a brown colour and this is usually normal and expected. If you have a bulldog that love to roll around in dirt you may expect to find the ear wax is a darker brown this is dirt that has been trapped. If your dog’s ears have a brown or yellow discharge, excessive wax buildup or red, inflamed skin, the dogs ears may be infected and you should seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible.
Excessive head scratching or head shaking can also be a sign of an ear problem so we would also recommend seeking veterinary advice if your dogs is exhibiting any of those symptoms. A waxy, yellow, or reddish-brown ear discharge can also be a sign your dog has an ear infection, which can be a result of allergies, mites, polyps, overproduction of ear wax, excessive bathing or swimming (which can leave too much moisture in the ears), or other problems. If your dog is showing any of these signs we recommend seeking veterinary advise as soon as possible.
Products to clean your bulldogs ears
To prevent any damage to your bulldogs ears its extremely important that you use the correct products. Never use cotton buds in your dogs ears as this can push ear wax and debris further into the ear canal and can risk puncturing the ear canal.
The best products to use to clean your dogs ears are veterinarian-recommended ear cleansers that are specifically designed to use in your dogs ears. These cleansers are gentle enough that they will not irritate your dogs ears and they will dry quickly avoiding trapped moisture.
If you would like to avoid any trapped moisture and ensure your dogs ears are completely dry after cleaning you can use ear drying powder which you can find online.
Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser
The Epi-Otic Advances Ear Cleanser is a vet-recommended ear cleanser which is great for regular ear cleaning. The gentle formula of the ear cleanser means that even if your dog is suffering from an ear infection, this cleanser won't irritate it further.
Vet's Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit
The Vet's Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit is a great two-in-one ear cleaning kit and is made from all natural ingredients. It's great for helping to sooth your bulldogs ears.
Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution
The Vetoquinol Vet Solutions Ear Cleansing Solution is great if your dog is suffering from redness, irritation and infections. It is one of the stronger ear cleansing solutions, so maybe give this a miss if your dog has sensitive skin
How to clean your bulldogs ears
Now we have covered potential issues to look out for and how to check the ears we are ready to move onto cleaning your dogs ears.
Gently lift the ear flap and pull upwards to expose and straighten the ear canal, next carefully squeeze a few drops of dog ear cleaner directly into the ear. Be careful to not go to far into the ear with the applicator nosel as this could result in damage to the ear drum, also avoid touching the ear with the applicator nosel as this could introduce bacteria. Next massage the base of your dogs ear to distribute the cleanser. Once you have massaged the solution into the ear use a cotton ball to wipe away any dirt and debris from inside your dogs ear. Use the cotton ball to also soak up any residual cleaner to ensure your dogs ears are left clean and dry.
Some people like to use a natural at home approach by using a solution made of half a cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar and mix it with half a cup of water.
Airflow is an important factor to maintain your bulldogs clean and healthy ears, if your dog as overly hairy ears this may hinder airflow making them more susceptible to infections or irritations. To ease this issue you can try trimming or plucking the hair from inside the ear, we recommend visiting a veterinarian before following this process as some studies have shown that plucking the hair from inside some breeds ears can cause microscopic tears in the ear canal which can lead to infections.
When bathing your dog, avoid getting his head wet, since excess moisture in the ear can lead to infection. Rather than pouring or spraying water on your dog's head, clean his head and face using a damp cloth.
Things to look out for
Ear mites: Ear mite infections can be extremely itchy and can cause redness, a brown discharge, head shaking or rubbing and an odor
Yeast infections: Yeast infections in a dog’s ears generally cause redness, a brown discharge, head shaking or rubbing, odor, and itching.
Allergies: bulldogs are prone to allergies and one thing allergies can cause is excessive ear wax production which can in-turn lead to infection as yeast loves to thrive in moisture and debris.