A way with wax
January 26, 2015 – How do you know when the wax on your car has gone awry? Does it lack luster, refuse to reflect, balk at beading or feel of friction? All are factors that help weigh the need for wax, but not so applicable to pets. Better to earmark color, quantity and acceptance as the signs to watch for when working with their wax.
The ear canals of cats, and dogs, contain a clear, whitish, wax, that is nearly negligible, and non-odorous, when normal. It’s a mixture of water, oil and scale (technically called cerumen); and it can stick to the slippery slopes of a greased up pig. But with a transport mechanism that goes from ear drum to ear flap; it typically takes care of itself. Add hair, poor ventilation, microfriction and microbes to the mix, and ear wax becomes worrisome.
Wax is the key to cleaning, and cluttering, the ear canals. To identify a wax related problem, you can use visual inspection, sensory detection or your pet’s perception… as follows:
You SEE the ABC’s of ear wax woes –
1) Amount increased. The direct result of heredity, inflammation or seborrhea.
2) Barriers to movement. The folds, flaps, hair, oil thickness and canal size; that predispose to problems.
3) Color changes: Red, black, yellow, orange, green or brown wax. They are color coded indicators of irritation (lack of hygiene), infection or infestation
You SENSE the disturbing dilemma of wayward wax –
1) A greasy sensation
2) A foul odor
3) A bitter taste (don’t try this at home)
You SUSPECT the “waxing and waning” of unwanted wax –
1) A tilt of the head tips you off. Although cute when accompanied by curiosity, but if it’s a product of pain… the wax should be wiped.
2) A gentle massage behind the ear is an act of love, and a pleasure for most pets. But if the response you receive is a moan, yelp, scratch or bite, or your furry friend shuns your stroking… it’s time to waste the wax.
3) A sniff test triggers inappropriate interest. Place a finger in your pet’s ear, rub it around, and then put it in front of their nose. If they sniff it with a vivacious vigor… the wax is wanting.
Bottom line: Wax is classy on cars, but coating the canals with it… only cancels the calm of cleanliness.