How To Clean Shih Tzu Ears? (Extensive Guide for 2022)

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Dog ears have dozens of muscles. Clean Shih Tzu ears not only prevent growing ear infections but also are good for ear hygiene and treat bad odors. Blockage in the ear canal can affect airflow and cause hearing problems, as it serves as a shelter to parasites like mites, so it is always necessary to clean the ears.

Poor ear hygiene can give rise to itching, redness, and infections. Cleaning Shih Tzu ears is simpler and easier if you follow the below-mentioned strategies, and at the same time, cleaning becomes complicated too if left the cautions un heed.

A few pet owners are always curious regarding how to cure the bad odor and smell of ears; we also shared a secret strategy to fix the ear odor; don’t forget to give it a read.

We have shared below our extensive research on the ears, how to clean them, some home remedies, and much more regarding pet hygiene. So, with no further due, let’s jump in.

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How to clean Shih Tzu ears?

How To Clean Shih Tzu Ears?

A few steps to clean your Shih Tzu’s ears are first, calm your Shih Tzu down while settling it on a table or flat surface, examine the ears, apply the cleanser while massaging the ears bottom, then make sure your Shih Tzu shakes its head and finally wipe out the cleanser to dry it’s ear out.

Besides all the love these dogs give, they do deserve some return. Proper payback to them is to take care of them, do their grooming on time, and the most difficult of all, clean their ears, yet it is, but we are going to make it simpler and easier.

Shih Tzu ear shape and continuously growing inner hairs cause the ears to be dirty, so they need on-time cleaning.

Today we will share a step-by-step guide on cleaning Shih Tzu Ears.

Equipment Required For Cleaning Shih Tzu Ears

Calm Your Shih Tzu And Settle It On Examination Table

For a better cleansing experience, your dog must be calm and cooperative throughout the process. Calm down and soothe your dog before starting with the process.

Make your dog sit in your lap and move hands gently over and around his tummy. You can also swad your dog in a towel like a human baby.

Examine The Ears: Take A Deep look:

The first step before starting with ear cleansing is to examine the ears properly. You should make it clear whether you are cleansing to prevent infections or cleaning the ears that already have an infection.

Examine the ears and look for signs of infections that could be looking for any spots, redness, smell, or presence of mites.

Apply Cleanser, Massage The Ears Bottom

Grasp your dog’s ear open the flaps, and apply the cleanser to the ears. Dip a cotton ball in the cleanser solution and try to massage out your pups’ ears.

Start in circular rings around and below the ears. Massage the Shih Tzu ears with gentle presses of 20-40; this will help break the accumulated debris into pieces.

Let Your Shih Tzu Shake It Off

Now here, you have to shift the lead role to the dog. Encourage your dog to give little scrubby shakes to its head. The shaking activity will let the dirt and debris fall out of the ears and will clean the ears out. Moreover, there is also the removal of excessive cleanser in this step.

Wipe Out Cleanser And Dry Out the Dogs Ears

Done till her next step is to take a cotton ball and clean the ears. Be cautious regarding the internal movement of cotton balls. Also, don’t rub the cotton balls too hard.

Finally, dry your dog’s ear using a clean cloth. Make sure to remove all sorts of moisture as it will give rise to infectious growth. Also, reward your dog at the end of the session as it will make it more cooperative for the next time.

Shih Tzu Itchy Ears Home Remedy

If you want to cure your Shih Tzu Itchy ears, we suggest wiping out the excess wax and debris trapped in the ear canal with the help of a vet-recommended cleanser and a cotton ball.

Talking about the remedies you can use to cure itchy ears, first, make sure that you know it’s the itchiness caused by swelling and also use the products in their best natural condition.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is an ancient remedy to cure itchy ness in ears. Take 50% of this vinegar and dilute it with 50% water, then dip it in cotton balls and use it to clean the ears.
  2. Coconut Oil: Putting some drops of natural organic coconut oil at the ear entrance and then massaging the ears from the bottom can also kill mites, remove infections and cure itchy ears.
  3. Aloe Vera Gel: Soothing the ear canal with aloe vera gel can reduce the itchiness of the Shih Tzu ears.

Shih Tzu Ear Wax Problems

Ear wax accumulation increases when there is less ventilation and confined ear canals.

Shih Tzu has different ears geometry and orientation.

Shih Tzu has floppy ears; as a result, the ear and the ear canals get improper ventilation.

When combined with the inner ear hairs, the wax generates a trap; the dirt and debris get trapped easily.

Later, the warm ear conditions cause the wax to accumulate, which can attract more parasites like ear mites.

As wax serves as their food and ear canal as shelter, these parasites reside here and start benefiting from the host.

They reproduce more of their kind, and the cycle continues until a severe infection occurs in the ears. So, it is necessary to clean the wax frequently to avoid these problems.

Shih Tzu Ears Smell

Dog breeds like Shih Tzu have flopping downside ears rather than those pointed above the head.

As a result, these floppy ears are poorly ventilated and cause ear problems like infection and give rise to an unpleasant smell.

What Causes Shih Tzu Ears To Smell?

When a Shih Tzu is affected by otitis externa (an ear infection that causes swelling in the air canal and, as a result, gets blocked), the infection causes inflammation within the ear. It generates an unpleasant smell outside the ears.

The odor of an ear infection is like a musty or sickeningly sweet. Poor hygiene habits and accumulation of ear wax without infection can also give rise to the foul-smelling of Shih Tzu ears.

How To Remove Shih Tzu Ears Smell?

