Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a friend who has a beagle mix dog who is about 5-6 years old; she rescued him from a shelter about 3 years ago and from that point on, she's done everything she can to make sure that he's happy and healthy. Today, she came over and brought her dog with her and I noticed that he kept shaking his head a lot. Herrick went through a phase where he did that and when we took him to the vet, he told us that usually that's a sign of an ear infection; luckily, he didn't have one and he eventually stopped doing that. Anyway, I mentioned this to my friend and she said that her dog has been doing that for almost 2 weeks now and that she thought it was normal. I told her that I thought that it COULD be a sign of infection and I told her she should take him to the vet to make sure. Her dog's ears don't smell but I did notice that he has a dark, waxy buildup that smells kind of bad. She called me a few hours after she left and told me that she had looked up some home remedies online and said that she would try one of them because she doesn't have the money to take him to the vet right now. She told me that she was going to try out a solution made up of half alcohol and half vinegar that she was going to put on a cotton ball and clean his ears with to see how he does. I looked this up and saw a lot of mixed answers, with many saying that they did recommend this as "treating" an ear infection. I told her that she would be better off taking him to the vet just to see if it really was an infection or not but again, she mentioned the lack of money and that if she did end up taking him to the vet, she would not be able to do so until after next week because she would be getting paid then. My question is, if she DOES end up using that solution in her dog's ears, is that ok? It sounds a little crazy to me but I would hate to see her dog in pain or end up being hurt because of a mixture like that. I'd like to know if anyone has actually heard of anything like that or tried it, thanks for all your answers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
I've heard of people using that before.

My vet told me to just use half white vinegar and half water.

But you have to squirt a bunch in there and work it down into their ear real good, not just wipe it out. It needs to get a all the way down into the lower ear canal and stay there for at least a few seconds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Oh, I see. So, there really is such a thing as being able to use vinegar in a dog's ear then. Have you tried it? I'm just wondering if after leaving it in the ear canal for a few seconds, do you wipe it out or do you just let the dog shake it out?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
That solution is for prevention and cleaning, not treatment for an infection. Once the ear is infected and the dog has been scratching, it will be raw. The vinegar and alcohol mixture will burn! That is the most sure-fire way to get your dog to hate having his ears cleaned. The mixture is more or less for dogs (or people) who get water in their ears.

You can use 50:50 vinegar and warm water, as Tx suggested, and it will be less irritating. You can use diluted peroxide on really raw or red ears- it will help break the gunk up and it won't burn. Sometimes peroxide will leave moisture in the ear, though, which works against you, so I only use it when I have to, like when Toby's scratched his ears until they were bloody. There are plenty of good products on the market that can be used, too.

My standard procedure with these solutions is to pour some into the ear and massage the base to try to make sure it works down into the canal, which is J shaped. Let the dog shake, then use a cloth or baby wipe to remove most of the gunk that has been dislodged. You can use a cotton ball or cotton swab (carefully) to clean between the folds. Then let the dog shake some more, wait about half an hour, wipe out whatever was dislodged and apply some drying solution (if cleaning) or antibiotics (if infected.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Starfish, thank you for your reply. I had read that the alcohol was not a good thing to use because it leaves in moisture, like you mentioned with the peroxide. I just got off the phone with her and she said that her dog, Jax, has not been scratching his ears, he has just been shaking his head like crazy. She said that she tried cleaning the ears like she regularly does and she pulled out a lot of brown waxy buildup. I told her about the 50:50 vinegar and water and she said that she would try it instead of using the alcohol. She also mentioned that his ears are not red, but just dirty. One last question, isn't the brown waxy buildup not a good thing? I saw some pictures online and according to the captions on them, those are signs of infection, is this true?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,420 Posts
Starfish has the right of it.

And yeah I do the water/vinegar thing for my girl about every 2-3 weeks.

She had infected ears when I got her, took a lot of meds and expensive eardrops to get rid of, but it has prevented it returning so far.

And yeah a bunch of dark brown gooey stuff came out at first. Not so much now that I wash them out now and then.

I put a bunch in, massage under her ear for 30 seconds to work it way in there, and let her shake it all out. Then I wipe her ears out the best I can.

She doesn't like it, but she tolerates it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
TxRider, thanks so much. So, the brown stuff still comes out eventough she doesn't have an infection anymore? I'm just asking because I usually have my groomer clean Herrick's ears and I don't know what color "normal" ear wax is supposed to be. My friend said that the brown stuff smells a bit too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
The brown stuff can accompany an infection but isn't caused by or even necessarily related to it. It's mostly wax and also dirt that gets trapped in there. My Toby produces it by the bucket, though he doesn't generally have an infection. There is definitely a different smell when the dog actually does get infected, and usually the ear gets red and hot. It sounds like perhaps the beagle just has a lot of waxy build up. I would suggest trying the vinegar and if that doesn't work after a couple days, either using peroxide or finding a commercial product that is designed to bubble and break up the wax so the dog can shake it out.

Oh, and the alcohol shouldn't leave moisture in the ear like peroxide (which is very similar to water in composition), it should actually help wick it away as it evaporates... but leaving the ear feeling cold and if the skin is broken anywhere, very irritated, burning.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top