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Old 01-10-2013, 05:47 PM
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Treating Ear Infections at Home??

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)

Quote:
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.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:06 PM
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Not rubbing alcohol, it will dry ears out and stings. Use brown Listerine instead.

My vet said this one could create more yeast. 1 tube Monistat (generic is fine)
1 tube Polysporin (use the real deal - it's inexpensive)
1 tube Cortaid (generic works here as well)
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:07 PM
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The monistant/polysporin/cortade works very well for me. I clean the ears out first then apply with a q-tip to get all the "nooks and crannies". DO NOT push the q-tip into the ear. Both my vet and my breeder recommend it. I have not had my girls to the vet for an ear infection in years.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ArcticCat View Post
Not rubbing alcohol, it will dry ears out and stings.
I thought the "drying ears out" part was the idea? If the solution doesn't have a drying agent, wouldn't the solution simply exacerbate the problem?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Millie'sMom View Post
The monistant/polysporin/cortade works very well for me. I clean the ears out first then apply with a q-tip to get all the "nooks and crannies". DO NOT push the q-tip into the ear. Both my vet and my breeder recommend it. I have not had my girls to the vet for an ear infection in years.
Do you think I hurt him when I pushed the cotton ball down? It wasn't very far down, just far enough to stay in if he shook his head. I heard dogs ear canals are perpendicular, so it's impossible to rupture thier ear drums with a q-tip. I hope I didn't hurt him! Thanks for warning me about this! I'll be super careful going forward.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Brave View Post
I thought the "drying ears out" part was the idea? If the solution doesn't have a drying agent, wouldn't the solution simply exacerbate the problem?
I don't think so, not if they're wiped out well. I haven't used the ointment recipe you found--thought about it but I've stuck to diluted apple cider vinegar. I warm it slightly in the microwave and wipe the ears with a cotton ball. I use that as a cleaning agent though--prevention--not for an actual infection.

I think your plan is a good one, to answer your question. I'm betting you can beat the ear infection with what you put together, and save the $$$. If Bear continues to scratch or the smell gets really bad, you probably should take him to the vet at that time. Good luck!
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave View Post
Do you think I hurt him when I pushed the cotton ball down? It wasn't very far down, just far enough to stay in if he shook his head. I heard dogs ear canals are perpendicular, so it's impossible to rupture thier ear drums with a q-tip. I hope I didn't hurt him! Thanks for warning me about this! I'll be super careful going forward.
No, a cotton ball is soft and can't do much damage. Just like humans use caution with the q-tip. I do like to get the "ointment" as far down into the ear canal as possible. I don't use alcohol in their ears, because I am worried that it will sting, I clean with a commercial ear cleaner from Petsmart $6.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:31 PM
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By the time you buy the monistat, polysporin and cortaid, wouldn't it add up to more than $22.00?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutWest View Post
I don't think so, not if they're wiped out well. I haven't used the ointment recipe you found--thought about it but I've stuck to diluted apple cider vinegar. I warm it slightly in the microwave and wipe the ears with a cotton ball. I use that as a cleaning agent though--prevention--not for an actual infection.

I think your plan is a good one, to answer your question. I'm betting you can beat the ear infection with what you put together, and save the $$$. If Bear continues to scratch or the smell gets really bad, you probably should take him to the vet at that time. Good luck!
Thanks! I get so worried about him. My DH says I worry about my animals more than I worry about him. I know that if push comes to shove, I'll drop the cash and take him to the vet. I'm thinking about finding a new vet practice as the one I've been going to for the past 12 years (and my mom went to for 10 years before that) is turning more into a profit maker than a healing center.

Previously, the vet would be more than willing to help us and work with us on home remedies, but now adays, nothing is as good as their products. Which is frustrating to me. We're not made of money, and I spend alot of money on the animals to make sure they are taken care of and happy. Some months are harder than others, unfortunately. Don't get me wrong, I'm not running us into the ground over the animals, but I squeeze pennies until they bleed.

I hope this is all coming off correctly. I really do want what is best for him, I'm just trying to see if this is something we can handle at home.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:33 PM
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By the time you buy the monistat, polysporin and cortaid, wouldn't it add up to more than $22.00?
This really isn't used to clean the ear, but used to kill any yeast or bacteria in the ear.
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