My french bulldog has been trying to scratch his right ear against the floor as if something is bothering him. He gets these attacks for about 15 minutes where he is trying to scratch against the floor but then he stops for the rest of the day.

I have taken my dog before to the vet and they usually tell me his ears are just dirty so I have been cleaning it and can not see anything visibly wrong apart from ear wax.

They also previously gave me "MotaZol" (gentamicin sulfate, mometasone, furoate monohydrate, and clotrimazole). Instructions were to put 3 drops in each ear daily for cleaning. I am now doing it as well to see if it gets better but not sure if I can keep buying this without vet prescription so maybe there are other good products out there to try?

Trying to avoid the vet and paying for an expensive ear check and cleaning, I wanted to see if other French bulldog owners have experienced the same and what usually has worked out to solve the issue.

1 Answer 1


Honestly, this is hard to answer. If your dog already had excessive ear wax and is now rubbing his ear against the ground, it can be a symptom of an ear infection. My last dog had a chronic ear infection for several years and did the same rubbing. From the outside we could barely see any ear wax, but the infection and all the dirt was deeper inside his ear canal. The best way to clean that was to flush the ear with a medical ear cleaner (to losen the dirt) and let him shake the cleaner and the dirt out.

On the other hand, it doesn't have to be an infection yet (I think; I'm not a vet). My last dog had a mild food allergy that manifested in itchy ears. This can very quickly escalate into a full-blown ear infection (and was probably the reason why his ear infection became chronic). Other websites like zoetis and Countryside Veterinary Hospital agree that itchy ears can be a symptom of an allergy.

Further allergy symptoms include:

  • Excessive scratching and/or chewing at particular areas of the body
  • Rubbing against furniture and other objects
  • Open sores, scabbing, and hair loss around the affected areas
  • Discharge (often with an unpleasant odor) coming from the ears
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Snoring (due to inflammation of the throat)
  • Excessive gas
  • Scooting or redness around the anus

My personal recommendation is:

  • If your dog has a lot of fur inside his ears, carefully pull it out (some soft hairs come out without much force). This is supposed to improve ventilation of the ear and make sure it's not the hairs that tickle him.
  • Never ever put any water in your dogs ear. Bacteria and fungi love warm and moist places, so the ear canal must always be protected against water while bathing or swimming. Medical ear cleaners contain chemicals that inhibit or kill bacteria and fungi. Cheap and "all natural" cleaning liquids aren't as effective and I advice against using them for more than wiping off excessive ear wax.
  • Never ever insert a Q-tip / cotton bud into a dogs ear. I know that there are Q-tips marketed for dogs. Don't use them. You can injure your dog or push ear wax deeper into the ear with them. Use a cotton pad (the round type commonly used to remove makeup), soak it in ear cleaner and wipe the ear like a dog would lick with its tongue instead.
  • Try hypoallergenic dog food and treats for at least 4 weeks and see if the itchiness improves. To switch food brands, replace 1/4 of the old food with new one at the first day, 1/2 at the second day, 3/4 at the third and completely switch to the new food on the fourth day. Some dogs need several weeks before the symptoms improve, some will react within a few days to the new food. So give it some time before giving up on the hypoallergenic food.
  • If it still doesn't improve, get a second opinion from a different vet. Let them take a sample of the ear wax and analyze it for pathogens and have them do an allergy test.

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