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Dog ear wax color chart: What to watch for

Dog ear wax color chart: What to watch for

We know that your dog’s ears are quite sensitive and prone to infections. That’s why it’s important to keep their ear wax in control and watch out for any changes. However, to know when ear wax is completely normal and when you should worry you need a dog ear wax color chart.

An ear wax chart will be useful in the beginning, before you learn what normal ear wax looks like. After some time you won’t need a chart anymore and you’ll automatically know what is normal ear wax and what is not.

The purpose of earwax is to protect your dogs ears. But the overproduction of earwax can be a sign of something else. It’s especially not a good sign if you notice discharge with a bad smell. That could be a sign of an infection or yeast production. If there is too much dirt in your dogs ears, it could also be a sign of some other underlying condition.

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In this article, we’re going to show you a dog ear wax chart that will help you understand when your dog needs help and when you need to clean your dog’s ears.

Dog ear wax color chart

Let us start off by saying that earwax, also called cerumen, is completely normal. It’s a natural and normal component of your dog’s ear canal. It’s nothing to worry about or stress over.

In fact, ear wax is important because it cleans your dog’s ears. The cerumen or the ear wax is produced by specialized glands in the ear and has a specific function. It collects dead cells, debris, bacteria, dirt, and pollen from your dog’s ears! Once the ear wax has cleaned your dog’s ears it simply glides out.

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But, you do need to worry about the change in the color of your dog’s cerumen. Any change in color, smell, or even quantity of cerumen can be a sign of a disease and a serious ear problem.

Dog ear wax color chart — What color should earwax be?

Ear wax has a normal range anywhere from yellow to brown or dark brown, depending on how dirty your dog’s ears are. Normal looks a bit different for every dog.

Also, for every dog, the color of their ear wax will be different. But, for you to know exactly what normal ear wax looks like for your dog, it’s important to inspect your puppy’s ears while he is still young and without any ear conditions.

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dog ear wax color chart
Yellow ear wax is completely normal
dog ear wax color chart
Healthy ear wax can range in color from yellow to brown
dog ear wax color chart
Grey ear wax is completely normal too, but black ear wax is a sing of infection

In the chart above you can see what normal dog ear wax looks like. You can also see what certain ear wax colors can indicate in terms of health problems.

As you can see in the chart, earwax can be a variety of colors, including:

  • yellow pale ear wax
  • red ear wax
  • brown and dark brown ear wax
  • green
  • gray ear wax
  • black

How to know your dog has health issues

In order to know when your dog’s ear wax is not normal, you need to inspect your dog’s ears regularly. At least once a week in fact.

But don’t just look at your dog’s ears, smell them too! Yep, you read that right, smell your dog’s ears in order to know when something isn’t alright.

If your dog’s ears smell yeasty or funky, this could be a sign of an ear infection.

Besides a funky smell, other signs of a dog ear infection are:

  • Itching & pawing at the ears
  • Problems with balance
  • Crying out when ears are touched
  • Redness of the ear flap
  • Excessive ear wax
  • Smelly ears
  • Scabbing around the ear

But, if there’s no smell, but if you still notice an excessive amount of wax or wax builds, chances are your dog’s ears just need to be cleaned.

Ear Wax Issues in Dogs

External reasons such as grooming or injuries have caused the yeast and bacteria that will impact your dog’s ears. However, these aren’t the only ways that your dog’s ear might become infected.

Certain conditions in the aging dog’s body can cause issues with his ear. To ensure your dog’s health, these issues should be addressed by seeing your veterinarian.

It is also a good idea to provide your dog a nutritious food in order to improve his general health. These are some of the potential causes:

  1. Disorders of Keratinization (seborrhea, overproduction of cerumen)
  2. Idiopathic
  3. Autoimmune illnesses are a type of autoimmune disease (pemphigus complex, lupus erythematous)
  4. Polyps that aren’t cancerous
  5. Tumors are cancerous growths on the body (malignant or benign)
  6. Entities from another country (plants, hair, seeds)
    heightened sensitivity (FAD, food-borne allergies, atopic allergies)
  7. Endocrine problems (hormone imbalances, hypothyroidism, Cushing)
  8. Approximately half of all ear infections in dogs are caused by allergies.
  9. Otitis externa

Apart from that, the infection must be caused by some form of foreign bodies. Most of the difficulties can be avoided if you are attentive when grooming your dog. Also, strive for a healthy dog in general so that these problems can be avoided, and that the infection spreads less.

Preventing Dog Ear Problems

As previously indicated, earwax accumulation in your dog is relatively typical; nevertheless, there are cases where specific disorders in the body, as well as activities your dog engages in, may be the cause of infection in the ear canal.

If your dog rubs his ears frequently, he may have allergies, and if this disease is not treated, it can lead to inflammation and infection.

The greatest thing you can do is go to your veterinarian, who will be able to assist you by advising you on the best treatment for your dog.

