Kidney Disease

Renal disease, also referred to as kidney disease or failure occurs in both cats and dogs.

What is Renal Failure?

In a healthy pet, the kidneys filter waste products that are produced by the body. The kidneys are responsible for cleansing the blood of the waste products and maintaining levels of water and salt within the body.

Blood enters the kidneys through renal arteries that then branch into capillaries called glomeruli. These filter the waste products from the blood. The connected tubules then reabsorb the amount of water and salt that the body needs, leaving the remaining fluid (urine) to pass from the kidneys  to the bladder via the ureters.

Clinical signs

  • Increased drinking (polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria)
  • Depression
  • Decreased appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Hunched posture or reluctant to move
  • Poor or unkempt coat

Renal failure can be divided into two categories: acute or chronic.

Acute Renal Failure (ARF)

Acute (sudden) renal failure occurs for example when a toxic substance like antifreeze has been ingested. It can also develop secondary to other conditions for example a blocked bladder. Affected pets need emergency, aggressive treatment to try and reverse some of the damage caused by the toxin.

This involves blood sampling and urine collection to determine how severe the problem is. Usually the blood results will show an increase, above normal ranges in the level of Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) and Creatinine in the blood. This is referred to as Azotaemia. For these levels to be elevated, usually at least 75% of the kidney is not functioning properly.

The urine analysis will measure the Urine Specific Gravity among other tests. This is a measurement of how concentrated the urine is. With renal failure the urine is not concentrated as too much water is lost and there will be a low specific gravity.

Intravenous fluids are administered to help ‘flush out’ the kidneys and rehydrate your pet. Once rehydration has taken place, the kidneys are supported using a special prescription diet which is low in protein and phosphorus and high in energy as well as medication where necessary.

Chronic Renal Failure (CRF)

Chronic renal failure usually develops gradually over time as your pet ages. It can also develop secondary to other problems like diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.

The kidneys suffer gradual irreversible damage that impairs their ability to filter and remove the waste products from the blood. Generally chronic renal failure occurs three times more frequently in cats than in dogs.

Treatment is similar as for acute renal failure. Bloods and urine samples are collected and tested. Intravenous fluids are administered to rehydrate your pet and replace lost fluids. Blood pressure will also be checked where appropriate. Long term management of renal failure involves the feeding of a prescription low protein, low phosphorus diet to help decrease the stress on the kidneys as well as medications and regular blood testing.

It is not possible to reverse chronic renal failure, and in most cases, it will progress over time despite appropriate therapy. The disease will eventually lead to the need for euthanasia.

At Cinque Ports Vets we run senior clubs to offer advice on age related problems. Here you can chat to a veterinary nurse about how best to care for your pet during their golden years. There is also the opportunity to have a urine test to routinely check your older pet’s urine. Early stages of kidney failure produce changes in the composition of the urine. Blood tests may also be recommended depending on the individual case but the earlier the signs are detected the better the chance of your pet having a longer, healthier life.

If your cat has recently been diagnosed with renal failure you may be interested to read ‘Caring For A Cat With Kidney Failure’ by Dr Sarah Caney.

It has been designed to be a complete guide to kidney failure in cats – from receiving the bad news and dealing with emotional issues, through to diagnosis, treatment and monitoring, to euthanasia and bereavement advice.

Please contact your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets if you have any concerns about your pet’s health or would like to find out more about our Senior Clubs. Why not try our Feline Renal Function Questionnaire.

Useful links:
www.icatcare.org/advice-centre/cat-health/chronic-kidney-disease-cats
www.royalcanin.co.uk/downloads/vetlibrary/pets_with_kidney_disease.PDF

Useful books:
Caring for a cat with chronic kidney disease by Dr Sarah Caney

Epilepsy

Seizures are not uncommon in dogs. A seizure typically involves your dog lying on their side, losing consciousness, often with twitching of the muscles and paddling of the limbs. Many dogs lose control of their bladder and bowel during a seizure. Most seizures last only a few minutes. Your dog will often remain disorientated for some time after the seizure, but they are usually back to 100% within a few hours. Partial seizures can also occur where there is no full loss of consciousness, or twitching only affects one part of the body.

Causes of a seizure

In epilepsy, seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity within the brain causing intermittent seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy is the term given to seizures which have no other specific underlying cause. Epilepsy typically affects young dogs between 1 and 3 years old. In older dogs it is more likely that there is another cause for the seizures. Epilepsy is more common in certain breeds and certain family lines. Epilepsy is less common in cats.

What to do during a seizure

If your dog is having a seizure it is important to try and remain calm. Make a note of the time the seizure started. If your dog is at risk of injuring themselves eg. falling down the stairs they can be moved with care but otherwise it is best not to interfere with them. Move any objects they may injure themselves on out of the way. During a seizure your pet is unaware of what they are doing and may accidentally injure you if you try and move them. Keeping the room dark and quiet can also help your dog.

During the seizure your pet is unconscious and therefore not in pain or distress. Afterwards they may be scared or anxious so it is best to sit with them and try to keep them calm and quiet.

If the seizure lasts more then 5 minutes or if they are having repeated seizures then contact the veterinary surgery and you will be seen as soon as possible.

How is Epilepsy diagnosed?

There is no test available for epilepsy. Diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy involves excluding other causes of seizures or collapse eg. toxin ingestion, liver disease and heart disease. If your pet has repeated seizures, investigation and treatment may be advisable. Your veterinary surgeon will take a full clinical history and will ask details about the seizure. They will examine your dog and may take a blood test to rule out metabolic causes of the seizures. They may advise referral for an MRI scan to rule out structural changes like tumours within the brain. If all these tests are normal a diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy is made.

Treatment

Most epileptic dogs can have their disease well controlled with daily medication. This is likely to be needed for the rest of their life. Epilepsy can be mild or severe and some dog’s seizures are easier to control than others. Phenobarbital is the drug most commonly used to control seizures but in some dogs a combination of drugs may be needed. Dogs on Phenobarbital for epilepsy will need periodic blood tests to ensure optimum levels of the drug are in your dog’s bloodstream. The tests also monitor adverse effects on the liver.

There is now a new drug Imepitoin which works in a different way to Phenobarbital. It acts on a specific receptor in the brain cells to reduce the amount of excessive electrical activity present. There is no requirement for repeated blood tests to monitor optimum levels and no adverse affects on the liver. Regular assessments with your veterinary surgeon are vital to ensure the correct dosage is achieved.

Your veterinary surgeon will discuss and advise on which treatment they think necessary for your dog’s seizures.

If your dog has very mild or infrequent seizures it may be preferable not to initiate treatment if the seizures are not affecting their overall quality of life. Many dogs have a single unexplained seizure and therefore we will not recommend starting long term medication on the basis of a single seizure.

Useful links:
www.epiphenonline.co.uk
www.pexion.co.uk

Dental Care

It is important to start looking after your pet’s teeth from an early age, all throughout their life. Imagine how our teeth would look and our breath would smell if we didn’t brush our teeth regularly. It is just the same for your pet. Ideally you should begin brushing their teeth between 8 and 12 weeks of age as this enables them to become accustomed to it before their permanent dentition develops- but it is never too late to start!

The brushing motion removes the plaque which builds up on their teeth. It is soft and pasty and not easy to see. It builds up on teeth 24 hours a day and harbours bacteria which infect the gum tissue and roots of the teeth. It also causes bad breath. Unless the plaque is removed on a regular basis their gums can become sore and inflamed.

The plaque eventually calcifies and turns into tartar which is the hard brown material that becomes visible on your pet’s teeth. If left, it can lead to periodontal disease and loss of their teeth. The bacteria in plaque can even spread to other parts of the body and have been linked to heart, liver and kidney disease.

Once the tartar is formed it can only be removed by your veterinary surgeon giving your pet a general anaesthetic and removing it using an ultrasonic scaler. Sometimes at this stage some teeth will require removing and the remainder will be polished. Strict aftercare at home will need to be undertaken to prevent another dental procedure being needed.

It is important to use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for animals as the brush is ultra soft and shaped to fit their mouth and teeth. The toothpaste is flavoured to appeal to animals- fish flavoured for cats and poultry flavoured for dogs. It is also fine to be swallowed unlike human toothpaste which requires rinsing and contains fluoride. The paste contains an ingredient which helps prevent plaque from sticking to your pet’s teeth after brushing.  A range of kits are available at the veterinary practice.

Your pet’s normal diet, especially if tinned, allows for food to stick to their teeth and favours the growth of bacteria found in plaque which is why home dental care is so important. There is a range of dental biscuits, rinses and chews available from the practice which can help along with brushing to keep their teeth clean by limiting dental plaque and tartar formation.

The Royal Canin Dental diet, available for cats and dogs is specially formulated and works by 2 actions:

Mechanical action: the kibble’s special texture means that when eaten the tooth will bite right into it. The abrasive effect of contact breaks down dental plaque and disperses bacteria.

