Best way to give ear drops to a tiny, squirmy dog?

Molly is a 1 year old rescue dog. We've been working on desensitizing her ears by gently touching and rubbing her ears while holding her (hoping that she won't mind so much when ears have to be checked and cleaned). Unfortunately, she still HATES anyone near her ears and while she lets me massage the area when we are sitting together, she will not sit still for drops or for the vet to check her out. Anyone have a good idea for keeping her still so that ear drops can be administered with the least amount of trauma (to her and mom!)?

Asked by Molly on Mar 10th 2008 in Health & Wellness
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Gray Dawn Treader

Well, start back on square one, and reward her with a doggie treat when she puts up with it.
When I had to put drops in Treader's ears, I put him on his back, and then I sat criss-cross. I used my legs to hold his front and back legs down, and I put the drops in. He still did a lot of squirming.
I didn't reward him with a treat like I should have though.
Just try what I did with Treader and reward Molly with a dog treat.

Gray Dawn Treader answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Bobby (Bob Dylan)

Bobby hates having his ears cleaned and his nails trimmed. The best thing we have done is to make sure he is good and tired when we have to do either one. I give him tons of exercise and then I have my husband hold him on his lap while I clean his ears or clip his nails. At first I would do 1 ear at a time then give him lots of treats. Over time he has gotten used to this and I can do both ears or clip all his nails at once. I still give him lots of treats!

Bobby (Bob Dylan) answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Alex hated the "splash" noise the drips make when you tip the bottle over to squirt them in there. We started putting the drips on a cotton ball and cleaning them that way, and also let him get used to the noise the bottle makes. Every now and then he will squirm, but after he hears the noise a few times he is ok with it. You said that she is ok with you rubbing them, you could try just rubbing them and maybe while you are doing that have someone else put the drops in there. It will take a little time, just be patient. Good luck!

Member 497436 answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I agree with the two pups above me, treats works wonders!

We've had to give Jack some ear drops and eye drops before, and what works or us is my husband holds him still (he's also very squirmy) and puts his hand gently on Jack's muzzle. This isn't because Jack would bite, but it is a sort of dominant gesture that makes him more likely to hold still. Then, I just do what I have to do, get it done quickly and reward like craaaaazy with treats.

I also clean his ears once a month and he's gotten to the point where I can pretty much do this by myself and I'm sure it is mostly the treats.

You'll never convince her that the eardrops are FUN, but you can definitely teach her that she gets rewarded for cooperating!

Also, good job on having the foresight to work on desensitizing her ears. Very smart mommy!

Jack answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I have this going on at my house right now and my husband's out of town so I have to deal with it myself! I wait till she's all comfy on the couch (never call your dog to you to do something unpleasant), kind of lay over her and start rubbing her ear, then quickly cover her eyes with my free hand while I put the drops in. She gets a good massage afterwards, she's not allowed to jump up and run away. After that, she gets a nice treat. I'm so happy to hear that everyone has a positive way to deal with this!

Rosie answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Well the easiest way is to put some peanut butter on the roof of her mounth and while see is messiing with thaat then try to do her ears.If that doesn't work then she needs two people to work on her One person to hold and one person to put the meds in.Try to keep her up on something like a table top with a nonslip surface.Like on top of the washer or dryer or the counter.
Good luck

Pedro answered on 3/10/08. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer