How do I clean my Morkie’s ears?

How do I clean my Morkie’s ears?

If your Morkie’s ears are itchy or if the ear canal has waxy, brownish gunk in it, they need cleaning. Wax debris can build up, and in the warm, dark environment of the ear canal, all sorts of nasty things can grow including a yeast infection or bacteria. Ear infections are the number one cause of visits to the Vet.  Here’s what to do to avoid ear problems:

waxy dog ears

Waxy build up in your dog’s ears make a perfect home for bacteria, yeast and even parasites.

First: try to determine the cause of the problem

Many dog owners think “ear mites” right away, and freak out. In fact, it’s rarely ear mites, especially in adult dogs., (Mites prefer kittens.) The 3 most common causes of “dirty ears” in dogs are:

  • bacteria
  • allergies
  • yeast infection

No matter what the cause, the cycle is similar – irritated skin in and around the ears makes the body secrete extra wax, which gets infected, and the infection causes more inflammation and waxy secretion.


The vicious cycle of dog ear problems.

It’s hard to distinguish among the causes; and the symptoms of ear problems in your Morkie are very similar:

  • shaking the head
  • pawing at the ear
  • appetite is off
  • tilting the head a lot
  • loss of balance
  • sometimes nausea and vomiting


Next: Start with a good quality ear wash

dog ear cleaners

Three commercial ear cleaners that score high among consumers. They are available at or at your local store.


Using a high quality ear wash, from your Veterinarian’s office or from a reputable pet supply company, do this to clean your Morkie’s ears:

  • tilt and hold his head, so the infected ear is at the top
  • fill the ear canal right up with the liquid
  • massage around the base of the ear for a minute or two
  • stand back while your Morkie shakes it all out


  • use any kind of liquid, such as water, soapy or other. Use only a dog ear cleaning product. Good ones include
  • use cotton swabs or anything else, to dig into your Morkie’s ear canal – leave it alone. He can shake out the excess dirt and wax safely himself, when you’ve applied the cleaner as described above.
NEVER use cotton swabs on your dog's ears.

NEVER use cotton swabs on your dog’s ears.


1. Cause and solution: Bacteria in the ear canal

Bacteria are one of the main causes of infection and inflammation of a dog’s middle ear or inner ear.

If you’ve tried standard cleaning procedures for the ear, and the symptoms haven’t gone away (itching, shaking head, rubbing head along the ground) then it’s time to see a Vet. He/She will probably prescribe an aggressive antibiotic. You may also be advised to flush your Morkie’s ears with Vet-supplied special liquid.

The sooner you catch this with the Vet, the sooner you can get it cleared up.


2. Cause and solution: Allergies

Allergies come in two forms for your Morkie: from what he breathes in, and from what he eats. AND… skin disease may also be influenced by the presence of thyroid disease or adrenal gland disease (Cushing’s disease).

Dogs can often be allergic to the main protein source in their food. If you suspect that could be the case, try changing. Lamb is the least allergy-causing of the meats and may help reduce the allergens, which cause the ear inflammation and infection.


3. Cause and solution: Yeast infection

Besides bacteria, another possible disease-causing agent is yeast.  And like a bacteria infection, yeast can invade your dog’s ears and generate a lot of waxy, glue like gunk. advises:

Yeast is a fungus and is in all dogs (and people) as a normal part of their flora. Yeast lives on your dog’s skin and inside her gut, where it normally lives with other healthy flora, as part of the balanced immune system.

But when the immune system is stressed, yeast can begin to over-populate the gut.

Your dog’s skin is the largest organ in her body … and when yeast populations grow out of control in the gut, the body tries to get rid of the fungus.

This is when you will start to see the effects in your pet. It’s called a yeast infection.

For the short term, you can try cleaning your Morkie’s ears every two or three days to see if the infection clears up. If not, it’s time to see the Vet who may have to do a full flushing of the ear canal, among other options.


Nice and clean!


Once more: How to clean the ears  

No matter what the source is, and especially if it’s hard to identify what’s causing your Morkie’s ear problems, you can start with a proper cleaning.

  • tilt and hold his head, so the infected ear is at the top
  • fill the ear canal right up with the liquid
  • massage around the base of the ear for a minute or two
  • stand back while your Morkie shakes it all out

DO NOT use any kind of other liquid except he dog ear cleaning product. And NEVER use cotton swabs to dig into your Morkie’s ear canal.


Frustrating problem

Infected and inflamed ears can be very frustrating to treat. It’s hard to identify the culprit, even for your Veterinarian. And ear problems can be the source of pain and discomfort for your Morkie. Unfortunately, when ear problems are left too long, your dog risks deafness, permanent damage and chronic pain.  But regular cleaning and veterinary checkups can help catch “flare-ups” before they progress.




Ear problems and your Morkie

Ear problems and your Morkie

dogs ears hurting


Does your Morkie have an ear infection? Common symptoms are shaking the head, or rubbing his head along the ground obsessively; bad smell from the ears; outer ear is inflamed and red; whimpering and crying.

Ear problems can make your Morkie absolutely miserable – burning pain, itching and even loss of balance. Identifying the cause is the first step.



