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Tazar

Serious Ear Infections ..help

19 posts in this topic

Tazar   

Hi,

Hoping the brains trust on this forum may be able to help me help this poor girl as the vet thinks she may not recover from another anaesthetic.

Female GSD who has had ear infections on and off for her whole life. She is 10 years old and the vets believe it is allergy driven. She has been under anaesthetic a number of times to have it cleaned out.

The owner has never been given a clinical name for the condition. They continue treatment weekly as a preventitive but occasionally that isn't enough and the cycle recommences. That starts with an ear flush under anaesthetic then 5 days of daily steroid macro lone 20mg then1 tablet every second day for 5 days. During this 10 days period she also gets 8 drops of momentamax ointment. Once under control a weekly dose of epi-optic 120 ml with 10 ml of Dex added to keep the bacteria down.

She eats chicken , rice, raw veggies glucosamine parsley and garlic and royal canine.

Anyone have any advice?

Thanks

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puglvr   

Has she seen a dermatologist? My girl had a bad ear infection and it was cleared up by the dermatologist.

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Do you know if the Vets went any further with the 'allergy driven' scenario?

That diet might even contribute: some dogs have protein issues with chicken. I certainly like Royal Canin but if the dog has issues with digestion because of the ingredients then there's anothe source of issues.

Do her owners keep her ear channels clean when there is no obvious sign of infection?

:(

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Rappie   

She may need some more diagnostics and a treatment re-jig, or the opinion of a dermatologist.

If it is not done regularly the she at least needs regular ear cytology, and although I don't do them routinely she may benefit from an ear culture if the pattern is changing. IMHO (and that of many dermatologists) Mometamax or not, 8 drops is not a useful volume of anything to put in a GSD ear and the volume of medication is important to the efficacy of treatment (at least 1ml for a large dog) as is the duration (at least 3 weeks if not an acute case). There are other medications which may be more helpful and economical if this dog has ended up with a chronic pseudomonas ear. It also really important that the cleaning done as maintenance is effective (ie filling of the ear canal with a good massage).

It is also important to try to control underlying allergies if they have been identified and treat any other secondary skin infections if they exist.

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I had an old foster Westie cross for nearly 3 years, she had surgeries to clean her ears out but for the time I had her, my vet switched antibiotics constantly. There was a marked improvement in the first few months when I put her on a dried food called Natural Balance that was supposed to help ear/skin infections etc, my vet told me to keep her on it as it was working.

Ear ablation wasn't an option as she was so elderly but the changing of antibiotics seemed to keep the situation from getting worse.

I actually lost her to her back legs giving way ... she was about 15 or so. Poor sweetie had had a terrible life.

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I actually lost her to her back legs giving way ... she was about 15 or so. Poor sweetie had had a terrible life.

Until those days she got to be loved by you.

:heart:

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Guest crazydoglady99   
Guest crazydoglady99

Definitely consider switching food. My little dog gets the most horrible ear infections from certain foods.

Could the dog go on prednisone maybe?

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Consider trialing a prescription food only for a while, 8 weeks at least, see if it makes any difference.

RC Hypoallergenic or

RC Sensitivity Control or

Eukanuba Veterinary Dermatosis FP etc.

Consider changing ear cleaners, I think Otoflush supports medicated drops better than others?

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All I can suggest is that they NOT clean/treat ears for some days /a week then get a swab of the canals , and have that cultured so that any bacteria/yeast/fungus can be seen and identified.

THIS way - at least they know what it may NOT be - or what it MAY be .

perhaps another vet?

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Tazar   

Thank you for the feed back.

Weekly treatments have been maintained for the last 4 years. Has seen a skin specialist recommended by Lort Smith which is where she has been treated. Diet was changed to what I mentioned in the original post but it has not helped.

Rappie what dosage should she go on for the meds she has at hand and do you (or anyone else ) have recommendations for a dermatologist who may be able to help? She is based in Western suburbs of Melborne.

Thanks again :)

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Tazar   

The vet mentioned that given she is getting old and has some arthritis, then putting her to sleep is something the owners may need to consider.

I think surely not for ear infections but I am not expert, hence the posts on here...

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Rappie   

The usual volume for a large dog ear is 1ml which is expensive and often impractical with a medication like Mometamax. I am based in Sydney so unfortunately I dont have any recommendations for dermatologists.

Without actually seeing the dog it is very difficult to interpret recommendations from other vets. I have certainly seen some dogs with chronic ear infections where there were very limited options (whether they be practical or financial) and euthanasia should be considered but it is not common. Age alone is not a barrier to having a general anaesthesia either so I assume there are either underlying medical issues or underlying vet issues at play. Similarly, being old and having arthritis is usually an indication to be more proactive about pain relief and management of this condition not an indication for euthanasia however a combination of other issues including medical problems, cost of medication, long or short term benefit to the dog etc must all be considered.

