Routine ear wash? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-13-2008, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 345
Routine ear wash?

Lola and I just got back from her annual exam. This is the second vet in our new(ish) town that has suggested using an earwash once a week, routinely. My vet back in Kansas City never recommended this for any of our dogs. Lola had one yeastie ear infection about 3 years ago, but no problems since.
Am I just being stubborn and uninformed by not doing this? I'm clinging to the old addage-"if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I would think that her normal flora would be disrupted and end up INVITING problems if I followed this advice. I could be mixing it up with the problems that can happen when human females use a certain hygeine product too frequently...

On another note, our visit was a disaster. She hates being restrained and it took 3 of them to get her down, after he requested I put the muzzle on, so he could draw blood. He was so flustered, that he had to be reminded to look in her ears. NOTHING else was done. He didn't look at her teeth, no listening to her lungs or heart, didn't take her temp, didn't look in her eyes. After her display, I think he was scared to come near her, because he remained on the other side of the room and behind the exam table while he lectured me about the ear wash and how she is a fearful dog. Yeah man, I know she is. I told YOU guys. She has always done well with those other routine things, she just hates to be held in a head-lock by strangers...we do it all the time!
The other vet in the practice did all of these things with our other dog, but he's sulky/submissive. I'll try her out, I think, before moving on to someone else...AGAIN.
alex9179 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 11:15 AM
Knighted Member
natalie559's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 3,021
Re: Routine ear wash?

I routinely wipe the dirt out of my dogs ears with a baby wipe, but do not use a wash routinely.

When I do use a wash, I use 1/2 white vinegar with 1/2 water. I use this sometimes after swimming to prevent an infection. Do not use it with an existing infection though as it will burn the ear.


enjoying life with Penny 6/04 & Blaze 11/12
while Sasha watches over us

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

natalie559 is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 345
Re: Routine ear wash?

Oh good! I finally got an answer!

Her ears are always very clean, partly because she gets an ear bath once in a while from our other dog. We look at them often to make sure nothing weird is going on in there. I guess that I'm just reluctant to start doing something that I think will upset the balance.
alex9179 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 03:01 PM
No Stinkin' Leashes Moderator
Cassidy's Mom's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 31,947
Re: Routine ear wash?

I have a product for routine ear cleaning, but I don't use it anywhere near weekly, I'd say it's more like occasionally. It's DermaPet Malacetic Otic, and here is the description:

A general ear cleansing frequent use (up to 2-3 times daily) pH balanced product, which is unique to others on the market in that it uses functional acids. While Acetic acid is widely known to be effective against yeast, the most common complication in ear problems, it is Boric acid that the human literature claims to be the effective agent.

Acetic acid is unique in its property to be effective against Pseudomonas, the culprit in swimmers ear, as well as other bacterial and microbes. It does not contain ototoxic agents such as chlorhexidine or salicylic acid found commonly in many ear products or detergents or artificial cleansing or dewaxing agents. All natural, it does not contain alcohol, dyes, pain-killers or perfumes and is hypo-allergenic.

It's a good thing to have around to prevent ear problems, (which is always better than having to deal with them after the fact), or you could use the vinegar wash that Natalie suggests. You can buy Dermapet at multiple online sources - I think I ordered mine from

Cava 1/6/18
Keefer 8/25/05-4/24/19 ~ The sweetest boy
Halo 11/9/08-6/17/18 ~ You left pawprints on our hearts
Dena 9/12/04-10/4/08 ~ Forever would have been too short
Cassidy 6/8/00-10/4/04
Cassidy's Mom is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-14-2008, 07:11 PM
Crowned Member
Barb E's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 14,529
Re: Routine ear wash?

I rarely clean Dante's ears, they're just clean
I too use vinegar/water, though I use Apple Cider Vinigar for a wash and baby wipes (hypoallergenic/fragrence free) for an occasional swipe

Dante - March 2004
Kaos von Wolfstraum Oct 2011

"Today is tomorrow's time machine" ~ Dr G ~
Barb E is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 07:35 AM
Knighted Member
M&J's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Maryland
Posts: 3,005
Send a message via AIM to M&J
Re: Routine ear wash?

