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Posted: 9/16/2004 7:56:40 PM EDT
My 2-year old (otherwise healthy and crazy) black lab has the worst, nasty, black ear wax I have ever seen. His ears aso have that bitter odor that is associated with the wax. I get tons of the nasty crap out of his ears with a paper towel every three to four days. Our other dog has no such problems, and generally normal ears. The problem doesn't seem to bother the big guy, but I am wondering if he may have an ear infection or something like that.

Any home remedies out there for ear wax (is this from mites, and if so, why doesn't my other dog show symptoms)? Taking him to the vet is always an option, but I don't want to waste a c-note on something that I can cook up myself.

I know there are lots of dog lovers out there, particularly labs and other larger breed owners, so I hope you guys will have some info for us.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 7:59:14 PM EDT
Call the vet and ask. If you have a decent vet, they will just tell you. Vets (at least around here) are more common-sensical when it comes to little things, and really dont see a point in you wasting an appointment time/c-note either.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:09:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MoparMike:
Call the vet and ask. If you have a decent vet, they will just tell you. Vets (at least around here) are more common-sensical when it comes to little things, and really dont see a point in you wasting an appointment time/c-note either.


Sounds like your lab may have yeast infection in the ear.
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:10:20 PM EDT
I work as a vet tech at a vet hospital while I am finishing up my pre-reqs for vet school. I see this stuff quite a bit and I can tell you what I would do with it. Well, it could be a few things. Ear mites are a possibility, but are usually followed with a constant head shaking and scratching at the ear...which can lead to broken blood vessels and a collection of blood int he ears (especially in floppy eared mutts). If you have access to a microscope, take a sample of the ear debris (if its mites it will usually be black in color), apply to a slide and check it out under 10x or so. Mites will be easily seen. If it is mites, a quick prescrip. ear ointment will clear it up. There are several over the counter ear cleaning solutions..and they work well. Apply a good amount to the ear/canal...massage the solution in and gently remove debris with cotton. Another option, to get a really good cleaning, is to apply a mix of warm water/dish soap/betadine to the ears. This is usually accomplished with a turkey baster or water pik. Seeing as though you have a crazy lab, chances are this will be close to impossible to accomplish effectively without sedating the animal. Your best bet would be with the ear cleaning solution picked up at the vets office, and applied by you FREQUENTLY and EFFECTIVELY. Stay on top of it and you will avoid infections etc...

P.S. I have yet to attend vet school so this is not professional advice, just what I would do..

my $.02

hope it helps
Link Posted: 9/16/2004 8:37:41 PM EDT
Our Cocker is getting the same thing as she gets older and it is a pretty common thing. We have an over the counter ear wax treatment that works really good. The name of it is "EAR EASE" and it works pretty well. It also doesn't have chemicals in it. It uses all natural oils to loosen the wax. It will also help with the odor. Hope this helps. Take care and good luck.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:49:01 AM EDT
Thanks fellas!
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:03:32 AM EDT
I've also heard that moisture in the ears can cause problems. Simple thing you can do to help: when your dog is sleeping, flip open its ear and let it 'breathe'

Don't know if it actually helps, but it can't hurt.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:08:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 10:25:05 AM EDT by Nugz]
Sounds like ear mites to me but it is hard to tell without actually seeing it.

Ear Mites

Get your buddy to a vet for an exam. If it is ear mites it is contagious to other animals and could infect your other dog. Ear mites are easily treated with PRESCRIPTION medication.

ETA: I know it sux to have to spend money on a vet but they have the best medications available.

Edited for clarity.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 10:09:41 AM EDT
My Irish setter (RIP) used to get ear wax and a strong smell. I would put a cap full of hydrogen peroxide in each ear and rub her ears to mix it in real good. This would clean the ears out and get rid of the smell. I would try this if I were you.

Link Posted: 9/17/2004 1:23:22 PM EDT
Just got back from the vet, who prescribed some Otirinse (sp?) ear cleaner, as well as the Quadridrops(sp?) ear ointment. My buddy didn't give me near as much trouble as I expected- I guess he can sense that it's for his own good. Did I mention that he's the perfect dog?
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