You likely already know that grooming is an essential part of taking care of a Maltipoo, but did you also know that it’s vital to take care of their ears? Because Maltipoos have floppy ears, heat and moisture can build up, creating infections and other unwanted issues because of bacteria and parasites.
In this guide, I’ll give you must-know details about how to clean Maltipoo ears so that your pup can hear you crystal clear when you pull out his treat bag.
First Things First: The Inspection
Before you embark on cleaning your Maltipoo’s ears, you should give them a quick inspection to make sure you don’t see any jarring signs of an infection, mites, or ticks. Below are some items that you should watch out for.
Skin Color: The flaps and inner part of the ear should be pink. If you encounter any discoloration, including if there are spots, it’s an indication that something isn’t right.
Odor: Your Maltipoo’s ears shouldn’t have an odor. If they smell musty, you should bring your dog to the vet, as this is one of the biggest signs of an ear infection.
Wax: A small amount of wax is healthy and normal, as it captures debris before it goes too far down your dog’s inner ear. However, an excess wax build-up can be troublesome for your Maltipoo, so you’ll need to remove it.
Plucking a Maltipoo’s Ears
If you’ve cared for short-haired dogs’ ears in the past, this title might alarm you. However, because of its long hair, it’s important to pluck the inner portion of your Maltipoo’s ears as part of their ear care routine.
There are numerous issues that excessive ear hair can cause for Maltipoos, including:
- Blocked airflow
- Wax clinging to the hair
- Dirt build-up, increasing the chance of ear infections
Don’t worry; plucking your Maltipoo’s ears won’t hurt them if you have the right materials. Therefore, I recommend purchasing a hemostat and ear powder, which will help give you a better grip on the hair. For the hemostat, a curved shape and stainless steel material are ideal.
Once you have these materials, squeeze a bit of the ear powder into your Maltipoo’s ear. Then, using the hemostat, grab a few pieces of hair and quickly yank them out.
Make sure to make this move with confidence—you know how much more painful it is to remove a band-aid slowly than quickly.
Repeat this process until you remove all long, visible hair. When in doubt, it’s best to leave the hair in place until you visit a groomer, for sticking the hemostat too far down your Maltipoo’s ear canal can injure it.
Manual Ear Cleaning
Once you remove the jungle inside your Maltipoo’s ears, take a cotton ball and wipe away any wax and debris that you can see.
Make sure to wipe the cotton inside all the small crevices and give some love to the ear flap, too. Like with the plucking stage, you want to ensure that you don’t push the cotton ball too far down your Maltipoo’s ear—I’ll show you a different cleaning method for that next.
To make the job easier, you can use canine ear lotion. Alternatively, you can wait until you clean your Maltipoo’s inner ear after the step I’ll describe next, as that’ll help loosen up the wax.
Ear Cleaning With a Solution
Although this is the last part of cleaning your Maltipoo’s ear, it’s arguably the most important since it will help you access areas that are impossible to reach using the other methods here. There are many ear cleaning solutions on the market made for dogs—I recommend choosing one with natural ingredients that indicates it works well with sensitive skin.
Pour the ear solution into your Maltipoo’s ear canal and quickly cover it with a cotton swab. Your dog’s reaction will likely be to shake his head, and that’s okay. In fact, head shaking helps distribute the solution deeper into the ear canal, which will break up heavy clumps of wax.
The trick is trying to keep your dog’s ear covered with the cotton swab while he shakes. That way, you lose less of the solution and capture more of the unwanted wax and debris.
Using the cotton ball, rub your dog’s ear with firm pressure and in a circular motion. Dogs love this, so you likely won’t have to keep your Maltipoo from running away. Aim to do this ear massaging for two to three minutes. During this time, you can switch out cotton balls if your original one becomes too full of dirt and wax.
To finish off the cleaning, take a clean cotton ball and wipe away any remaining clumps of debris that you can see.
How Often Should I Clean My Maltipoo’s Ears?
You should pluck and clean your Maltipoo’s ears regularly. I recommend doing so at least once per month. Of course, if you’d rather not clean your dog’s ears yourself, you can always ask your groomer to do it as part of his regular grooming routine.
What Happens If I Don’t Clean My Maltipoo’s Ears?
Cleaning your Maltipoo’s ears is essential for his health. Ear infections are the most common ear-related issue that Maltipoos face because their floppy ears hold in moisture, and their long hair traps dirt and bacteria.
Causes of ear infections in your Maltipoo include:
- Ear mites
- Excess wax build-up
- Ears remain wet for too long after a bath or swimming.
- Dirt and other unwanted objects stuck inside the ear
- Cleaning too deeply (yes, too much of a good thing is a bad thing)
Luckily, if you catch an ear infection quickly enough, it’s easy to treat with the support of antibiotics from your vet. If you suspect your Maltipoo has an ear infection, that may be the case if he’s displaying one or more of the following symptoms:
- Musty odor coming from the inner ear
- Discharge from the ear
- Discolored wax color
- Head shaking and scratching at the ears
- Yelping if you touch your dog’s ears
You also might notice that your Maltipoo has an unsteady balance because he can sometimes become dizzy if the ear infection advances. In some cases, just one ear might have an infection. In other cases, both ears might have the infection.
Treating an Ear Infection
You can often treat minor ear infections by cleaning your Maltipoo’s ears according to the instructions I shared here. However, more often than not, it’s best to bring your dog to the vet so that they can determine the severity of the infection.
Your vet will likely instruct you to clean your Maltipoo’s ears with a medicated ear cleaning solution that they’ll prescribe to you. Assuming you follow the veterinary’s instructions, you can expect your dog’s ears to be back to normal within one to two weeks.
Ready to Clean Your Maltipoo’s Ears?
Now that you know how to clean Maltipoo ears and the importance of doing so, your pooch will likely thank you with lots of face licks and begging for playtime.
By cleaning your Maltipoo’s ears at least once per month, you’ll help him prevent uncomfortable ear infections, and, as a bonus, you’ll know he can hear you when you say “no” whenever he tries jumping on furniture that he knows that he shouldn’t.