Argh!! Can't get the ear drops in! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Argh!! Can't get the ear drops in!

Hi!

At last vet visit (which went very well, thanks to Rumo wearing his muzzle nicely after our training) the vet said he was starting something in his right ear and gave me a bottle of eardrops.
Once per day, in each ear, and massage a bit afterwards. for 5 -7 days.

Rumo loves for me to rub & scritch his ears, both inside and behind, so I didn't expect any trouble. Day 1 and 2 went fine. By Day 3, he was backing away and trying to run away, so I put his leash on. Still running away, so we tried peanut butter on a spoon. While he was licking, I swooped in and got the drops in, but it wasn't a good administration. Day 4 - on leash, even with peanut butter spoon, he turned and airsnapped at my hand and I shouted "No!" in his face. So things are going downhill fast. :-(

Do I need to do the eardrops with muzzle on...
I wanted to avoid creating repeated negative associations with his muzzle, but if it has to get done, it has to get done!

How do you get eardrops into your dogs??

Rumo ~ rescue shepherd/husky mix
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 10:15 AM
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With lots and lots of high value treats....


My old dog whose ears need to be cleaned and sometimes treated with Zymox starts looking for the treat bag as son as we bring out the ear solution. He hates having his ears messed with, but we bring out the super-high value stuff for this procedure, so it's a fair trade.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:26 AM
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Giving him time to make the choice to get drops for a reward has worked lately for Beau. I don’t know what kind of choice would work for your dog, but taking time to let him figure out he can *choose* to earn that reward by getting drops might help him be more compliant. Maybe dose him when he’s hungry so he wants the treat more? And slow down the approach time a little, so he has time to think about wanting the reward instead of automatically resisting the hated drops? Anyway, I got there by accident, below is the story of how it’s been working for Beau.

Beau loves me skritching his ears, hates hates hates ear drops. A while back he had a stubborn ear infection (yeast) that required drops every day for what ended up being 20 days (2 10-day treatments). The war of wills got worse with every treatment, no snapping but intense struggle and running away, it was ridiculous how unpleasant it was, and how long a 10-second dose was actually taking to administer. Treats or the ball were always offered and in view as the eventual reward, but he still resisted.

One day near the end of treatment he headed into his crate (safe place) when he saw the bottle in my hand. Out of frustration more than anything else I said “okay, fine, you can stay there until you’re ready” and sat down with my book. When he started to come out I immediately picked up the bottle, he retreated. The 2nd time he emerged, ditto. 3rd time, I did the same thing again and that time he came to me and held still while I dosed his ears. We had a little praise party and I gave him his reward.

This has been our ear cleaning ritual the last several months: I pick up the ear cleaner, he goes in his crate, I say “Okay, when you’re ready” and turn my attention elsewhere. When he comes out I say “Crate or this?” and point at the bottle, and I swear he decides to either retreat again or get it over with, usually the latter. He always gets praise and a treat or ball play after we’re done. I don’t know what he’s actually thinking/feeling, but allowing him to make the decision that way has made our process quicker and much more relaxed.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:50 AM
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One thing that occurred to me that we do with the treats that's important is what we call "prime the pup" -- the bottle comes out, and there's an introductory treat, so that he knows what the pay-off will be. We give a jackpot of the meaty, good stuff after each ear, so that the rewards are happening as we go.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 11:56 AM
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So first I do things like this in the bathroom where there is less room to act up.
Shadow hates drops so I use a make up remover pad which can be wrapped on my finger. I also use treats to reward acceptable behavior.

Air snaps at my face? Not a behavior I would tolerate. That behavior around me would have resulted in a severe correction and options for good behavior removed. I have worked on dogs that got pinned to the floor and had drops put in. All fine and well to work on things but a snap at my face would not go unanswered. If you feel more comfortable with a muzzle do it. I would suggest an exam muzzle though or a cloth strip, the slings in first aid kits make awesome emergency muzzles, loop around muzzle twice, cross under chin and knot behind head.

If he likes having his ears rubbed you could start doing that and sneak the drops in but overall I am not much of a fan of playing around. Dogs sometimes need treatments and really they just need to suck it up.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 12:28 PM
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I reward heavily for anything that might cause discomfort for them. You might need to look at your own demeanor as well. You want to show patience and calm even if the dog is being uncooperative. If you go into the job frustrated and expecting a struggle it probably will be.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:23 PM
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Yes muzzle him! Teach him to tolerate muzzle and gentle but firm restraint. As often as necessary put the leash on, put the muzzle on, high value rewards if that would work.

My dog would never take food under these circumstances. So he has learned that he will have to put up with whatever I do and I will be gentle and quick and thank him for his patience. He gets it. I have not been unable to do anything with him including having him lay down and raise a leg so I could inspect his incision when his retained testicle was taken out. That he REALLY didn't want to do but we've practiced where I had previously taught him to go over on his side on a cue. He weighs 90lb. Basially, i need him to cooperate because he is way stronger than me.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:24 PM
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Also you must get prepared. You can not let the dog see the ear drops until you already have him on a leash and maybe muzzled, depending. Chasing then around makes it so much worse
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 03:37 PM
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I use coconut oil. This emulsifies the debris in the ear, kills bacteria and yeast. Sooths irritated tissue and you can put a glob on and start massaging at the tips going down the ear, the glob will melt into the ear canal as you do it. It ends up feeling so good they welcome it. Plus you can use a side batch as the high value treat

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 04:09 PM
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I think 100% muzzling and proper restraint to begin with, then gentle and comforting talk and touch while you work, even if he is glaring at you.

I don't get after them for any nonsense once they are muzzled because I feel it escalates things and makes it worse. You have removed their ability to fight or bite so then you just try and be as friendly and gentle as you can be, you aren't and don't need to praise, it isn't praise. It's just a friendly, gentle soothing tone and touch which can help them be less combative and feel less stressed. Don't make them feel like they are in a fight. They will learn to sit still and tolerate it

I just talk nonsensr to them, or not nonsense but I just say stuff like I know you don't want me to do it but I have to to help your ear get better...thank you for tolerating this....blah blah blah" just so they can hear a soothing voice. And I am just very business like, i try not to respond in any way to any nonsense from them, I will praise for not fighting back but if they do fight I just carry on calmly.

Last edited by Thecowboysgirl; 12-30-2018 at 04:14 PM.
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