• Biochemical action: micronised sodium polyphosphate is dispersed into the mouth and traps calcium present in saliva before it can build up on plaque which is present on the teeth. By making the calcium unavailable, tartar formation is delayed.

Small breed dogs are especially susceptible to dental problems, which is why Royal Canin also put sodium polyphosphate in their Vet Care range of diets as well for tartar control.

Chews are also very good at reducing plaque formation but generally they can only clean the prominent areas of your dog’s teeth.

To enable your pet to enjoy having their teeth cleaned be patient and take time with the process. Try following these steps and your pet will quickly get used to the process:

Day 1: Gently stroke the outside of your pet’s cheeks with your finger only (no brush) and slowly lift their lip for about 30 seconds. Reward, praise and treat at the end of each session.

Day 2: Repeat as above and also place a small amount of toothpaste on the end of your finger and let your pet sample it.

Day 3: Repeat Day 2, but this time, gently run your finger or toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste over your pet’s teeth for 30-45 seconds. Never start at the front of the mouth as this is the most sensitive part. Reward with praise and a treat. It sometimes helps to smear the toothpaste into the brush so your pet does not lick it off straight away!

Day 4: Repeat Day 3 adding 15 seconds to the time running over your pet’s teeth. Reward with praise and a treat.

Day 5: Gradually you should be aiming to spend about a minute on each side of their mouth, brushing horizontally for cheek teeth and vertically for their canine teeth.

Ideally try to brush your pet’s teeth once a day, usually bedtime is a good time followed by a dental biscuit or chew as a reward.

If you would like more advice on the best way to care for your pet’s teeth please speak to your veterinary nurse at your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets.

Useful links:
www.royalcanin.co.uk/downloads/vetlibrary/good_oral_hygiene_in_pets.PDF

Please click on the videos below to watch how to brush your pet’s teeth.

Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Disease

Disease of the cranial cruciate ligament is one of the most common orthopaedic conditions seen in dogs.

The condition involves a chronic degeneration of one of the major ligaments within the knee, or stifle joint.

The ligament progressively weakens and begins to tear.  The signs associated with the early stages can be subtle such as mild intermittent lameness, stiffness rising or sitting with the limb extended.  Eventually the already weakened ligament tears completely resulting in a much more severe lameness.  The two bones of the joint, (the femur and tibia) are able to rock back and forth against one another causing instability, pain and inflammation.

Diagnosis can often be made by palpation or manipulation of the stifle.  Some dogs will require sedation to be able to do this.  X-rays will show signs of inflammation and osteoarthritis in the joint.

Treatment options

Conservative treatment for cruciate disease involves rest and anti-inflammatories.  This is more likely to be effective in small dogs (less than 15kg) and those with early cruciate disease (i.e. before complete rupture).  This treatment relies on the body forming scar tissue to stabilise the joint which takes time.  Often surgery results in a quicker recovery.  Some degree of osteoarthritis is inevitable in a damaged knee joint.  Early stabilisation of the joint with surgery should reduce the progression of arthritis but does not reverse what is already there. If the joint is already very arthritic, conservative treatment may be advised as the dog would not be expected to regain normal function of the joint.

Conservative treatment is less likely to be effective in larger dogs so surgery is usually advised.  Surgery involves removing any damaged cartilage (menisci) and stabilisation of the joint.  Numerous surgical techniques have been described.  The most commonly used techniques are the TPLO (tibial plateau levelling osteotomy) or extracapsular repair (lateral retinacular suture).

The extracapsular suture technique involves placing a synthetic suture around the outside of the joint to replicate the function of the torn ligament.  It is a reliable technique in small/medium breed dogs but the risk of the suture stretching or failing increases as the size of the dog increases, which would result in persistent instability of the joint.  This procedure can be performed at some of our branches.

More advanced techniques exist which change the geometry of the joint to counteract the forces that cause the instability. TPLO and TTA are the most common variants of this. A cut is made through the tibia (shin bone) and implants are used to secure it at an altered angle relative to the femur (thigh bone).  These are very reliable techniques even in large/giant breed dogs.  Most dogs are weight-bearing very soon after the surgery.  The cost of these procedures are greater due to the complexity of the surgery and implant costs. We can perform an MMP (Modified Maquet Procedure) to stabilise the joint at Cinque Ports Vets. If you prefer to be referred to a specialist orthopaedic surgeon we are happy to arrange this.

