I have been cleaning Coby's ears with Huggies Baby Wipes, but I find that his ears are always getting dirty!
I pretty much clean them once a day because otherwise I can smell the dirty when I get close to his face. At first I thought this was just a bit of residue left over from the birth canal, but now I see that it's constant. I don't want to hurt the little pugsly by over-cleaning his little floppy ears.
You will need to clean his ears by squirting ear cleaner into the ear canal, massaging the base of the ears and then you can wipe the wax as it comes out with a damp cotton ball, kleenex or baby wipe.
I am not sure what ear cleaners are available to you over there but the pet shop or vet should be able to advise you on ear cleaners suitable for dogs. Alternatively someone on here has posted a recipe and may see this thread and post again.
As you are seeing such a high level of dirt, though, there could be an infection or ear mites. I would suggest a trip to the vet since some medicated ear drops may be in order, since you would not normally need to clean the ears more than once a week.
Excessive ear wax/dirt/goop in the ears is a prime sign of food allergies and is usually the result of yeast. Yeast thrives on carbohydrates, so you will need to address his diet. Being so young, he is probably going to be an extra-sensitive dog, so I would be very cautious with vaccinations. In fact you may notice that his ear gunk problems began soon after one of his puppy shots.
Here is your plan of attack to care for his ears, the possible underlying yeast, allergy issues, and to get him started right off on a good healthy diet for life.
- Ear cleaner: This recipe is inexpensive, easy to obtain and works very well to keep the ears dry, kill yeast and bacteria and soothe the canal.
In an 8 oz. pull top container (like dishwashing liquid comes in) mix together:
1/3 c. white vinegar
1/3 c. 70% isopropyl alcohol (common rubbing alcohol)
1/3 c. witch hazel
5-10 drops (give or take) tea tree oil
Gently squirt the mixture into the ear canal to fill, rub the base of the ear to let it get deep down in the ear canal, allow the dog to shake, then swab out with a dry Q-tip. Be careful not to go too deeply with the Q-Tip, a dog's ear canal is L-shaped, so don't turn the corner of the L. You should do this about every week to ten days normally, more often (up to daily) if there is a lot of build up or odor/infection. Use the same solution dribbled onto a Q-Tip or make-up pad, to clean out the nose roll and facial folds.
- Vaccinations: Be very careful with vaccinations. They are a necessary evil. They over-stimulate the dog's immune system and while they provide immunity to many deadly illnesses, they can also cause long-term immune system problems in sensitive dogs. Allergies and associated yeast infections, Mast Cell Tumors, IBD, are linked to vaccination, especially over-vaccination. Also, unlike almost all other medications, vaccines are not dosed according to size/weight, so an 8 week old chihuahua puppy gets the same dose of antigen as an adult Great Dane, accordingly, small dogs are more likely to have vaccine-related problems. You can ask your vet to cut the dose appropriate to your pug's size, but many will not. All that said, it is very important that your puppy get his puppy vaccines and his adult booster if he ever leaves your home. So to minimize possible problems, give him a dose of Benadryl (diphenhydramine) half hour before receiving any injections. I know in the UK, the benadryl is different than here in the US, not sure about where you are, but get plain diphenhydramine, 25 mg. tablets or capsules. Also stay at the vet's office for at least a half hour afterwards in case of an allergic reaction. Avoid "shot clinics" often held at animal shelters. Avoid vaccinations later in life, if at all possible. Your vet can perform a titer to check your dog's immunity level instead of giving scheduled vaccines.
- Food and treats: Your puppy is a carnivore. He has the same short digestive tract as a wolf and other wild carnivores. He is not an omnivore like we (along with bears and pigs) are. He does not use carbohydrates for energy, he uses proteins and fat. He does not digest carbohydrates well because his digestive tract is too short to utilize them well. Carbohydrates in dog food are not there because they are great for your dog, they are there to bind kibble together and because they are an inexpensive filler in commercial dog food. Carbohydrates feed yeast. A dog prone to allergies and yeast should follow a low carb diet. Look for foods with no grains, starches, glutens. Avoid potato, sweet potato, tapioca, soy, wheat, corn, oat...even rice. A dog's carbs should be a very small portion of his diet and be mostly leafy greens and berries.
If you can afford it a quality prepared raw diet like Nature's Variety, Stella & Chewy's, Primal, etc. is ideal. You can also do homemade raw, but it is more difficult to balance and prepare. There are dehydrated raw diets out there that are very good as well like Ziwipeak and Wysong's Archetype. If you can't swing raw, I would suggest you check out Dog Food Reviews | Dog Food Ratings and find the best 5 star or 4 star food you can afford. I don't know what brands are available where you are, but if you post the ingredients we can help.
For treats, raw bones, like marrow bones or BEEF rib bones are excellent and not only are they a great treat, but keep them busy when you are gone and the chewing and gnawing are great for their teeth and their mind. It also may save your favorite leather purse or shoes when they go through the puppy chewing stage. Deer antlers, deer hooves and cow hooves are also good treat/chews along with the INEDIBLE Nyla-bones. Most pugs cannot break them and swallow pieces. Do not feed rawhide, pig ears, bully sticks, dentabones, greenies, etc. These can be a choking hazard when they get soft/small. If you do give them, never give them unsupervised and discard them when they get soft or small enough the dog might try to swallow it. Rawhide is very hard on a dog's digestive tract, just don't give rawhide. I don't advocate giving raw carrots, apples or green beans as treats, they provide unnecessary carbs and are not easily digested. A Kong filled with natural, unsalted peanut butter or raw ground beef/turkey/chicken and frozen will keep a puppy busy for a long time.
Good luck and enjoy your adorable little bundle of wrinkles!!! he is the cutest little guy!
Last edited by 6 Beautiful Pugs; 10-01-2011 at 11:02 AM.
He could also get a yeast infection in the ears if there is any water left over from a bath...not always food allergies. I see plenty of dogs on a day to day basis with a yeast infection that occurs once in a blue moon, if not only once or twice in their life...lots of times it's secondary from inhalent allergies or water being trapped in the ear canal. Remember, the dog's ear canal makes a 90 degree turn at the base of the head, so it's a nice dark, warm environment and a great place for yeast to grow. If you're seeing that much brown gunk on a daily basis, get him into the vet to do a swab and cytology and treat the ear accordingly.