Ear Cleaning 
Candle With Care!

Have you ever heard of using ear candles to remove wax from the ears? Ear candles, sometimes called ear cones, are considered a folk medicine.

An individual on the Wellpet mailing list who owned a Golden Retriever with chronic ear infection problems became intrigued when she noticed some promotional material for ear candling (of humans) while in a health food store. As she stated "I bought the candles and decided to do her by the pool (in case she caught on fire - I could throw her in!)" She claims great success with candling to remove ear wax in both her human and canine family. Referring to her dogs she explained "They are very nervous about the fire being so close to their heads the 1st time - but mine quickly got over it and usually fall asleep now while being done!" The process was described as follows:

"The ear candle is a hollow tapered candle 10 - 12 inches long. You should have on hand a glass of water to douse the candle, an aluminum pie plate with a hole in the middle large enough to accommodate the width of the candle, and matches or a lighter.

‘You have the patient lie down, light the candle at its largest end, ensure that you have a draw (by seeing smoke in the other end of the candle), and insert the candle's non-burning end [through the aluminum pie plate] in the ear (without crushing the candle). Then just watch the candle work.

‘The heat (very comfortable - that's why so many drift off while being candled) and the vacuum created within the candle draw out the old wax, dirt, etc. from the ear and move them into the candle. Don't be alarmed if you have spurts of more heat in the ear - that's the old wax leaving the ear - not candle wax dripping in - do not pull out the candle and break the vacuum! None of this process is painful - so don't be alarmed! Anyway, you should let the candle burn down to about an inch from the ear - when that happens, pull the candle out and quickly douse it in the glass of water you have placed nearby. (You can see clearly all the crud which came out of the ear! Yuk!)

‘Even though the candling works best for outer ear infections - I have found that it also is comforting and helpful in inner ear infections. It seems to help soothe the ear drum (maybe the heat), and seems to help liquefy and break up the clog which my be pressing on the drum. The ears seem to feel under less pressure after being candled....

‘To wrap up - it's not difficult to candle ears - but it was scary the 1st time. Now it's no big deal. Only takes about 7-9 minutes an ear. The 1st time you candle an ear, it may take about 2-3 candles to get all the junk out - then you can candle the ear every 3-6 months using 1 candle each ear. ... I will say that my vet still says that most dogs would not lay still for the candling - I believe he is now also candling - finds it less prone to possible injury to the dog's ear - but he is using a light sedative on the dogs 1st. If your dog is normally attentive and obedient to you (if a terrier will lay still for me!), I think it's doable. One of my coworkers has done some of his goats! "


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