Cockers are easily recognized by their long, flowing
ears. Unfortunately, these beautiful ears can be a hot bed of infection
and pain for your dog if not properly cared for. In this article, I will give you information on
basic ear care and cleaning
to help you keep your Cocker’s ears healthy. I have also included
information on how to recognize if your dog has an ear
problem, causes of ear problems, possible treatment options
if you should find an ear problem and some simple homemade options for
prevention, cleaning and care.
Please remember that I am not a vet and this
article is based strictly on my own observations, experience and knowledge
from dealing with my own dogs. This article is by no means a
complete listing of all problems, treatments or medical options and you should always check with
your own veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment if your dog has
an ear problem.
Click on one of
the following links to go to each topic or just scroll down to read all of
key to keeping Cocker ears healthy is to keep them clean.
Unfortunately, the basic physical conformation of the Cocker ear
(somewhat narrow ear canal with excessive hair around the opening and
ears that hang down over the opening) means that you will have to do
some work to help prevent problems from developing. This isn’t really
all that hard to do, it just means that you will need to stay on top
of basic hygiene and do some regular preventive maintenance will help
ensure that your Cocker’s ears stay healthy.
first step in ensuring your Cocker's ears stay healthy is a regular
cleaning and hygiene schedule. This schedule should include
brushing, bathing, grooming and ear cleaning.
Regular brushing and bathing
will help keep your dog’s ears trouble free by keeping the hair on the
bottom of the ears free of mats and accumulations of food and debris.
Regular bathing will also help ensure your dog's skin (all over) is
clean and healthy. Healthy skin is critical in preventing ear
infections. Most Cockers will need to be bathed every week
or every other week, so ear cleaning can be incorporated into your
regular bathing schedule. Routine
ear cleaning should be done once a week. I usually do this regular
cleaning after the dog’s bath.
Ear cleaners should be
slightly acidic but should NOT sting, so your dog shouldn't fuss overly
about having this done once he gets used to the routine.
cleaning the ears after bathing, you will be sure to dry out any
excess moisture left in the ear canals. This is important as
excess moisture being left in the ears can lead to infections.
Cleaning the ears after bathing will also be helpful if you need to treat
an ear problem. Medication should only be applied to clean ears that
are free of dirt and debris, so you can immediately treat your dog's ears
after he is bathed and the ears are cleaned. Be sure to use a good
ear cleaner after each bath to remove any excess moisture. Or, if
you don't need to treat the ears, an ear drying powder can be used in the
ears after bathing. Be sure to do this after your dog goes swimming
your dog is in the water a lot or has a history of ear disease, you may
need to clean his ears more than once a week. No matter how often your dog's
ears have to be cleaned, these cleanings are a perfect opportunity for you
to check your Cocker’s ears for signs of infection, parasites
or inflammation. While it’s normal for most dogs to have a small amount
of waxy buildup, excess wax and moisture that gets trapped in the
ear canal can lead to yeast and/or bacterial ear
addition to routine bathing and ear cleaning, keeping excess hair around the ear canal
clipped short is a must. Regular clipping of the hair on the
inside of the ear, around the ear canal, will help minimize moisture
accumulation by improving air flow into the ear canal. Clipping of the hair around the
ear canal is easily accomplished by keeping the dog groomed in
a regular "Cocker Cut". Regular grooming should be done every 4-8 weeks.
For dogs with ear problems, it may be advisable to remove additional hair
from the inside of the ear leather or even to trim the length of the ears
overall. Removing additional hair can help keep the ears drier and
can increase airflow into the ear canal by decreasing the weight of hair
that pulls the ear down.
To assist in keeping the
ears clean and dry, you can use a “snood” at mealtimes to keep your dog’s
ears out of food and water bowls. A snood is merely a tube of
material with elastic at each end. It slides over the dog’s head,
the ears are tucked into the tube and
this holds the ears out of the way and helps keep then clean. You can purchase
snoods from a pet
catalog, pet shop or at dog shows for $10-$20. They’re also
quite simple and inexpensive to make. (I've included instructions
for how to make them at the end of this article.)
