How to hold my dog in place to clean his ears?

  • My dog (a German Shepherd mix) has a severe ear infection and needs ear drops twice a day and an ear flush once a day. He absolutely hates this, and as a result I have not been very successful in cleaning his ears. I'm concerned that if I can't flush his ears properly, the ear drops won't have much of an effect. He weighs over 50 pounds and has plenty of energy, so it's difficult keeping him still.

    I read that you should place your dog on a table at about chest level, but I live in a small apartment and the closest thing I have that is that height would either be my stove or my computer desk, two things I definitely don't want him jumping up on.

    I live alone and cannot rely on having a friend help me every time. So far I've been leading my dog into the bathroom and giving him treats, then getting ahold of his collar and leading him into a corner. I then wrap my arm around his head to get to his ear, and attempt to apply the ear drops. If I had an extra couple hands at this point, I would also hold his body so I don't feel like I have him in a headlock, and use the other hand to give him treats.

    He generally stays quiet (with the occasional yelp), so I don't think I'm hurting him. He just fights very hard to escape my grasp. How can I hold him still long enough to properly clean and treat his ear infection? A friend recommended some kind of large treat/chew toy, but what could I get him that would keep him in place?

    My dog won't hold still to get his ears cleaned. Only dog I've ever had that will snap. Muzzle doesn't work helps very little he is 100 pounds of he doesn't want to . I don't have money to have a vet knock him out to do it. What can I do. The smell from his ear is making my husband nauseous

  • A couple tips:

    • Exercise him first to start with less energy and in a more relaxed state.

    • Do it in a place that the dog is used to and relaxed in... the room he sleeps in might be good. (sometimes the slippery floors in bathrooms can make dogs more anxious and therefore prone to fighting the situation)

    • A new bone or kong type toy filled with yummy stuff he has to lick out may help distract him but if this gets him to excited/wiggly then it may not work for him.

    • If you have time start with a massage... this can get them in a relaxed state and more willing to let you manipulate their body

    • Put the solution/medicine on a cotton ball, put the cotton ball in his ear then lightly rub his ear like you are massaging it... he may not even realize you are cleaning it out.

    • Don't obsess too much, most of the time the medication they give you for helping ear infections works really well so as long as you are getting it in there you don't need to worry about cleaning out everything you see. The medication should help to dry it out and it will naturally come out.

    • If your dog has very hairy ears it can be helpful to try to remove some of the hair, but be very careful and just focus on the hair on the outside so that the ear can drain.

    While my Lab was alive we used to have problems like the OP describes. Since we got our Dachshund puppy, our Vet showed us what you describe in bullet 5, put medicine on a cotton ball, put the cotton in the ear and squidge the ear (massage it) works like a champ, she doesn't seem to care, since no liquid gets down to the drum, and her floppy ears (known to be dirt magnets) are clean clean clean.

    The cotton ball method does seem to work better with my dog (for cleaning at least, I still have to put the medicinal drops in directly). He still doesn't like it, but the amount of time I'm messing with his ears is greatly reduced. My vet also said if the drops don't work they can put medicated wax in my dog's ears. The wax just sits there for a couple weeks slowly "oozing" medicine with no additional struggle needed.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM