Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homemade Ear Cleaning Solution for Dogs

Mostly for myself for future reference, but also some other info, too, for whoever is interested.

Mix equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water.
Massage deep in ear canal, then clean thoroughly with cotton balls.

Use: for drying out the ear after swimming to help stave off infections (“swimmer’s ear”) or for mild to moderate wax build up.

This is only meant for use in healthy dogs with no ear infections. Most dogs hate having their ears cleaned, but it shouldn't be painful.

If you’re finding you need to clean out wax more than 3-5 times a week, see a vet. Even dogs with lots of hair inside their ears should only need ear cleaning about once a week.

If the ear looks swollen or red or inflamed, or if the dog scratches at her ears or shakes her head often, or if there’s a strong odor coming from the ear, see a vet.

If your dog develops a head tilt, acts like the ear is very painful, or if you have ANY reason to suspect a punctured ear drum DO NOT USE CLEANER, see a vet ASAP.

And, on a side note, if you suspect your dog has an ear infection, please don’t try giving him leftover antibiotics. Systemic antibiotics do very poorly on ear infections; you’d be wasting your time, and meanwhile the infection is probably getting worse. Go to a vet, have them culture the infection to find out which antibiotics will actually work on it, and then use those antibiotics until they’re gone. Some people (including some vets) think they can tell the species of bacteria just from the smell, and this is complete bullshit.

Side note number two: if your dog is prone to chronic ear infections, (especially if they’re not frequent swimmers), it may be allergies. It’ll save you money in the long run to get them tested for atopy and/or go on a diet trial than to be constantly treating ear infections.

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