DEAR PAW’S CORNER:
I read your column about the Shih Tzu and its problem with ear infections, and wanted to pass on something I learned many years ago from an old-time eye, ear, nose and throat specialist. This also works for children who are prone to swimmer’s ear. I had two hunting breed dogs with long ears, and we lived right on the shores of Lake Michigan, so they were constantly having ear problems. What the doctor told me is as follows: Have the patient lie with the bad ear up. Using a plastic eyedropper filled with hydrogen peroxide (dilute peroxide with water before use), gently squirt the contents into the ear. Allow this to bubble for at least a minute. Thoroughly dry the ear, and use Q-tips carefully to clean out the debris. After the ear is as dry as possible, tap Desenex powder down into the ear with the patient lying on his or her side again so the powder gets down into the ear. This may have to be done every other day for a week, but it worked for me — both with my dogs and my children. I hope this treatment helps “Sandy.” — Bernie W. in Ormond Beach, Fla.
This type of treatment is available (for humans) in a kit at drugstores featuring a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide. I would exercise caution in using this treatment with small dogs, however. I also strongly recommend that owners whose pets are experiencing an ear infection, either for the first time or recurring, go to their veterinarian first to have the ears examined. The vet should test for evidence of ear mites, a yeast infection or other cause. Ear mites can be quickly treated, but recurring ear infections can be trickier — topical medicines often only treat the symptoms, and the cause, such as allergies, can take more time and effort to diagnose.
Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Paw’s Corner, c/o King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. For more pet care-related advice and information, visit www.pawscorner.com. © 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.