Dogs are blessed with a natural mechanism of ear cleansing to keep their ears clean naturally. But still, if the ears are smelling for more than a week, we suggest using your vet-recommended products and following the following steps.

  1. Hold the vet-recommended ear cleanser just above your dog’s ear. Squeeze it until the ears are filled with the cleanser.
  2. Start by gently massaging the ear’s bottom, so the solution mixes well with dirt, debris, or wax.
  3. Make your dog shake out his head to mix the cleanser all around, and then let it remove the cleanser.
  4. You can now use cotton balls or a soft cloth to wipe the ears out.

Besides these periodic check-ups, pre-monitoring of the dog’s ears can prevent your dog from getting affected by any ear condition. And will help you to cure it at an early developing stage.

Shih Tzu Ears Are Hot

If you want to be the best pet owner, then you should have such surplus knowledge that you can notice the smallest changes in your dog: the changes could be physical or behavioral. Unfortunately, many of the changes are an initial trigger sign to some serious health problems.

Why Are Shih Tzu Ears Hot?

So, why are dogs’ ears hot? Why is your Shih Tzu’s ears hot? Three months back, I just asked them the same question to my vet, and he replied that hot and red ears are a sign of some soreness in ears.

That could indicate any ear infection, mites infection, or bacterial infection. But saying anything without personally examining as a vet wouldn’t be a healthy decision.

5 Major Reasons That Cause Shih Tzu Ears Hot

With extensive research and vet appointments, I found the five primary reasons that give rise to causing the ears to be too hot. I have enlisted them below.

  1. Fever: Similar to humans, whenever dogs get a fever because of a rise in the body temperature, the ears serve as a pressure point and get hot.
  2. Infections: A pure ear infection and high bacterial activity in the ears can also lead to an immune response, resulting in ears getting hot.
  3. A Near to Ear Injury: A physical injury caused by playing or fighting can also raise the temperature of the ear and make them hot.
  4. Allergy: As mentioned above, the ears in a dog serve as a pressure point. So, if your dog undergoes any allergic conditions, it is likely that its ears might seem hot.
  5. Presence of Ear Mites: Ear mites’ presence can give rise to many problems; we will discuss them in detail too. One of the major ways to identify the presence of ear mites is to check ear temperature in Shih Tzu.

Ear Mites In Shih Tzu Dogs

A parasite that causes infestation within a dog’s ears is called mites. If you notice your dog is shaking its head-scratching out the ears constantly, it might indicate that some octodectescynotis referred to as mites have taken residence within their ears.

These tiny creatures feed on the wax and oil of the ear as a resulting causing itching.

What Are Ear Mites?

Ear mites are a common parasite in cattle, dogs, and cats. The parasite is a microscopic infectious organism that takes food from the host.

They are white-colored in physical appearance, and anyone can barely see with the naked eye. Ear mites live in the ear canal and feed themselves with wax and oil. These mites have a fast reproductive cycle and quickly multiply their presence within weeks.

Symptoms Of The Presence Of Ear Mite In Your Shih Tzu

  • The presence of ear mites will lead to an infection in the ear, which causes the Shih Tzu to shake its head and scratch ears with paws.
  • Ear mites can cause some discharge of dark and brownish color similar to that of dried blood.
  • Shih Tzu’s ear can look red and inflamed because of irritation and scratching.

An important parameter to keep in mind here is that the mites are microscopic creatures, and you cannot see them with the naked eye.

Sometimes people don’t investigate their presence and assume other bacterial infections as mites. I recommend you visit a vet for confirmation to proceed further with any treatment and diagnosis.

How Do Shih Tzu Catch Ear Mites?

Ear mites are microscopic parasites that can easily travel from one host to another in close physical contact. To prevent your Shih Tzu from getting ear mites, don’t let it get too close to other breeds, especially those affected by ear mites.

Can Human and Other Pets Also Catch Ear Mites?

Humans have different biodiversity, so the ear mites present in humans are far away, different from those of dogs.

And if one gets those ear mites, then it is likely that the ear mites from a dog can’t survive in the ear of a human as of the difference in temp and other physical conditions.

So, it is rare that a human can get ear mites from an affected Shih Tzu. Talking about other animals and pets’ cats are the most likely to get these ear mites.

Ear mites are contagious to other pets and animals in the vicinity of the house. If your Shih Tzu is affected by ear mites, we recommend you check other pets.

How To Treat Ear Mites?

There are several ear conditions, and the effects of mites on different Shih Tzu are different. Some have allergic ears, and some don’t allow to treat them, so in this regard, we recommend visiting a vet.

The first step in treatment is to examine the ear and see the extent of the mite’s presence and infection severity.

After examining the ear, depending upon the current condition, the vet will recommend an ear cleansing and then go for mites removal. You can do it using selamectin, moxidectin, parasite killers, and growth controllers.

Final Words

Shih Tzu is among the most friendly, playful, and loveable dog breeds. Shih Tzu is a perfect dog breed for those looking for a small, compact yet affectionate dog.

Proper care and grooming can increase your pet’s life span and makes the left moment more joyful. Cleaning Shih Tzu ears regularly is the easiest way to prevent ear infections.

But you also have to take care as frequent ear cleansing can damage the ear wax. Proper periodic examinations are the key to good ear health.

We shared an extensive guide regarding cleaning Shih Tzu ears.

If you still have any queries, you can drop them down; we would love to hear from you.


I am the owner of Shihtzuadvice.com and the proud parent of two black and one gold Shih Tzu's. I belive that the Shih Tzu is the best all-around dog for anyone and want to share with you as much valuable knowledge as possible about this great breed!

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