Regular routine ear care is extremely important for your Standard Poodle, due to the fact that it is a “Drop Eared” dog, which means the ear leather is long and points down. Drop eared dogs are more susceptible to ear infections because their ears are warm and moist, which bacteria, yeast and mites love. Cleaning your Poodles ears regularly between your regular visits with the veterinarian will help you keep your Poodle’s ears healthy and pain free. It is recommended that Poodles have their ears cleaned at least once a week. If you see signs of trouble, more frequent ear care may be called for to head of problems before they require a trip to the vet.
Signs of ear trouble include: excessive wax, foul odor, redness, constant scratching, excessive matting of hair in the external ear, rubbing the ears against other objects, head shaking, and disorientation.
If your poodle scratches its ears a lot, it may be a sign of ear mites. Ear mites are tiny pests that live in your dogs ears, causing them to become inflamed, sore and itchy. Your dog may shake its head a lot and scratch. Ear mites can be transmitted from one dog to another, but can be easily cleared up with insecticide ear drops. Ear mites can be found by wiping the ear with a Q-tip and then wiping the Q-Tip on a piece of black paper. The mites will show up as little white moving specks. If you do find mites, you can get ear mite drops at most pet supply stores.
Use your eyes and nose to perform a home dog ear inspection. This will help you to be able to detect any problems and prevent them from getting worse. You may want to invest in a pet ear scope to aid you in seeing inside your dog’s ears. Look for any redness, wax build up or anything foreign in the ear canal.
Smell your dogs ears. Healthy dog ears shouldn’t have a foul smell. Also, be aware of any discharges. A dark waxy discharge may be a sign of ear mites. A foul smelling pus-like discharge may mean a bacterial infection. Dogs with allergies sometimes have smelly ears.
A dog’s ear canal is different than ours. It is L-shaped, while ours is straight. It is also much deeper than ours, which means it will take more effort to clean than ours. You should be very careful when cleaning your dog’s ear canal, especially using cotton-tipped swabs. They can actually push the dirt and wax deeper into the ear canal.
Cleaning Your Standard Poodles Ears
Ear care often first requires plucking the hair from the ear canal, depending on whether your dog has a lot of ear hair. This handled with the aid of “ear powder.” This makes the ear hair easier to hold on to and is less painful for the dog.
Use a good pair of straight hemostats to pull the hair out, grabbing only a few hairs at a time. Once you have the hair removed, you can use a mild ear cleaner to clean the ears. Use one that has very little or not alcohol in it, as it can burn the ear that has just had the hair removed.
Pour the cleaner into the outer part of the ear canal, allowing the cleaner to seep into the ear canal. Massage the ear to spread the cleaner around in the ear. Be careful not to shoot the ear cleaner directly into the ear canal. Then gently wipe out the outer canal with a cotton ball. You may want to give your dog lots of praise and a few treats while doing this. If you are uncomfortable or unsure how to perform ear care, have your vet or groomer show you how. Here's an excellent video on how to clean your dog's ears by Anne-Marie Forde of Sudsy Dog Grooming Shop.
A popular home remedy for ear care is a combination of equal parts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Don’t use this if your dog has open sores in its ears, as it will cause burning. Also, never use hydrogen peroxide to clean its ears. The foaming action can cause ear damage.
Another remedy for ear care used by groomers and breeders is found at the following website and is called Blue Powder Ear Treatment.
If your dog often gets ear infections, it is important to use a pet ear care product that dries up excess moisture in the ear canal. A dog ear wash with Tea Tree Oil is an excellent choice. Tea Tree Oil has natural properties that can keep your dog’s ears problem free.
It is also important to keep your dog’s ears dry when bathing if possible. If its ears do get wet, you can use a pet ear-drying product after bathing or swimming to dry the ears out. There are also many products for ear care that will dissolve wax and remove debris.
Remember to make checking your Standard Poodle's ears a regular part of your home dog ear care routine. It only takes a few minutes and can help ward off any potential ear problems. An untreated ear infection is very painful to your dog and could even damage its hearing. Using a medication such as Otomax ointment can help clear up the infection.
The links below will provide you with several different cleansers and medications for proper ear care.