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This page on ear care for your GSP is probably more than you’ll ever need to know… but great stuff to have just in case!!!

It is essential to clean your dog's ears. Dogs are prone to ear mites and allergies. By cleaning their ears regularly, you can help prevent both. Cleaning a dog's ears is fairly simple, but if you have any questions you should consult a veterinarian. Watching a professional clean your dog's ears once should be enough to master the procedure. You must make sure that you do not do damage to your dog's ears by your cleaning methods.

Start by restraining your dog. Make sure you have a tight hold on your pet, this is for their protection. If they jerk away while you cleaning their ears you permanently damage their hearing. Place the dog on a table (about chest level) and wrap your arms around the dog, like you are hugging it. Use your weak hand to inspect the ear and your dominant hand to restrain the dog.

Using Q-tips is not recommended for cleaning dog's ears. Rather, wrap some gauze that has been dampened with a cleaning solution from the vet or soapy water around your finger, and gently swab the dogs ear. Proceed to fill the dogs ear with the solution and massage the base of the dog's ear. Now it is ok if your dog shakes its head, this will help clear the solution from the ear. Watch your dog to know just how often to repeat this.

Otitis media (infection of the middle ear) usually results from infection of the external ear canal spreading into the middle ear. Foreign bodies, debris, ulceration or improper cleaning may rupture the ear drum, allowing bacteria to reach the middle ear.

Signs of middle ear infection include odor, discharge, ear scratching, head shaking and head tilt. The dog may appear to be sick. In some cases, prolonged (4-6 weeks) treatment may be necessary. Laboratory tests, x-ray pictures, and surgery may be needed to correct the problem.

Notify your veterinarian if any of the following occur. Otitis externa is an inflammation of the external ear canal that begins at the outside opening of the ear and extends inward to the eardrum. Causes include bacteria, fungi, ear mites, accumulation of wax, thick or matted hair in the ear canal, debris, impaired drainage of the ear, and infections from elsewhere in the body.

The ears of dogs (especially those with pendulous ears like the Löwchen) are ideal for the growth of bacteria and fungi because they are moist and warm and contain wax and other debris. The funnel shape of the ear canal effectively traps debris, further complicating treatment of infections.

General anesthesia is sometimes necessary to allow thorough cleansing of the ear canal and to obtain specimens for bacterial cultures. The longer the infection has been present, the more difficult it is to clear up. In severe long-standing infections, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. To be effective, the medication must contact microorganisms or mites deep in the ear canal. To achieve this contact, the canal must be kept clear of debris, and the medication must be placed deep within the canal.

Hematoma of the ear flap is an accumulation of blood between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. It is caused by damage to the cartilage from vigorous repeated head shaking or scratching at the ears with the back feet. Occasionally the damage results from the ear striking a sharp edge during head shaking.

The most common underlying causes of head shaking are ear infections, ear mites and fleas. In most instances, general anesthesia is necessary for withdrawal of the hematoma fluid and surgical repair. Treatment of ear infections and/or mites is necessary to allow healing and prevent recurrence of the conditions that caused the Hematoma.

Ear mites are tiny white parasites that live in the ear canals of dogs and cats. These mites are highly contagious and frequently infest whole litters of puppies and kittens. If more than one dog or cat is present in the home, and one is found to be infected, then all should be carefully examined for ear mites.

Severe ear infections may develop as a result of injury to the ear canal by the mites. A dark, crusty material is found in the affected ear canal. Head shaking and ear scratching are common signs.

In many cases the ears require a thorough cleaning before treatment. An anesthetic may be necessary in severe cases to allow complete cleaning. The mites can crawl to other parts of your pet’s body. Therefore, a topical insecticide may be prescribed, depending upon your pet’s age, state of health and severity of the disease.

NATURAL EAR TREATMENTS:

Ear delight is natures way of caring and treating smelly ear problem and just a dab will do it:
Drop tea tree oil
1 drop lavender
1 drop chamomile oil
1 teaspoon warm olive oil

Remember to do a patch test

Dilute tea tree, lavender and chamomile oils in 1 teaspoon warm olive oil and mix. Apply 2-4 drops of the formula with an eye dropper into the ear and massage around the ear for one/ two minutes and swab with cotton ball until clean.

Purpose: to cleanse, kill bacteria and break down wax build up

Tea tree oil: natural antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
Lavender oil: antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal
Chamomile: natural antiseptic
Olive oil: carrier oil

Note: all ingredients can be found at your local health food store.

Ear Mites / Infections

Mix 5% of 3% volume of hydrogen Peroxide with ½ Teaspoon wheat germ Oil and add about 3 mls of water
(Warming the mixture, by placing small bowl onto a larger bowl of warm water) Or - Aloe Vera Gel. If cat or dog has a ear infection you may need to use a homeopathic treatment drops as well, if infection is chronic

For Ear Mites use either a cotton ball or eye dropper fill eye dropper and gently trickle mixture into the ear canal (approx. half a teaspoon) let it run down into the ear for a few seconds then from the base of the ear gently massage it (hear the squishing sound) massage for 2-3 minutes then let the cat or dog shake their head, do this procedure each day for 3 days then repeat same the following week.