Another option for
helping you keep your Cocker's ears clean and dry are special bowls
designed for long-eared dogs. These bowls usually have a wide base
that narrows at the top, they are taller than normal food and water dishes
and are designed to allow long ears to fall to the side of the dish rather
than into the dish.
dog’s ear has more of an L-shaped canal than a straight canal.
This means that there
is a corner that tends to collect debris. To remove this collection of
debris, you will need to fill the ear canal with a good ear cleaner (Top
Performance Ear Cleaner or try the recipe I’ve included in this article)
and gently massage the base of the ear for 20-30 seconds. This will
soften and release the debris which you can then wipe out with a cotton
ball and/or Q-tip. You need to repeat this procedure until there is no
more debris coming out of the ear. Q-tips should only be used on the
parts of the ear canal that you can see. Trying to clean deeper into the
ear is more likely to pack the debris down in the ear than to remove it.
initial cleaning when dealing with an ear problem, or if I think the
ears are so dirty that they are going to require repeated cleanings, I
prefer to do this procedure in the bath so that I can really clean the
entire ear and head area. Many people are afraid to get
shampoo and water in the dog's ears, but it's imperative that you keep the
ears clean inside and out. This means that you must shampoo and
rinse the side of head and the inside and outside of the ear thoroughly.
It's OK if you get shampoo and water in the ears as you are going to clean
the ears out (thus drying any water left over) after you finish the dog's
bath. The one thing to remember is that you DO need to rinse
and remove ALL shampoo residue from the ear canal and the inside of the
ear. After this initial deep cleaning,
you should be able to keep the ear canal clean with a “normal” cleaning
before applying any necessary medication.
your dog has sore ears due to an ear problem, you may find that he gets
extremely unhappy about having his ears cleaned. Taking your time
and talking to him while you work on the ears or stopping to praise him
for good behavior can help keep him calm. However, don’t baby the
dog that just doesn’t like the procedure or doesn’t want to stand still.
Be firm and insist on being allowed to work on the dog’s ears.
DON’T reward a dog that fights by quitting! Be sure and reward your dog with a
special treat after you get done.
your dog has had a long-term ear problem, has very sensitive ears or
just has a really bad attitude about letting you clean his ears, it
may be necessary to have your vet anesthetize the dog and clean the ears
let’s address the impact of nutrition on your Cocker’s ears. This
is a major consideration if your dog is having ear problems (or any skin
problem) and should be one of the first issues discussed when looking
for a solution to on-going, skin-related medical conditions.
Keeping your Cocker on a high quality food can help your dog avoid dry,
flaky skin, allergies, ear infections and many other medical problems.
recommend using Eukanuba’s Regular or Small Breed (puppy
or adult) formulas or their Performance formula OR Purina Pro Plan Chicken
and Rice (puppy or adult) or their Performance formula. These are
the ONLY foods I recommend on a regular basis. I do not recommend
any other formulas (lamb, beef, etc.) or any other brands. If your dog is having an on-going
skin problem or you prefer an all-natural food, another acceptable food option is a
product called Solid Gold Hund-N-Flokken adult and Hundchen Flocken Puppy
foods. I do not recommend adding dietary supplements
as a general rule, but if you feel your dog's skin and coat could use a
boost and you are already feeding one of my recommended foods, there are
2 products that I do feel can be beneficial. These are The Missing
Link and Solid Gold Seameal w/Flaxseed Meal. I strongly recommend
using the Solid Gold supplement if you choose to feed the Solid Gold
do not get talked into using Science Diet for your new Cocker! I
have found that my Cockers DO NOT do well on this food.
