Q. How often should I clean my dog’s ears? Can I use colloidal silver?
There is no well-defined ear cleaning frequency for dogs and opinions vary. It depends on factors, such as the degree of wax buildup and whether the ears are suffering from or prone to an infection.
Dogs who do not have waxy ears or ear infections may not need a regular ear cleaning schedule at all.
If the dog has an ear infection, I may recommend a daily to alternate day ear cleaning schedule. However, ear cleaning may not be suitable for very sore and painful ears or damaged ear drums.
Hence, you should seek your vet’s guidance for an ear cleaning schedule that is best suited for your dog. It may change depending on the health of the ears at the time.
Ear cleaning products
As for using colloidal silver in ears, I am not aware of any studies on the safety of short- and long-term usage. Because of that, I do not generally recommend it. If you would like to use colloidal silver to manage an ear infection, do discuss this with your vet.
For maintenance, use an ear cleanser advised by your vet based on the condition of your dog’s ears.
These ear cleansers may contain propylene glycol, salicylic acid, chlorhexidine, TrizEDTA, or essential oils.
As different compounds serve different purposes (for example, some help to dry moist ears, while others help to dissolve wax), and some compounds could be toxic to the ears under certain conditions, only use them if you have a vet’s prescription.
Also, be careful not to use ear drops containing therapeutic compounds like pyrethrins (for ear mites) without veterinary advice. I am saying this because they are available outside of veterinary clinics without prescription.
Those compounds could worsen the condition of the ears or cause harm if the ear drum is not intact. At best, they would be ineffective as most ear infections are not caused primarily by ear mites.
Besides, the most common causes of ear infections are bacteria and yeast, which like ear mites, require a microscopic examination of ear debris for diagnosis.