`Ear `Ear

Otis and I have had an argument. We`re back on speaking terms, but it`s a fragile relationship still.

Last Monday he shook his head violently when I put the headcollar on in the field, as if he had a fly in his ear, but once in his stable he was his usual self, let me groom his face and all the way up to the base of his ears and then I bridled him as normal – he`s always a bit sensitive about his ears, and only just tolerates me touching and “dusting” them.

Tuesday and Wednesday he was his usual self, and then on Thursday morning I noticed an open sore on the inside of his ear. About the size of a twenty pence piece it looked very shallow and clean, almost like a scrape, and I was surprised he hadn`t fidgeted when I`d put the headcollar on. With a friend`s assistance I cleaned it up and removed the gunk from his ear hairs. Otis was quite good to be treated, with only the help of the twitch to restrain him.

On Friday Otis was very wary of me going near his ear so I just inspected the wound visually, not wanting to make a mountain out of a molehill. He wears a fly mask with ears in the field so the wound is covered and kept free from flies. Then on Saturday I took the challenge and cleaned the wound. Otis was less than helpful this time, and we reversed around the stable a few times, but eventually I managed to wipe it with some damp cotton wool and put a globule of Savlon onto it. Unfortunately I was going away to visit my parents on Sunday and Monday, so advised Otis`s babysitters about his aversion to his ear being touched but told them I would treat it on Tuesday if it was no better as they would have difficulty.

So Tuesday arrives and Otis is shaking his head when I put the headcollar on in the field, so I gingerly remove the fly mask and inspect his ear in the stable. Unfortunately, the gunk is all caught up in his Granddad-esque ear hair, so the ear looks quite disgusting. But the wound itself is clean and starting to heal. I set to the task of cleaning the ear.

However, Otis is having none of it this morning, and we dance merrily around the stable, raising his head as I lean precariously on one leg on the upturned water bucket and then knocking me off in one fell swoop, clonking me on the head with the twitch. We battle it out for a few minutes and then I seek the help of my friend who has been blessed with the ability to look over six foot walls to help me. After a struggle we managed to get one wipe of damp cotton wool and one globule of Savlon into the ear.

This morning he was just as sensitive about me looking at his ear, flicking it away whenever I looked at it! I think this is mostly anticipation of me fiddling around with his ear. The wound still looked clean, and I`ve run out of Savlon, so thought I would try spraying purple spray to the ear lobe as I could catch him by surprise while he ate his dinner. Easier said than done as he kept his eye on me whilst he munched and it took me a couple of tries but I managed to paint his ear purple.

I was thinking about trying to buy a Savlon spray to treat his ear, but perhaps if the iodine spray works just as well, I will keep treating him like this and assess it at the end of the week. I wish he would realise that by letting me look at the ear and cleaning it up properly! After it`s healed I`m sure it will take me a few months of gradually building up to touching his ears and being able to run my fingers inside the pinna again.

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