Black Wax in Your Dog's Ears

Black wax in dogs is caused by infection or mites

The problems and infections in the ears of our pet are quite frequent. Most of the time they are caused by lack of hygiene or simply by poor cleaning of our dogs' ears. These ear problems are more common in dogs with long, droopy ears.

Close attention should be paid to the accumulation of black wax in the ears as this can be the precursor to infection or disease. Black wax can be caused by various reasons, from poor hygiene and accumulated dirt to an infection or mite infestation in the ears.

Causes why my dog ​​has black wax in his ears

Ear problems in dogs are not common

There are many reasons for this to appear, and among the most frequent we can mention:

  • An large amount of dirt and dust particles among other things that it collects from the environment, which adhere to the walls of the ear canal.
  • An infection which can be caused by accumulation of water inside the ear at the time of bathing, due to the presence of a foreign body or the absence of hygiene measures.
  • That the pet suffers from ear mite infection, which cause irritation, itching, suppuration, pain and infection.

All these elements give rise to the appearance of black wax, along with other symptoms such as those we have described before.

Black wax from otitis

Wax is produced naturally by dogs as a protection mechanism for this important and sensitive organ such as the ear. However, when this wax turns dark in color, one of the frequent causes is because the dog has otitis.

This dark colored wax it is usually accompanied by an intense bad smell, complaints of pain in the adjacent area and inflammation, in addition to suppuration. The black wax can be progressively eliminated with cleaning of the ear canal, which must be done carefully and very gently, so that the experience is not traumatic for your pet.

However, when it is generated by infection or otitis, it is essential that it be reviewed by a veterinarian to prescribe the appropriate treatment, depending on the degree of infection, the characteristics of the dog, weight, etc.

Black wax by mites

The Mites are another problem that dogs can develop black ear wax. They are microorganisms that are mainly on the skin and coat of dogs and, if they are not caught in time, can make you develop diseases, some of them quite serious.

A mite is a "bug" less than a millimeter in size. They feed mainly on the animal's blood, but also on the remains of skin in the area where they settle. Hence, dogs feel a lot of itching and pain. But, when these sit on the ear, it can be a lot more annoying.

Specifically, the mites that nest in the ears are called Otodectes cynotis, better known as ear mites. They are very common in dogs and cats, in addition to being easily recognized. And they are very contagious.

Among the symptoms they cause is the fact that your dog usually tilts his head, as if one side weighs more than the other. Often, the ear, which is raised, will appear lopsided as well, or thrown back. Another symptom of ear mites is appearance of that black wax in the ear, sometimes not visible on the outside, but yes when it goes a little deeper (for example if you take some cleaning of the ears).

When precautions are not taken, among the consequences that your pet will suffer are internal bleeding (from the ear), infections by mites, or even perforations of the eardrum (which are very dangerous because they could reach the brain).

That is why it is recommended that, in the face of any rare symptoms of the dog, the veterinarian goes to take a look at the ear and can indicate which is the best treatment, either with insecticide, with medications, with an acaricidal shampoo, or with products that prevent the condition. In addition to giving you some instructions to prevent the problem.

Symptoms to watch out for

You may begin to notice that your dog's ears they have a very bad smell. Remember that ear wax has a strong odor, but when an infection occurs the smell is unpleasant.

When there is excess black wax, it can also be noticed redness, and swelling in the ears of your pet. You can usually start to notice that your dog shakes his head or scratches his ears excessively.

Faced with a case of mite infection, there may also be pus or lesions in your dog's ears, accompanied by strong itching and dark chocolate wax.

There are also other symptoms to watch out for:

  • A red flag is when the dog frequently shakes their head or tilts it to one side, another when he continually scratches his ears. This may mean that you have otitis or another infection.
  • Check the conditions of the ear canal, If it is intense red, oozes, looks inflamed or irritated, it is because there is surely an infectious process to attend to, hence the black wax in his ears.
  • When the dog be very apathetic, not wanting to move, play or eat.
  • If you have any overreaction when you touch his ears or close.
  • When reject the contact physical.
  • If there presence of black wax in abundance.
  • Check the area around the ears for presence of bumps arising from infection.

Faced with any of these symptoms, it is vitally important that you visit your veterinarian, who will diagnose the best treatment to follow with your pet.

In most cases, a deep cleaning of your pet's ears solves the problem, but antibiotics must often be used to completely heal your dog.

Tips for cleaning your dog's ears

Clean the dog's ears gently

We have already seen that it is important to maintain good hygiene in the dog's ear, but how to keep them clean in the proper way? Pay attention to the following tips:

Your pet's ears They should be cleaned at least once every three weeks, however, when the breed is lop-eared and long, it is preferable to apply the cleaning once a week..

It is important to do it routinely, so that the dog gets used to it and can be cleaned without problems.

In the same way, the environment around it must be taken into account to apply hygiene measures with due frequency, since it may be the case that it is exposed to dirt, particles, earth, a lot of wind and other elements that favor accumulation. of dirty in the ears and ear canal.

