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Hi all! I clean my poodle's ears about once a week with a dog ear cleaning liquid. I don't see much visible wax, yet I can smell an odor when I'm about closer than an inch to his lifted ears. I was wondering if there was a default smell or level of odor that is acceptable/healthy? I wouldn't call it a good smell... maybe just slightly unpleasant. It's not a horrible odor. I guess my question is - does a normal poodle ear just always have a slight smell? Or am I not cleaning well enough? Thank you!
 

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Killa and Tekno
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The ears should have a neutral smell, no more strong than the rest of the face, your pup probably has a yeast infection in the ear and will need some drops and chlorohexidine wash from the vet.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Agree with above. Most people say it smells like Fritos. Once you get this infection sorted, two things to keep in mind for the future: 1) Ear plucking. For some poodles, ear plucking leads to ear infections, for other poodles ear plucking prevents ear infections. Whichever way you've been doing it, try the other way. 2) Wipe with diluted vinegar. I don't know what rinse you're using now, but IME wiping the ears with a simple 50:50 diluted vinegar mix is inexpensive and effective. I usually wipe after the ears have gotten wet from swimming, grooming, or if we're out in a torrential rain. You might give this a shot before calling the vet.
 

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This is interesting. I have two mini poodles. Toffee doesn’t have much ear hair—his ears smell pretty nuetral. Toula has a lot of hair in and around her ears . I don’t pluck—I just trim the excess that I can see. Her ears usually have a pleasant smell—although not nuetral like Toffee’s. A few weeks ago—she would periodically scratch her ears . I used some ear cleaning solution on a tissue around the outside opening—since it looked a little red from scratching. A day or so later—Toffee could not stop smelling Toula’s ears. He would smell the left one—and then come over to me and nudge my leg. His diagnosis was spot on—one ear had a fishy smell. I took her into the vet—she had had several weeks of an ear treatment that stays in the ear. The vets diagnosis was the same as Toffee’s diagnosis-the left ear was worse than the right ear!!!
 

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The dogs I’ve had all had a slight but distinct smell in their ears. I thought it was normal. I was told it was normal by my grooming instructor. Maybe I’m more sensitive to smells because my instructor always told me she smelled nothing.

To be honest, I used to find the smell comforting as the years passed with my dogs. Much like the smell on their paws :) I hope I am not grossing y’all out. Hahaha!
 
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