WAX BUILD UP

Olive Oil - 25 ml, Vitamin E 400IU, Almond Oil - 10ml (warm Oil) Mix and use daily until discharge goes - Soak cotton ball or use eye dropper and gently soak into ear canal of cat or dogs ear. Gently massage, then let pet shake their head

Help from Herbs

Stop infections with pau d'arco - The herb pau d'arco,which comes from the inner bark of a South American tree, is a natural antibiotic that quickly kills fungi and bacteria. At the first sign of infection, mix equal parts pau d'arco tincture and mineral oil and put several drops in your pet's ears. Give the drops two or three times a day for several days.

Vitamin C

Reduce inflammation with vitamin C - The adrenal glands produce a natural steroid that can help reduce inflammation when ears get infected. Giving pets vitamin C can help the adrenal glands work more efficiently. Pets weighing under 15 pounds can take between 100 and 250 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Cats and dogs 15 to 50 pounds can take 250 to 500 milligrams a day, and larger dogs can take 500 milligrams two or three times a day. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so you may have to cut back the dose until you find an amount that your pet will tolerate.

NATURAL TREATMENT FOR EAR MITES:

Ear mites are common in cats and dogs. Cats usually start them and they're the last to be treated. Direct physical contact is an important part of transmission from one animal to another. A cat with ear mites will scratch its ears frequently and a deposit that looks like dried coffee grounds, black grey or even white will form down in the ear canals. A dog will scratch and shake its head and its ear canal may look quite red and inflamed. Bacterial and fungal infections secondary to ear mites is another layer of imbalance. Reducing redness and inflammation from secondary infection is the first order of business, as medications and remedies that help kill ear mites can sometimes act as an irritant to a sensitized ear canal

Homemade, natural, Ear mite treatment suggestion:

Step 1:Make a mixture of 1/2 ounce of almond or olive oil and 400 IU vitamin E in a dropper bottle. Warm to body temperature and put about 1/2 dropper full in the ear, massaging the ear canal well for a minute or so. Let your pet shake its head and then gently clean out the opening with cotton swabs. Q-tip type applicators may compact material already in the ear canal. Apply the oil every other day for six days. Then let the ears rest for 3 days. (The oil mixture will smother many of the mites and start a healing process

Step 2 Using a tincture of the herb Yellow Dock, dilute it with water (9 drops to 1 tablespoon of water). Treat the ears with this mixture, as described above, once every 3 days for 6 weeks. Ear mite eggs are quite resistant to just about anything after they have already hardened, that is why a six-week period of treatment is recommended. The eggs will continue to hatch out in cycles and if medicine is present for six continuous weeks (medicine administered willlast for four days) there will be no more eggs present.

You may need to thoroughly shampoo the head and ears (and the tip of the tail), because the mites can leave the ears; they do like to go for night trips to check out the terrain and might crawl back in after treatment. The tip of the tail may have a few mites from when it is curled near the head. Make a tea infusion of yellow dock and use it as a final rinse.

Generally a healthy animal will have fewer problems with ear mites, so improving the diet will help in prevention and recovery. Feeding a natural raw meat diet or a super-concentrated, preservative free commercial diet like PHD will improve overall health and reduce the likelihood of frequent parasitic infections. Supplementing with garlic and brewer's yeast is especially helpful.

HOMEMADE EAR CLEANERS

Great for Chronic Yeasty Ears yellow dock and use it as a final rinse. Blue Power Ear Treatment”
16 oz. Isopropyl Alcohol
4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%
Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well. You will also need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder To use, purchase the Clairol type plastic bottle to dispense solution to affected ears.

TREATMENT

Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Wait until inflammation has subsided which will be about 2 days. Shake the bottle each time before using. Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle), massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue. Flood again on first treatment, wipe with a tissue, and leave alone without massage. The dog will shake out the excess which can be wiped with a tissue, the Gentian Violet does stain fabrics.

The SCHEDULE of treatment is as follows:

Treat 2x per day for the first week to two weeks depending upon severity of ears.
Treat 1x per day for the next 1-2 weeks
Treat 1x per month (or even less frequently, depending on the dog)

All of these ingredients should be available at a pharmacy. People have found that despite the alcohol, the dog will not object to even the first treatment. The Boric Acid Powder soothes the ear. The Gentian Violet Solution is an ant-infection agent. The solution appears to work well on any and all ear problems from mites to wax to canker. After the 2nd or 3rd day you can clean out the ear with a Q-tip or cotton balls. Their success rate for this treatment is 95-99%. Those who do not succeed have usually not done the treatment long enough or have not been regular about it.

Dogs on the verge of ear canal surgery have been returned to normal with only the regular follow-up treatment to keep the ear healthy. If an infection seems to be remaining in the treated ear after the above course of treatment, you may also have some Pseudomonas bacteria in the site. This can be eradicated by using a gentle flush of raw apple cider vinegar and water (warm). Use 2 Tablespoons of vinegar to one cup of water, 2 x per week.

