Ears and Brags

So, I feel like there is a significant portion of the doodle population that struggles with ear infections. I'm definitely one of them. All three of my girls love to grow yeast in their ears. Maggie is weird, because her ears were great until recently and now she's fighting them too. She doesn't even eat the same food as the other two, so even though I knew I couldn't blame the food, it's just more evidence that it isn't the food. I do kind of blame Willow, because she loves to pull on Maggie's ears. Maybe those two things are related. Anyway, it seems like nothing I do can prevent them. Cleaning them with Epi Otic just seems to irritate them and make them worse. So I took Willow to the vet today for ear cleaning and medication and also because she has an infected whisker. (also because the dogs secretly want us to go bankrupt???) I was telling her that it felt like I just needed to come in monthly to have ears cleaned and medicated. So the vet switched our ear wash to something called Malacetic Ultra. It has 1% hydrocortisone and 1% ketaconazole. I really have high hopes for it. We've also been treating ears with Claro instead of Mometavet. Claro is a one time medication that lasts up to 4 weeks, so we don't have to medicate daily. I can do ear drops, but it's a little indulgence. I just wanted to share about the Malacetic Ultra in case anyone else is struggling with ears that won't cooperate. 

And while I'm here, I just have to brag on Willow for a minute. She's been here almost 9 months. And during that time she's been in class every single week - except the random week when there hasn't been a class. And I've been working with her at home. She has turned into the most delightful little dog. The vet was cleaning out her ears yesterday and came into the exam room to tell me how good she was. She said she was just sitting there letting them work on her. She said she was hating every minute, but she was so cooperative. Then we went to Petsmart to practice loose leash walking and get a fish (because obviously I don't have enough pets!) And she was just wonderful. We even got a compliment on my grooming effort. She met people and other dogs politely. She sat while I looked at things. I'm just so proud that all of our hard work has paid off. One of the poodle breeders I was looking at asks their puppy buyers to commit to 2 years of weekly training. And I thought, wow that's a lot. But I thought, I could do that. And it's such a great investment in our relationship. I'm just so proud of her. I'm also incredibly proud of Maggie, this was just Willow's day. Training really pays off. The people with the small dogs don't get nervous when we're around. I'm just really really pleased with our progress.

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        • Yeah that's ridiculous and necessary for sure.  I remember we had a discussion about this back when I first got Riley and was going to start plucking.  With doodles it definitely depends on what side of the genetic roulette they land on.  Luna didn't need plucking (truth be told I never had to clean her ears either) and Riley seems to just need cleaning and surface trimming under her ear flaps.  My childhood Bichon needed regular plucking and cleaning, her ear hair was very dense and crazy.

          • That was one of the very few genetic blessings that JD inherited...wide open ear canals with very little hair. Rarely needed cleaning, and he never had an ear infection. One of the upsides to shedding doodles.

            • As much as I love my giant muppet she is a LOT of work in the grooming department and I know it could be worse as she doesn't mat *that* badly.

              Something to consider for our next dog, especially since DH seems to be sold on large breed dogs (he not-so-secretly wishes she had gotten even larger lol).

  • Stacy, you are such a wonderful pet owner- even that fish is lucky.  I know if I put more effort into my practicing, Ned and Clancy would remember when I did train them. And I'd bet Charlie would be 100% over his leash reactivity rather than 80%.  I've been pretty lucky with my doodles ears (Not my Springers). My son's doodle has chronic infections. I bought something on amazon that my groomer recommended to keep his ears clean and it's been working. It's not epiotoc as thats what the vet recommended. 

    • Don't be too hard on yourself with the leash reactivity, Nance. 80% is pretty darned good. Even the Most Perfect Doodle In The World, otherwise known as JD, never got to 100% with that. I think it's pretty much hardwired. Look at all the work Jane has put in with Murphy, and he still can't really be walked in places where there are other dogs.

      • Thanks, Karen. What I've realized about Charlie is that he is not that dog you just put at the end of your leash and walk around.  I always need to be alert to his body language - and by doing that I can mostly avert a reaction - which is a win win!

    • Oh my gosh. It's so much harder keeping the fish alive than the dogs! 

      I've been really lucky. I've never dealt with leash aggression. I don't know why. I didn't do anything special to prevent it. When Willow was at Petsmart the other day some lady let her yorkie walk right up to her and smell her belly. It amazes me how people don't understand dog etiquette. She's big enough that if she wasn't friendly she could have eaten that dog. Willow just stood there. But I think people make a lot of assumptions about a happy fluffy looking dog, and in some cases it's a bad assumption to make. 

      Oh, these ears. I took Maggie back for a recheck at 2 weeks and she still had a little yeast, but the Claro is supposed to be effective for 3 weeks. He suggests a weekly flush with the Malacetic Ultra starting at the 3 week point. I just hope it's effective. They hate it, but I'll do it if it will keep them from getting full blown infections. 

      • I don't know how you're cleaning ears, but my last Poodle loved having it done. She would actually moan in ecstasy, lol. I saturate a cotton ball in the solution, place it in the ear canal (not too far down) and then massage all around the base of the ear. Then remove the cotton ball and gently wipe around the opening with a cotton square or tissue. It does bother them to have the solution squirted into the ear, I think. 

        • I do the same thing, I think it works way better than the squirting.  It must be cold and unsettling having liquid in your ear.  Riley does seem to like the ear massage though.

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