Most of the time, it’s only a question of prescription a drug, but on rare occasions, more harsh measures may be required, requiring the dog owner’s support and determination.

Rather than waiting for your dog to develop ear problems, you should be proactive and take preventative actions like making sure his ears are clean and cleaning them properly.

Assuring that his ear canal does not become a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.

You must also look after his health so that certain health issues do not create an environment in which his ear canal can become infected.

You should also search for any signs that your dog’s ears are infected, such as scratching and discomfort, by observing him.

Ear mites

When talking about a dog’s ear health we have to mention ear mites too. It’s a surface mite that lives on your dog. It’s called an ear mite because that’s where it’s usually found. In the ears! Ear mites are especially dangerous because they are highly contagious and are barely visible to the naked eye.

Ear mites are usually found on puppies, although canines of any age can get them. But what are the signs your dog has eat mites? There are many signs, some of them are:

  • ear irritation, ear scratching and head shaking
  • dark brown wax or crusty discharge from the ear
  • hair loss around the ears caused by scratching
  • a rash around the ears
  • blood blisters on the ears because of scratching

If you notice any of these symptoms you should talk to your vet. They will give you the best advice on what treatment to get. There are many options including topical medications and injections. Your vet could even suggest a single-use product like Milbemite. That’s why you should consult your vet, they will give you the best treatment option for your dog.

Cleaning dog ears

It’s important to clean your dog’s ears regularly. You’d be surprised what can cause infections in dogs ears. And you don’t even need some special equipment. Most of these things you probably have at home.

Ear infections are caused by bacteria. When swimming or bathing water can get into your dog’s ears, this then creates a moist environment. That excess moisture then helps bacteria that is usually on your dog’s skin and ears grow.

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So, when water gets into your dog’s ears it creates a moist environment and bacterias can grow. This causes irritation, inflammation, and different infections including a yeast infection.

That’s why cleaning the ear is important. Many dog owners are scared of cleaning their dog’s ears. But it isn’t that hard. You only need a few things:

  • dog ear cleaning solution
  • cotton balls
  • towel

Firstly, set up your supplies and get your dog ready. You want your dog to be as calm as possible. It would be great if you can take them on a long walk or play with them for a while to tire them out. You can even use treats to bribe them a bit.

Secondly, get a dog ear cleaning solution and squeeze it into your dog’s ear canal. Then, gently massage the base of your dog’s ear for about 40 seconds.

Thirdly, let your dog shake its head. When he or she is done get your cotton balls and gently wipe out your dog’s ear canal. Please, don’t go deeper than the depth of a knuckle.

It’s important that you never let the tip of the ear cleaning solution touch your dog’s ear. This can contaminate the applicator. Also, never use cotton swabs on your dog, only cotton balls! Now that your pup has clean ears, make sure to give him a treat!

Best Dog Ear Cleaner

Only use high-quality ear cleaning products for pets in your dog’s best interest.

Avoid anything with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide (which has other uses), as these substances can irritate an already irritated canal.

There are cleaners with antifungal and/or antibacterial qualities, as well as cleaners designed solely to break up wax (cerumenolytics).

Consult your veterinarian about which one to use based on your dog’s ear condition and how much wax he produces.

Ear Cleaner for Dogs (Homemade)

It’s simple to build your own dog ear cleaners. One part distilled white vinegar and two parts water make up the basic cleanser.

Only use a basic DIY ear cleanser for dogs on a regular basis to keep their ears healthy.

In some circumstances, telling your veterinarian that you want to use the DIY remedy before you begin can be beneficial.

What Is The Best Way To Clean Dog Ears With Vinegar?

It’s preferable to use watered-down vinegar. Personally, I use apple cider vinegar and find it to be effective.

The steps are the same as with other commercially available dog ear cleaning products.

Please visit your veterinarian if you are having problems with your dog’s ear wax or are unsure whether something appears to be abnormal.

Cleaning your dog’s ears on a regular basis should be enough to keep excessive earwax at bay.

Final words

In conclusion, ear wax is nothing bad, in fact, it’s natural and it’s needed! Earwax cleans your dogs ears and keeps them healthy.

But, sometimes ear wax can indicate health problems, that’s why you should use a dog ear wax color chart. It will also help you recognize ear infections. Ear infections are more common in certain dog breeds with floppy ears, like Cocker Spaniels or Basset Hounds. Because of the shape of their ears they retain much moisture in their middle ear, which benefits the growth of bacteria.

With ear infections, it’s important to treat them on time. This is because outer ear infections that are left untreated can lead to infections in the middle and inner ear. That can be dangerous and can lead to vestibular symptoms, facial paralysis, and deafness. Proper treatment is needed, and the most important part in making sure your dog gets better.

While we’re talking about your dog’s health, we have to mention the health of your dog’s eyes.

We have many articles that explain many eye conditions in dogs that you might want to read. The more informed you are, the better it will be for your dog!