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Ear cleaning nightmare

Heidi1
May 10th, 2005, 09:42 AM
Hello,

I recently adopted a Shih Tzu from Animal Services. He has an ear infection, which we're treating. However, trying to clean his ears is very difficult/impossible. We can put the cream in his ears somewhat by surprise, but can't clean them this way. He growls and I'm worried he will bite. I'm thinking of getting a muzzle to accomplish the ear cleaning safely, but don't know if this is a good idea or not. Any help of advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Heidi

Eleni
May 10th, 2005, 09:50 AM
yeah a muzzle is a good idea if your questioning wether or not he will bite you while cleaning his ears.


have you tried having someone distract him with a treat while you are cleaning his ears?


Eleni

Katherine
May 10th, 2005, 10:13 AM
I would try to avoid a muzzle as it might increase his negative reaction to getting his ears cleaned. You say hes only growling right now , I would try wrapping him in a towel (like a baby) and giving him lots of praise while cleaning. Afterwards give him a treat and a belly rub :)

Lucky Rescue
May 10th, 2005, 10:22 AM
You just got this dog, so he doesn't know and trust you yet. He may very well bite.

A soft nylon muzzle is the best and easiest way to keep everyone safe!:)

Heidi1
May 10th, 2005, 10:34 AM
Thank you very much for the information.

Prin
May 10th, 2005, 11:31 AM
I was told by my vet never to clean the ears when they were infected, to only do an anitbiotic/antifungal treatment. The cleaning solution STINGS like madness when the ears are infected. Cleaning the ears with solution while infected is the best way to get a dog to be terrified of ear cleaning and handling...

Beaglemom
May 10th, 2005, 11:49 AM
I was thinking the same thing. When you have an ear infection, it hurts just to touch the ear let alone trying to clean it. I've had a couple of ear infections myself, it hurts. I've had a dog with an ear infection and we were told to treat the infection with the medication. Once the infection cleared then we just cleaned the ears weekly with a good cleaning solution.

A muzzle might be a good idea, but it could also have a negative impact on the dog. You might want to try and get the dog used to get his ears handled. You will have to go slow with this especially because the only thing he knows now is that it hurts when someone touches his ears due to his infection.

Have the infection cleared up and then start to work on getting him used to having his ears cleaned slowly. Start by rubbing his head and run your hands over his ears. Gradually rub the outside of his ears and work your way to touching the inner flap. Eventually you will be able to clean his ears without any problems. Give him treats and lots of praise as he accepts more handling around his ears so that he can associate good things with his ears being touched.

I personally would only use the muzzle as a last resort and if I had no other option. Work on him trusting you and he will most likely come around.

SnowDancer
May 10th, 2005, 12:15 PM
Agree with Beaglemom. We once had a Lhasa who suffered from ear infections frequently - face it, just about always. He was allergic to just about everything, including himself I think. Sometimes during a respite, we asked the vet to clean his ears - other times we were able to do it. Not easy.

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 02:19 PM
I was told by my vet never to clean the ears when they were infected, to only do an anitbiotic/antifungal treatment. The cleaning solution STINGS like madness when the ears are infected. Cleaning the ears with solution while infected is the best way to get a dog to be terrified of ear cleaning and handling...

Huh?

My vet cleans Raj's ears when I take her in for an ear infection .
He has his own special cleaner, so maybe it doesn't burn. Doesn't seem to bother her at all. She actually leans into his hand and groans when he's cleaning them, as though it feels good (maybe because they itch?). I think it depends on the cleaning solution.

tenderfoot
May 10th, 2005, 02:39 PM
We have 2 things we do -
First is use Oxyfresh ear cleaning solution - go to our web site and go to 'Links & Referrals' under Dental - click the the Oxyfresh link for great pet products including a wonderful gentle ear cleaning solution that bubbles all of the junk out of the ear (beware when they do that first head shake). :yuck:
Oxyfresh has awesome products for your pets and for you - take a look!

The next best thing you can do for an infected ear is a simple solution of 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 warm water. Vinegar is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it worlds great - you should see improvement in 24 hours. I take approx 5cc in a plastic syringe (no needle) and slowly shoot it into the ear. Then I massage around the ear.