All surgical techniques can provide good results but most specialist surgeons would agree that more advanced techniques offer a quicker and more reliable outcome for larger dogs.  A prolonged period of restricted exercise is inevitable whether opting for conservative or surgical treatment.

Cruciate disease is a major problem and all of these options incur a degree of risk. The likelihood of successful treatment and a return to full exercise depends on various factors such as surgical technique, bodyweight, activity levels and duration of disease. A small proportion of dogs may suffer persistent lameness associated with cartilage damage and arthritis in the joint.

Arthritis (Osteoarthritis-OA)

Also known as Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD) occurs as a result of wear and tear on the joints over time.  Osteoarthritis is most common in older animals due to the progression of normal wear and tear over the years.   In some cases osteoarthritis will be present at an earlier age due to specific joint diseases such as hip dysplasia or cruciate disease.  These cause instability in the affected joint and therefore there is accelerated wear and tear. Rheumatoid arthritis which is common in humans is less common in dogs.

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is lameness.  Often this will be intermittent or wax and wane.  Often it will be worse when your pet first gets up.  Some animals don’t have an obvious limp but may be generally stiff. They may be slow getting up after lying down, or may not be as enthusiastic about their walks as usual.  Often these signs of joint pain are mistaken for slowing down with age but osteoarthritis causes pain in and around your pet’s joint.

Osteoarthritis in cats

Because cats are relatively small and agile, and because arthritic changes in joints often affect both sides-for example both left and right hindlimbs-it can be hard to spot signs of obvious lameness. Arthritis may occur wherever there is a joint. It may affect the forelimbs, hindlimbs or spine, or a combination of these areas. Cats generally don’t limp even when they are in pain as they are especially good at hiding signs of pain. Instead, cats affected by arthritis are more likely to show subtle changes in their lifestyle or behaviour. The signs may manifest as sleeping more, grumpiness or lack of grooming. Learning to recognise these signs in your cat will allow you to monitor their condition and assess their response to any changes you make such as giving medication.

Osteoarthritis is a progressive and incurable condition but there are treatment options to help manage it and relieve the symptoms.

Surgery

If your pet’s osteoarthritis is secondary to a specific problem e.g. cruciate ligament disease or patellar luxation, surgery may be an option to stabilise the joint and reduce the progression of the osteoarthritis.  In the most severe cases joint replacements may be an option but these are usually a last resort.

Medication

The most common class of drug used is non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) which provide both pain relief and reduce inflammation. There are various products available in different formulations.  Your vet will help you decide which one is most appropriate for your pet.  Side effects to the drugs we use are uncommon but all NSAIDs can potentially cause tummy upsets.  Sometimes other painkillers are used instead of or in conjunction with NSAIDs. Cartrophen is an injection given to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints.  It is usually administered as a course of 4 injections given 1 week apart.  Whist some dogs respond very well the degree and duration of improvement can be variable.

Weight control

This is a vitally important part of managing osteoarthritis.  Excess weight puts excess strain on the joints and greatly accelerates the wear and tear process.  If your pet is overweight then we will discuss a suitable diet plan with you.  Sometimes weight loss results in such an improvement in symptoms that we no longer need to use painkillers. Our veterinary nurses at Cinque Ports Vets run Weight Management Clubs to help you and your pet manage their weight loss.

Exercise

It is vital to keep an arthritic pet moving to maintain muscle mass and joint mobility.  Exercise moderation is important, particularly for dogs.  Gentle regular exercise is preferable to occasional long or strenuous runs.  Although your dog may enjoy the exercise they will tend to be stiff and sore afterwards.  Try to find what level of exercise your pet can cope with that doesn’t aggravate the symptoms and do not exceed that.  Aim for several shorter walks each day.  If your pet has a ‘flare-up’ of osteoarthritis symptoms reducing the exercise for a few days can help the inflammation subside.

Hydrotherapy as a non-weight bearing exercise can help to improve muscle tone, improve the range of motion of the joints without putting stress on the joints and assist with weight loss. It is important to ensure that hydrotherapy is performed at a centre which is registered with the Canine Hydrotherapy Association. This means that they will regularly have been inspected and audited to receive their certification and will also liase with your veterinary practice in regards to progress and treatment. Hydrotherapy is performed in a controlled environment using warm water and specialised equipment. It is not the same as taking your pet swimming in cold water which causes constriction of their blood vessels near the skin and muscles, restricting their blood flow and making their muscles less efficient.  We can refer your pet to suitable centres for hydrotherapy.

