OK, so once or twice a week I find myself cleaning Pooh's ears. His left one in particular gets VERY ugly. I'm using Tea Tree oil but it's worse and worse each time I clean them.

Any suggestions? Carl?
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I would guess either ear mites or an ear infection, or maybe he is allergic to tea tree oil. My first oes was allergic to tea tree oil. Have you ever put that on your skin? It stings like crazy!
Vet time. Go out back or where ever your money tree grows, pick a couple of hundred dollar bills and run on over to the vet.

If it's not ear mites check for hair mated way down in the ears or have the vet look for that. If it's a bad infection get anti-biotics or whatever the vet recommends and be sure to get the medicated white ear powder the vets have. For maintenance use only dish washing liquid soap like Ivory dish soap to clean their ears. Liquid dish soap cuts through oils, wax and grease and dries up the ear. Use about 1/10 soap to 9/10 water or less and rinse thoroughly. Gently wipe the ears as dry as possible with cotton tissues and cue tips. When the ears are dry in 24 hours or so, use the power. Repeat this at least once a week until the problems go away or is under control. Keep the ears clear of as much hair as possible by pulling it our by hand a little at a time. This allows more air into the ear and will help heal as well. That oil stuff only caused me more problems when I had serious ear problems years ago with Cocker Spaniels.

Good luck,

Roger got a yeast infection in his ears once. The Vet told me to mix white vinegar 50/50 or straight if he could stand it and rinse the ears daily until the smell went away. Pull all the hair and clean before starting. Go to the pet supply store and buy ear powder it is designed to make the hair grabbable so you can pull most of it with your fingers. Also buy some locking hemostats they will get the hair down in the ear be careful of the eardrum.
Yep Roger is right about the vinegar but they won't like it! It dries the ear real quick.
Well I don't know where to start with this.........

NEVER, ever use cue tips in a dogs ear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cotton balls are not very good either. Cue tips can rupture the ear drum, even if you think you are not going very far into the ear. If there is wax build up and you start pushing it, it will go right thru the ear drum. Cotton balls can cause scratching if you press hard enough.

I've also never heard of dish soap to clean ears.

The best product we have found here at the vet is called Clear X ear cleaner. They also make a drying solution for use afterwards.

If your dog has a yeast infection you will have to get meds from your vet.
What color is the of the discharge or wax you are removing??

Please be careful with what you use in the ear
Well Hannah,

An old horse vet, Dr Davis in Parkersburg, WV at about 62 years old at the time and head of WV Vet something or another suggested it 15 years ago or more. Since it's done wonders with all my dogs I thought it was worth mentioning.

Hey if it works, it works! I've just never heard of it before.
The vet told me to use the vinegar mixture for the yeast infection in the ear. It worked. He said it was as effective as the med but was cheap to use. Q tips, I suppose if you jam the Q tip into the ear drum it will rupture. I personally like to use common sense and will continue to use Q tips in a dogs ear just like I do in mine, I am not going to jam the thing through my ear drum either. No disrespect meant and I realize I am sounding king of surly, so let me say this if you don't have any experience around the ear don't use a Q tip where you can't see the end and for goodness sake don't force the thing down into the ear. But use common sense and take advantage of the tools available. How hard do you have to press to scratch the skin in the ear, remember common sense. And I know you won't believe this but thank you for posting on the subject and for the suggestion on the clear X your thoughts are well received and considered. I just hate to go overboard.
Rogers Dad wrote:
Q tips, I suppose if you jam the Q tip into the ear drum it will rupture. I personally like to use common sense and will continue to use Q tips in a dogs ear just like I do in mine, I am not going to jam the thing through my ear drum either.

I guess you must have misread what I wrote. I don't believe I said anything about jamming a Q tip THROUGH THE EAR DRUM!! I was not giving cleaning instructions either, even though it sounds like some are needed.

How hard do you have to press to scratch the ear??? Not hard at all.
You can cause painful abrasions or ulceration to the outside of the ear, just by cleaning the outside of an inflammed ear.

