One of the most common Cocker Spaniel health issues is ear infections. Because of the way the Cocker's ear hangs down over the ear canal, and because of the long hair on the ear, there isn't much ventilation in to the ear canal. Things get warm and moist in there, and those are ideal conditions for infections to get started.
Lift up the ear and look inside the ear canal. If the skin has a red tint to it, or if you smell a cheesy smell, or if you see any kind of discharge... you've probably got an ear infection in there.
Ear infections can be very frustrating to treat! Veterinarians typically respond to ear infections by prescribing drops or ointments to fight the infection. My personal experience has been that these treatments are not only expensive, but have a low success rate. We've had a lot better results using a very inexpensive home-made ear cleaning solution. The recipe was given to us by the former Secretary of the Cocker Spaniel club of San Diego county... and is an improved version of a recipe that's been used in the Cocker show world for decades.
So, if your veterinarian's treatment plan hasn't been working for you, try the following recipe. My experience has been that a dog with an ear infection, if given this treatment daily, will show improvement within a few days, and will have the problem solved completely within about two weeks. After that, you only need to use this stuff every week or two. By the way... once you've tried it and have seen how well it works, be sure to share the recipe with your vet so they will have a new weapon in their arsenal!
Spaniel Ear Cleaner Recipe
White vinegar Powdered boric acid Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) Betadine antiseptic (or the generic version, known as Povidone-Iodine Solution) Please note: do not use "Betadine Scrub", use "Betadine Solution"
Directions for mixing the solution together:
Pour six ounces of isopropyl alcohol in to a plastic applicator bottle. Add one and a half teaspoons of boric acid powder. Be careful not to get any boric acid on your skin or clothes. If you do, wash it off immediately.
Shake the solution extremely well, until the boric acid powder is dissolved, or for five minutes, whichever comes first.
Add two ounces of white vinegar. Shake the solution some more, until the boric acid powder is dissolved, or for another five minutes, whichever comes first.
Add one teaspoon of the Betadine antiseptic, and shake it up some more. Be careful not to get any Betadine on your skin or clothes. If you do, wash it off immediately.
The ear cleaning solution is now ready to use.
To use the ear cleaning solution:
It is recommended that you use the ear cleaning solution in your garage or outdoors, as the dog will shake it out of his ears and it will fly in to the air and stain things.
Squirt the solution inside your dog's ear until the ear canal is completely full. Massage the outside of the ear to help slosh the cleaning solution around inside. Release the dog and let him shake out the ear cleaning solution from his ears.
If you get any of the ear cleaning solution on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.
Be sure to shake the solution up really well before each and every time you use it. The boric acid has a tendency to settle at the bottom of the bottle. Store at room temperature.
Use the cleaning solution daily until you start to see some improvement. Gradually cut back to once per week when you are happy with the condition of the ear. When the ear seems completely free of infection, you can go two weeks between treatments.
Warning: Do not use this ear cleaning solution on dogs with ruptured ear drums, or on dogs with open sores or wounds in the ear area. An ear exam by a veterinarian is recommended prior to beginning treatment with this ear cleaning solution.
This recipe came to you from Jim Zimmerlin - www.zimfamilycockers.com
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