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Canine ear infections are most commonly caused by bacteria or yeast

There are lots of causes of ear problems in dogs, but the most common problems by far, are caused by bacteria or yeast. Ear mites are uncommon in dogs (mostly found in kittens) and allergies can make your Morkie’s ears red and inflamed, but mostly ear infections happen because the ear isn’t cleaned.


flop eared

Flop ears, left and prick ears, right. Which type dos your Morkie have?








If your Morkie has drop ears like a Maltese, instead of prick ears like a Yorkie, the problem can be worse. Oxygen and sunlight, nature’s best cleaners, don’t reach the ear canal and bacteria and yeast can build up in the joist atmosphere.

Monitoring and Cleaning your Morkie’s ears

Dogs tend to get a  lot of ear infections and problems and one reason why is that their ear canal is almost horizontal. So it doesn’t drain well, like ours.

Watch for any buildup of waxy stuff in your Morkie’s ears, including common dirt or debris he may have picked up outside. A wet ear canal is a recipe for disaster – so when your Morkie is getting a bath, be sure to put a cotton ball in each year to prevent dirty water getting in.

There are a number of good, over-the- counter ear cleaners available – these solutions do two things: help fight bacteria plus dry the ear out. You can also try white vinegar & water, half and half. Some owners use hydrogen peroxide mixed 1 part to 3 parts distilled water. Or get a good quality cleaner from your Vet.
signs of yeast-infection in dogs earTo use these cleaners, hold your Morkie on your lap and tilt his head. Pour a generous amount of cleaner in; his ear and then massage the base of the ear to get the cleaner into all the folds of the ear. Repeat for the other ear.

Once the solution has softened the waxy debris in your Morkie’s ear, you can wipe the outer ear down with a makeup remover pad. Or, the dog’s natural movements and a couple of shakes of the head, will get rid of it all.


q tips and earsThere’s an old expression to remember: “never put anything in your ear smaller than your elbow!”

Even with your best intentions, you’ll simply be packing down the dirt, waxy build up, infection and more INTO your Morkie’s narrow ear canal.

And you can even puncture or rupture the eardrum, causing irreparable damage!

Time to see the Vet

If your Morkie is suffering with brown, smelly discharge coming from one or both ears, try cleaning first — if the problem isn’t better in a one or two days, see the Vet who will do a thorough diagnoses of the problem. If you’re keeping your Morkie’s ears clean, then chances are any ear problems are something more complex and you’ll need to see your Veterinarian.

Always see the Vet if you suspect an injury or your Morkie is in pain.


Dealing with the Dog Ear Infection

Dealing with the Dog Ear Infection

ear-problemsAn ear infection for your Morkie is not fun for either of you; and the bad news is, the more often your Morkie gets infections, the more susceptible he is to future infections. In fact, ear conditions are the second most common reason dogs visit the Veterinarian. So how do you deal with the dog ear infection?

First, what’s the cause?


The dog on the left has drop ears, while the cat on the right has prick ears. Your Morkie can have either type.

The dog ear infection is almost always a SYMPTOM of some other, underlying problem.

And if your Morkie has drop ears (not standing-up, Yorkie style ears) it’s even more difficult because the inner ear isn’t exposed to sunlight or oxygen — two of nature’s best natural cleaners.

4 common causes of ear infections are:

  1. allergies
  2. bacteria or yeast infection
  3. parasites like ear mites
  4. foreign particles

Of these four problems, the first two are by far, the most common. Although very young kittens often have ear mites, they’re a little unusual in dogs. And the chances of some foreign particle getting into your Morkie’s ear without you seeing it, are also slim.

Allergies and Ear Infections

Like us, dogs can be allergic to many things including:

  • Tree, grass and weed pollens
  • Mold spores
  • Dust and house dust mites
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Cigarette smoke and much more

Allergies can cause ear AND eye problems and can lead to serious ear infections if not treated.  Symptoms:

  • your Morkie shakes his head a lot
  • scratches at his ears
  • skin around ears ins red and inflamed from his scratching

Talk to your Vet about treating the underlying allergy; it may be as simple as administering Benadryl (see my post It can be a real ‘wonder drug’ in treating seasonal allergies in dogs.

Bacteria or Yeast Infection

These external ear infections are easy to spot because of the brown, waxy build up in your dog’s ears and a nasty smell. Although it’s very tempting to just grab a cotton swab stick and clean it out – DON’T DO IT!  You risk very serious damage if you puncture the ear drum.

Instead try using a good dog ear cleaner (from your Vet or a good retailer)

  • fill the ear canal with the liquid until it overflows
  • gently fold over the ear flap and then massage the liquid into the ear canal
  • let your dog shake his head
  • remove any excess liquid and dirt from the outer ear only, with a tissue or cotton ball

If this doesn’t work, then get your Morkie to the Vet for an examination and potentially a professional ear flushing. Your Vet may then prescribe medication to fight the bacteria or yeast. This antibiotic treatment should address the infection so the ears will clear up. You may however, still need to clean them regularly – talk to your Vet about just how often, because like most things, this can be overdone too – causing more problems.

Removing (visible) excess hair in the ear canal

signs of yeast-infection in dogs earYour Vet may also recommend that you pluck the extra hairs from the ear canal regularly since they can tend to trap moisture, heat and debris.

You can use blunt-end, rounded tweezers, or grip tweezers for dog grooming or even just your own fingers. The fine hair pulls out easily and your dog can’t feel it at all.


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