Feb 19, 2004, 6:48 PM
Post #2 of 13
Re: [alvin_augustus] Cocker Spaniel Ear Problem
[In reply to]
Unless you have reasonable experience with dogs ... it is not wise to use a cotton bud to clean the dog's ears ... Dogs (especially dogs not used to ear cleaning) will move and jerk their heads ... and a dog's ear drum is a very delicate & sensitive organ ...
Until you are more experienced, it is safer just to use some cotton wool wrapped round your little finger ...
When you are more confident - get an experienced dog person or vet to actually show you how to use a cotton bud before trying it yourself.
" ... Knowing where in the ear to stop (cleaning) and let the professionals take over calls for a brief review of canine anatomy.
First is the external ear, the part that protrudes from the side of the head or flops over, depending on the breed. Also considered part of the external ear is the gnarled, fleshy (and in some breeds hairy) part around the entrance to the ear canal. That's where the cleaning will start.
From the external opening, the L-shaped ear canal descends vertically before taking a 90-degree bend for a horizontal jaunt to the tympanic membrane or ear drum.
Inside the eardrum is the middle ear with its three little bones that increase the force of sound vibrations and another, smaller membrane called the oval window, also a sound amplifier that leads to the inner ear.
Humans and dogs have pretty much the same equipment for hearing. Except that our ear canals go straight, more or less, to the eardrums while the dogs' take an L-shaped journey.
Because you no more want to puncture your dog's eardrum than your own, restrict your cleaning efforts to the external ear canal - the vertical part before the 90=degree bend - and leave the rest to the veterinarian, who has special equipment and advanced training.
... "It's okay to go as deep as your finger will let you into the external ear canal - or as far as you can see with a flashlight - and gently clean with a cotton-tipped swab," Ward advises. Cotton balls or soft, cotton cloths work well around the entrance to the ear canal, and a gentle, veterinary-recommended cleaner helps the process ..."
For your cotton bud to have hurt the eardrum, you would have had to insert the cotton bud past the "L-90% bend" ... Which I hope is unlikely, and the bleeding may just be from a scratch ...
But take your dog immediately to a vet for a check up. Better to be safe.