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Could my cocker spaniel puppy have an ear infection?

pk's mom
March 13th, 2006, 03:16 PM
My cocker spaniel puppy has recently been scratching at his ears a lot more than usual. I know cockers are prone to lots of ear infections/problems because of their floppy ears and am wondering if maybe I should be concerned that he is developing something. Other than the scratching, I don't notice any other unusual behavior from him. Is there anything else I need to look for? How would I tell if he did have an infection?
Also, can you prevent ear infections from happening?

March 13th, 2006, 03:32 PM
First off if lift his ears and smell them. This is one sure fire way to see if they are infected. You should clean his ears once a week. Use an alchohol free one in case there is any sores in the ears. I use one of 2 Oticalm or Blue Ear Cleaner this is a homemade one. Follow the directions on the bottle and then after they are clean do it once a week and it will really cut down on infections. Also if the dog swims a lot you may want to dry them out with a soft cloth the water that stays in the ears is a breeding ground for infections. If you are not comfortable doing them yourself go to your vet and have them show you how to clean them and they don't charge much for it. Because you do have to be careful.

March 13th, 2006, 03:35 PM
It sounds like at the very least the beginning of an ear infection. I'd say since you have a long eared pet, you're better off asking the vet to show you how to treat an ear infection and how to clean the ears so you can do it on your own (otherwise it can get pretty expensive).

Regular cleaning helps prevent them, but cleaning them when they are infected hurts a lot. It's better to treat them with an antibiotic ointment for ears (from the vet) for 7 to 10 days and then resume cleaning after the treatment. A lot of dogs with ear infections end up afraid of people touching their ears because of people cleaning them with a solution that stings when they're already hurting.

Bacteria and yeast grow well in moist, warm, dark places, and a lot of the cleaners help dry out the ears a bit.

Oh and food and environmental allergies can cause chronic ear infections too...

March 13th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Oh one more thing I give Buddy yogurt everyday on his food. Bud has chronic ear infections

pk's mom
March 13th, 2006, 04:13 PM
Plain, or flavored yogurt? Does it matter?

(I use one of 2 Oticalm or Blue Ear Cleaner this is a homemade one.)
How do you make the homemade ear solution? Is it the Blue Ear Cleaner and you just mix it at home? - I was a little confused by your sentence.

Thanks for your suggestions. Definitely helpful!

March 13th, 2006, 04:30 PM
Oticalm can be purchased at your vets and the homemade one I will give you the recipe to you can buy everything at the pharmacy. Plain with live cultures yogurt no flavours. I perfer this homemade one. Mastiffs are also prone to ear infections due to the weight of their ears and that they really don't move a lot.


16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol

4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder

16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.

Please shake this solution every time you use it to mix the Boric Acid Powder. Either a baby ear syringe or a plastic squirt bottle work well for putting the solution in the ear.


Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if the are inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Just flush and then wait until inflammation is gone, which will be about two days. Warm the solution and shake the bottle each time before using. The dogs will accept the treatment much better if you warm it up for them.

Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle).

Massage gently, wipe with 100% cotton pad.

On first treatment: flood the ear twice, wipe with a pad, and leave alone without massage.

The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue. (Note: the Gentian Violet does stain fabrics so you're best to do this outdoors.)

Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks, depending upon severity of ears.

After the 2nd or 3rd day you can clean out the ear with a tissue or cotton pad.

Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks.
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog).

March 13th, 2006, 06:24 PM
As Prin suggested, it's best to get her checked at the vet's to make sure it isn't an infection, they're dreadfully nasty once they hit full bore and you run many risks. After that, cleaning is a must, I have a pointer, and while his ears have really cleared up from changes I've made to his diet, I still have to clean them once a week.

March 13th, 2006, 07:12 PM
Itching can be the beginning of an ear infection. It may just be dirty at this point if you don't smell anything foul. An infected ear has a very distinct smell that will fill the house.
You should learn how to clean the ear canal safely by asking your vet or a groomer.
If you are concerned that there is an infection please see your vet.

As for homemade ear cleaner be careful what you use. I have read that Gentian Violet Solution can be harmful to some dogs.

March 14th, 2006, 02:42 AM
I have not had any problems and haven't heard of anyone having any adverse effects from it.

March 14th, 2006, 11:28 AM
Even if you make a homemade concoction, it's better to be shown how to do it by the vet. You don't want to damage any of the internal ear, and if it is an infection deep in the internal ear, you're going to need more specific treatment than if it's just beginning in the outer ear.