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Ask the Vet About Ear Infections in Dogs & Cats

Ear Infections in Pets
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Treatment
Ask the Vet
Ask the Vet About What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats?
MichaelDym, V.M.D.
Michael Dym, V.M.D.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
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As a practicing veterinarian, Dr. Dym has over 19 years of experience and dedication to enhancing the overall health and well-being of pets. His commitment and passion for pet health continuously drives him to learn more about the art and science of homeopathy through ongoing training and education.

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Showing 1 - 15 of 1267
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Showing 1 - 15 of 1267
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Date: Mar 13, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Ear infection

Question:My dog has a chronic ear infection and will not allow me to treat it with Dr prescribed drops or ear wash. Is there anything I do to treat it without having to touch his ear until the pain is no longer a problem?

Answer:This is a commonly asked question because ear infections are so painful. The answer is unfortunately, No. There isn't a good blood supply to the inside of the ear canal where the ear infection is, so you really need to treat ear infections topically. Thankfully, they have just recently come out with a one time application, strong ear medication for ear infections. It's prescription, so you would have to get it at your veterinarian, but it sounds like they would have to apply it anyway, so that might work nicely for your dog.

Date: Mar 13, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Left ear smell and head shaking from dog

Question:My 4yr old pitbull boy has been shaking his hard alot and it seems to have a odor to the left ear. Is there anyway I can help him with out the high price if the vet?

Answer:You can try cleaning it with a cleaner like Epi-Otic Advanced (http://www.1800petmeds.com/Epi+Otic+Advanced+Ear+Cleanser-prod11109.html) and then applying Zymox (http://www.1800petmeds.com/Zymox+Otic+Enzymatic+Solution+with+Hydrocortisone-prod10622.html). This combination of cleaning and Zymox will work for mild ear infections, but for moderate or severe, you usually end up needing the stronger prescription medications that you would have to get at your veterinarian.

Date: Mar 8, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Ear drops for a difficult dog

Question:Any suggestions on how to give a dog ear drops when he freaks out when you get near his ear? He will pull and jerk away, urinate on the floor or all over, try anything to get away short of biting. I have tried straddling him while he is laying down, ended up with a wet leg and him throwing me off. He is a big boy, husky and Irish setter mix, about 200lbs. I am hoping that when I can finally get the drops in his ears he will realize they will help him, but he is refusing to even let me get close. Help!

Answer:Ear infections are painful. The more you wrestle with him, the worse it will get usually. Using 2 people helps calm some dogs - one to hold and one to apply the medication. Applying the medication really quickly when he is sleeping sometimes works. There are new ear medications that have to only be applied one time. They are prescription so they are more expensive but worth it if you are having that much trouble - get the veterinarian and his/her staff to apply it.

Date: Feb 24, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hair in ear canal

Question:I recently brought my English Bulldog in for an emergency vet visit because she cut her lower eye lid. While there I also asked the vet to check her ears as when I clean them I get a dark brown color substance from them. I have only had her a few months and she came to me with several issues that we have treated. The vet said the substance was normal ear wax, but upon examination he said that she has a buildup of hair in her ear canals from shedding over the years. He used a scary looking took to go in and grab some of the hair out, but it was painful to her, so he stopped. He recommended bringing her back to be sedated to have the hair removed from the ear canals. I would really like another opinion. Is this common? Is this procedure safe? Are there any alternative solutions? I only want to do what is safe because my entire goal is to give this sweet girl a loving home and for her to feel good and be healthy. Thanks so much!

Answer:I only remove ear hairs if they are interfering with normal discharge and/or the wax is clumped and stuck in the ear hairs. If the discharge can be safely flushed out of the ears with good solutions like Epiotic from 1800petmeds or Tris EDTA solutions, then I dont typically pluck hairs. You can also try zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds.

Date: Feb 21, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Ear infection

Question:My dog's ear is discharging with some sticky substance n his ear h yellow coloured wax what to do? He z hanging his head, crying while itching over ear...how to treat this infection..I lv my dog so much I can't see him in pain can u suggest any medicine or ear drop to relieve his pain asap?

Answer:The yellow discharge sounds like pus so you really need to take him to your veterinarian for some stronger medication that has an antibiotic and antifungal medicine in it but my favorite over-the-counter ear medication is probably Zymox. It has a topical steroid that will make it feel better until you can get him to the vet. Here's a link tot he product: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Zymox+Otic+Enzymatic+Solution+with+Hydrocortisone-prod10622.html

Date: Feb 9, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Chronic ear problems

Question:We have a 7 year old chocolate lab who shakes his head constantly. I have taken him to the vet and they said he did not have a ear infection, they gave me a ear was for his ears which I used as directed and it didn't make any difference. There is no odor, drainage or excessive wax build up. Could you give me a idea of why he shakes his head so much?

