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Dr. Andy
Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28073
Experience:  UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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My dog is a five pound Yorkie at 1.5 years old. I tried to

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My dog is a five pound Yorkie at 1.5 years old. I tried to clean his ears. I used a Qtip to insert down into the ear canal. I was gentle to try and remove dirt and wax. It took a couple Qtips to get the dirt out. Tonight I thought I would take another look to see if his ears are the same and this time I seen small dots of blood on the Qtip. This is the same for both ears. I have seen my vet perform this same type of procedure. Now I'm wondering if I have punctured my dogs ear drum.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Andy replied 8 months ago.
Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a UC Davis graduate, and currently, a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.

I am sorry to hear about this concern for Lincoln.
A few things.
1. Although I cannot rule-out that you could have injured the ear drum, you really have to insert a q-tip quite far to cause perforation of the ear drum. There is both a vertical and horizontal part of the ear canal which can make it difficult to actually get all the way down there.

What blood you may be seeing is now from ulceration of the tissues inside the ear canal from trying to clean with q-tips.

Generally, at the vet, we first irrigate the ear canal A LOT with a ear cleaner before removal. So, you start with ear cleaner, fill up the ear canal, and then massage the ear base for about 20-30 seconds to really work it into the wax. I then use facial tissue, toilet paper, cotton balls, etc..to wipe excess. q-tips are okay, but should never be used dry as they can injure and irritate the skin inside.

The key to ear cleaning is massaging the ear base and working an appropriate ear cleaner into the ear canal.

Also!
If you have been observing any head shaking or pawing at the ears before you did any cleaning, then the likelihood for otitis externa (a ear infection) is quite high.

So, I am not overly concerned about the blood. if the ear drum was ruptured, it definitely can heal.

There are also several videos on youtube about how to properly do ear flushing.

I little more info about ear infections below:
Otitis Externa in Dogs

Over-the-counter treatments for ear infections. None of the below therapies, alone, are recommended in the treatment of an active bacterial or yeast infection. These are my best suggestions:
Zymox

Ear cleaner recommendations:
TrizEDTA: A ear flush specifically designed to work with antibacterial ear medications to help kill bacteria:
TrizEDTA Cleaner

Douxo Micellar Cleaner

Epi-Otic “Advanced” Cleaner

Ideally, the following would be done at your veterinarian,
Examination of the ear canal.
URL=http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/ear-cytology-for-dogs-and-cats]Ear Cytology[/URL]If the ear canal is dirty and not excessively painful, a deep ear flushing
A prescription for a ear medication and ear flush is sent home
If there is substantial inflammation/swelling, a steroid injection or oral medication is prescribed
If there is substantial bacteria identified on the cytology, an oral antibiotic should be prescribed

Great Summary about Ear Infections

How to Flush Ears

Thought you would like to review some of the extra links above. Not pertinent to your question, but thought you would want the extra links.
Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover for you. I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Please, hold off providing your feedback rating until you have asked all your questions. My goal is to try and provide you the best answer possible.
Dr. Andy

Dr. Andy, Medical Director
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28073
Experience: UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
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