Nutraceuticals

These are dietary supplements which can help modify a disease process.  There is some evidence in humans that they slow the progression of osteoarthritis over time.  Glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate are the most commonly used.  These products are very safe with minimal side effects but as they are not considered drugs the products on sale are not tightly regulated.  It is important to use a reputable brand of product as the quality and concentration of the ingredients varies widely and is very often reflected in the price. Your veterinary surgeon will be happy to help you decide which product will be best suited to your pet.

Complementary treatments

Some pets appear to respond well to treatments such as laser therapy and acupuncture.  We are able to offer both these services at Cinque Ports Vets.

Laser Therapy

Our Class IV deep tissue laser therapy machine is designed to offer a surgery-free, drug- free, non invasive treatment to:

  • reduce pain
  • reduce inflammation
  • speed healing

The laser uses a beam of laser light to deeply penetrate tissue without damaging it. Laser energy induces a biological response in the cells called ‘photo-bio-modulation’, which increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen and nutrients to damaged cells. This leads to reduced pain, reduced inflammation and increased healing speed. Laser therapy has been scientifically proven to be successful in treating post surgical pain and many acute and chronic conditions as listed below:

Acute Conditions Chronic Conditions
Post surgical healing and pain relief Degenerative Joint Disease
Wounds Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Allergies Periodontal Disease
Infections Lick Granulomas
Cuts/Bites Geriatric Care
Inflammations Hip Dysplasia
Tooth extraction pain relief Tendonitis
Sprains,strains and fractures Otitis and much more!

For more information and FAQ’s please click here Commonly Asked Questions

Our Pet Health Counsellors offer free Mobility Clubs to help assist you and your pet cope with the problems osteoarthritis and aging can cause. Why not answer our Canine or Feline Mobility Questionnaire and see if your pet could benefit.

Click on the videos below to watch more about arthritis in dogs and how to help spot the signs of arthritis in your cat.

Please click on the videos below to see two dogs with naturally occurring osteoarthritis, who were trialled on Royal Canin Mobility diets. The before videos are taken on Day 1 and the after videos are taken on Day 50.

Useful links:

www.freedomtomove.co.uk

www.metacam.co.uk

www.spotcatpain.co.uk

www.icatcare.org/advice-centre/cat-health/arthritis-and-degenerative-joint-disease-cats

www.nutravet.co.uk

Separation Anxiety In Dogs

True separation anxiety in dogs is relatively uncommon as similar symptoms are often displayed due to boredom and frustration at being left behind when their owners leave the house.

Separation anxiety is a strong over attachment to a person or persons that leaves the dog emotionally unable to cope when parted from this person. When dogs become destructive the majority of the damage will be caused during the first 15 – 20 minutes after the owner leaves and is often aimed at the door through which the owner leaves the house. The company of another dog will make no difference as only being reunited with the owner will remedy the situation. These dogs are usually extremely clingy to their owners in everyday life, following them around the home and not wanting to be out of sight for even a few seconds. It used to be thought that rescue dogs can be very prone to developing this kind of anxiety as they often quickly form very strong attachments to their new owners, but recent research has shown that they are not actually any more likely to become distressed at being left home alone than other dogs.

Puppies leaving their littermates for the first time need to be taught to be able to cope with isolation as this is not a natural situation for a pack animal to find themselves in, hence the vocalising and destruction as they try to make contact and reunite themselves with their pack.

When first bringing a new puppy into the home it is vital to introduce short periods of isolation to accustom them to the time when inevitably they will have to be left on their own. Using an indoor cage for this purpose, if introduced correctly, can make this process easier and give the puppy a place of security that it can retreat to when in need of some peace and quiet. It is important to only allow the puppy out of the cage when it is being quiet and not when crying otherwise they soon learn that the best way to get attention is by being vocal.

This applies to everything in general with puppies that they are not allowed from an early age to start demanding attention, play etc by barking as this will only escalate as they get older. The length of time that the puppy is left in the cage should be started at around 5 minutes and can then very gradually be extended as they become comfortable with being on their own. If they start to become vocal or upset during this time then go back to shorter periods and gradually extend again.

The use of interactive toys such as a stuffed Kong can also help to keep them occupied during this time. When releasing the pup from the cage do not make a big fuss of them. It is important to remember that young puppies need to toilet much more frequently than an adult dog and it is unfair to expect them to be confined for longer than they can comfortably hold themselves. With some careful planning from an early age you will end up with a pup that can be left for short periods of time without becoming stressed or anxious and who learns to settle quietly.

