French Bulldogs have some of the cutest and most kissable ears on the planet.
Unfortunately, these adorable little Dumbo wings are also prone to infections, so it’s very important for you as a pet owner to take good care of them.
Which cleaning techniques are best? What signs and symptoms should you be aware of in a dirty ear? When should you call a vet?
Consider this your guide to French Bulldog ear cleaning.
Do I need to clean my Frenchie’s ears?
Ear cleaning is a necessity for many dog breeds, but it’s especially critical for Frenchies. Their large, bat-like ears can collect a lot of environmental allergens, including:
Additionally, since French Bulldogs tend to have weak immune systems, they can be extra susceptible to things like yeast infections. Yeast grows in dark, moist places, so the Frenchie ears are just asking for trouble.
Why do French Bulldog’s ears smell?
If you’ve been getting unpleasant whiffs of something whenever your Frenchie wants a snuggle, you’re probably smelling yeast in their ears. It has a distinct odor that’s often compared to popcorn or corn chips. It can also smell moldy, musty, cheesy or yeasty.
Another possibility is that their ears are just dirty. Since they’re quite large, their canals can accumulate a lot of debris. Common culprits are dirt, hair, pollen, earwax, and dead skin cells. It can result in a noticeable smell when the gunk starts to congeal.
On rare occasions, the smell in your French Bulldog’s ears can indicate a more serious health problem. If you’ve noticed any other symptoms besides an odor, call your vet.
What is the brown stuff in my dog’s ears?
There are several possible causes of brown clumps or brown discharge coming from a dog’s ears:
- Earwax. A bit of earwax is actually normal and healthy for dogs, but if you let it accumulate, it can cause pain, discomfort, odors and more. One of the tell-tale signs is if your Frenchie is shaking his or her head a lot.
- Infection. Yeast infections can cause brown or reddish-brown discharge. So can fungal infections and conditions like otitis externa. If you notice redness, inflammation, bleeding, flaking or anything else that isn’t usually a problem with your dog’s ears, it could be a sign of an infection.
- Ear mites. Ear mites can create dark, gritty and crusty spots in your Frenchie’s ears. They don’t produce any discharge on their own, but they can cause infections that do, especially if your dog has hurt themselves with excessive scratching.
Are French Bulldogs prone to ear infections?
French Bulldogs are some of the sweetest little gremlins on the planet, but they’re also prone to a variety of health problems, including ear infections.
Part of the reason is their anatomy. They have flat, compressed skulls with big ears that stand upright, so their ear canals are quite deep. They’re basically breeding grounds for bacteria. Have you noticed that your Frenchie is especially vulnerable to ear problems after a bath or a swim? It’s because the moisture helps nasty things flourish in there.
Another reason is their genetic predisposition to allergies. French Bulldog allergies can result in itchy skin and ears. If your Frenchie scratches their ears over and over again, they can bleed and cause infections.
How do you clean a dog’s ears out?
Never stick things inside of your French Bulldog’s ears!
This is very important, so let’s repeat it.
Never stick things inside your French Bulldog’s ears!
Whether it’s a q-tip or a cotton swab, you’ll only push the gunk further into the ear canal. Over time, you might even compact it. This will cause even more problems for your poor pup.
So how do you safely clean your French bulldog’s ears? For the exterior flaps, it’s enough to take a baby wipe to them. For the interior, it’s recommended that you use a solution like Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner. Just squeeze a few drops into your dog’s ears and massage them at the base to spread it around.
Remember the golden rule. Never, ever, ever stick things inside of your French Bulldog’s ears.
Can I clean my dog’s ears with water?
It’s okay to clean your dog’s ears with water as long as you thoroughly dry them afterwards. Moisture is one of the most common causes of ear infections since it encourages the production of bacteria and fungus.
Speaking very generally, however, you’ll probably want to invest in some kind of ear cleaner for your French Bulldog. It’s such an important part of their grooming routine that it makes sense to find a good product for it. If you’re worried about potential side effects, look for something made with organic, all-natural ingredients, and check its pH balance to ensure that it isn’t too much for your pup.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to French Bulldog ear cleaning than just attacking the dirt and grime with a cotton swab. If you want a happy, healthy pup, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to a regular grooming routine for both the interior and exterior canal. Give your Frenchie a reason to smile their big, slobbery smile!
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.