Yes. Gross I know, but is it really?
Smelling your pets' ears, breath and skin is something not everybody is going to be looking forward to, but it is a very important part of giving them the best care. And the ears are just the beginning. I'll explain:
It is so important to make yourself familiar with the way your pet's ears, feet and breath smell on a regular basis. Take time to look at those gums too. One of the first things we look at when one of our crew is acting like he or she is not feeling his or her best is gums. And what is "normal" for one pet may be totally diferent for another. So go check 'em while they are doing well. This may sound gross, but when we know what "normal" looks and smells like, we are much better equipped to know when something is off, and much more likely to start treatment sooner.
I used to love playing "Animal Hospital" when I was a kid. I still play this pretend game with my pets, and so can you: Preforming a quick at-home "check-up" once a month is a game the whole family can play. It not only helps you keep an eye (and a nose) on the little things, but it also can help your pet get used to being examined when he or she is feeling well, so that the exams by your vet will cause less stress.
How it's done:
You can practice giving "pills" and drops any time. I use small bits of treats wrapped in cream cheese, so they are used to taking a pill-sized treat. That way, when time for real pills comes around, there is no surprise. To keep them happy for ear treatments, I place a few drops of my favorite ear wash in each ear weekly. We use "little noses" saline spray for snouts and artificial tears to simulate eye drops. Likewise, you may consider playing with your pet's feet when things are going well. We have games where we play with feet, snouts and more. the point is, I find it much easier to treat our darlings when they are not feeling well if I have prepared them for these things when they are well and it is a game.
Most importantly, it is so important to know what your individual pet's "normal" behavior and physical condition looks like. Knowing this can help you, your beloved pet, and your veterinarian to work towards a faster recovery if something should go wrong.
Does your pet suffer from chronic ear problems? In addition to our terrific ear wash, I might just have some simple dietary suggestions which may help. Please feel free to call or send me an email and we can chat. Our contact information is HERE
Oh, and the picture? That's Ralph, our resident "feline delinquent" cleaning Calvin's ears. As you can see, Calvin loves it!