For older dogs that are unhappy with being left the process is much the same. Providing some exercise before they have to be left can help a dog to settle and feeding them a meal so they have a full stomach can also encourage them to feel sleepy. Try to keep your leaving routine to a minimum, putting on shoes, coats, collecting keys etc as these are all indicators to an anxious dog that they are about to be left alone. Leave the house without making a fuss of the dog as going from this to isolation is difficult for some dogs to cope with. Similarly avoid giving the dog a big fuss on your return, save your greeting for when you have been back in the house for 10 or 15 minutes. As for puppies gradually build up the time that the dog is left for.  It is very important initially to only leave them for periods that they can cope with and to work on this at a pace that is suitable for your dog.

For further help you should contact a qualified pet behaviourist who can assess your pet and implement a training program. We have a qualified behaviourist available at our Lydd branch who is happy to help with a range of canine behavioural problems and basic training issues as well as other contact details of pet behaviourists in the area.

Useful links:
www.kongcompany.com
www.adaptil.co.uk

Applying Eye Drops To Your Dog

Here are some hints and tips for applying eye medication to your pet prescribed by your veterinary surgeon.

It can be helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help hold your pet.

Firstly if there is any discharge around the eye, this should be wiped away with a damp piece of cotton wool. If you need to clean both eyes, separate pieces of cotton wool should be used to avoid cross contamination.

Gently, but firmly hold your pet’s head and tilt their nose so it points upwards. Depending on which medication has been prescribed, you may have an ointment or drops.

Ointment will be in a tube and it is important not to directly point the nozzle at the eye. Using your finger and thumb gently part your pet’s eyelids.

Holding the tube approximately parallel to the eye, gently squeeze a small amount of ointment across the eye.

Your pet will usually, automatically close their eye and you can gently massage their closed eyelids to disperse the ointment evenly over their eye. Drops will usually be in a dropper bottle and this should be held vertically, upside down about half a centimetre from the eye. A drop can then be squeezed onto the eye and then massaged as mentioned above.

If you are applying medication to both eyes it is important to apply to the unaffected eye first and avoid touching the eye with the nozzle to keep cross contamination to a minimum and avoid damaging the eye.

If you have any difficulty applying the medication please let your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets know as they will be happy to help. Veterinary nurses offer free appointments during which they can apply the medication for you.

Applying Ear Drops To Your Dog

Here are some hints and tips for applying ear medication to your pet prescribed by your veterinary surgeon.

If you have been advised to use ear cleaner as well, make sure you use this first as it will help the medication work more effectively.

It can be helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help hold your pet.

Gently, but firmly hold your pet’s head and in the other hand gently pull the ear pinna (flap) upwards to open the ear canal as much as possible.

Hold the bottle in your other hand and apply the advised number of drops directly into the vertical (outer) ear canal. It is important to make sure the drops go down the canal.

Massage the ear canal, using your finger and thumb at the base to allow the drops to penetrate further into the horizontal ear canal. You should hear a slight squelchy noise as you are massaging. Your pet will shake their head afterwards and some medication and debris may also be shaken out.

You can clean the outer part of the ear canal using some damp cotton wool to wipe away any excess. Never use cotton buds in your pets’ ears.

If you are applying medication to both ears it is important to keep cross contamination to a minimum and the nozzle should be cleaned between applications.

If you have any difficulty applying the medication please let your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets know as they will be happy to help. Veterinary nurses offer free appointments during which they can apply the medication for you.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

Here are some hints and tips for cleaning your pet’s ears using an ear cleaner.

Vets often advise ear cleaner to be used first before administering ear drops as this will help the medication work more effectively.

It can be helpful to have an extra pair of hands to help hold your pet.

Gently, but firmly hold your pet’s head and in the other hand gently pull the ear pinna (flap) upwards to open the ear canal as much as possible.

Hold the bottle in your other hand and apply the advised number of drops directly into the vertical (outer) ear canal.

Massage the ear canal, using your finger and thumb at the base to allow the cleaner to penetrate further into the horizontal ear canal. You should hear a slight squelchy noise as you are massaging. Massaging ear cleaner will enable any wax or debris to come to the surface from the base of the canal.

You can clean the outer part of the ear canal using some damp cotton wool. This will wipe away any excess debris. Never use cotton buds in your pets’ ears. Your pet will shake their head afterwards and some cleaner and debris may also be shaken out.

If you are applying cleaner to both ears it is important to keep cross contamination to a minimum and the nozzle should be cleaned between applications.

If you have any difficulty applying the cleaner please let your local branch of Cinque Ports Vets know and they will be happy to help advise accordingly.