Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Staying On Top Of The Ears: Cookie Is Not Impressed

Cookie's foot seems to be fine for good. While she was in for her vaccination, the vet checked the foot and the rest of her thoroughly.

Everything is good, except her ears.

They were fine on the previous exams, but this time they had excess wax. Because there was nothing wrong with them before, they don't smell and don't seem to bother her, the theory is that the wax build up is from the way her and JD play. As their play does involve nibbling and grabbing of the ears.

Regardless of the cause, though, it is important to stay on top of it and prevent potential further problems.

Ceruminous exudate

Excess wax is a breeding ground for infections.

The doctor's orders were daily cleaning until all clear, then as needed or once a week.

To clean them properly, the ears need to be flooded with the ear cleaning fluid.

Diligent owners as we're trying to be, we got right on it. With Jasmine being quite accepting of pretty much anything we did to her, we didn't think twice about it and just went ahead to do it.

Cookie, though, was less than impressed.

She was not happy with that idea at all and her stress level was way beyond what I would consider acceptable.

Something needed to be done.

Quickly, because we did want to obey the doctor's orders, which were given for Cookie's benefit. But I did not want Cookie traumatized either.

She does already get her teeth brushed, and we did start conditioning her for nail trims and bath. Ears never even crossed our minds, though.

That night I got hold of my dog training friend, Donna Hill for advice.

What can we do that works fast enough? As we do want to take care of those ears, but without traumatizing Cookie.

Her first, and most amazing, suggestion was warming up the solution.

Wow, so simple, and so ingenious. I did confirm with the vet that the solution we're using is ok being warmed up and he not only approved it but said it was a kind thing to do. And according to our observations, it really did make a difference for Cookie.

We warm it up in a warm water bath, just to bring it to about body temperature.

Right that night I also started on some conditioning.

We were working on conditioning to look at, touch and then being touched by the bottle. Fortunately, we were already working on the Look at That, so Cookie knew what the idea was. I also included manipulating her ears, even though under normal circumstances having them touched and handled doesn't bother her.

We did several sessions that night and several during the day. As many as we could fit in.

The second cleaning went over much better.

Not that she was happy about it, but wasn't trying to get away and was fairly calm about it.

We kept working on it and the next day she took it calmly. Her emotional state when having it done was acceptable to me.

I would have never thought that this could be achieved so quickly!

We've been doing it for a week and are now at the point that when she sees it coming (and she does see it coming), her reaction is about "Again? Don't you guys have anything better to do?"

Our second challenge with this was what ensued right after the procedure.

The vet warned us that she will go crazy, and that's exactly what she did.

I do think that warming up the solution helps somewhat with that too.

But what we had on our hands was equal to a tornado moving through the house.

That would be all fine, but she'd also start digging madly in the beds, and yes, chunks were flying.

Besides warming up the solution, the answer to the problem turned out quite simple.

A kong, filled with something very yummy, that lasts long enough for her to forget about the ears. She will shake them off, but then she'll return back to the kong.

Cookie's ear cleaning is no longer the end of the world either for her, nor for the house.

So on to the next challenge.

Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide  
Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization 

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