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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
Archived Message
Water In Ears
by Sim
Started on 11-23-97
I've read in earlier discussions that water should not be allowed in ears when bathing the Maltese. The suggestion given was to stuff cotton in ears. Try as I have, the cotton pieces have not stayed in ears ... everytime, the cotton pieces get smaller and smaller with the hope that they will stay in (my husband kept telling me that I will lose the cotton in the ears one day!). In addition, Snowy refuses to allow the cotton to stay in place and will keep shaking his head; of course, since the cotton pieces were not firmly in place, they merely flew out. Any suggestions as to how to prevent the cotton from dropping out or any substitutes for cotton? I am so afraid that Snowy will end up with a ear infection one day. Thanks in advance for any help.
I would like to know the answer to that, too! Our beasties don't need to shake out the cotton-wool, it just falls out by itself. By then it is usually quite wet, so even if it stayed in I am thinking that it won't stop water getting into their ears. Who knows what the trick is?
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel) 11-24-97
Maltese are not like Poodles, you can put cotton in a Poodles ears and also most other breeds, and it will stay there. I have found it is easiest just to bathe the Maltese, then after towel drying, clean the ears with q-tips and put in a puff of ear powder. This will dry the ears inside if any water has got into the ear and prevent infection, or a fungus from starting.
Carole_Fantasyland 11-25-97
My human ear dr said to put vaseline on cotton and put vaseline side to inside of my ear...well, it only absorbed the water. So, I quit attempting cotton or swimmer's ear plugs in my dog's ears. If this sounds familiar, I posted this to another question. Anyway both my vet and human ear dr said to use a couple of drops of white vinegar and alcohol (equal parts) and yea! no more ear infections if I use it each time I bathe them.
marti 11-25-97
I don't try to put cotton in Taffy's ears becuase of that reason. I am very careful not to get water in her ears. I use a hand held sprayer to wash her, and gently curl part of the ear back to wash and rinse, then I hold the ear close to her head to do the top part. So far we have been lucky and hope it continues!
Robin K. 11-25-97
The alcohol/vinegar mixture can be very drying to the skin (ear leather)and so apply in ear canal carefully.
Sylvia 11-26-97
Thanks guys for that info, I won't waste any more time with the cotton-wool.
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel) 11-26-97
Sim, I asked our vet about this when I first brought our Doc in to see him. He gave me a cleansing solution to put in his ears after every bath. (Since I am a novice at bathing dogs I wasn't convinced I could keep the water out of his ears no matter how hard I tried.) This has worked very well for us- it is called OtiCalm. I think it was $6 or $7. I'm sure if you call your vet they can recommed something. Good Luck!
Sherri 11-26-97
Thanks to everyone for your replies. So far Snowy's ears are OK (touch wood) but I believe, prevention is better than cure. Sherri, I will try to get OtiCalm or other substitutes. Oh yes, I try to 'air' Snowy's ears every now and then (I fold back his ears). Don't know whether it helps but I figure that it cannot hurt him!
Sim 11-27-97
To Marti and Sylvia--I'm interested in the vinegar and alcohol solution you use in the ears of your Maltese. Could you post another message explaining exactly how you use it, how it is mixed, etc. etc. E.g., do you use it only once after the bath, or is it used for a given number of days? Do you use a medicine dropper to put it in the ears? etc., etc. Thanks to anybody who responds. I've had so much trouble with ear infections that I need to know all I can about them.
mike 12-01-97
This is in reply to Mike's question about the alcohol and white vinegar solution. I got the impression that Sylvia may not use it, she was perhaps wisely cautioning about the drying effect to the outside (leather) part of ears. But, the whole idea of this equal parts combo is to dry any remaining drops of water in the ear canal after shampooing...same principle as the product "Swimmer's Ear". Just use an eye-dropper (baby dept) to put one or two drops into ear canal. Both my vet and my human ear doctor said this combo provides the right balance of acidity in the ear, allowing for the natural production of ear wax. Buy a small bottle of each, and pour both into a third sterile container with lid. Shake well, and pour the new mixture back into the alcohol and vinegar bottles. REMEMBER TO TEAR OFF THE LABELS, AND WRITE "EAR-WASH" ON BOTH BOTTLES WITH LAUNDRY MARKER. I use one or two small drops in each of their ears after each shampoo. They have never cried/whimpered, but will shake their ears or rub on carpet until the 2 drops run out of the ear, which is what they should do. (No stains on carpet either). I just simply turn my ear over the bath sink. I've been thru loads of ear specialists since childhood...then the same response comes from the Vet and my new ear doctor all in the same month! Please allow me to repeat that you must first clear an infection (odor in ear) before you start practicing this prevention method. I've been using this for a year now. I believe there was another posting sometime ago about including hydrogen perioxide as a 3rd ingredient in this, but both Vet and ear doctor said no. I used to use h.p. in my ears thinking the bubbling action would work...but landed in emergency room TWICE...but that's just my weird ears. What works for one, may not for another. Hope my essay helps you.
marti 12-02-97
Thanks for that Marti, sorry to keep dragging this topic out but could you tell me what grade of alcohol you use? I presume it is 70% ethanol, but just wanted to check -- I would hate to put the wrong thing in their ears and risk injuring them!
Deanna (Moose & Squirrel) 12-02-97
This is in response to Deanna/Moose/Squirrel...as to grade of alcohol...duh, I did too good of a job ripping off the label. Both the Vet and human ear dr said to just get regular alcohol at Wal-Mart or wherever...no special kind/grade. Thanks to you & Mike for being interested...I'm glad to help anyone practice ear-infection-prevention after all that I have personally been through.
marti 12-03-97
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