Eyes, & Anal Glands
owners, veterinarians, and pet stylists all share the same concern
- to help pets look and feel healthier and happier. A major part
of this is the health and care of eyes, ears and anal glands. As
with anything concerning your pet, you should talk with your veterinarian
and/or pet stylist as to which methods of ear, eye and anal gland
care works best for your pet. If you do not always take your pet
to a stylist or veterinarian clinic for a bath, here are a few helpful
tips for when you are bathing your pet at home.
breeds of dogs and even cats require varying kinds of maintenance
for their ears depending on the type; stand-up or floppy, excessively
hairy or not. Breeds such as poodles and terriers commonly have
excessive ear hair growing in the external ear canal. Veterinarians
recommend the plucking of ear hair only in the management of ear
health. The irritation caused by hair plucking can cause an ear
infection in an otherwise normal ear. For this reason, most veterinarians
recommend plucking only if earwax has accumulated in the ear hair
or if there is an excessive amount of hair. A normal, healthy ear
with no clinical signs of infection or inflammation should be left
alone. If plucking is necessary, an antibacterial or anti-inflammatory
component should be applied to the ear. If you do not feel comfortable
doing this on your own, ask your pet stylist or veterinarian for
you bathe your dog or cat frequently you should make sure that you
keep proper ear care in mind. If water gets into the ear, use a
drying agent after bathing. Products that can be used as drying
agents commonly contain isopropyl alcohol, acetic acid or boric
acid as the main ingredient. Products that are safe for routine
ear cleaning include water, saline or an earwax-dissolving agent.
These products can usually be found at your local pet supply store
and can be applied to your pet before and in-between bathing. If
your pet has floppy ears, such as basset hounds or cocker spaniels,
be sure the ear is always dried after bathing to prevent infection.
Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to infection since air is unable
to circulate through the ear to keep it dry naturally. If your dog
has upright ears, there is less worry about infection, but you should
still make sure excessive water does not get into the ear.
is important to note that cotton-tipped applicators, such as Q-tips,
should never be used for routine ear cleaning due to the possibility
of puncturing the eardrum and/or breaking the applicator in the
ear canal. Use a Kleenex or gauze and only clean in areas visible
to the eye. Any cleaning more invasive than this, such as the middle
ear canal, should be performed by your pet stylist or veterinarian.
eyes can also benefit from good protective measures during bathing.
Some veterinarians recommend pre-treating the eyes with an ointment
prior to a bath. However, the trend seems to be going toward using
no ointment because an ointment, while protecting the cornea from
trauma, can trap irritants that leak or run into the eye and inhibit
a thorough rinsing of the cornea. Instead, protect the eyes from
shampoos and conditioners by holding your hand over the eyes while
rinsing. If an irritant does get into the eye, rinse repeatedly
with cold water, isotonic saline solution or an over-the-counter
irrigating solution, which can also be found at a local pet supply
store. If you suspect that some shampoo or conditioner may have
gotten into the eye, it is always beneficial to perform a thorough
rinsing of the cornea.
signs of chemical irritation of the eye include not opening the
eye(s), squinting, redness or excessive "watering". If you observe
any of these signs after bathing your pet that does not go away
with proper rinsing of the eye, contact your veterinarian.
Let's talk about the "unmentionable", the anal glands or sacs. This
maintenance is better left to the professionals because if you do
not exercise proper care in what you are doing, you can cause serious
damage such as popping the sacs. If you notice your pet scooting
across the floor excessively, then let your veterinarian or pet
stylist know so that they can "express", that is discharge,
the glands. If there is a greenish-yellow or red discharge, this
may indicate an infection and should be evaluated and treated by
eyes, and anal glands can show a wide range of normal variability
between pets or even different breeds. If you see something that
seems abnormal, raises your suspicions, or is causing your pet discomfort,
contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. Proper bathing and
care of these important areas can halt or prevent numerous disease
processes. So be sure to keep your own ears and eyes open!