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Knife Swallower
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I was wondering how often everyone cleans their dog's ears. I've had my new guy for about 7 months now and his ears have been fine the previous months. 2 weeks ago I looked in his ears and noticed some dark brown wax accumulating in both ears. Not a lot, but it definitely hadn't been there before. 4 days later, I noticed a funny smell and lifted up Ranger's right ear - it was a swollen, bloody mess. I felt awful! Fast forward to the vet and we have ear cleaning solution plus medicated ointment.

My question is how often should I be cleaning his ears to stop this from happening again? The vet cleaned both ears on monday, and yesterday i noticed his good ear had the dark brown waxy stuff in it again. Vet had told me to clean them once every two weeks - but his ear was already dirty after three days?

I'm also not sure what would have caused this. No baths/swimming for a few months, he's been eating orijen fish since june...the only thing i can think of is my brother got a new puppy and the two dogs play together every day, which involves a lot of ear chewing and tugging. Ranger never ever gets after the puppy even when the puppy is hanging off his ear. Any suggestions?
 

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Nancy
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7,493 Posts
I brush Hank daily or every other day and check his ear then. I use some wipes I bought at PetsMart to get any dirt out.
 

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In the Moment
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20,515 Posts
Usually the brown smelly gunk indicates infection. This is a great recipe that many of us have used with success, shared by Arcane ( thanks Heather). You might try this if the ointment the vet gave you isn't working. Also, as an aside, I routinely clean the crew's ears weekly as part of the bath regime.

Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane)

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.

My doctor (human) is the one that came up with this as her dogs were having ear issues that weren't really under control from the things her vet was prescribing! Anyone that I know that has gone to using it has had
remarkable results and the dogs are much happier and SAFER than using
anything with alcohol in it. I was told by my vet that alcohol just dries
the ear out - which includes drying out the ear drum AND that if there is
even the tiniest of perforations in that ear drum, it can let alcohol down
into the middle ear where it can do permanent damage. That's why this cream is SOOOOO good! There's nothing "liquid" about it. It goes in and melts it's way down to where it's needed. No alcohol to cause drying or damage and it will take care of anything yeast, bacterial etc...
_________________
 

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I don't do anything with Roo's, just check them daily.

We've had problems with his ears before, and they are easily irritated, and so on vets advice they are left alone, I just keep a check on them.

He picks up mites in his ears a lot, and so by checking daily I can see how he is getting on. When he gets the waxy brown spots, these are his indicator of the mites (his ears are inflamed too) as they come to the surface when the mites try to bite. They don't cause him any pain etc, and its not an infection, he's been to the vets lots for it, lol! When this happens he gets thornit rubbed on 3 x a day and the waxy spots and redness go down in 2 days :)

I wouldn't clean them more than 1-2 times a week and would try to get fragrance free wipes etc, but as Roo's ears are a bit iffy we just check them regularly and I clean out anything if it is there, with just warm water and cotton wool.
 

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We do weekly cleanings also, and we use listerine as suggested by Pointgold. I have to say, when we were having trouble with Brady's ears being constantly gunky, we tried 8 different cleaners/medications including ones from our vet, and NONE of them worked as well as the listerine. Thanks PG!!!!
 

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Does the Listerine have alcohol?
I didn't know alcohol could cause problems. I always have used the alcohol/vinegar mixture myself (put on cotton balls, put in ears, massage, then use a dry cotton ball to absorb the excess)
 

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I like to check daily--but I don't always do that. I'll wipe with the torn corner of a sturdy paper towel, like Viva, that is nice and soft--gets the ear wax out, and I rarely use any cleaning solution.

When I do, it's home made, as recommended by my vet-- 1 part white vinegar to 1 part alcohol.
 

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Noah has one ear I clean daily as it has a yuck yeast thing going on. As soon as I think I have it in check it's back. Scout I'm still training to like his ears cleaned. Currently he moves like crazy if you try anything.
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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I only clean them when necessary. I don't think I've cleaned Maxis' ears for at least 5 years. I haven't ever cleaned Angels' ears yet. I had to clean Kate's ears frequently this past spring due to Angel hanging onto and chewing them constantly. (The saliva help to create a warm moist environment perfect for yeast infections.)
 

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Noah has one ear I clean daily as it has a yuck yeast thing going on. As soon as I think I have it in check it's back. Scout I'm still training to like his ears cleaned. Currently he moves like crazy if you try anything.
Although Brooks doesn't like his ears to be cleaned, and he knows what is about to happen as soon as he smells the vinegar/alcohol, I find it easier to do if I approach him from behind, straddle his body with my legs to hold him still, then put the liquid soaked cotton balls in his ears from behind. This seems less alarming to him.
 

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It's just an illusion ...
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3,765 Posts
Once or twice a year :)
Do check regularly

Ears looking real good :D

Did have one episode in 4 years ... :mad:
Which coincided with major changes at food company ... :uhoh:







 

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I've seen all good people
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I check ears often, but only clean them when he gets a bath....about once or twice a month. Knock on wood we've only had one ear issue back when he was a pup!
 

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I check the ears daily.

Brady has one ear that gets cleaned daily, the other less frequently.

MacKenzies are clean, and I have yet to clean them.

Three days ago I made the concoction recommended above by Heather. Brady's gunky ear is now clean!! I'll use it daily through the weekend, and hopefully will only need it once a week. It cost me about $21 to make, but it makes A LOT, and I have probably paid more for stuff from the vet that hasn't worked.
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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Once a week. Sunday evenings usually. It's part of our routine. They know it is and will come and sit in between my legs on the floor - it's nice not to have to wrestle with them or anything.
 

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Once a week using the 8in1 pads.
 

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Brady Aedan Finch and Wren
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I too only clean when needed. The ears of all dogs are checked at least a few times a week while brushing and grooming are done, but the ears are pretty much clean; and I can smell a gunky ear from quite a distance so that helps as well.

I do clean the ears after baths and also after water work, however. Even my allergic dog only needed his ears cleaned rarely once I found the diet that worked for him.
 
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