Again these were tips for owners who are not sure about ear problems!! Let's use some common sense here, and let's be nice about it?
I would really hate to see things go any further in this vein.... one of the things that makes this forum so great is all our wonderful members ability to discuss things calmly and politely and with an open mind and willingness to learn. :)
Each of you has gotten your point across, and I think all will agree that each of your points is valid, as all are, and that it seems like a case of misunderstanding. It is hard for us to hear tone and inflection through the writen or typed word, so it is easy to see how things can "warm up" a bit from time to time.

As for my comments on ear cleaning, I usually use cotton balls, with a bit of rubbing alcohol for cleaning. Sometimes a q-tip is needed, with care of course, to get the grungies... I find a bit of baby powder puffed into the ear hair assists with plucking, though I only use my fingers because I am afraid the dog would move suddenly and the haemostats could cause injury. Lots of people have no trouble with this though.... but I am a little paranoid I guess.
Willowsprite, You can also try baby wipes to clean the wax build up. It really cuts through the wax and leaves a nice smell afterward.
That's a good idea! Thank you! LOL I probably would have thought of that when my kids were little, baby wipes for everything! LOL
Another thing you might want to try ...instead of q tips that is.....

get a bulb syringe ( the thing that you use to clean out a baby's nose). Fill the ear with whatever cleaner you want to use, massage ear for a couple minutes and then gently flush ear with warm water. Keep flushing until everything is rinsed out.

This is just my opinion, but it works really well.

P.S. please don't jam the syringe into the ear drum....just kidding!!!
Sorry for the unfriendly tone, I don't know what got into me. :oops: I took it past intellectual conversation in search of the truth and took it to the I have to be right tone (we should always take every precaution for the safety of our charges). Your opinions are very valuable and are taken with respect, I could have chosen my words more carefully and it would have contributed to the discussion. Again sorry for the confrontational tone.

Your humbled and happy friend,
I had a sheepie with always bad ears. Vet suggested 50/50 solution of rubbing alcohol and vinegar. I'd remove hairs several hours before the solution and I'm sure it stung adding the solution right after hair pulling.

Fill the canal with solution, hold down the flap while massaging just below and behind the ear opening. The massaging helps break up the yuck. Then let go and stand back. Once all the ear flappin' is over, go in and dry.

Now I only use my finer wrapped in old t-shirt material......I don't do diving into the deep regions anymore. On the flap underside I can use terry cloth for the "extra" scrubbing.

For bad ears you will have to clean daily until problem under control.
Poor Pooh, I think you're going to put your vet's kids through college!
Thanks Chris, No apology was needed, but thanks.

While we are on the ear subject, let me tell you what we had come into the office today.

Lab came in with a hematoma. The owner said the ear had been that way for several weeks.

To help the swelling go down the owner had poured kerosene into the ear and most of the head as well. He said his grandfather had told him it would work. WHAT????? Let's talk common sense here.

He is now on meds to help with all the open sores that are covering his head and ears. Not much hair left, and may never hear from his ear again.

I wish I could post pics of some of the things we see.
Poor pup!
As one who once worked as a vet's assistant, as a groomer and also managed the Canadian School of Dog Grooming, I too have seen some things that would make your toes curl! Years ago, my mother owned the dog grooming school and I managed it for her. The state inwhich people let their dogs get in was unbelievable! Pictures are not necessary when you can vision the abolute worst you can imagine. As far as the ears go, with the smell, chances are its mites or bacterial infection. Best to get a swab done if you don't see any mites because the sooner you can get the ears treated with antibiotics the better your pet will feel. Izzie occassionally developes a brownish wax which is due from moisture in the ear. I treat her ears with Otomax ointment an antifungal. Then clean them out with Qtips (carefully and with a great deal of experience), and a good cleaning solution. Wet wipes are great for cleaning as well! Some really good ideas here!
It definitely sounds like an infection. My Lab had an infection for a while, and a week or more ago we brought her to the vet and got some meds for it. The ear is now nice and clean, and NOT SMELLY!!! :D
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