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Recurrent ear infections

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I don't know how similiar dog and cat ears are, but 'me Spooky' had a really bad ear all the time, which the vet thought was caused by a polyp.

 

He had his ear cleaned lots of times and it lasted about a month before back to square one. The last time he had it cleaned, the vet did both ears, even though his right ear appeared fine. Anyway, don't know if it was coincidence, but the left ear was never nasty again :)

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Cookie's ear is already oozing black gunk again. :roll: We take her back on Wednesday - taking OH with me to try and get some answers or ideas. Cookie has been looking really down since her ear was done. Poor thing, its obviously getting her down as well as us. Obviously we've still been giving her the ear drops.

 

Will look at getting some of the Thornit Ear powder and perhaps talk to the vet about possible allergy problems.

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I wouldn't put any powder down her ear until you have spoken to the vet. I am not a fan of powder down dog's ears, particularly if they are like you describe I have seen some pretty horribly clogged up infected ear full of sticky powder. If the gunk is coming up then just keep it all as clean as you can bathing away any discharge. It sounds like you need a good chat with your vet to see how best to deal with this in the long term. I assume that she is on antibiotic drops, if these are not seeming to work particularly well perhaps she needs to switch to a different type.

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Well we're back from the vets. She couldn't believe that Cookie's ear became clogged and inflamed so quickly after the flushing. She's put Cookie on different ear drops and is asking the manager to order in some tablets that hopefully will work as they're quite strong apparently (can't remember for the life of me what they are). She said occasionally they do find dogs that just keep on having recurrent ear problems either due to allergy, ear anatomy, hair in canal etc.

 

Poor old Cookie's ear is so hot again. I just tried tying it up but she shook her head almost immediately and it fell down. I was considering seeing if DD has any hair clips but I don't want to make her ear sore by clipping it up. :roll:

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Ventilation is definitely the key to keeping her ears healthy. Did they pluck and trim them when she was under GA? The change in drops should help. They can get drug resistant infections and a change in drug should help if the new antibiotic is one that the bacteria is non resistant to. I would be really proactive about getting this under control as repeated infections will lead to thickening of the ear canal which in turn will make the ventilation worse. Surgery is sometimes a long term solution but of course you want to avoid this. Once this is under control, work at keeping around the opening to her ears completely hair free. Plucking the small hairs and trimming the longer ones. A pair of surgical 'artery forceps' is the way to go in terms of plucking as they grip the hairs securely for plucking. Good luck, I hope things start to improve quickly.

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I don't think they plucked or cut any hair from what the vet was saying. Cookie was at the groomers only a week or so ago and the groomer plucked her ears (she does this every time apart if Cookie is there whilst she's got an infected ear). I'm not sure I could pluck the hair, my groomer did show me how to do it the last time but it makes me feel sick :vom:

 

I just feel mean attempting to clip her ear back as its so hot and sore looking but I suppose it will probably help. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that the new drops and/or tablets will do the trick.

 

Anyway thanks for all the help. :D

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My last dog was a GSX she had pricked up ears but very itchy and inflammed until I changed her to a gluten free diet because she had a sensitive stomach. The ears improved also.

 

However years ago (like 30 when I was a kid) we had a bearded collie x lab with droopy ears who really suffered terribly with her ears. The vet eventually suggested surgery. She had one ear at a time done, Although she was quite sore post surgery for about a week it was the best thing that happened to her, much happier and she didn't suffer any longer.

 

I suppose it depends what is causing it but if it is ventilation I would highly recommend considering the surgery.

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My flat coat retriever had problems with his ears and none of the drops from the vets seemed to work, I was told by a breeder who has had them for many years to try Thornit powder and have found it to be really good. As soon as I notice his ears are irritating him (thankfully it doesn't happen very often now) I just use that and it clears up straight away. The vet was not very keen on me using it, however the dog is much better and it saves a fortune on vets bills. :D

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Quick update - the new drops have not worked completely. The vet phoned me today and asked whether they had, her ear (after a completely thorough clean out last night) is still oozing black stuff and red hot.

 

We had two options:

 

1) Get the oral tablets - £45 for 2 weeks worth which still might not work, with the possibility that she would need 4 weeks.

 

2) Have the ear swabbed so they can see what it is and if its antibiotic resistant.

 

We've gone for the second option as there's no point in trying something new if it may or may not work. We have to stop the drops and cleaning them until Friday when we take her to get the ear swabbed. Should be lovely and smelly by then! :roll:

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2) Have the ear swabbed so they can see what it is and if its antibiotic resistant.

 

We've gone for the second option as there's no point in trying something new if it may or may not work.

 

Good plan :D As mentioned before you can often get drug resistant infections in ears and as soon as the swab results show which anti biotic works things should improve quickly. You should be able to bathe away any discharge with saline in the meantime to keep the ear clean. It is only drugs that will interfere with things. I don't really see why you have to wait until Friday to have it swabbed though (unless you can't get there until then) :? It will mean that you wont get the results back until the beginning of next week or later if they don't have an inhouse lab because of the post :?

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