When it comes to bloodhounds, "outer ear" is a misnomer. Those long, droopy ears seem to go on forever, so the outer ear is actually the ear canal down to about where the ear meets the noggin. Cleaning this once a day prevents bacteria growth, which commonly afflicts this breed.
Wipe out the ears once a day using a clean, warm, moist towel. Alternatively, use a moist, medicated ear wipe. Lift up that big, floppy ear and gently wipe it out with the pad. Prevention is key with bloodhounds, because those ears can easily collect moisture and bacteria that leads to infection. Wiping them out every day isn't the only recourse, but it helps.
Clean out the ears more thoroughly on a weekly basis. Holding up the ear from the tip again, place the nozzle of a bottle of dog ear cleaning solution at the opening of the ear canal and squirt. Put the flap back down over the canal and gently massage the solution into place near the base of the ear.
Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, then take a step back to let your dog shake his head. When he shakes, he's shaking loose the solution down in his ear canal and forcing it out, along with any debris and general nastiness it collected in there. Gently wipe out the ear canal opening with a cotton ball, repeating until it comes out clean. Repeat with the other ear.
- Always wipe out your bloodhound's ear with a clean, dry towel after he plays in a wet environment. This may include taking a swim, going for a walk through tall, wet grass or even sleeping on his side and allowing moisture to collect in the ear.
- If you notice an unpleasant odor emanating from your dog's ear, it could be a bacterial infection. Clean it out as best you can and consult your veterinarian, who may have to take a sample and determine the severity and whether your pooch requires antibiotics.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.