Answer:Most likely underlying doggy hayfever, which is known as canine atopy. Most likely needs systemic allergy treatment including antihistamines and/or low dose cortisone. I would also put dog on fatty acid like Be WEll from 1800petmeds.

Date: Feb 7, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: "gunk" in ears

Question:My 7 month old Havanese has "gunk" in her ears as my groomer says. She doesn't scratch them a lot and it does not seem to bother her. It has a foul odor and is just something I want to clean. She told me to use vinegar and water. Why does she get this and what do you recommend? I have a 3 year old Havanese and he does not have this issue.

Answer:Some dogs build up nonspecific discharges like this due to mild allergies and/or occasional internal imbalances i.e liver imbalances, etc. I would use the product Zymox otic HC from 1800petmeds, which is wonderful as cleaning and mild antibacterial/antiyeast product. Put her on good fatty acid like Be Well as well from 1800petmeds. If problem persists or worsens, see vet for full allergy workup

Date: Jan 29, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Ear infection and tick bites on body

Question:Sir, i have 10 years spitz. She is suffering from ear infection and tick bites on body. How can i treat her. As i found from this site Amoxicillin antibiotoc and clindamycin with benzoyl peroxide is good. Is it correct treatment or not. If not please suggest me the medicine and doages

Answer:For her ear infection, you need to know if she has ear mites or an ear infection because they are treated differently. Oral antibiotics don't work very well for ear infections because the infection is in the ear canal where they don't have a very good blood supply. Amoxicillin and Clindamycin would be two of my least favorite antibiotics for an ear or skin infection based on the most common types of bacteria that cause these. Getting rid of the ticks is obviously a good idea. A medicated shampoo with an antifungal/antibacterial like ketoconazole and/or chlorhexidine will help if she has a secondary skin infection.

Date: Jan 25, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Clavamox

Question:Last week my 7 yr old maltese was acting weird, lethargic, and was walking sideways. He kept circling around and even vomited. I took him to the vet and he said he had an ear infection which caused the vertigo. He prescribed Clavamox and Mometamax. The vet and his assistant failed to tell me that Clavamox is suppose to be given orally. So I assumed that both medications are for his ears. Seeing no improvement i read the box and realized I made a mistake. I had already given him 4 ml worth of Clavamox inside his ears so I called the vet immediately and he told me to go back to flush his ears. He said there is nothing to worry about but deep down inside I am panicking. Should I worry and take him to the ER?

Answer:Hey Tiffany, No need to worry too much about that but you definitely want to let them flush it out of his ears. They flavor it with sweeteners that the ear infection doesn't need to enjoy. Also give him his oral dosage as soon as you can, but feed it with food. Clavamox, like a lot of antibiotics, can upset an empty stomach especially if they are dizzy from an inner ear infection. Hope that helps!

Date: Jan 23, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Constant ear irritation

Question:My German Shepard has constant ear irritation, itching, swelling and redness. I use ear ointment Otomax 15 gm but it always returns. What else can I do?

Answer:It can be dangerous to administer medication down the ear without inspecting the ear drum, as a perforated ear drum can lead to serious issues. I recommend having this issue looked at by a veterinarian. This will also help you to determine any underlying predisposing factors like allergies or excessive moisture buildup. You can book a vet house call at www.vetpronto.com"

Date: Jan 13, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Hematoma

Question:My 8 yr. old Yellow Lab just suffered his first hematoma, due to a very bad ear infection. They inserted a drain, which fell out after the first week, and today is the 3rd week since his procedure. The ear looks good, and I was treating it, every day, with peroxide, but it looks like it might be filled up again. Is this normal, or should I bring him back to the Vet?

Answer:I would have vet check as hematomas can sometimes reform and may need additional drainage by vet

Date: Jan 9, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: How to dry ears after swimming

Question:My two dogs swim a lot, year round. You mention to dry the dogs ears after swimming to prevent infections or problem issues due to constant presence of water in the ear. Exactly HOW do I dry the dogs' ears, because the water settles deep inside the ear, beyond the visual opening. Thank you!

