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Dog Yelps When Cleaning Ear With Cotton Swab


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Hi all,

I brought my puppy to the vet last week who diagnosed him with a yeast/bacterial ear infection. He advised cleaning his ears with a cotton swab and putting medication in it after. I had some concerns about using a swab versus a cotton ball but the vet advised me to use the former saying I technically couldn't damage his ear with it. I have been cleaning his ears daily and applying medication in it for a week.

Today when I was cleaning his left ear he gave a yelp. Same thing happened when I put his medication in the same ear (the bottle has an inch long applicator). Is this something I should be worried about? He seems fine now and his ears are looking much less dirty. He doesn't seem to experience any pain when I massage his ears. Should I be thinking about going back to the vets?

Appreciate any advise.

Edited by ann21
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Hi ann21

You may have just got the wrong angle or pressed on a sensitive area or pushed too hard.

First thing to do is to have smell of his ears.

My dogs ears smell like 'honey' when they are healthy.

You might notice a diffence between the ears, and that may be a symptom indicating further veterinary care.

Personally, my general rule is 'nothing solid in ears', either dogs or humans, and the vet can go hang.

Anyway!

Good luck with your boy.

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

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Hi ann21

You may have just got the wrong angle or pressed on a sensitive area or pushed too hard.

First thing to do is to have smell of his ears.

My dogs ears smell like 'honey' when they are healthy.

You might notice a diffence between the ears, and that may be a symptom indicating further veterinary care.

Personally, my general rule is 'nothing solid in ears', either dogs or humans, and the vet can go hang.

Anyway!

Good luck with your boy.

Just had a whiff of both ears and both do not have an odor (only the smell of the ear cleaner). Thanks for your reply I think I will stop with the ear swabs as I am still not comfortable with it. Back to cotton balls for me...

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

I am using epiotic for his ear cleaner and the vet prescribed mometemax as ear medication. Anyone used these before? Thanks for your reply I am going to go back to the cotton balls.

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Just had a whiff of both ears and both do not have an odor (only the smell of the ear cleaner).

Thanks for your reply I think I will stop with the ear swabs as I am still not comfortable with it.

Back to cotton balls for me...

Yep.

Just give the meds time to work.

Ears are the easiest because of the odours are distinctive.

The ear check by the Vet was one of the first thing I observed when I returned to keeping dogs and had my first new puppy.

:thumbsup:

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

I am using epiotic for his ear cleaner and the vet prescribed mometemax as ear medication. Anyone used these before? Thanks for your reply I am going to go back to the cotton balls.

Both my previous and current dog find the usual Veterinary line ear cleaners too stringent. Even an ear antibiotic ointment caused irritation to the skin in my boy's ear. I use "Ear Clear" with success and without the irritation.

Edited by Erny
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Argh, I just googled mometemax and apparently one of the possible side effects is hearing loss! Does anyone know if it's ok to stop applying this? My dogs ear is much better and he's been one it for a week. Vets instructions were for two weeks though.

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

I am using epiotic for his ear cleaner and the vet prescribed mometemax as ear medication. Anyone used these before? Thanks for your reply I am going to go back to the cotton balls.

Both my previous and current dog find the usual Veterinary line ear cleaners too stringent. Even an ear antibiotic ointment caused irritation to the skin in my boy's ear. I use "Ear Clear" with success and without the irritation.

Thanks Emy. I will check Ear Clear out

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Argh, I just googled mometemax and apparently one of the possible side effects is hearing loss! Does anyone know if it's ok to stop applying this? My dogs ear is much better and he's been one it for a week. Vets instructions were for two weeks though.

No. Follow vet instructions exactly. Ear infections are notorious for recurring and so stopping treatment as soon as you think it's clear gives the bugs a chance to come back but with higher resistance to treatment.

My dogs really love having ears cleaned but even they occasionally yelp if I hit a tender area unexpectedly. But I know it doesn't really hurt because they come back for more. Strange dogs that they are.

A dogs ear canal is L shaped, so a cotton swab can't do any damage. But use whatever is easiest for you and the dog to keep the ears clean whether a cotton ball or rolled up tissue or whatever.

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Argh, I just googled mometemax and apparently one of the possible side effects is hearing loss! Does anyone know if it's ok to stop applying this? My dogs ear is much better and he's been one it for a week. Vets instructions were for two weeks though.

It's a very uncommon side effect and only normally seen when there is rupture of the tympanic membrane (ear drum). That normally requires a chronic, nasty infection to have been present first, which itself has often already caused hearing loss.

If you are concerned about using it, you should go back to the vet to ensure that the infection has actually resolved first.

Is your pup only yelping when you touch one ear? If so, it is probably painful. I usually clean ears by using a liquid cleaner, filling the ear canal up, massaging for about 30 seconds then letting the dog shake it's head and finish by wiping the discharge out with cotton ball. Although you can use cotton buds, I generally only advise using them in the folds of the external ear canal - or anywhere that you can still see the end of the cotton bud. If it's both ears that make the pup yelp and only one is affected, then it is probably just a matter of being a pup - in which case, patience and practice playing with ears is going to be of more use :)

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Argh, I just googled mometemax and apparently one of the possible side effects is hearing loss! Does anyone know if it's ok to stop applying this? My dogs ear is much better and he's been one it for a week. Vets instructions were for two weeks though.

