Your Maltese's wispy, white hair also grows near her ears, which can bring dirt, wax and bacteria close to her ear canal. Clean, healthy ears are light pink and free of odor. With a little preparation and patience, cleaning your Maltese's ears every few weeks will help prevent infection and irritation.
Hold your Maltese securely in your lap and fold her ear inside-out. Place the tip of the nozzle at the base of her ear canal and queeze a few drops of cleanser inside. Only insert the very tip, not the entire nozzle. Ear-cleansing solution is mildly acidic and contains a drying agent that helps remove excess moisture inside your dog's ear canal.
Return the flap of your Maltese's ear to its natural position, and massage the base, where the flap meets the neck, in a circular motion for 15 seconds. This distributes the cleanser deep into the canal. To prevent your pooch from shaking out most of the cleanser, you must massage her ear immediately after turning down the flap of her ear. Once you're done massaging, allow your pup to discard the excess cleanser by shaking her head.
Fold the ear back over her head, as you did when inserting the cleanser. Using a clean cotton ball, gently remove any wax or dirt by wiping the underside of her ear flap until it's smooth and pink. Exchange dirtied cotton balls for clean ones as needed, otherwise you're simply redistributing the waxy buildup rather than removing it from her ear.
Clean the grooved folds insider your pup's outer ear with clean cotton swabs. The shape of a cotton swab lets you reach inside the grooves more effectively than a cotton ball or pad. Never insert the swab inside her ear canal. You should always be able to clearly see both ends of the cotton swab. If you can't, the cotton swab is too deep and could potentially damage her ear drum. Exchange dirtied swabs for clean ones as needed.
Remove any remaining moisture by gently patting the inside of her ear with a clean, dry cotton ball. Use dry cotton swabs to remove any moisture sitting inside the ridges and grooves of her outer ear. Leave her ears folded open for approximately 10 minutes after you finish. This will allow air to circulate and dry any moisture remaining inside her ears.
- Give your pup a treat after each step of the cleaning process so she associates having her ears cleaned with something positive. For example, give her a small treat after you apply the cleanser, another one after massaging the ear and so forth until you've finished.
- Do not attempt to clean your Maltese's ears if you notice thick, chunky wax buildup inside her ear canal. Such conditions could indicate an ear infection and require the assistance of a veterinarian.
- Consult a veterinarian immediately if your Maltese yelps when you touch her ears or if her ears have an offensive odor. Other signs of an ear infection include red, swollen outer ears and and dark, hardened ear wax.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.