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The ear structure

The ear is made up of three distinct sections. Their roles are also very distinct.

The dog’s ear

The outer ear

It is made up of the auricle and the outer or auricular duct. The auricle is made of cartilage covered in skin. Its morphology varies from one race to another: short, straight and pricked; button and half dropping ears or wide and dropping. The external ear allows localisation, amplification and modulation of sounds. The auricle also plays a very important role in visual communication, through facial mimics. It is important to note that the auricular duct is bent at a right-angle, which explains why it is dangerous to use ear buds to wash your companion’s ears that risk packing the dirt and creating a blockage!

The middle ear

It is separated from the outer ear by the eardrum. It is made up of three small bones, the hearing ossicles, located in the bulla. This is where sounds, transformed into sound waves after having been through the eardrum, are amplified.

The inner ear

Also called labyrinth, it serves two functions:

  • Hearing: the sound waves are transformed into electrical signals. These signals are in turn transmitted to the brain, which analyses the information.
  • Balance: a liquid-based system acts like a mason’s level and provides information on the body’s position, its movements, etc.

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