I keep a bottle of Blue Power Ear Wash on hand. I wipe their ears out once in a while. No regular schedule.

Blue power contains rubing alcohol, boric acid, and gentian violet.

I got a dog for my husband. It was a good trade.

Athena and Zeus
In Memory of MADISON, The King 12/89-6/04
In Memory of JAKE, The Perfect Dog 9/01-11/02
M&J is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 345
Re: Routine ear wash?

We have the Blue Power solution made up for my other dog. Since we've moved south, he's had all kinds of problems. I haven't used it on Lola, though.

OK, I feel better about my choice. I'm NOT being stubborn, just logical.

Thanks for your help and your hints in case she does start to develop build-up.
alex9179 is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 11:12 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 280
Re: Routine ear wash?

That's kind of funny how vets are about that. Mine has a sign in the exam room that says, "For your safety please allow the assistants to restrain your dog."
Several times a day after playing we go through a little drill that starts with Settle Down, Be Still, No biting, let me see your paws. (Yeah I know, I'm reminded of the Gary Larsen cartoon, What dogs actually hear. He probably hears, "Blah blah Down blah blah blah No blah blah blah.) But he seems to get the idea. Then I thoroughly inspect each paw, his tail, his belly, mouth, ears, eyes etc. He is not allowed to lick , play bite, or anything. He is to lay on his side and chill. It's a great way to calm him down and he seems to like it. If the vet would allow me to do that, I'm sure he would allow them to do it to him too. We've had no issues with the vet yet, he's been a perfect gentleman there so far, albeit only 3 visits for puppy shots. Other than the obvious part of seeing if anything is wrong, this drill is done pretty much solely for the times he might get hurt but vet's seem to ignore the training he might have had.

In their defense, I'm sure the vast majority of dogs they see have little training of any kind and a tussle can be expected with most of them. Your vet was doing the wise thing to stay away from her. If she had bowed up at him once, and she won, there's little to suggest that she would not do it again. This wasn't a training session.
As far as the ears go, I'm interested too. In my experience some ears can get so funky they will stink up a freshly washed dog. It permeates their whole head. Don't know much about the "flora" thing, maybe it's natural for them to stink a little. Almost all dogs do to some extent.
nitetrane98 is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 12:32 PM
Knighted Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Denver Colorado USA
Posts: 3,480
Re: Routine ear wash?

Anja's ears are always clean, so I rarely do anything. Conor needs more attention - but not what I'd call routinely, every few weeks or so. I use Natural Herbal Ear Wash by Halo. It is very gentle and smells nice. I use warm water and Apple Cider Vinegar (make sure it's filtered!) if I suspect something yeasty... one teaspoon to one cup of water.


GSD's Anja and Conor
GSD Blue - at the Bridge
Anja1Blue is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-15-2008, 01:25 PM
Knighted Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: GA
Posts: 2,982
Re: Routine ear wash?

Interesting. I was under the impression you had to wipe the ears when you used a solution of water and vinegar instead of dropping some of it at the base.

Please bear with my stupid questions. This old dog is learning new tricks. lol.

Jazz von Jagenstadt aka Tosca
J litter
DHau is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ear wash solution eddie1976E Health Issues 8 07-08-2014 11:37 AM
Vetericyn Wound Infection Treatment or Ear Rinse, Eye Wash - 16 oz GSD_man Vendors 8 03-24-2013 11:03 AM
Any quick fix home remedy ear wash, in a pinch? Anthony8858 Health Issues 6 12-09-2012 12:08 PM
Ear Wash rizzodm Basic Care 13 05-18-2009 09:18 AM
What do you wash your pups blankets with? ariannasmom General Puppy Stuff 13 10-11-2008 12:13 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome