Bear got groomed on Saturday, and the groomer told us that Bear's ears were dirty and he cleaned them. No big deal, right? We put cotton balls in his ears before baths and we wipe out his ears every couple of weeks.
Well, fast forward to last night. I noticed that Bear's one ear smelt funny. I'm going off of memory right now, so I cannot describe it exactly. Anyway, I told my DH that I think he might be getting an ear infection. Almost on cue, Bear sat down and frustratingly scratched at his one ear for 3 mins. I had to physically stop him for fear of causing wounds.
I know alot of people use homemade ear cleanser, so I whiped up a batch of my own. Equal parts water, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol (shaken to stir).
I made sure there weren't any open wounds and that the area wasn't red or swollen. Both of his ears look normal. So I slowly and gently drizzled some solution in his ear and he DID NOT LIKE IT! I massaged the base of his ear and he gave me the happy grunt and then shook his head, dispelling the solution. I tried a few more times with soaked cotton balls before drying his ear out. I pushed the cotton ball down deeper than normal and get some reddish-brown gunk.
Repeat on the other ear, same findings. Afterwards, Bear was grumpy but he settled down and no more scratching that night.
This morning, I phoned our vet, explained money is a bit tight this month, and if there was any advice they could give on how to treat this right now or if we should just wait it out until we have some more $$. The vet rambled off that at the very least I should come get a $22 bottle of ear cleaner. I told him the solution I was using, and he simply said his was better and more theraputic. So I'm reading between the lines and sticking with my solution, b/c if I'm going to spend $22 it might as well be for a visit. I asked how much it'll cost to have him seen, the vet rambled off a $65 sick-dog visit, $53 ear cyto-something (to figure out what's causing the infection), plus the $22 ear cleaner and whatever antibiotics / medication prescribed. I doubt we'll walk out of there under $200.00
I have savings stocked away, but I would prefer to keep the money in savings in case we hit a true emergency w/ Bear vs. a simple ear infection. I will spend the money, happily, if it comes down to it.
So my question is: Can you take care of an ear infection at home??
I read here (ear infection)
I know the feeling, those vet bills add up quickly!
1 tube Monistat (generic is fine)
1 tube Polysporin (use the real deal - it's inexpensive)
1 tube Cortaid (generic works here as well)
Use tubes of similar size. Mix all three together in a container that can be closed well. It takes a bit to incorporate because the Polysporin is a bit like Vaseline. Once incorporated, it stays mixed.
If ears are gunky, inflamed or smell bad, start with using a pea sized dollop twice a day. Use your finger to gently push it into the ear. Rub. Dogs will only shake their heads once or twice! It's a creamy, very soothing mixture. Once you have the ears under control, lessen how often you use it till you're only using it once a week. Once a week keeps ears from getting bad again....That's Heather's (Arcane) ear recipe from her vet and it is supposed to get both bacterial and yeast infections, so should work for virtually all ear problems.
So I think if I treat with the above combined with my solution, I should be able to beat this. If it doesn't get better, in say, a week, time to go to the vet?
Thanks in advance for reading all of this.