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D'Elle

Old dog, dirty ear

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Normally I would take the dog to the vet if I saw that one ear had dirty matter inside it. But this is Kit, and she is 16 and a half this month and hates the vet. It stresses her out a fair bit to go there.

 

I am cleaning out the ear, a bit at a time, with Q-tips and gently, not going near the canal. I have to do it a little at a time because she hates to be messed with. She will tolerate 30 seconds at a time. What I get out is black.

 

The other ear is clean. I don't think it is ear mites because there has been no indication that the ear itches. Occasionally she will shake her head and tilt it in the direction of that ear, but I don't see her do that every day.

 

My inclination is to clean out the ear and wait and see what happens. Maybe put tea tree oil carefully, again avoiding the ear canal. But I don't want to refrain from taking her in if she really should see the vet.

Any advice?

Thanks.

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I don't have time right now to write much so will come back later.

 

But I'd caution against putting tea tree or any other EO in the ear. Maybe if it's highly diluted, but not even sure that would be advisable.

 

More later.

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I use Zymox enzymatic ear cleaner, its a liquid. Make it room temp or warmer and let some dribble in, massage it around then let her shake. Its non stinging, anti microbial, anti fungal and seems to be better than a lot of other types I have tried.

 

They also sell a liquid drop with hydro cortisone in it which can relieve itching and soreness. This is of course a band aid and not a solution to the cause, but it can be nice to provide some relief.

 

Argos has allergies that cause swollen itchy ears and he will shake his head and claw at the ears in an attempt to relive the itch. The drops appear to help the irritation considerably.

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Sorry it took so long to get back to you. My understanding has always been that oil based solutions with things like mullein or garlic are best, though I've never personally had to deal with ear issues in my dogs. Here's an article that outlines several of the methods I've heard work well. Hope it helps.

 

https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/5-home-remedies-for-dog-ear-infections/

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I second the Zymox. Used it with a cat with horrid ears and it helped a lot!

 

Also cotton pads for makeup might be easier to use than q-tips for the ears

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Warm the oil, use cotton pads instead of the q tips. I vote against the tea tree, as well. The scent is very strong, for one thing, which might bother Kit. And if her ear is at all raw, it might sting.

 

Good luck! Hope you get good results with whatever you use.

 

Ruth & Gibbs

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Thanks for the advice. I read the article Gentle Lake mentioned and I am going to try apple cider vinegar on cotton balls or pads to do the rest of the cleaning.

I have a friend who used to be a vet tech coming this weekend to help me by holding the flashlight so I can be sure of getting it all. She also is sure it is not ear mites; thinks it is more likely fungal.

 

I am hoping the vinegar will take care of it, but if it doesn't I will try the Zymox, so thanks to those of you who recommended that. Kit doesn't indicate that the ear itches, and it is not red or swollen.

 

By the way, I agree with you about the Q-tips. But want to be clear that I was using a 10X optiviser while using them, so that I could be sure to see what I was doing and that I was not pushing anything into, or even going near, the ear canal. Even so, you're right, safer to use cotton balls or pads.

 

Thanks to all who responded.

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Thanks for the advice. I read the article Gentle Lake mentioned and I am going to try apple cider vinegar on cotton balls or pads to do the rest of the cleaning.

I have a friend who used to be a vet tech coming this weekend to help me by holding the flashlight so I can be sure of getting it all. She also is sure it is not ear mites; thinks it is more likely fungal.

 

I am hoping the vinegar will take care of it, but if it doesn't I will try the Zymox, so thanks to those of you who recommended that. Kit doesn't indicate that the ear itches, and it is not red or swollen.

 

By the way, I agree with you about the Q-tips. But want to be clear that I was using a 10X optiviser while using them, so that I could be sure to see what I was doing and that I was not pushing anything into, or even going near, the ear canal. Even so, you're right, safer to use cotton balls or pads.

 

Thanks to all who responded.

 

If shes got any kind of skin break (open rash, scratches etc) vinegar is gonna sting.

 

I tried the diluted vinegar and witch hazel and my dogs all told me that they hurt. Even when used on a dog without an infection he winces when I used that.

 

No reaction with the Zymox. Its partly why I went to it.

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Oil wouldn't sting like ACV might either. That's why I've always liked the idea of the oil based remedies too. I might follow up with ACV after I was sure the original irritation had subsided because of all its benefits. ACV is amazing stuff, especially the organic kind with the mother.

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Just an update:

A friend who used to be a vet tech came over and helped me by holding the flashlight. I used the optivisor again, and got Kit's ear thoroughly clean There's no redness, swelling, or other sign of irritation.

 

My friend said nothing indicated that it was anything other than dirt and skin scales having built up in that ear. Her other ear is clean.

I used coconut oil to clean it out, knowing that couldn't harm her ear. I don't think medication is needed, but I will remember that recommendation for possible future use.

Thanks for the help.

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😊

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