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Ear Care Tips

6544 Views 12 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Anonymous
Preventing and Treating Ear Infections
Dogs with floppy ears are most likely to develop ear infections because their ears cover the ear canal, preventing the air access to accumulated moisture. These breeds need special attention. You should lift your dog’s ears frequently and look at the canal. Make sure it is clean. Remove any accumulation with cotton balls or cotton tip applicators. However, do not place the applicator deep in the canal because damage to the eardrum can occur. Also check the odor of the ear. Ear infections usually have a characteristic foul or a fruity odor...

One home medication that is recommended by many veterinarians is a mixture of equal parts white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol. If you feel that moisture is accumulating in your dog’s ears, such as after a few laps in the pond, place several drops of the vinegar and alcohol mix in the ear. The vinegar is acidic and helps destroy bacteria and yeast. The alcohol is a drying agent and helps remove excess moisture. This remedy is typically used as a preventative as well as a treatment in early ear infections. It is not very effective in treating full fledged, active infections.
Otitis Externa (Ear Infections)
Otitis externa, or inflammation of the external ear canal, is a common condition in dogs. It is characterized by inflammation of the soft tissue components of the external ear canal and is particularly prevalent in dogs with long, floppy ears. Otitis externa may affect 20 percent of dogs...

What to Watch For

  Scratching or rubbing the ears
  Head shaking
  An abnormal odor or discharge from the ear
  Pain when you manipulate the ear
How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
Ear Discharge
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Betsy, Thanks for posting information about Bassets ears. My vet gave me a bottle of a product that her clinic has come up with that is unbelievably good at keeping Ben's ears clean. His ears were always gross and gunky and stinky, no ear infections, but you had to clean them every day. The stuff the vet gave me is called Blue Powder Ear Treatment and it contains isopropyl alcohol, 1% genetian violet and boric acid. You use it like any other liquid ear cleaner, squirt it into the ear canal, massage the ear and stand back. You need to administer this product outside because it is blue, and it does stain. I can not believe how well it works. Ben's ears cleared up immediately. I only have to clean them every other week, if that, and when I do, there isn't much inside. Thought I'd pass this info along, I don't know if other vets make this cleaner, but it has been a huge help to us. Thanks, Martha
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Hey Birch Briar...what vet do you go to in Minnesota??
Emmasmom, We just started taking Ben to Veterinary Center on Main, its in Osseo. We see Dr. Camille McArdle who in addition to being a very nice, knowledgable vet, breeds Bassets. So she knows all about their quirky behavior. Martha
I just found this recipe on the Internet. Is this what you use in your dog's ears?


16 ox Isopropyl Alcohol (standard 70%)
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.

Where do you suppose I could buy Boric Acid Powder and Gentian Violation Solution? Any drugstore probably??
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Emmasmom, it sounds like the same stuff. It has the same ingredients. I don't know where you can buy the ingredients, I would imagine at the drug store. I just know that you have to shake it really well because all the powder sinks to the bottom. And it stains, so clean the ears somewhere where you don't care about a mess. Good luck. Martha
I've purchased boric acid at Walmart, in the pharmacy section. Haven't noticed Gentian violet there, but I haven't really looked. The blue powder stuff sound like a huge mess! :)

[ February 04, 2004, 07:18 PM: Message edited by: Betsy Iole ]
I swear by the Blue Power (not powDer)recipe. I was the only thing that managed to clear up Webster's ears. It's also good for hot spots, sores etc.

The boric acid powder can be gotten at almost any pharmacy, the gentian violet is harder to find but some pharmacies carry it.
Soundtrack, You are right, it is Blue Power, not powder. Sorry for the typo. It works so well, I don't think I'll ever use anything else in his ears. Again, sorry for the typo. Martha :)
I use it to clean all my dogs ears, basset and long-leggers.

I usually call my pharmacy ahead of time to see if they have both the boric acid and the gentian violet. If they don't have it in stock, they can order it for you. Either way, I get them to hold it under my name, then go pick it up.

I ordered some gentian violet from our Walgreens Pharmacy. The thing is though, the recipe I found on the internet says "Gentian Violet Solution 1%". The guy at the pharmacy said all that was on his computer was 2%. Does that mean I can just put in half as much??? I'm pharmaceutically challenged...
Okay, I have my Blue Power Ear Treatment stuff all mixed up (after feverishly trying to get the purple stain out of the sink when I spilled some of the gentian violet). Anyway, I haven't used it yet...and here's my question for those of you who have used this stuff: If it stained my SINK and can stain furniture and stuff, won't it stain Emma's ears??? :(
Emmasmom, No, I don't think that it will stain her ears. The bottle that ours came in has a long pointy top on it so that you can shoot the solution right down into the ear canal. I've never noticed any purple ears on Ben. The dog will shake most of it out when given the chance, so I would suggest doing it outside. I have also used the solution on a cotton ball to clean the other parts of Ben's ears that get gunky, and I know that those have not turned purple. Just remember to shake the bottle really well before and while you are cleaning the ears, to keep everything mixed up. Good Luck. Martha

[ February 24, 2004, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: Birch Briar ]
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