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Thread: Best way to clean really dirty puppy ears?

  1. #1
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    Best way to clean really dirty puppy ears?

    So my darling lab has really dirty ears. Like, the most disgusting doggy ears I've ever seen --- and I've had 2 St Bernards, a Great Dane and another lab! I've had him to the vet twice for an ear infection. No infection, just dirty. The brown, sticky goop smells but it doesn't migrate out of the ear, it stays in the ear canal and the little area right near it. They also don't bother him. He doesn't shake or scratch at all. But they are just SO dirty. I think I would need to clean them every single day to keep up with them. Maybe twice a day.

    Vet suggests a commercial ear cleaner. Well, at this rate that is going to cost me a fortune! And they are all so perfumy that my hands smell for hours. Bleck.

    Any suggestions? If you Google cleaning dog ears you get some crazy suggestions. I've been doing a bit of warm water on a washcloth or cotton balls. Cotton balls seem to work the best. But is there something that would be better? Something that would help KEEP them clean?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
    So my darling lab has really dirty ears. Like, the most disgusting doggy ears I've ever seen --- and I've had 2 St Bernards, a Great Dane and another lab! I've had him to the vet twice for an ear infection. No infection, just dirty. The brown, sticky goop smells but it doesn't migrate out of the ear, it stays in the ear canal and the little area right near it. They also don't bother him. He doesn't shake or scratch at all. But they are just SO dirty. I think I would need to clean them every single day to keep up with them. Maybe twice a day.

    Vet suggests a commercial ear cleaner. Well, at this rate that is going to cost me a fortune! And they are all so perfumy that my hands smell for hours. Bleck.

    Any suggestions? If you Google cleaning dog ears you get some crazy suggestions. I've been doing a bit of warm water on a washcloth or cotton balls. Cotton balls seem to work the best. But is there something that would be better? Something that would help KEEP them clean?
    Since the "sticky goop" is in the ear canal I would use a commercial cleaner like the vet suggested (that's what we do). Cotton balls won't reach deep into the ear canal and it is not advisable to use Q-tips in the ear canal. We use cotton facial pads (like you use to remove makeup) to clean our dog's ears. It is easier to control, there is more surface area to use and they don't seem to disintegrate as easily. If you don't want smelly hands that result from doing this, I suggest using disposable latex gloves. I have a large box that I use for a lot of stuff like this.

  3. #3
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    Been there, done that. One of our beagles used to get horribly dirty ears, that would more-often-than-not end up in infections, which were then just smelly. We ended up using a commercial cleanser recommended by our vet because it was the only thing that really cleaned them up well. I think this was the one we used:

    http://www.discountpetmedicines.com/...ar-cleaner.htm

  4. #4
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    Zymox products are the absolute best for ear problems



    You can find them here

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?ur...zymox+products

    I recommend Gumbaeux instructions for cleaning

    laurie

  5. #5
    My lab's ears get cleaned every few days or so, mainly because he likes to visit me in the bathroom. I just grab some toilet paper, wrap it around my finger, and wipe around in there. It usually takes a few swipes per ear. He loves it.

  6. #6
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    He loves it.
    __________________
    This must be a lab,thing, normally dogs hate their ears prodded and my lab looks and sounds like he is practically having the big O when you stick your fingers in his ears.

  7. #7
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    Sam's neutral on the ear thing. He doesn't moan when you rub them. Doesn't especially care if you clean them or not. If he gets a treat while you are doing it he's a very happy guy.

    His big thing is belly rubs.

    So basically y'all are telling me I have to buy ear cleaner stuff? *sigh*

  8. #8
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    My parents use Epi-Otic on their English Mastiffs who have chronic ear problems. They have their ears cleaned at least 2-3 times a week, and I don't hear my Dad complaining about spending lots of money on the solution. He is the type who would really complain too They use paper towels to clean the ears - squirt a little bit of the solution into the ears, rub the ears, wipe with paper towel.
    - Josie


  9. #9
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    EpiOtic was what we used with our previous dog who had crazy yeasty ears. I haven't thought of that smell in ages. Blech. Our current dog, knock on wood, does not have that problem.

    I don't recall that EpiOtic was that expensive or perfumed. It came in an enormous bottle that lasted forever.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  10. #10
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    EpiOtic is good. Our vet said that a mixture of vinegar and alcohol is good as well, for cleaning deep.

    When it's just the outer ear, though, I use Cottonelle moist wipes to clean -- they have a big surface area, and don't fall apart like tp or tissues, and are pre-moistened. My dogs think the toilet is a petting chair, anyway, so it's easy to grab one and clean ears while I'm there.
    Kay
    I'm a WYSIWYG person -- no subterfuge here!

  11. #11
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    Another vote for Epi-Otic. We use it to clean our basset hounds ears on a regular basis and it works great. We take our dog in the shower, squirt some in his ears, massage them which helps break up the gunk and then get him to shake. Most of the time he shakes a good amount out, then we clean the rest out with cotton balls.
    Another thing to think about is that the gunk in your dogs ears can be caused by food allergies. When our basset was young, he was getting chronic ear infections and tons of gunk. We took him to UC Davis vet school, which was near by and they told us it was a result of food allergies, they get tons of yeast in their ears. Since the two most common allergies are chicken and wheat we cut those out and his ears improved significantly.
    Just something else to think about.
    Heather

  12. #12
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    Ever since we switched to a non-grain food, our dog hasn't had a single ear infection. That hadn't even occurred to us until our vet mentioned it at our annual exam last week. She said the diet is definitely a prime reason. It wasn't an allergy to wheat/grains. We just did a lot of reading & learned that dogs aren't meant to have grains in their food.

    We used to have to clean his ears once/week or more. Now we clean them once/month, and there is rarely any gunk in there.

  13. #13
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    Another vote for EpiOtic. I'd really suggest using it as a preventative because once the infections take hold it's misery--for you & the dog. Our Springer had terrible troubles & once in awhile, the yeast infection would take hold & cause him extreme discomfort. His original owners never cleaned his ears (he had a terrible infection when we got him--his ears were cracked & bleeding & it took forever to clear up), so he was not fond of having it done. Get the pup used to it now, when he's not uncomfortable so it doesn't turn into an ordeal.
    As the arc of history bends towards justice, it's a new, more progressive day. --Steve Benen, The Maddow Blog, 11-07-12

  14. #14
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    You've gotten good feedback so far on what to use and how to do it...but I thought I'd add a suggestion and a tip. First the suggestion....after you get a good cleaning of his ears, it might be helpful to give them a quick cleaning every week or every other week to prevent them from getting too bad in between the more serious cleanings.

    Second, the tip....the greyhound rescue kennel I've been volunteering at has a square tupperware container they keep in the cabinet that is labeled "Ear Wipes". Inside are small cotton squares (like something you'd find in the First Aide section of a pharmacy...it's similar to a gauze) and they have poured a clear liquid inside to "pre-soak" them. I imagine it's either plain alcohol, or something like what others have recommended here. So all you have to do is open the container and grab one of the clothes and wipe out the dogs ear.

    In your case, it might be helpful if you kept something like this on hand, not just so it will be quick and easy to wipe out his ears, but also, maybe having a container setting there help you remember. You could make a bigger tupperware container to keep somewhere that has a doggie brush, doggie tooth brush, etc in there and do those things at the same time.

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