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Discussion Starter #1
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??
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 :)
 

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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.
 

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We had to do ear drops a couple months ago, moo, non-GSD. He is going thru some senior stuff right now, so not very rambunctious any more! I sat down on the floor beside him, leaning against the couch, put my arm around his neck, or put his head in my lap, held that ear with that hand, put the drops in, massaged them in, then I usually had to just move on his other side and repeat for the other ear. Easier than trying to get him to move and get him back laying or sitting down! He's not a fan either of medical stuff, but like said before sometimes everybody has to do things they'd rather not!
 

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I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I just do it and get it done. I don't make a big issue out of it. Eyes, ears, orals, wounds, dogs, rabbits horses - have what I need ready and work fast. I feel like they don't have time to think about it and stress over it. Sure, when it's over, I tell them how good they were and give them a treat.

Oh, with Shelby, I use the phrase, "Mommy see." She stops in her tracks and lets me see whatever body party I need to see. lol!
 

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I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum. I just do it and get it done. I don't make a big issue out of it. Eyes, ears, orals, wounds, dogs, rabbits horses - have what I need ready and work fast. I feel like they don't have time to think about it and stress over it. Sure, when it's over, I tell them how good they were and give them a treat.

Oh, with Shelby, I use the phrase, "Mommy see." She stops in her tracks and lets me see whatever body party I need to see. lol!
HA! Make that body part. It is NOT a party.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the different methods!
Seems like everybody found a way to work for their dog (some are actually quite cute :)

Hmmm, ok, I think we will proceed like this:

muzzle & leash on > relax, few treats, happy time > calmly shorten leash to hold him in position and put ear drops in > jackpot treats after each ear!! > muzzle off > go for walk

The muzzling is because he airsnapped at me (not my face, but at my hand holding the eye drop bottle).
I don't hold it against him - he was clearly saying: "Get that thing away from me". I don't think he does it because he doesn't respect me. He does it because he's afraid.

I think the muzzle will also help ME to act more relaxed.
I think that I was approaching him with kind of a grim apprehensive medical face before (if you know what I mean) and trying to get it over with as fast as possible.

All I can say is, Thank Heaven it's only once a day!!

And, vow to clean/check his ears more!
I thought pointy-eared dogs didn't get ear infections so much, but Rumo's ears are super-furry so apparently that's a risk factor.
The tip about coconut oil is really interesting. I am going to look into that and maybe use it as "ear cleaner"...
love the idea of using something natural/holistic to clean his ears!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
And I wanted to add...I watched a video on "how to put ear drops in for dogs".

There was a calm golden-retriever type dog there. She sat there calmly while the person flipped up her ears, administered, and massaged. She didn't even move her head!!
She was like: I totally trust Humans. I will let them do Anything to Me...:))

Rumo is like: I only trust My Humans. I will not let anybody else do a Thing to Me!!
 

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After you are done with whatever your vet prescribed, check out Zymox ear products. I honestly swear by them for dogs with problem-prone ears.
http://www.zymox.net/pet-ear-health.html


The Zymox enzymatic cleanser is fabulous -- you dribble it in, massage the ear, let them shake, and done. It doesn't sting like alcohol or vinegar cleaners.

I also LOVE the Zymox Otic solution with hydrocortizone (blue bottle): at the first sign of a problem (ear batting, in my dog's case because it either hurts or itches), we apply it for a week following bottle directions. It's eliminated the need for ear vet visits for this old dog. It's seriously good stuff and reduces the need for antibiotics.
 

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My girl's littermate's owner douses a big cotton ball with the ear cleaner, puts the cotton ball into the ear and squeezes it out in there, then wipes it clean. He doesn't get a reaction to that with his pups. I haven't tried it myself but maybe it's worth a shot? I second or third the Zymox Otic solution. I have something similar at home that does not sting and it makes the cleanings less stressful for all.
 
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