The long haired breeds have abnormally abundant hair in their ears - the groomer should be removing it when they groom, but some people trim it with scissors while others yank it out. I would have issues with you being near my ears if someone had yanked hair out of them before.

I would routinely massage the ears and don't put anything in them. Give them a good rubbing when the dog is eating, when you are snuggling and randomly in between. Help him get over thinking that when you head to his ears its going to be traumatic.

Hold him in your lap securely and love on him for a bit, then reach behind you to retrieve the warm solution and help him adjust to the idea of you being in his ears by giving them a nice rub. Just place the syringe by his ear but don't do anything - reward for good/gentle manners. Then ease it into his ear and slowly squeeze the solution into his ear - end with more good massaging and he should have a better experience.

Having a leash on him would help while you are working with him so that he can't run away (and learn it works), and you can correct him for snapping.

Cactus Flower
May 10th, 2005, 03:36 PM
The next best thing you can do for an infected ear is a simple solution of 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 warm water. Vinegar is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial so it worlds great

Tenderfoot, THANK YOU! What a wonderful tip!

Luvmypit
May 11th, 2005, 02:10 PM
My dog has ear infections often also and I was told to give the meds and then after it clears then to start cleaning. capone loves to get the wipes in his ear but anything that has to be squirted terrifies him and we often struggle to get it in there. Its like wwe when its med times. But he has never growled just struggles against us and boy is he strong!
Maybe it has to do with the squirting of it. Try a syringe instead that may ease the solution in more easily and with a less offensive sound. That sound is probably quite loud especially seeing as a dogs hearing is far greater then humans. And then comes the liquid probably just as offensive as the noise it makes. Just a thought.

bluntman
May 11th, 2005, 02:56 PM
Zena was very prone to ear infections, wax would build up in her ears and they could not breath, this would lead to an infection, So I would clean her ears once or twice a week to avoid this, she never made a fuss, and enjoyed it becuse she new her ears would feel better after I was done. At one point the wax build up was way more than normal, so bad I could not keep on top of it, I had no idea what was causeing all this wax, I thought back to when it started, and realized it must be her dog food, I had bought a big bag of genaric Lamb and rice food, she seemed to like it, so I keep buying it, untill I realized what it was doing to her ears, as well as Sables when I checked them. Once back on a good quality food, it was back to the normal weekly cleanings. Now that she is on BARF, her ears are fine, and I no longer have to clean them weekly , But I do keep an eye on them. I had no idea dog food could play such an important role in something like ear infections, untill I had the experiance with cheap dog food.

Lise
May 11th, 2005, 03:56 PM
Treat ear infection as your vet instructed.I would definately muzzle dog.I would be surprised if your vet told you to clean ears daily usually it's every other day or even every three days.Ask your vet about plucking dogs ears(once infection has cleared)many breeds with a lot of hair in ears are prone to ear infections because the hair traps moisture.A good groomer or vet can do it,do not just cut the hair it must be plucked.A good way to clean ears is to saturate a cotton ball in solution ,place in the ear and gently massage the ear ,remove cotton ball and replace with a dry one,repeat until the cotton ball comes out clean.This way you are not forcing debris deeper into ear and it is less painfull to dog.Never use Qtips to clean.

Prin
May 11th, 2005, 07:38 PM
Also always dry their ears after swimming or playing in snow. Got a bit inside with a kleenex. My old lab got infections all the time because water would get in and provide a nice environment for bacteria to grow.

The normal cleansers, like "Vet Solutions" or "Routine" or others that are for regular cleaning are the ones that sting when the ear is already infected. Normally, for maintenance, you put these solutions in, let the dog shake and remove the debris with either a cotton ball or kleenex. They're really for flushing out the debris.

If Raja leaned in, maybe it was an ointment, not a solution to flush the ears. Did the stuff go in and come out? My doggies LOVE the ointment. You put the ointment in, massage the ears and that's it. The dog may shake, but nothing substantial should come out.

Jemma has had to be sedated to flush her ears when they were infected... It's really not pleasant.