How to clean an uncoorperative dog's ears?
I need to flush my dog's ears. She was playing in the ocean today. And I suspect she is coming down with a yeast infection in her left ear.
I use the Blue Power solution with witch hazel for occasional flushing, and a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide for regular cleaning.
She is relatively OK with the cotton balls swabbing her ears. But trying to flush her ears is getting progressively hard, and today, I realize we have a big problem.
I have been using positive reinforcement, adopting marker-training daily with the squirt bottle, except I do not actually flush her ears. She was quite comfortable to the point I could insert the nub in her ear without her reacting much.
But today when we actually had to wash her ears, she put up a massive fight. It took us basically all day to poorly flush both ears. It was so stressful we had to split up treating either ears, one earliar in the day and the other was just done. It was to the point where she was trying to hide under furniture, refusing food bribes, moaning, and biting the bottle and mouthing my hand.
I know that she knows that I know she could give me a good bite if she wants to. And she didn't. She showed her teeth at the bottle, but would mouth my hand, and then immediately licked my fingers. She was showing amazing restraint, and I was very gentle in my words to her.
I have read previous posts, but her response is unlike the dogs described. I mean, she is seriously stressed out and fights very hard ... It pains me physically and emotionally to see her so traumatized. But it has to be done.
When the bribing did not work, we finally tried to wrap her in a blanket. It finally worked after a few tries, but at what cost? I want it to be less of a trial, can't see this going on and she is only 5 months old.
The clicker-training I have been using that was appearing to be progressive went right out the window.
I am feeling lost and dejected. Last week when we had to flush her ears, after the big fight, she sulked for a couple of hours. Today, she forgave us almost immediately, but she was a LOT more aggressive.
And my puppy is NOT an aggressive girl. We were really pushing her limits, and I am very grateful that she refrained from actually biting us.
~ a very frazzled Rei
Janka vom Grunenfeld, BH (d.o.b. 10/12/07)