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Ear Care

October 31st, 2006, 09:45 AM
Sooooo I feel like a tool this morning. I don't think I've ever cleaned Cider's ears as thoroughly as I should have due to people telling me I'd make them worse. So I'll give thanks to whatever god, that she's had great ears anyhow...

So I was wondering, especially people with floppy eared dogs ALL you do to keep your dogs ears happy and healthy..

I've always cleaned out her ears.. But never washed the inside of the ear flap much. Was always told I'd cause an ear infection. Her old owner didn't even wash her head actually, and put cotton in her ears when washing her.. Well she's getting wax and dirt and goop on the inside I can't get off, and it turns out I should have been shaving part of the inside fur off, and duh... washing it......

So I feel like a moron right now... And Cider's sick of me trying to get her ears clean today.. :(

October 31st, 2006, 09:55 AM
My routine for Hunter's ears is:

Once a week or so (depending on the look of them, more if needed), I clean the inside with a face cloth and warm water, and cotton balls.

Also once a week, I use a cleaner called "routeen". I also use this after a swim or a bath.

If they seem to be red or extra dirty, or if he starts scratching more, I use "epi-otic". It is a cleaner with an anti-itch in it as well.

If the epi otic diesn't take care of the itching, or he starts keeping his ear down more than the other one, I usually take him in to the vet, where he usually gets prescribed drops to take care of a yeast infection.

Hunter is a lab, so his ears are floppy, but they are not too hairy. I have heard of people with cocker's having to cut some hair out of the ear....but I'm not sure of it.

Cassie doesn't need her ears cleaned....ever.
Every so often I look in, and they are never dirty, and her ears are even floppier than Hunter's...:confused: :rolleyes:

October 31st, 2006, 10:15 AM
That would be a whole lot more routine thanwe've ever done. Guess I need to just be thankful it hasn't kicked me in the butt. Her ear flaps are nastier than usual with wax, food, ick.. So a washcloth is a sensible idea to clean her ears off.. thank you.

I've never known 'cocker people'. You meet a cocker here or there.. but they are people who have an older dog as a companion maybe, and don't do grooming care themselves..
I've been told if I shave the inside flap (top 1/3-1/2) that her ear will sit 'more correctly' not that it really matters, but might be easier to keep clean lately..

October 31st, 2006, 11:12 AM
Wow, cocker's ears must be really hairy inside! Setter ears are thankfully trimming necessary.

I check all 6 sets of ears every time I groom the Pack (which is every day if I'm on the ball). The ones with wax get a quick cleaning with a tissue soaked in Epi-foam--similar to Epi-otic, but for everyday use we find Epi-foam to be a little more gentle. Usually, Macie and Lil Belle need a cleaning like this every other day or so--very waxy ears on those two debutants! The others only need periodic cleaning.

For really icky ears, I'll bite the bullet and try to get Epi-otic or Epi-foam squirted in the ear as recommended--but that usually entails some fast moves, futile chasing, and violent struggling unless I have an extra pair of hands around to help. :crazy:

And for the infrequent ear infections, we go to the anti-fungal/anti-biotic ointments for 10 days... but usually all the daily maintenance helps us avoid the necessity for the ointments..

October 31st, 2006, 11:22 AM
baby wipes work really well, are easy to keep packed in a dog bag, are very gentle, and affordable. at home, I usually just use a warm washcloth.

October 31st, 2006, 01:14 PM
Jemma's a bit chronic with the dirt and the itching all the time... Even when there's no dirt, she gets itchy.:rolleyes: What we do is instead of flushing with the solution (i.e. pour in, let her shake it out), we use q-tips and *strong* kleenex (so it doesn't fall apart in her ear). We use Q-tips because she has the tiniest folds in her ears and they fill up with crap constantly. And Kleenex for the canal (not too deep!). I use Vet Solutions. We had Routeen or whatever for a while because I got it at cost from the vet I worked at, but it stung too much and was freaking Jemma out. She doesn't mind the Vet solutions as much.

If they're really bad, I skip the cleaning and go right to the anti-fungal, anti-bacterial Otomax for a week to 10 days. Every chronic ear infection dog I know has always ended up afraid of the drops and things, and my vet says it's because the cleaners really burn when the ears are infected, so that's why we skip the cleaning when they're really bad.

So far, it has all been working out ok.:shrug:

October 31st, 2006, 02:14 PM
Now I'm kicking myself.. Is she intolerant to chicken, or intolerant of mom's crappy ear maintenance.. And it's only cause I've tried harder in the same time period we've avoided chicken is she better.. *slaps head*

Angies Man
October 31st, 2006, 05:15 PM
Angie gets the hair in her ears pulled when she gets groomed. Groomer uses a powder (probably mostly talc) to dry the hair/absorb any oils, and then just pulls the tufts out with her fingers. It doesn't seem to bother Angie. It helps a lot to keep her ears dry.

Angie had a yeast infection in her ears when I got her in August. The Vet sold me DermaPet MalAcetic Otic and an antibiotic/antiyeast ointment. The MalAcetic is basically acetic acid 5% and some boric acid (2%) with a little soap added. Both are available (as white vinegar and boric acid, baby shampoo for the surfactant) over the counter for mixing yer own. My brother (a family practice physician) suggest the same mixture for swimmers ear.

Angies routine is that on a weekly basis or so, I stick my nose in her ears and take a sniff. When her ears were sick, the odor was pretty noticeable.