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Ears should be a dull, pink colour and free of dirt and smell. If an animal shakes its head, then this could indicate an ear problem. Do not stick things inside the ear as this could cause injury. It is common for dogs and cats to investigate things. This often involves putting their heads into gaps in hedges and fences. This can result in a tear in the ear. When this occurs it can cause a lot of bleeding, but a simple bandage can help while transferring to the vet.

When bandaging the ear, try not to cover the good ear so hearing is not totally restricted. Bleeding in the ear will be uncomfortable, and the animal may try to shake the head or use the paw to pull the dressing off. Try to calm and reassure the animal to keep the dressing in place. Do not put the dressing on too tight since it will be across the neck, and you do not want to restrict breathing in any way.