These dogs carry such heavy coats that they MUST be maintained on a
quality food, high in protein and fatty acids, or their skin and coat
will suffer. Science Diet does not seem to fill these requirements
for my dogs. I have had to work with several new owners to
over come health problems that developed when they were convinced to
feed Science Diet to their dogs.
are other high quality commercial brands of food on the market, and
it's possible your Cocker will do fine on one of these other foods,
but I have had great luck with the foods I've listed above. I
know a lot of people are interested in home-made or all-natural food
choices, and sometimes this is the best choice for dogs that are
sensitive to certain ingredients commonly found in commercial dog
foods. HOWEVER, I caution anyone pursuing this type of
feeding program to investigate and learn all they can. It's very
important that YOU have an understanding of canine nutritional needs
before you jump into feeding a home-made diet. This means that
you have to investigate canine nutrition on the web, in books and with
your breeder and veterinarian. The proper balance of
ingredients, vitamins and minerals is crucial to the health of your
dog. This proper balance can be tricky to achieve and if your
dog receives too much or too little
of certain ingredients, he could suffer serious health consequences
and possibly death. So please, use caution in your
to alternative feeding choices.
disease” is not a diagnosis of a specific ear problem.
Instead, it’s kind of a generic phrase for a number of conditions.
These conditions sometimes appear individually, or they can be linked,
with one problem leading to another and another.
be related to food, but
can also be
ear problem may
actually be the first noticeable sign of an allergy.
If your dog has recurring ear or
skin problems, unrelated to other issues, your dog may have an
mites, fleas and ticks can cause severe skin irritations that lead to
the dog scratching the ear raw. This trauma to the ear can then lead
to infections that must be treated in addition to the parasite
can be hard to identify on the
dog, but can sometimes be spotted during regular brushing and grooming
are almost invisible to the naked eye. They leave waxy,
dark, crumbly debris (resembles coffee grounds) in the ear
canal. It's sometimes possible to see the mites if you use
a Q-tip to remove some of the ear debris and then wipe it on a
dark colored surface. The mites will appear as small white
dots that move around.
come in several types, sizes and colors and will vary by
geographic location. Baby ticks can be smaller than
the head of a pin and large, engorged ticks may be as big as
may be a little harder to identify as they are quite small and
move quickly. Look for small black specs, like black sand,
in the hair around the bottoms of ears and along the back,
especially around the base of the tail. This flea “debris”
is a sure sign your dog has fleas even if you don’t actually see
the little devils on the dog.
can cause considerable ear damage if they find a minor cut or
hot-spot to feed on or if they are attracted by the smell of an
ear infection. If flies begin to bite, a minor ear problem
can quickly escalate to a major issue. Fly bites encourage
ear scratching, which combined with existing irritation, can
lead to open sores and possible bleeding. This will
attract more flies, which sets up a cycle of self-mutilation and
INTESTINAL PARASITES (worms) can also cause skin
irritations that can result in ear problems. Intestinal worms can sometimes be seen in the dog’s
stool, but more often require a fecal exam at the vet’s to verify an
infestation. Unfortunately, fecal exams are not always 100% reliable,
so it may require more than one exam to verify if your dog has worms.
stick-tights, cockleburs, thorns and other outdoor debris
can cause severe irritation to the ear. If your dog has access to
areas of high weeds or is taken to the lake or woods, be sure to brush
out his fur and check his ears carefully, inside and out.
Foreign bodies in the ear canal or
that get caught in the hair of
the ear can also irritate the dog to the point that he traumatizes the
ear and opens the door to infection. Grass seeds,
or excesses) can result in skin and/or ear problems. Thyroid and sex
hormones influence the health of the skin as does adrenal gland
function. Hormone abnormalities can generally be pinpointed with
Hormone fluctuations and abnormalities (d
rare hereditary diseases and various tumors (squamous cell carcinomas,
melanomas, etc.) may result in ear disease. Tumors and other conditions may require a biopsy or other
surgical procedure to pinpoint a diagnosis of a specific problem.