It's a very uncommon side effect and only normally seen when there is rupture of the tympanic membrane (ear drum). That normally requires a chronic, nasty infection to have been present first, which itself has often already caused hearing loss.

If you are concerned about using it, you should go back to the vet to ensure that the infection has actually resolved first.

Is your pup only yelping when you touch one ear? If so, it is probably painful. I usually clean ears by using a liquid cleaner, filling the ear canal up, massaging for about 30 seconds then letting the dog shake it's head and finish by wiping the discharge out with cotton ball. Although you can use cotton buds, I generally only advise using them in the folds of the external ear canal - or anywhere that you can still see the end of the cotton bud. If it's both ears that make the pup yelp and only one is affected, then it is probably just a matter of being a pup - in which case, patience and practice playing with ears is going to be of more use :)

Hi Rappie. Awesome to get a reply from a vet! Another reason to love dol :). I was worried after I saw a whole thread online about how mometemax causes hearing loss so thanks for clearing that up. The Internet being as it is can be misleading of course! My pup doesnt yelp when I touch his ears, he only did so yesterday when I used a cotton swab and the medication applicator on his left ear. Afterwards he was fine for me to touch and massage his left ear. When it comes to cleaning his ears the usual protest I get is a groan like "hmph not again"

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I have had labradors for years and have never had an ear infection.

UNTIL 7 MONTHS AGO!! My 11 year old labrador who has been fit as a fiddle seemingly overnight, came down with (rod) infection affecting both ears, which has been slow to resolve.

Three washouts under anaesthesia have been performed, multiple ear drops and liquid cleans.

Finally her ears over the last 2 weeks look and smell NORMAL! We have another vet check in a few days time.

She used to yelp when I medicated her more problematic ear. I used to give her heavy duty treats, chicken and cheese. She was a hoot, running to the fridge after every treatment.

Good luck!!!

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I have had labradors for years and have never had an ear infection.

UNTIL 7 MONTHS AGO!! My 11 year old labrador who has been fit as a fiddle seemingly overnight, came down with (rod) infection affecting both ears, which has been slow to resolve.

Three washouts under anaesthesia have been performed, multiple ear drops and liquid cleans.

Finally her ears over the last 2 weeks look and smell NORMAL! We have another vet check in a few days time.

She used to yelp when I medicated her more problematic ear. I used to give her heavy duty treats, chicken and cheese. She was a hoot, running to the fridge after every treatment.

Good luck!!!

Sounds like it was quite a bad infection. Yay that it's finally getting better!!

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

I am using epiotic for his ear cleaner and the vet prescribed mometemax as ear medication. Anyone used these before? Thanks for your reply I am going to go back to the cotton balls.

Yes I have used it and found it too harsh for my dog's ears - his ears were more irritated after cleaning than before cleaning and he was very unhappy about it because I think it was stinging his ears.

I switched to 'Blue Ear Power' cleaner (there are recipes online for htis) and found it much better, and it cleared my poodle's ears up really quickly. It seems to be quite soothing, and is both effective and quite gentle.

An alternative may be to dilute your epiotic so it's not as strong. I have also had knowledgeable people recommend a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water as a gentle solution to use for routine ear cleaning.

I have heard several people say their dogs have found epiotic too strong. I think it's just that infected ears are so tender, you really need to be careful. And every dog is different I suppose.

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Perhaps the cleaner you are using is too stringent and causing his ear canals to sting?

I personally wouldn't use cotton swabs to clean ears. I use cotton balls and only that part of the ear I can see.

I am using epiotic for his ear cleaner and the vet prescribed mometemax as ear medication. Anyone used these before? Thanks for your reply I am going to go back to the cotton balls.

Yes I have used it and found it too harsh for my dog's ears - his ears were more irritated after cleaning than before cleaning and he was very unhappy about it because I think it was stinging his ears.

I switched to 'Blue Ear Power' cleaner (there are recipes online for htis) and found it much better, and it cleared my poodle's ears up really quickly. It seems to be quite soothing, and is both effective and quite gentle.

An alternative may be to dilute your epiotic so it's not as strong. I have also had knowledgeable people recommend a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water as a gentle solution to use for routine ear cleaning.

I have heard several people say their dogs have found epiotic too strong. I think it's just that infected ears are so tender, you really need to be careful. And every dog is different I suppose.

Thanks that was really helpful as I was looking into natural remedies. My dog has floppy ears so I need to be quite vigilant with the cleaning.

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Thanks that was really helpful as I was looking into natural remedies. My dog has floppy ears so I need to be quite vigilant with the cleaning.

The "Ear Clear" is based in natural stuff - lavender is one of its properties. Whilst this is not important to the dog, must say it smells nice to me :D. I think it is a "Natural Animal Solutions" product, should you be wanting to know. Must admit, not sure I'd like vinegar in my ear, especially if the skin is irritated. Stingy ??

Edited by Erny
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Thanks that was really helpful as I was looking into natural remedies. My dog has floppy ears so I need to be quite vigilant with the cleaning.

You might want to rethink that. Unless the ears are really heavy, they shouldn't need a lot of cleaning. Indeed, swamping the ear in chemicals affects its balance and can create more issues than it solves. My vets view is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and I have to say my poodles have very rarely ever had an ear issue.

If they are yeasty, you may have more success with a change of diet than with cleaning them.

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