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Cleaning Dirty Ears

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My oldest, Rocky (8), has always had bouts with dirty ears, (my other two cats' ears are fine). Vets have ruled out mites and recommend using a commercial ear cleaner. I've used many different ones over the years, but am looking for other suggestions from the group. Thanks!
post #2 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
My oldest, Rocky (8), has always had bouts with dirty ears, (my other two cats' ears are fine). Vets have ruled out mites and recommend using a commercial ear cleaner. I've used many different ones over the years, but am looking for other suggestions from the group. Thanks!
I have hairless cats. Due to having no hair to protect the ears from dirt, ear cleaning is a must. I use a swab dipped in Hydrogen Pyroxide (just dabbed, not soaked). It works great and is a drying agent. Just be sure, if you use a swab, to make sure that you don't go into the ear canal. That will damage the ear.

There are some ear powders that you can get, as well, that dry ear wax. Those are great for keeping the ears cleaner all the time.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
About q-tips: one vet said it's okay to use them (he showed me how), and another said not to. Which is correct? Who knows!
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by clpeters23 View Post
About q-tips: one vet said it's okay to use them (he showed me how), and another said not to. Which is correct? Who knows!
I use them, but you do have to be super careful - same as cleaning a child's ears with them. You can't stick them where you don't see.

I find nothing as effective as a q-tip for cleaning ears.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I use q-tips very carefully to pull out whatever ear crud I can. Rocky barely tolerates this, but has gone beserk when I've tried to squirt in a little ear cleaner and gently squish it around so he can shake it out. I have the scars to prove it!
I'll just use the peroxide and keep his ears as clean as he'll let me.
post #6 of 20
Chevy has wax build up occasionally and my vet told me to use peroxide too. It works great.
post #7 of 20
May I ask how you get the cat to hold still for the q-tip cleaning? My Cornish Rex has the same problem as the hairless cats - no hair in the ears to keep dirt out. I use a cotton ball dipped in an ear cleaner called Epi-Otic, which is the one my vet recommended. I can't get her ears as clean as I'd like, though, because she fights me and tries to pin her ears back against her head. I have to scruff her and try to clean her ears very quickly. I'm afraid I would hurt her with a q-tip if she moved suddenly.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by momto3cats View Post
May I ask how you get the cat to hold still for the q-tip cleaning? My Cornish Rex has the same problem as the hairless cats - no hair in the ears to keep dirt out. I use a cotton ball dipped in an ear cleaner called Epi-Otic, which is the one my vet recommended. I can't get her ears as clean as I'd like, though, because she fights me and tries to pin her ears back against her head. I have to scruff her and try to clean her ears very quickly. I'm afraid I would hurt her with a q-tip if she moved suddenly.
I start them when they are very little. That makes it much easier. However, whenever I visit my parents, I have to clean her Cornish Rex's ears and he is horrible about his ears - sounds like yours.

I do it slowly - a little at a time. I just dip the q-tip in peroxide. I have done it when he was relaxing. If I am in a hurry, I towel him and do it quickly. No matter how I do it, he hates it.

The Peterbalds are known for being able to do just about anything to them. They are just as athletic as the Cornish, but love to be bathed and cleaned up. Mine lay on their back in my lap while I clean their ears. It is wonderful.
post #9 of 20
We do tag-team ear cleaning. I wrap Bella up (not very tight, just enough to keep the limbs in place and keep her from climbing up to my shoulder. DH uses "Kitty Ear Wipes" (which have witch hazel in them) or peroxide on a Q-tip if the gunk is really bad.