BACTERIA and YEAST
organisms are the major culprits in ear
infections. They have a perfect environment in the warm, dark, moist ear canal.
healthy ear has a certain level of these organisms and is normally able
to defend itself from “attack”. Unfortunately, the balance of
healthy/unhealthy organisms can be upset if excess moisture or wax is
allowed to build up in the ear canals. Other changes in the ear environment (allergies, trauma, etc.) can
also allow the "normal" bacteria and yeast to multiply
unchecked and over-run the ears natural defenses. This is how dogs get
With a bacterial ear infection
the ear canal may appear irritated and swollen and there may be a
yellowish, creamy or whitish colored, moist discharge with an
Yeast infections can also cause
the ear to look inflamed and have an unpleasant odor but the discharge
with this type of infection is a medium to dark brown or pinkish-brown color.
changes in the ear environment from some of the problems listed above can lead to
bacterial or yeast infections, you need to realize that these infections
are secondary to the main issue and treatment must include care for the
underlying problem or you will begin a never ending cycle of treatment
that only treats the symptoms of ear disease and never the cause.
playing or spending time with your dog, you will want to watch for signs
of ear discomfort, which are outlined below. These behaviors can be
the first indication that your dog has or is developing an ear problem.
Also, during your weekly ear evaluations and cleaning, you will be looking
for visual signs that can indicate an ear problem. Signs of ear
disease can include:
Consistent scratching of ears and/or rubbing of the head.
Shaking the head or tilting it to one side.
Pain when you handle the head or around the ears.
Unusual quantity or consistency of discharge in the ears.
Redness or swelling of the ear canal or ear leather.
Sudden changes in behavior – the dog seems depressed, lethargic or
The first step in
diagnosing any ear problem is to exam the ear for signs of the problems
If your dog is showing one or more of the symptoms
described above, the next step is to get in touch with your veterinarian and start
treatment right away. The longer you wait, the greater the risk that your dog could
develop a more serious problem and the more discomfort he will have to
that ear infections of the canal, if severe, can spread to the middle
and inner ear. Prompt attention to the problem is always best.
It’s also important to have an initial vet exam to be sure that your
dog’s ear drum does not have a hole in it. If this membrane is not
whole, cleaners can penetrate to the inner ear and could
actually make your dog’s ear problems worse.
When you take the dog to your
veterinarian, he or she will use an otoscope to see down into the ear
canal. This will help determine the amount of inflammation, the condition
of the ear drum and can help in locating any foreign bodies, parasites, tumors or
other contributing factors of the problem.
vet may also take swabs of the ear canal to smear on a microscope slide and
examine for bacteria, yeast or mites. In addition, the vet will take
the dog’s history and do a physical exam to help determine if there are
hormonal, allergic or hereditary problems. If one of these is
suspected, further testing may be needed.
dog’s ear treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the ear problem
and what, if any, secondary conditions are present. Your dog
may need only one medication or it may require a combination of items.
must be identified individually and possible culprits must be isolated
and removed from you’re dog’s diet or environment. In
addition, you must treat the existing allergic reactions (skin and ear
infections) to relieve the
dog’s discomfort. For in-depth information on allergies, click on
the following link to go to my page.
Parasites must be killed on the pet and in the environment before you can
successfully treat ear problems associated
with infestation. Successful parasite treatment may take repeated treatments of your home, yard and pet with dips,
sprays, foggers, parasite preventatives, etc. Ear infections
associated with parasite infestation will have to be treated in
conjunction with the parasites, but may not be completely resolved until
the parasite infestation has been permanently brought under control.
on resolving flea and tick issues
is covered in my article.
Please click on the preceding link for further information on this
The treatment for
ear mites is covered on my
The treatment for
intestinal parasites (worms) is covered on my
To repel flies on the dog, try
Avon Skin So Soft Lotion or Oil. This works pretty well as an
insect repellent for humans too. Mix 1 part Avon SSS oil to 9 parts water or
to a water based skin
lotion. If you don't mind the greasy feel, you can apply the oil full strength.
If your prefer, you can simply use the Avon SSS Lotion which comes
ready to apply. For serious
biting insect problems or to
cover open sores, use SWAT fly repellent. This product can be a
problem in the house as it's a heavy, greasy, paint on
ointment, but it will keep biting pests from causing further
To prevent fly bites, keep ears clean, promptly clean
and treat any ear injury and use fly repellent on the dog as necessary.