Answer:I personally prefer using drying ear solutions in the ear directly after swimming such as Epiotic from 1800petmeds

Date: Jan 1, 2017
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Chronic Ear Infections In Chocolate Lab

Question:I Spend Lots Of Money Going To The Vet With A Ear Infection In My Lab. The Vet Never Looks In The Ear With An Otoscope , He Cultures It And Then Gives Us A Fungal /bacterial Irrigation Solution And A Ear Drop Solution Otomax. It Works But As Soon As I Stop It Comes Back (always Only In One Ear. ) We Are On Grainfree Food As Well. He Is An Inside Dog That Gets To Run With My Husband As He Is A Distance Runner, So Does Get In Grasses And Ditches....but Again It Is Only In One Ear. I Want To Try The Enzyme Ear Drops. I Worry About The Eardrum Not Being Intact. Ideas?

Answer:Chronic doggy hayfever known as canine atopy can occur even in one ear only in some pets, and is due to inhalent/contact allergies to molds, grasses, pollens, etc. Often these underlying allergies need to be addressed or ear issue will recur. You need to see another vet in your area to evaluate ear drum as well as evaluate ear discharge through cytology or culture or ear issue will recur

Date: Sep 19, 2016
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Dog
Topic: Ears

Question:I Have A Border Collie Almost 2, Both Ears Used To Stand Now One Is Droopy. I've Looked And It Looks Clean.

Answer:I Would Take Her To Vet For Exam To Make Sure No Infection

Date: Sep 18, 2016
Category: Ear Infections
Pet Type: Cat
Topic: Ears

Question:I First Saw A Vet Due To The Unusual Way My Cats Ears Looked Inside And They Smelled, By Looking Online I Can Only Describe Them As "polyps". My Cat Was Treated With Antibiotics, 2 Months Later He Developed Two Abscesses On His Neck, I Took Him To The Vet (it's A Fairly Big Office And Through His Treatment He Saw Three Different Vets). My Cat Is An Indoor Cat And I Think The Vets Couldn't Get Past The Fact That He Didn't Get These Abscess From Being In A Cat Fight. He Was On Various Antibiotics For These Abscesses For Approx. Two Months. He Had An Operation To Close The Abscesses But One Wouldn't Heal, It Still Had Discharge Coming From It. About Two Weeks Before He Became Seriously Ill My Daughter Asked Me To Ask The Vet To Check His Ears Because She Thought The Reason This One Abscess Wouldn't Heal Was Because Of His Previous Ear Problem. The Vet Looked In His Ears And Said One Looked A Little "crusty" But Was Fine And That His Abscess Should Heal And I Wouldn't Need To Come Back. Two Weeks Later, The Abscess Was Still There After All Of The Antibiotics And Me Cleaning It Twice A Day With A Iodine Wash. I Took Him Back To The Vet Because He Was Becoming Lethargic, More Blood Tests Were Taken That Showed He Was Healthy Internally, I Was Give More Antibiotics And Told That He Would Probably Have A Seisure And I Would Need To Let Him Go, At This Visit My Daughter Asked If His Ears Could Be The Problem, The Vet Didn't Really Answer So We Took Him Home, To Die, I Guess. The Following Day We Took Our Cat To An Emergency Vet Hospital, The Vet Looked In His Ears And In One Of Them She Said It Was Closed, They Took An X-ray And Found He Had A Blockage In His Ear, It Turned Out To Be A Benign Tumor. This Is Also Why He Had The Abscesses, Because The Fluid That Was Collecting Couldn't Escape. My Question Is Three Different Vets Saw Him, They Advertise "state-of-the- Art" Equipment And Referrals If They Can't Figure Out What The Pets' Problem Is - The Day I Took My Pet In And The Vet Looked In His "crusty" Ear, Did She Really See Anything Because If She Had, Wouldn't She Have Suggested I Take My Cat To See Someone Who Could Help Him? My Cat Almost Died, He Was In Critical Care Before And After His Operation. He Is Doing Better Now That He Had His Whole Ear Canal Removed. I'm Not Angry That They Didn't Connect His Abscesses To His Previous Ear Problem, I'm Disturbed That The Vet Probably Never Really Saw Inside Of His Ear, At All.

Answer:I Am So Sorry To Hear Of Your Negative Experiences With Your Kitty And His Ear/abscess Issues. If Ever In Doubt In Future, Always Best To Ask For Referral To Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist In Your Area, As Sometimes Expert Opinion Needed On Complex Cases That Are Not Easily Solved In General Practice


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