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Dog Ear Problems

Old 11-07-2010, 12:47 PM
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Default Dog Ear Problems

My daughter's dog, a Cocker Spaniel that stays with me alot, is always having ear infections. The tissue inside her ears gets swollen and I take her to the vet for the 2 weeks of antibiotics. She was on a fish/sweet potato diet, then a grain free diet, and now she's on a hypoallergenic diet. I keep her ears flushed out and have trimmed alot of ear hair both inside and out to help air circulation.
Supposedly there's a solution that can be made at home that gets good results. Does anyone have any recommendations/experience dealing with food allergies, especially in Cockers?
Thanks!
Old 11-07-2010, 01:46 PM
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Take her to a vet that specializes in dog allergies. They will do tests as are done on a person and possibly prescribe a regimen of shots (weekly). If it is only in the ears, you also might try an ear specialist. Good luck. I have done the dog allergist and it can help.
Old 11-07-2010, 02:52 PM
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The diet you described is for allergies. If that did not work well you might consider having a skin test (assay) performed to pinpoint what the allergy may be. The dog may also have an allergy not related to food. Do both ears become infected at the same time or independent of each other? You can also get Otomax without a Rx from an Internet source and use this within reason. I would first determine with a high degree of scientific certainty what the actual cause of the problem is. I personally would take the dog to a teaching veterinary hospital. I am not trashing any specific veterinarian, however, in my experiences, taking my dog to UPenn (Matthew J. Ryan) was not only a better experience (achieved results without a bunch of BS), it was also considerably less expensive than the local vet.
Old 11-08-2010, 04:48 AM
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look in to http://www.1800petmeds.com/Mometamax-prod10821.html
Old 11-08-2010, 05:47 AM
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If it is a food allergy I find that Lamb and Rice to be best to feed. However I think your problem with a Cocker is the long floppy ears are holding in moisture. Just clean with ear cleaner every 3 days or so, if you do it too often they will become to dried out. I had the same issue with one or two Golden Retrievers that I hunted quite often. Also possible that it is a yeast infection has your Vet run a culture for yeast?
Old 11-08-2010, 10:54 AM
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Ear infections can be complicated and multi-faceted. As a veterinarian I deal with it regularly. Allergies do play a role in many recurrent ear infections but the problems are compounded in cockers because of the heavy ear flaps and oversupply of oil and cerumen glands in the ear canal. Clearing the problem up in most cases is not that challenging, the difficult part is finding a program to prevent or greatly diminish the recurrence. Food allergies are not as common as other allergies but it is usually worth a trial if the problem is non-seasonal. Food allergy is to some type of protein. No one protein source is significantly more hypoallergenic than another, it just needs to be different. It has nothing to do with the quality of the diet either. We use novel protein, in other words, one that the dog has never been exposed to, therefore cannot be allergic to it. We use fish, duck, bison, venison, etc. Lamb can be successful but is commonly available now days so many dogs have already eaten it. There are products I use for long term maintenance that can work sometimes. There is a surgery (lateral ear resection) that I have done in many dogs that can help by changing the L shaped bad design of the ear canal in dogs. There is an oral anti yeast medicine that can help many dogs. If you want to send me a PM with your phone # I can try to help you.
Old 11-08-2010, 05:35 PM
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I am having the same issues with my 5 year old black lab.

We have been having these issues since about a year old, we changed diets and that did not help. We clean her ears as much as we can but it just seems like a losing battle.

I wish there was a permanent fix.
Old 11-08-2010, 05:46 PM
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One thing I've learned after owning three springer spaniels is to make sure the water bowl isn't next to the food bowl. When I first got a springer he had all kinds of ear infections due to my ignorance on the proper care of the ears in dogs like that. The other thing was to make sure the ears were dry and if you have the water dish in a holder next to the food dish her ears will drag in the water and stay wet.
I'll have to check on the name of the product we use to clean Otis's ears. He's otis because he sits in his house and watched the world go by like otis on Andy Griffith.
Old 11-08-2010, 08:22 PM
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I really appreciate the replys.
FlyVet, thanks for your offer. I will pm my cell # along with the products we've used.
A chart in one of the examination rooms says that food allergies affect the dogs ears and rectum area. She had anal glands removed at about 2 yrs old. I catch her dragging her rear end sometimes especially on the terrance that has a brick floor.
Old 11-09-2010, 03:37 AM
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i think the home remedy that you were talking about is a solution of organic apple cider vinegar and water applied to the back of the neck. it supposedly works on a whole host of issue. ive never tried it nor do i know the science behind it. some folks in the field trial retreiver world swear by it
Old 11-09-2010, 07:11 AM
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Flyvet

One other thing that might be worth mentioning, some dogs have an allergy to dust mites and/or residue. Dust mites are present almost everywhere. The solution is not to replace carpeting as they will simply be in the carpet in no time. You can not do away with dust mites however you can control the "load" of dust mites and their excrement. After I had my chocolate lab tested I learned she was allergic to dust mites. We keep a clean house in general and did not consider dust mites to be a possibility. I decided to buy a Dyson Animal model vacuum. In very short time her allergy symptoms cleared up and for many years now has been a happy dog. I have no affiliation with the Dyson company however without a question this vacuum does a superior job compared to other vacuums. The woman at the store where I bought the Dyson was a very nice and told me to buy it, take it home and first use my vacuum (Hoover) and run it thoroughly on the floor. She then said to immediately run the Dyson after vacuuming the floor and if I was not happy with the Dyson to return it to the store for a full refund. The Dyson captured a significant amount of dust where the other vacuums (Hoover and Eureka) failed to do so. I have since bought two more Dyson vacuums for the other houses. I don't know if this is your problem however it definitely was a solution for my lab, although she hates the vacuum cleaner and runs and jumps on the bed when it is used.

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