For existing fly bites, clean sores with peroxide or other skin
disinfectant/anti-microbial cleanser. Treat sores with
antibiotic/medicated ointment or cream. Antihistamines, steroids
and/or topical pain medication may be needed for itching, inflammation and
Most human skin products will work for treating your
dog's skin, so check your medicine cabinet for supplies.
Getting rid of flies in the dog's environment is key to preventing and
treating fly bites. Keep the yard pooper-scooped, dispose of
trash promptly in tightly sealed containers and use fly traps and/or
bait to reduce fly populations.
ear infections must be treated with an
antibiotic. If there is significant inflammation in the ear,
an anti-inflammatory medication may also be needed. It's
often advisable to have a bacterial culture done while at the
vet's office as the type of bacteria
responsible for ear infections can vary. If your vet does
not do a bacterial culture and doesn't correctly guess the right
antibiotic to prescribe, then your dog's ear infection will not
clear up and the treatment will be wasted. You will
then have to take the dog back in to the vet clinic to get a
different antibiotic and you will have to treat the dog again.
The following medications are some of the options that your vet
may feel are appropriate for treating a bacterial ear infection:
(silver sulfadiazine) wound creme can be helpful in healing skin
damage in the ears and there are several bacteria (including
that are sensitive to this product. For ear treatment, the creme should be mixed with water for an easy-to-use liquid
treatment. The creme form of this product is great for
burns and other serious skin issues.
infections must be treated with an antifungal medication. Daily cleaning of the ears
will help control irritation, odor and debris, but these infections can
be very difficult to conquer. To
help your dog avoid yeast infections, be sure that his ears are
cleaned out and a drying solution is applied after he is bathed or
allowed to swim. You can purchase an ear drying powder or cleaner
at your local pet store or vet clinic or I have
included the formula for some home-made solutions near the end of this article.
Veterinary treatment may include the use of oral
Nizoral therapy, Otomax ointment for topical ear treatment (may
also be used for bacterial infections) and/or special acetic acid wipes or ear wash (such as
Derma-Pet Ear/Skin Cleanser).
issues may require
additional testing and treatment may include hormone replacement
Tumors may have to be surgically removed.
Chronic ear conditions or recurrent ear
problems often require life-long management rather than cure.
Some dogs may require surgical treatments to open the ear canal if
they have suffered from
long-standing or recurrent ear infections. A build-up of
scar tissue from long-term ear
infections may cause thickened ear canals. This excess
tissue can eventually calcify and harden like bone. This
thickening of the ear canal and hardening of the ear tissue
further decreases the ear's ability to defend itself from
infection. Air circulation is decreased and wax build up
increases, while treatment of the ear
problem becomes difficult, if not impossible. At this point,
surgery may be necessary to allow access to the lower
portion of the ear canal.
Treating ear problems early and aggressively can keep you from facing
some of the above problems. Preventive maintenance, regular grooming and good
ear hygiene can also minimize your dog’s risk of long-term problems.
Keep in mind that if your vet doesn’t seem to be making headway with the
underlying cause of your dog’s ear problem and seems more focused on
treating the symptoms, you may need to seek help elsewhere.
sure your dog’s ears are completely clean before applying any medicine.
After you clean the ear, let your dog shake his head and wait about
15 minutes to give the ears time to dry. Then apply the prescribed ear
medication as instructed. Be sure that you keep the tip of all
medication applicators away from the skin as you don't want to
contaminate the container. If you’re treating an ear problem, you
may have to clean the ears twice a day at the beginning of the treatment
so that you’re sure the medication is able to penetrate to all of the
affected areas down in the ear.
this section I’m going to give you information on home-made ear cleaning
products and ear treatments that you may find useful. Most
ingredients or products can be found at your local pharmacy but some
may require a trip to the health food store or a shopping excursion on
the internet. Depending
on the health of your dog's ears, these solutions may be helpful in
keeping your dog's ears clean and infection free. This information
is provided for informational and educational purposes only, not as a substitute for veterinary
care! If you choose to use this information to treat your dog, you
do so AT YOUR OWN RISK!!! While these treatments and
suggestions may have proven useful for me or others that I know, there
is no guarantee that they will solve a problem for your dog. You
should always seek veterinary advice when treating your dog.
