Ear Problems!

Some time ago now, Carol went through a series of “Check your …………” training exercises* with Ray. These consisted of “Check your teeth”, “Check your ears”, “Check your feet” and were designed to not only make our lives easier when checking those areas, but to make veterinary visits so much more amiable.

Ray was diagnosed with a mild ear issue some time ago and, while we treated him regularly and prevented it from getting any worse, it became very questionable as to whether we were making any progress. We noticed that he went through bouts of scratching one particular ear and so a visit to the vet was deemed necessary. Ray was immediately enrolled in a refresher course on “Check your ears!”

Carol has always taken the lead when it comes to “manhandling” Ray because he gives her more latitude than he would anybody else (which includes me) however, we had to expand his acceptance of who was going to be looking inside his ear.

2015 08 17aNo problems! With a supply of pieces of cucumber, he was relatively happy to let me fold his ears such that I could look deep into each one.

She later expanded the session to include touching his ear with objects (TV remote!) and ultimately putting a pencil style flashlight into his ear. This would hopefully prepare him for the vet having a good look inside.

The vet visit was pretty much a non-event with Ray being cautiously cooperative. We did however leave there with a container from which the contents had to be squeezed down a tube and well into his ear.

Thank goodness for the  flashlight in his ear training because although he clearly did not like the sensation, his lack of any serious resistance, together lots of pieces of cucumber, enabled a good dose of medication down inside his ear!

*See Post “The Check Routine” – May 3, 2015

23 thoughts on “Ear Problems!

  1. When Kali first arrived she had an ear infection that was pretty stubborn and took several weeks to clear up with antibiotics. We now regularly clean out her ears with a prescription prophylactic and since then she’s been fine. It’s hard with her though because even when she had the bad ear infection she didn’t really complain, rub or scratch her ears… During the exams she did NOT like the sensation of having the vet insert that flashlight device deep into her ear canal to see if things were clearing up. It’s probably the only time food did not entice her to comply and instead I would have to wrap my arms around her entire body pushing her into the corner if the room with the help of a vet Tech to hold her still while the Vet inspected her hears. Poor Kali…. Interestingly our new vet simply puts her own nose into Kali’s ears and smells to detect any signs of infection.

    Your pro-active approach to preparing Ray is brilliant and something we are all learning from.

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  2. Ray is such a good boy and with you and Carol being such good pet owners, there is hardly anything to go wrong during an exam. I think rewards work very well and I’ve used that on my dogs as well. Dogs with ears that flop over seem to have more problems, air does not get into the ear canal and it also holds moisture. I have to “watch” the ears of my two labs and I also use a med in a tube ( called BNT) which is a compounded med made of an antibiotic, anti fungal and a steroid. I use it in my cats ears and for cuts, insect bites, etc.

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    • We obviously love him dearly, but my philosophy has always been to treat people (and by extension Ray) the way that I would like to be treated. If I expect respect from him, that it would seem logical that I should give him respect. It is really not complicated. 🙂

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  3. Maggie had a problem with ear mites when she was a puppy so we also check her ears regularly. Our previous dog hated having his nails trimmed and it would take 4 of us (one on each limb) at the vet for the job to be done. When Maggie was small, we went through the motion of ‘nail clipping’ every week even though we didn’t do anything. The result is she tolerates it, accepts it’s OK and not going to hurt, then sleeps through her pedicure! Glad Ray’s OK with his check up routines. 🙂

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