Edit to add a comment about chronic ear infections: with chronic otitis there are a number of changes that occur within the ear canal that means the whole environ,wnt is no longer 'normal' and never will be, such as thickening of the skin, scarring, narrowing and calcification of the cartilage of the ear canal itself. This makes effective cleaning and medicating quite difficult, means that the normal self cleaning mechanism of the ear is often non-existent and regardless of the actual trigger (ie atopic dermatitis or food allergy etc) predisposes the ears to repeat infection. It is important to try to determine whether the dog has a recurrent or resistant ear infection as the management of them can be different. It really also depends on what is causing the infection as a yeast infection is different to a bacterial infection with cocci, which is different again to a bacterial infection with rods (like pseudomonas which are known for their propensity to become resistant to antibiotics).... And a mixed infection of more than one of these is different again.

Edited by Rappie

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Xyz   

There are also some quite successful surgeries that can be done to extend the ear canal opening, therefore removing anywhere for the yeast/bacteria to settle. Dogs with chromic ears are reported to have 'a new lease of llfe' following these surgeries. I would certainly see a specialist surgeon about this option before euthanasia.

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Rappie   

There are also some quite successful surgeries that can be done to extend the ear canal opening, therefore removing anywhere for the yeast/bacteria to settle. Dogs with chromic ears are reported to have 'a new lease of llfe' following these surgeries. I would certainly see a specialist surgeon about this option before euthanasia.

Yes, surgical options are definitely considerations for dogs with chronic changes to the ear canal and absolutely speak to a specialist surgeon about it.

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cavNrott   

My elderly Cavalier girl used to get yeasty ears regularly despite the vet's effort to eliminate or deal with the problem. Some 4 years ago after speaking with many dog owners in USA whose dogs had problematic yeasty ears I decided to try a product called Zymox. Zymox is not available in Australia but is evidently widely used in USA. I import this product for my use and have found it to be very successful. At the first sign (whiff) of yeast, and I smell the ears frequently, I pop a few drops of Zymox in her ear for 5 days. Viola! no yeast infection.

I now keep this product on hand at all times. I have not had my dog to the vet for yeasty ears since using Zymox. It is available without prescription but it's necessary to import it. Zymox evidently deals with bacterial infections as well as yeast. However if I thought my dog had a bacterial infection I would of course have her to the vet as antibiotics would probably be called for. Yeasty ears are easily identified by the distinctive odor.

Zymox is not cheap but in comparison to the cost of the frequent vet visits this little dog needed to deal with the yeasty ears it's a steal.

My dog will still get a yeasty ear after being bathed by the groomer who invariably gets water in the dog's ears but I deal with the problem as soon as I smell that very familiar yeast.

I thought I would throw this info out here in case it helps someone whose dog is plagued with yeasty ears. I feed raw and my dog has probiotics daily so her formerly yeasty ears are not due to a poor diet.

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Tazar   

Thanks again for the feedback.

swabs come back as being bacteria each time. The dogs ear is floppy and the skin specialist she has seen is Rob Hilton.

She has upped the meds and will get more to finish the course.

I have passed on all the suggestions and will let you know as things progress.

Any idea who she should be seeing to investigate surgery for opening up of the ear canal?

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I would prefer to have my dog be fully tested for whatever allergies might be causing issues.

If her immune system is out of whack, then her body will have troubles overcoming infections. Hence she is living in a vicious cycle: infections that are cleared only by antibiotics are constantly needed.

I also would not want to take a jump to ear surgery unless it was confirmed for me her body is in order (totally) to warrant it.

Does the dog belong to family or friends? It's great you are trying to help them with this problem.

Would they consider maybe seeing a Holistic Vet for a blood tests, hair DNA testing and full thyroid blood levels?

If you look at posts by Erny, she undertook further tests in her efforts to help her dog.

:)

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Tazar   

Yes Vizslamomma, she is owed by an old school friend who I caught up with at a reunion a few weeks back and she knows my passion for the furry ones so asked if I could help.

I know a holistic vet Dr Rebecca Bugg so will ask her about the testing. Thanks again :thumbsup:

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Yes Vizslamomma, she is owed by an old school friend who I caught up with at a reunion a few weeks back and she knows my passion for the furry ones so asked if I could help.

I know a holistic vet Dr Rebecca Bugg so will ask her about the testing. Thanks again :thumbsup:

That's excellent.

Methinks there might be one very lucky GSD & human now that you are helping them.

The health and wellbeing of a dog has some many angles.

:love:

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