Caring for Cavapoo Ears – what to do and what not to do

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One of the things we love most about cavapoos are their gorgeous ears but did you know that these ears can actually cause these pooches quite a bit of trouble.

Luckily for cavapoo owners, most of these issues can be avoided as long as you take specific steps to ensure your dog’s ears are clean and bacteria free.

Want to know how to go about caring for cavapoo ears?

Check out the article below. 

Are Cavapoos Prone To Ear Infections?

Yes, Cavapoos are prone to ear infections.

Those ears that we love most about them cover their ear openings which results in warm moist air becoming trapped in the ear canal.

Bacteria loves these conditions and bacteria is not what you want running rampant in your dog’s ears. 

Signs of Ear Infection

There are a number of signs to look out for if you are concerned your dog may have an ear infection.

Generally, dogs will start showing signs before an infection gets out of hand so if you are aware of what to look for, you could help your dog before things get too serious.

Common things to look for are an odd odor coming from the ear, redness inside the ear, head shaking, scratching or pawing at the ear, discharge (it can be brown, bloody, or yellow), and rubbing their ear on surfaces.

A more severe infection can have the following symptoms; loss of balance, odd eye movements, hearing loss, and your dog walking in circles.

If your dog is showing any of those signs, they need quick veterinary attention. Don’t hesitate to get them into your local vet clinic.

What Products Do You Need To Clean Their Ears?

You only need a few items to safely and effectively clean your dog’s ears: a cotton ball or gauze, a specialized ear cleaning solution (this you can get at your veterinarian clinic or online), and a towel.

I highly recommend this product: It is vet formulated.

You can get this ear cleaning solution from Amazon here.

This can be a messy task so consider cleaning your dog’s ears in an area like the bathroom or kitchen.

Keep in mind that your dog will shake their ears and that can send cleaning solution flying!

If you don’t want that getting all over your couches, don’t do this in your living room.

How To Clean Their Ears

Step 1. Use a counter top so that you will have full control over your dog. Have all of your supplies on hand and within reach.

Make sure the ear cleaning solution bottle is open and ready for use.

Get your cavapoo, place them on the counter top and try keep them as calm as possible.

If your dog is stressed, your job will become much harder.

I always clean my dogs ears when they are tired and are not feeling energetic to make it a bit easier.

Don’t be shy with the treats either, a little bribery never hurt anyone! 

Step 2. This is the crucial step.

This is what I do:

I find it easier if my dog is either standing or sitting. but they can lie down as well.

If possible get someone to help you hold your cavapoo so that you can concentrate on what you need to do.

Fold the ear over the top of the dog’s head and use your hand to keep it there. (Not your dominant hand)

Cleaning cavapoo ear

With your dominant hand, take the cleaning solution and insert the open end into the ear canal as gently as possible. Give it one good squeeze.

Make sure that you are holding the head firmly enough so your cavapoo cannot shake his head while the bottle is in his ear.

Still keeping a hold of the head, remove the bottle and allow the ear flap to fall back down.

Begin to gently massage the base of your dogs ear for about 30 seconds.

You should hear an audible squashing noise as the solution sloshes around in your dog’s ear, the aim being that any debris and buildup is dislodged. 

Step 3. Now this is where things can get messy and your towel becomes very useful.

You want to let your dog shake his head and get that cleaning solution out. Use your towel to stop the liquid from getting everywhere by holding it near their ears.

Once your pup is done shaking the liquid out you can wipe down their face and get rid of any cleaning solution that may have gotten onto them.

Step 4. Once your dog has gotten most of the cleaning solution out of their ears, you can use the cotton ball or gauze to gently wipe out and dry the ear canal.

It is important that you don’t go far down into the dog’s ear. Just go slightly into the canal.

Now you’ve successfully cleaned your dog’s ears!

Make sure to give them lots of praise to make it a positive experience. This will help you in future when you come to clean their ears again.

How Often Should You Clean Their Ears?

In general, cleaning your dog’s ears once a month is plenty.

If your pup swims frequently, he may need to have his ears cleaned more often to prevent infection. 