Additionally, some dogs may have sensitivities to specific products,
so check a small area for reactions before using new products.
vinegar solutions can be used to help
remove dirt and debris and to help restore the ear environment to
the correct chemical balance. Over the years I've found a number of different suggestions for vinegar
solutions, so you might need to experiment to see what works
best for your dog.
These combinations can be used
twice a day for treating an infection or weekly as a routine
Many vets and breeders
recommend using a white vinegar (acetic acid) solution for cleaning and treating
ears, especially when dealing with yeast infections.
- Mix 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar with one cup warm
water OR mix 3/4 cup of white vinegar with 1/4 cup water OR
mix one part white vinegar with one part water (half water,
half white vinegar).
- Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and white vinegar
- Mix 3 parts apple cider vinegar or white vinegar with 1 part
Combine 1 package
3 oz white vinegar, 1 oz alcohol and
11 oz sterile water
- Combine 4 tablespoons white vinegar, 4 tablespoons boric
acid powder and 16 oz Vodka
Yeast infections can
be difficult to conquer and may require treatment with a
fungicide. Antibiotics will not get rid of a yeast
infection. There are several over-the-counter
human medications that people have reportedly used to help
treat yeast infections:
A number of
people claim to have used Massengil Medicated Douche as
for yeasty ears. Use as an ear wash 2-3 times a week.
Vaginal yeast infection cream is also said to
be effective for treating some forms of yeast driven ear
infections. Squeeze about an half an inch of cream into clean
ears and massage down into the canal. Wipe away excess
with a cotton ball. Use daily for 2-3 weeks.
Selsun Blue Shampoo will kill yeast organisms
but must remain in contact with the skin for 10-15 minutes.
Combine 15 ml Glycerine, 15 ml sterile water, 6 drops tea tree oil.
Fill ear canal, massage base of ear to work debris loose, rinse well with
Mix 3% hydrogen peroxide with equal parts warm water.
Use to clean and remove debris from ears.
Combine 1 drop tea tree oil, 1 drop lavender oil, 1 drop chamomile oil, 1 teaspoon warm olive oil. Apply 4-6 drops
in each ear with
an eye dropper. Massage the ear for
a couple of minutes and then wipe away excess solution and
debris with cotton ball and/or Q-tips until clean. Must
be discarded and mixed daily.
Combine 25 ml Olive Oil, 400IU Vitamin E and 10ml Almond Oil -
warm mix in a bowl of hot water before use. With eye
dropper, soak into ear canal. Massage base of ear to
loosen wax build-up. Allow the dog to shake his head and
use cotton ball and/or Q-tips to remove excess solution and
debris. Use daily until wax discharge is dissolved and
following ear powder recipe works well to
kill anaerobic bacteria and fungi in the ears. The zinc
oxide and boric acid help keep the ear dry and this helps
prevent recurring infections. Can be used as a
treatment for existing infection or as a step in a preventive
Drop a large pinch of powder into clean ears. Using your
finger and massage, work the powder down into the canal.
Let the dog shake out any excess powder, but leave the remaining powder in the ears. Repeat
weekly after regular ear cleaning.
Treating an existing infection:
Use as described for maintenance, but after 24 hours use a
Q-tip to remove powder and debris that has floated up out of
the ear canal. Apply a fresh pinch of powder to each ear
after removing debris and work back down into the ears.
Repeat cleaning and application daily for approximately 2
weeks or until there is no further discharge from the ears.
Once obvious discharge has been eliminated, drop treatment to
every other day for a week. If the ears remain dry,
reduce treatments to every third day. After another
week, if the ears are still dry, treat on weekly maintenance schedule.
