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Are there any tips on giving ear washes and meds?

Discussion in 'Doberman Health Issues and Questions' started by jazzies mum, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    So Jazz has developed a minor ear infection for which she has a twice a day ear cleanser followed by Dermotic ear drops. Understandably there is resistance to having the treatment and I have just been quietly persistent and won so far. Treats aren't working as she isn't interested when she is anxious about her ear being tampered with. I think it is still a bit sore from having the scope in yesterday as the lining is much pinker than the other ear. I am playing with her ears everytime I go past in a friendly way as she likes them rubbed as a rule, trying to desensitise her reactions. Also am putting both bottles in my pants band to warm them before use as it is a cold shock for her otherwise.
    A couple of questions. How far down into that outer ear cavity does the nozzle need to go? I am worried about making it a painful process if I hit the bottom with the plastic tip. And secondly, do any of you have any good suggestions for making it a smoother process, keeping in mind that there is just me and no assistant for dog holding.
    Could be a bit of a battle for the two weeks treatment is needed if we can't find a happy place. :)

    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  2. Lizbeli

    Lizbeli $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I have only dealt with one dog who had ear infections. We were told that the best way to get the cleanser/drops in was to squirt the liquid in, grab the bell of the ear between your index and thumb, and massage the ear by moving the bell around. We also warmed up the liquid by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water. Definitely helped. When squirting the liquid in we just pointed the tip down into the ear. No need to jam it in there if you massage the ear afterwards it will find its way imo.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  3. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    I’m sure it’s sensitive from the recent scope. Also the ear canal is L-shaped so you won’t hit her ear drum if that’s a concern. Agree with @Lizbeli on how to hold the bell of the ear. That’s Kaiser’s favorite way to get an ear rub.

    Long term ear cleaning, I use a baby wipe. After I’ve wiped down his body, I use the same wipe (he’s rarely so dirty that I can’t reuse it) to get into his ear with one finger. Really helps to keep the ear clean. At bath time we avoid getting water in his ears by using a wash cloth for his head.

    How do you think she got the infection? Water play, lawn sprinklers? If she has ‘flying nun’ ears, I’d fold them back to help get the moisture out.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    We use plain Earthbath Hypo-Allergenic Fragrance Free wipes once a week to clean out the gunk in the ears. Then we put in Zymox Ear Cleanser. Or Zymox Ear Solution (for Infected Ears).
    Can also use the wipes then use a dropper and put in Colloidal Silver.

    If you are having recurring ear issues or been giving antibiotics. I would start working on the Gut Microbiome. Adding Rx Vitamins Biotic to food. Or Raw Goats Milk to food. Will help build up good bacteria in the Gut.

    Making sure what ever you use it gets down into the ear canal.
    Which goes down and makes almost a right turn.

    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Thankyou all. She hasn't had a problem with an ear infection before and when they had a look it wasn't much to show, but no foreign object. They took a smear and it looks like some bacteria and/or fungal microbes present, but very mild. She has been having irritation and doing lots of ear flapping so there was obviously something. She is a water dog and gets her head right down in there and the water is sometimes not nice and clear so that would be the culprit!
    The holding the ear bell and squirting down into the outer ear was the thing that was causing the most problem. Now I am using less pressure and telling her no shake while I massage it well down, and let gravity get it there. I think that maybe they had her in a muzzle at the vets when they did the scope, but not sure as they took her out to a back room and I had to wait in reception. Don't blame them for using the muzzle, but forceful handling will have started her anxiety about the ear treatments, as she has always loved her ears handled no matter how far down you go.
    I will just keep quietly persisting and keep it happy and hopefully she will realise that it WILL get done so better to submit quietly and have it over.

    @strykerdobe Thank you for the information, and I will take precautionary measures if she ends up having chronic problems. The diagram of the ear structure is very helpful!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    My hb wishes the vets and their staff would take charge and leave him alone in the waiting room, but I insist that we handle our Doberman to every place so we are always in the middle of everything lol.

    Not a single Vet or Chiro or Dentist has had to muzzle Kaiser yet, even though I used to offer it in the early days. But no more. If the “expert” is afraid, they need to let me know so I can advise further, otherwise, they end up creating an issue for me to solve later on, and I’m not going to permit or pay for that.
  7. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Yes, I agree with you there as no matter how experienced the vet they don't know your dog like you do. While I'm not certain they did muzzle Jazz, it is likely with her size and their needing to stay safe in the workplace. I think they asked me to stay away as the procedure was likely to cause pain and distress and they probably didn't want a silly old lady in their way! (I could hear Jazz making a fuss and choking herself out there) When the vet showed me how to apply the cleanser she just grabbed Jazzies ear and gave a good whoosh of liquid down there, which startled Jazz no end, it would have been cold! If someone had done that to me I would have smacked them, but Jazz has a lovely temperament and would never offer violence.
    I didn't mean to go into a vet bashing rant, and really, my other dogs would have all sailed through this with no dramas. Jazz doesn't forget a negative experience easily, and it can be easy to cause a bad association for her. Just a shame that I have to keep at her for two weeks of treatment so we don't have time to take things slowly. :(
  8. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Seems like a Doberman thing. They remember way too much haha.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Yes, I reckon it is a Doberman thing and it works for us when we want to use the e collar as a deterrent to chasing things. Just a couple of well timed stims and that is pretty much it! A low stim reminder might be needed occasionally but never have to touch the dial these days!
    At least she isn't being traumatised by the continuing treatments. Still doing all the ducking and weaving, but isn't trying to run off, and still comes willingly when I have the bottle in my hand. Sometimes it takes a good 5 minutes before I can get things done and then we have a party! It might be a long 2 weeks!
  10. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Is she done with the meds yet?
  11. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Thankyou for asking and I was going to give the whole story after I get the results from the vet on Friday.

