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It is not very common for an adult dog to have ear mites - it almost never happends. What is more likely that what is bothering her is an ear infection. Ears can get infected by either bacteria or yeast. Most commonly if it is a dark debris in the ear it is more likely a yeast infection whereas a bacterial infection has a lighter brown or creamy appearance. Sometimes it is a combination of yeast and bacteria. One of the most important parts of treating an ear infection is to clean the ears out well. You can buy commercial ear cleaners at the pet store. The process for cleaning a dogs ear is to fill the ear canal with the solution and then to vigorously rub the base of the ear canal between your thumb and forefinger - you should hear it squishing around. Then you can let the dog shake its head and debris should come up out of their ear canal. You can then wipe the debris out with a cotton ball. Dogs have a very long ear canal that goes down the side of their head and then takes a ninety degree turn into their skull. You do not want to put a q-tip or anything down into the canal as you will probably just pack the debris further down their ear canal. Instead wipe out the debris you can see and then repeat the whole process with filling the ear canal with the solution, rubbing, letting the dog shake and then wiping out all the debris you can see. You may have to repeat this several times until not much debris is being shook up. I would recommend cleaning the ear out twice daily. Sometimes it is possible to get a handle on an ear infection through just cleaning it regularly. Most of the time, though, they will need to get into the vet to get some ear medication. It can help to take a cotton ball that has been soaked in a diluted vinegar solution and apply some of this to the ear after cleaning if it happens to be a yeast infection. Do be warned that it is possible to cause further damage to an ear that has a ruptured ear drum by cleaning it with some cleaners. Read the bottle carefully and the best idea is to have a vet check the ear with an otoscope prior to cleaning. This is not something that happens a lot but it is possible. Here are some links to more information about cleaning the ears and ear infections.
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