She's prone to gunk in one ear...vet says it's not mites (and I remember when we got her and it was mites ), but might be a yeast infection. Only one ear gets gunky.
post #10 of 20
I use the Kitty Ear Wipes as well and it works GREAT! Puma doesn't like to sit still for too long--but I just try to act quick. I like the wipes better than a Q-Tip. I'm sure they're great for cats who hold still--but for the time being, Puma doesn't seem to squiggle too much with the wipes.
post #11 of 20
Just a caution: I used to clean my cats' ears with cotton swabs (they're very laid-back and easy to handle, and I stayed out of the inner ear, so I was confident about it). One day as I was cleaning my boy's ears, he suddenly jerked his head sharply. The swab went right into his ear and ruptured his eardrum. He was in a great deal of pain, had trouble balancing/walking and wouldn't eat - he had to be hospitalized and given medication to encourage him to eat. He recovered just fine, thankfully. The incident was probably a fluke, but it scared me away from ever using swabs to clean a cat's ears. Now I use cotton balls and solution from the vet, or ear wipes from the pet store.
post #12 of 20
My senior cat Ox has had problems with his year for YEARS!!!
Its not mites but a bacterial infection that I cannot get cleared up as he hates anything touching his ears. I might try the wrapping technique as maybe this will work. One ear is fairly good-the other really bad!!
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
My senior cat Ox has had problems with his year for YEARS!!!
Its not mites but a bacterial infection that I cannot get cleared up as he hates anything touching his ears. I might try the wrapping technique as maybe this will work. One ear is fairly good-the other really bad!!
Poor baby! that must be very annoying for him. Bella's gunky ear comes and goes, for a while it was controlled by weekly cleaning with the wipes. This summer it really blossomed in the heat, so the vet gave us Tresaderm 15 ML to give her twice a day for as long as the bottle lasts.

It was not easy at first, but now as the ear is cleaner and not as sore, she's easier to handle. She's still not a fan, though.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedokitties View Post
Just a caution: I used to clean my cats' ears with cotton swabs (they're very laid-back and easy to handle, and I stayed out of the inner ear, so I was confident about it). One day as I was cleaning my boy's ears, he suddenly jerked his head sharply. The swab went right into his ear and ruptured his eardrum. He was in a great deal of pain, had trouble balancing/walking and wouldn't eat - he had to be hospitalized and given medication to encourage him to eat. He recovered just fine, thankfully. The incident was probably a fluke, but it scared me away from ever using swabs to clean a cat's ears. Now I use cotton balls and solution from the vet, or ear wipes from the pet store.
That is why it is best to scruff the cat. Then they CAN'T move their head or jerk it back. More control that way.

Oh also, has anyone heard of a product called Flush? It is supposed to be just wonderful on ears, you fill the ear up with it and when it drains out, all the gunk comes with it. It supposedly loosens up all the gunk really nicely.
post #15 of 20
When we first got Diego, his ears were filthy and the vet cleaned them and demonstrated, he use his surgery clamp just to hold some cotton wool and he put it in Diego's ear and released it saying where it stopped naturally is as far as you go, do not try go past this. Now I haven't tried that, when we got Ryu I just used a damp cloth, and did a little cleaning, he wouldn't sit still. Diego though I shouldn't say it but he's a retarded cat (in a nice way) he doesn't care what you do to him. Trim his nails, give him a shower clean his ears, he just doesn't give a hoot. If he lies near the door which he does often and you try tap him with your foot, he stays asleep, so we got into the habit of opening the door and pushing him along with it, and he doesn't move, little weirdo.

Sorry that was a bit of a hijack. That was just my way of saying I have a docile cat that doesn't care about any grooming/care/cleaning.
post #16 of 20
Our kitty Iris has yeast infections in both her ears now, so we are using a 2-person operation: DH holds her and I squish the solution in and wipe it out with a Kleenex. The vet told us not to use q-tips with this stuff. Our last vet showed us how to use q-tips, but it was just with a tiny bit of water or peroxide. I'm guessing with the slimy stuff we're using now, it would be easier to have a q-tip accident.

Anyway, DH pins her between his knees and hold her head straight. She tries to flick the solution out as soon as I put it in, so neck/head support is critical!
post #17 of 20
Rocket has problems with his ears so putting anything in them is a challenge.
He hates having his ears touched, and having us both bothering them turns him from this docile sweet kitty into a raging demon.
I'd love to be able to clean his and Isis' ears. I think they'd have less infections if we could. Unfortunately it's not that easy even though we've tried, time and time again.
post #18 of 20
My Ragdoll gets dirty ears, the vet showed me how to do it, but he does not love. This is our best ear cleaning method, her name is Gracie
He loves when she does it.
post #19 of 20
I also would be hesitant to use Q-tips for fear of the cat moving quickly and causing damage to the ear.

Fortunately Bijou and Mika love to clean each others ears.
post #20 of 20
My vet said the best way to clean ears is to put a little mineral oil on a cotton ball, then stuff the ball in the ear, then twist it around, and pull it out. And by golly, she's right!! Works wonderfully well, and I can poke that cotton ball in there as far as it will go and I can't hurt my cat.
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