They have found the Blue Power Solution to be effective for treating fungus-type infections on the feet and elsewhere on the dog, for cuts on dogs or people, and for hot spots. You may find other uses for this simple anti-infective agent. Remember it is for external use only and be careful not to get into the eyes.

HOMEMADE EAR CLEANER:

2 ounces White vinegar
½ tablespoon Powdered boric acid
6 oz Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
1 teaspoon Betadine antiseptic (or generic Equivalent)

Directions for mixing the solution together:

Pour 6 ounces of isopropyl alcohol in to a plastic applicator bottle. Add ½ tablespoon of boric acid powder. Add 2 ounces of white vinegar. Shake the solution extremely well, until the boric acid powder is fully dissolved. Once the powder is dissolved, add one teaspoon of the Betadine antiseptic, and shake it up some more. Squirt the solution inside your dogs ear until the ear canal is completely full. Massage the outside of the ear to help slosh the cleaning solution around inside.Hold the dog still for about a minute. Be sure to shake the solution up really well before each and every time you use it. The boric acid has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Store at room temperature. Use the cleaning solution daily until you start to see some improvement. Gradually cut back to once per week when you see it's doing some good. When the ear seems completely free of infection, you can go two weeks between treatments.

GENERAL TREATMENT

Clean the ears with vinegar - If your pet's ears are filled with brownish-pink wax, there is a good chance that allergies have triggered a yeast infection. You can clear up yeast infections by cleaning the ears thoroughly. Veterinarians often recommend using white vinegar, also called acetic acid, because it removes dirt and debris and helps restore a healthful chemical balance in the ears.Diluted vinegar works well.When using vinegar, pour a small amount into the ear canal, massage the area, then gently wipe the inside of the ear with a cotton ball. Do this once a day until the ear is better.

Eliminate toxins with a healthful and natural diet - Giving your pet a healthful, homemade diet or high quality commercial food that doesn't contain wheat, corn, additives or preservatives can vastly reduce the amount of wax that the ears produce, while also helping the immune system work well.

Reduce inflammation with vitamin C - The adrenal glands produce a natural steroid that can help reduce inflammation when ears get infected.  Giving pets vitamin C can help the adrenal glands work more efficiently.  Cats and dogs weighing under 15 pounds can take between 100 and 250 milligrams of vitamin C a day.  Pets 15 to 50 pounds can take 250 to 500 milligrams a day, and larger dogs can take 500 milligrams two or three times a day.Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so you may have to cut back the dose until you find an amount that your pet will tolerate

Stop infections with pau d'arco - Also called Inca Gold, the herb pau d'arco, which comes from the inner bark of a South American tree, is a natural antibiotic that quickly kills fungi and bacteria. Mix equal parts pau d'arco tincture and mineral oil and put several drops in your pet's ears at the first sign of infection. You can give the drops two or three times a day for several days

Probiotic Powder or Acidophilus can be used both orally and in the ears to help clear up yeast infections. Mix 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (acetic acid) with one cup of (warm) water.
Mix equal parts of alcohol and white vinegar
Mix 3/4 white vinegar with 1/4 water
Mix 3/4 apple cider vinegar with 1/4 witch hazel. White vinegar may be the better choice for yeast

Vodka/Boric Acid: Use an 8 oz bottle and fill with about 6-1/2 oz of vodka. Into the vodka put about a tablespoon of boric acid powder and shake vigorously. Make a saturated solution so keep adding the powder until it no longer dissolves. Squirt into the ear and massage, let them shake their heads, then wipe out with cotton pads. If there's a lot of gunk, do this twice a day. Works for sore ears and infection. Vodka is supposed to be less harsh than rubbing alcohol.

Air out the ears - Increasing air circulation inside the ears can control the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Periodically trimming or plucking hair inside the ears will allow more air to get inside.

Strengthen the digestive tract - Supplements such as bromelain and quercetin (with bromelain) can help prevent an allergic response in the gastrointestinal tract, making food allergies less of a problem.

Stop ear mites with oil - When an infection is caused by ear mites, putting a few drops of almond oil or olive oil in each ear will smother the mites and may allow the infection to heal. You usually need to continue the oil treatments for three to four weeks, putting three to seven drops of oil into the ear canals each day. Cleaning wax and other debris from the ears before using oil will help the treatment work more efficiently.

Mix ½ ounce of Almond Oil with 400 IU’s of Vitamin E. Warm up the mixture to body temperature and apply ½ an eyedropper into each affected ear. Massage the mixture around in the ear and remove the excess with cotton balls. Administer the treatment for a period of six days, leave it for three days and then repeat. A mixture of 9 drops of Yellow Dock Root Extract and 1 tablespoon of water. Use an eyedropper to insert the treatment into the pet’s ear, being sure to massage it well prior to the animal having the opportunity to shake it out. Administer the treatment once every three days for a period of six weeks.


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