Step by step to clean the dog's ears

Maintaining proper hygiene in your dog's ears will help prevent problems, not only from black wax, but any other that has to do with the ears. But to do it and make it work, you need to do it at least once a week.

A healthy dog ​​has a pink ear on the inside, without any scabs or a lot of wax. (You should know that the ears, as with humans, create wax naturally, so you cannot prevent it). Also, it cannot smell bad. In case you notice something of what we have mentioned, it is better that you go to the vet to take a look and see if everything is going well or there is something abnormal.

That said, you should know that due to the wax it creates, it is normal for dogs to have their ears a little dirty, but that is why it is important to spend some time cleaning them properly. Even more so when the dreaded black wax appears in the ear.

And how is it carried out? Well, we are going to give you the steps to do it. In principle, ear cleaning is done weekly, but each dog is different and there will be those who need a more regular cleaning (for example, dogs that have floppy ears), and others who last 15 days or more without cleaning them.

Before you get down to it, I recommend that you have everything you need on hand. In this case they are: gauze, saline or water, and ear cleaner (optional).

Step 1: prepare your dog

You need your dog to get used to cleaning his ears, and for this you have to take him to a place where he feels calm and where he lets you manipulate his ears. There are dogs that are not used to it, or that scares them, and it can be more complicated, but it is for their health, so try not to stress yourself.

Step 1: first cleaning

Proceed to the first cleaning. To do this, take a gauze and moisten it, either with water or saline solution. Then cover your index or little finger with it and insert the wrapped finger very carefully into the dog's ear.

Sometimes, in order to reassure him, you can clean the ear first to see that nothing is wrong. Of course, when you go to insert your finger in the ear, try to take a new gauze. Try to make slow and delicate circular movements to extract the wax.

Is the wax normal? Brilliant. Is it black wax? Be careful, you could have otitis or mites. Too much wax? Then there may be a problem.

Step 2: clean again

You must repeat the previous step until the gauze comes out clean. If you see that, despite having cleaned 2-3 times, it is still dirty, it may be time to ask your vet.

Step 3: use an ear cleaner

Another option you have, when you see that no matter how much you clean, it is still dirty, is to use the ear cleaners for dogs. These are very easy to use since they are placed inside the ear and a stream or discharge of that liquid is given.

Then you must give a massage so that the cleanser reaches the eardrum and can clean well. Most of the time, once released, the dog will shake for a few minutes. But don't lose sight of it.

The reason is that now you will have to clean again with new gauze to remove what that product may have managed to remove from the ear. In case you ever see that it is still very dirty, yes, it's time to go to the vet.

Extra step

There are dogs that develop a lot of hair in the ear area. This has the function of protecting the ear so that nothing gets into it. But sometimes it is also a source of infection in itself, so it is sometimes appropriate to trim it down a bit.

This can be done with scissors, taking into account the silhouette of the ear and also not damaging the ear; or with a machine, either one to cut their hair, or the clippers that they sell for ears and nose (which are smaller and work very well for these areas in dogs).

Home remedies to remove black wax

It is important to keep the dog's ears clean

If your pet has black wax in the ears according to what we have seen so far, this is surely motivated by poor hygiene, therefore there is no proper home remedy, beyond applying the cleaning periodically in this zone.

Also, you most likely have an infection, such as otitis, which requires the attention of the veterinarian and possibly treatment with antibiotics, since otitis is delicate and cannot be cured with home remedies.

In this sense, the most advisable thing is that do not try to remove black wax from the ears yourself if your dog is reluctantRemember, because you feel discomfort or pain, you are very likely to have an undesirable defensive reaction. The important thing is that as your master you learn to recognize when the situation is out of the ordinary.

My dog ​​won't let his ears clean, what to do?

Since your dog is a puppy, you must accustom him to his hygiene routines frequently, among them the cleaning of the ears so that it assumes it in a very natural way, and thus prevent fungi from appearing and diseases and infections proliferate.

When he is not used to it, he simply refuses to be touched, and this even generates stress and aversion reactions. You can try to make contact with his ears in a very subtle way, that does not cause discomfort or pain.

If you are an adult and are not used to it do not do the cleaning in a rough wayWhen you get him to stay calm and allow himself to be manipulated, use positive reinforcement, so you keep him entertained and learn that it is not a bad thing.

When you are cleaning inside the ear, perform movements in the form of very gentle massages. Massage the outer part of the ears and offer treats as the grooming is allowed to apply in this area.

As a last option, go to the vet for advice on the best way to get your dog to allow his ears to be cleaned.

The black wax is consequently one of the signs that something is not right in your pet's ears, so it is advisable to always be vigilant and in the face of this and other symptoms, do not allow too much time to take it to the consultation because if the infection worsens, the healing measures will be much more aggressive And this without counting the annoyances that are generated in your dog.

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  1.   Hector N. Oxilia said

    Hello. Your comments on the issue of black wax discharge were very interesting to me. My pet has this problem, and the vet has given him inflammation and antibiotics. Thanks a lot.