i dont put cotton in sarahs ears either but then i dont wash her head just the rest of her body so nothing gets in her ears anyway. i use malacetic otic for her ears and either chloraseb or malaket wipes if there is a problem. i havent had her to the vet for her ears since. the malaket or chloraseb are antifungal antibacterial so that usually takes care of any issues i might have. im glad you got things taken care of roe. even though your broke now i think some use cotton balls and witch hazel also.