    We got to day six and I was still managing to get the meds done but she was really starting to show a lot of stress about it. I had tried using a syringe instead of the bottles, tried doing things at different times and different places and stayed consistently kind but persistent with handling her. She was getting confused and uncertain about everything and you could see in her eyes that she couldn't understand why I was doing this dominating thing 4 times daily and even started to have constant dandruff.

    I'll give her this though, in all her avoidance tactics she never growled, made any move to bite or damage me in any way. You could feel the power in her bricklike head and steel cord neck but she was making sure she didn't belt me and I got a few Dober pushes with the foot but no full on punch or claws. Just a lot of moving that ear away!
    That couldn't go on so I am now using cotton tips to soak up fluid and get it into the bottom of her ear near her ear canal. Hopefully it will be enough as her symptoms have gone and there is no smell in the ear, (apart from the normal ear smell which is a bit "niffy" anyway! :rofl:) She goes back on Friday to make sure all is well, and I am going to be very clear about how she is about having forceful handling and we will see if we can do things a better way at the vets!

    This is the first time I've come across something that I haven't been able to overcome, but I'll try to get her used to having ear cleaning fluid given by eyedropper in the future. Right now the less trauma she has the better!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Remarkable how much we can try and they can still resist us. I had an experience just a couple hours ago where I was trying to get him to lay flat so I could apply a paw wax to him. Done it for years the same way, never a big deal. This time, he didn’t want it. He would lay flat and as soon as I reached for his paw, he would be back upright. My hb told me to force him and the resistance was amazing. He couldn’t be pushed down from his back, pulled down by his collar, nothing. He just made himself like a statue. I started to wonder what if he snaps, so then of course I got paranoid that maybe my energy changed just by thinking that and that I should just leave it, so I walked away from him. Minutes later he curls up to sleep. It made me worried that he might have paw pain, so I went up to him as he stretched out during the snooze. I did all the paws and went over them again just to see if anything was wrong. He lifted his head showing he was annoyed when I carried on longer than he expected, but nothing more. I’m going to guess he was cranky and just didn’t want it at the time. But yes, I’m pleased just the same that he didn’t react in an aggressive way. Could you try approaching Jazz as she sleeps?
  13. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    I have a pretty good instinct about how Jazz works these days and in this case where she is so against having liquids squirted into her ears that trying the sneak approach would make her even more twitchy. Because I can still handle her ears and even put something right down in with only minor concern I think the best bet is to work on this. She is becoming more relaxed about that and trusting that nothing will get squirted in there! I'll ask the vet if they have a dropper that is soft and flexible and then will start a loooooooong retraining program! :banghead: I'm willing to bet that she will probably never accept a bottle near her ears again!
    This was more than just not wanting something done. She can be willful but this was a real fear. I wonder if the ear was really painful and the cleaning liquid was burning or causing it to ache. Or it might just have been the vet experience, or both. Wish we could ask them.
    My mindset was just quietly businesslike and I wasn't feeling anxious or sorry, just getting something done with the surety that it WOULD be done, and then lots of happiness and good things when it WAS done, and still she acted like she was being punished for something.
    The dandruff cleared up in a day of no squirt bottle, and her coat was back to plush and shiny in three days. If I hadn't experienced this I would not have believed it possible that a dogs general wellbeing could be affected by something so minor! Is this a Dobe thing?
  14. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    If it is strange and unheard of in other dogs, then I’d guess it’s a Dobie thing :facepalm::tongueclosed:
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Final update! Got the all clear at the vets today! Yippee! :thumbsup:
    She isn't a dog prone to allergies so I suspect the infection was caused by her loving water so much. I'll be taking preventative measures from now on!
    • Like Like x 3
  16. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    That's great news.
    When she is done playing in the water you can try this. We scuba dive and do this after every dive to prevent swimmer ear. It will help kill anything and dry the ear canal. As long as there are no open sores.
    Its cheap and make your own.
    Mix 50% Rubbing Alcohol and 50% White Vinegar. The Vinegar will kill the bacteria and the Rubbing Alcohol will dry out the ear canal.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. My Gal Gretel

    My Gal Gretel Hot Topics Subscriber

    We did the alcohol/vinegar solution for our golden retriever. Naturally, she loved the water and was very prone to ear infections being a floppy-eared dog.

    This is after the fact and may have already been mentioned, but pointing their nose down after administering the drops can help the meds/solution turn the corner of the ear canal and travel all the way down. Easier said than done, though!

    So glad she’s all clear!
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  18. jazzies mum

    jazzies mum Notable member

    Thanks, that sounds like a nice simple solution that is cost effective too! I am getting some silicone droppers that are for infants so won't hurt her no matter what she does and starting getting her used to this regime asap! It's winter and not so much intense swimming right now.
    @My Gal Gretel :spit: Yep, getting that nose pointed down took some doing to start with. Now she is more relaxed about things I'm in with a chance. She WOULD point her nose to the sky in avoidance mode, but can't hold that forever!!!
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