Probiotics can be given orally or used in the ears to help with yeast infections. A ready-made veterinary oral product is Probias or you can try feeding your dog plain yogurt. You
can also purchase probiotic powder for use in the ears or Acidophilus at the health food store.
probably the best-known of all the home-made ear treatments around.
It's been popular with Cocker breeders for quite a number of years.
This can be used in your maintenance ear care
routine or as a treatment for ear infections.
use it for fungus-type infections between the toes and pads of the feet
(or elsewhere on the dog) and for cuts, hot spots and other skin
should be able to find all of the ingredients at your local Wal-Mart or
other drug store. You will probably have to ask the pharmacist or
girl behind the drug counter for the Gentian Violet and Boric Acid as
they are not out on the general shelves. No prescription is
required. Prices listed are from my Wal-Mart in June of 2004.
ingredients together in the alcohol bottle and shake well. You
may need to remove a small amount of the alcohol to be sure it will
all fit. Fill applicator bottle with mixed solution. You
can warm the solution by setting the bottle in a cup of warm water if
your dog objects to the solution being room temperature.
16 Oz. bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol (standard 70%) (2 for
4 Tablespoons of Boric Acid Powder (4 oz for $3.00)
16 Drops of Gentian Violet Solution 1% (1 oz for $2.00)
6 to 12 oz Plastic “pull-top” Applicator Bottle ($1.00)
have several dogs and would like further savings, you can buy
alcohol by the gallon at your local feed store (a place that
stocks horse and cattle supplies) and this will assure that you
always have enough solution on hand.
Violet can stain fabric, hands, etc. Since we all know dogs love
to shake when fluid gets in their ears, I suggest doing this in
old clothing, in the garage, bath or backyard, while wearing
disposable gloves! To avoid the possibility of the dog
rubbing his head on the carpet while the ears are still wet, let
the dog shake and then dry
excess fluid with
Q-Tips or an old towel before
allowing the dog back in the house.
If ears are not overly sore, gently flood the ear canal
with solution and clean as described earlier in this article (until
there is no more debris being washed out of ear). If ears are inflamed/sore and the dog is
uncooperative, solution can be applied without massage and extra
cleaning for a couple of days. After a few days, the inflammation should be
reduced to a point that the dog no longer objects strenuously and
you may clean the ears with massage and cotton balls or Q-tips.
Depending on severity of problem and condition of ears,
treat twice a day for 1 to 2 weeks.
Treat once a day for the following 1 to 2 weeks.
For maintenance cleaning and preventive purposes use
Stubborn cases of infection may
require 2x the recommended amount of Gentian Violet (32 drops).
Failure is generally blamed on not doing the treatment long enough or
having not followed the recommended frequency of application.
Solution should not be painful to the dog, even if the ears are
inflamed. The Boric Acid Powder is supposed to sooth the ear and
the Gentian Violet Solution is an anti-infection agent that
acts as a bactericide, fungicide, and anthelmintic. The last means
that it is supposed to kill worms. As the prices listed above
demonstrate, this solution is quite inexpensive and easy to keep on
make 2 snoods
that will fit a Cocker
3/8 of a yard
of a washable fabric (45" wide).
60” of soft 1/4" elastic.
egin by stitching a 3/8" sleeve on each of
the long ends of the piece of material.
Cut the piece of
material in half so that you have two pieces with sleeves on each end.
Measure your dog just behind the ears. Cut 4 pieces of elastic to this
length. Thread a piece of elastic through each of the sleeves on
the two pieces of material. Tack the elastic
on each end. Put wrong
sides of fabric together, making a tube. Seam the edges together,
then overcast. Turn right side
mealtimes, slide a snood over your
dog’s head, leaving the ears tucked into the tube.
One band of elastic will be in front of the ears and the second band
will be behind the ears. This will keep the dog's ears clean, dry
and free of food debris. Your dog may not appreciate the new procedure the first few times he has
to wear the snood, but he'll get used to it quickly and go on about
eating his meals.
If you have any
questions or would like more information about our Cocker
Sandcastle Kennels 2004