When Does My Dog Need To See a Vet?

It is important to know when to take your dog to the vet instead of just cleaning their ears at home.

As previously mentioned, symptoms like loss of balance, odd eye movements, hearing loss, and your dog walking in circles are serious and require veterinary attention.

Ear infections have to be taken seriously as they can result in permanent hearing loss and even facial paralysis.

If your dog is showing signs of pain and general irritation directly at their ears, it may be best to get your vet to check them out.

Professional Ear Cleaning

If you don’t feel confident cleaning your dogs ears at home, there is also the option to get a professional to do the job for you.

In most cases, when you take your dog to the groomers their ears will be checked out (but this doesn’t mean you mustn’t check your dogs ears in between grooming visits to make sure there isn’t any odor or foreign bodies in there).

Professionals have access to things like a hemostat which is used in combination with medicated ear powder to safely remove excess fur in your dog’s ear that can become matted.

They are also generally more than happy to go through the ear cleaning process of applying the cleaning solution and getting any excess gunk out of your dog’s ears.

If you take your dog to a trusted groomer, you can rest assured that your pooch will get professional treatment with safe equipment and knowledgeable handling.

Professional dog groomer

How To Keep Your Dog’s Ears Clean

It is easy to keep your dog’s ears clean and debris free with regular checks and monthly cleaning (bi-weekly cleaning is also okay if necessary for your dog).

If you own a cavapoo, grooming will undoubtedly be a part of your daily routine so why don’t you add your ear checks in there.

That way you can catch any symptoms of ear infections early and take the appropriate action before something more serious develops.

Ear infections aren’t likely to just go away on their own and as dog owners, I’m sure we all want to prevent our dogs from having any painful issues. 

Should The Hair Be Removed From Their Ears?

Whether to pluck the hair from your dogs ears or not is quite a debated topic.

For a long time it was suggested that hair-free ears are better and therefore this practice became fairly standard in grooming sessions.

Recent studies have suggested that removing the hair from a regular healthy ear may not be necessary and I agree with this.

With breeds like the cavapoo (who are prone to ear infections) removing hair from the ear canal will help with air circulation and in that sense can help in lessening the likely hood of recurring ear infections.

Removing hair from the ear canal can in itself cause irritation and pain.

What I suggest is to ask the groomer to leave the hair alone in the ear canal and instead shave the hair on the inner ear flap to about 3-4 mm to allow a free flow of air to reach the ear canal.

If you are undecided as to what to do, chat to your trusted veterinarian about both options and go from there.

Tips For Looking After Your Cavapoo’s Ears

Here are a few other important things to mention about looking after your cavapoo’s ears.

  • Make sure to let their ears dry properly after they have a swim or a bath. You can do this by simply flipping their ears over and/or using a towel to wipe out excess moisture.
  • Make sure your ear cleaning solution is vet approved and do not use hydrogen peroxide as a ‘do it yourself’ solution. Hydrogen peroxide is a common household product that some feel has many uses. While I’m sure it works wonders in other sorts of cleaning, your dog’s ears is not one of them. Their ears are sensitive structures with sensitive tissue that can easily be irritated or damaged by harsh chemicals.
  • If your dog seems to be in any pain during the cleaning process, contact your vet.
  • Make sure that anything you do to your dog’s ear is with a gentle touch. Their ears are delicate and can easily be damaged.
  • Do not use q-tips. You can push them too far down the ear canal and cause a lot of damage. Q-tips just end up pushing the wax further down so avoid using them.

Conclusion On Caring For Cavapoo Ears

Taking good care of your dog’s ears will help prevent infections and regular checks will help you catch any other issues early, rather than letting them get too serious.

By either gathering the right tools and doing it yourself or getting help from a trusted groomer, you can make sure your dog gets the best ear care possible.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

Irma Bense is an experienced dog owner with over 43 years of experience with dog showing, dog breeding, dog training and general dog ownership. Her love for spaniels also includes the Cavapoo, a wonderful mix breed between a Poodle and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Presently she is the proud parent of two Cocker Spaniels, Charli and Bailey and one Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Tucker.