Recurring ear infection

(31 Posts)
Wellhellothere101 Thu 23-May-19 10:42:24

Hi all. Looking for advice-this is our first dog so I'm not hugely experienced. I have a 4 year old Australian labradoodle who is a dream dog and has kept really good health so far. However for the last year she has had a smelly, painful right ear on a few occasions. I've taken her to the vet each time who agreed it was infected and gave me antibiotic/anti fungal/steroid ear drops. These drops have worked each time but each visit and review at the vet costs £100.
The vet said if this continues she could carry out allergy testing to see if she is allergic to something but I don't feel she is (mostly because it's only one ear and its intermittent). Plus I can only guess how much this will cost.
I take the dog to the groomers regularly and she pulls the hair out of her ear which the vet recommended. However I wondered if anyone else's dog had this and if anything worked rather than me going to the vet every month! Thanks

OP’s posts: |
BiteyShark Thu 23-May-19 11:00:42

No experience but how far have they really looked down the ear.

May a vet might comment on here but I wonder if a recurrent infection is because of something that is stuck down there?

Veterinari Thu 23-May-19 11:05:45

Do you clean the ear regularly? I don’t recommend plucking ear hair because it’s painful and opens up the skin to more infection by inflaming the ear canal. But if she has hairy ears you do need to clean them regularly (1-2/week) with a decent cleaner like Cleanaural to prevent wax buildup on the hair which can act as a foundation for infection.

Wellhellothere101 Thu 23-May-19 11:12:52

Thanks for the replies. Each vet I've seen with her has advised me against cleaning her ears regularly. She has hairy ears so they recommend I get her ears plucked at the groomers and to remove hair from inside her ear myself each day. This doesn't seem to hurt her. The vet said if I need to clean her ears do it max once a fortnight and they gave me a cleaner (can't remember the name and I'm at work just now so can't check). The cleaner is good but I don't want to use it too often as per vet's instructions.
Hmmm. Not really sure where to go from here.

OP’s posts: |
Wellhellothere101 Thu 23-May-19 12:04:34

@Veterinari I checked that ear cleaner on Amazon and the reviews are brilliant so I'll give it a try and clean her ears more often. Fingers crossed. Thanks for the info.

OP’s posts: |
yermawyabas Thu 23-May-19 12:14:39

I have a golden retriever with recurring ear infections. I need to clean his ears x2 per week or the infection gets really bad.

PrayingandHoping Thu 23-May-19 12:17:12

You shouldn't need to regularly clean your dogs ears.....

My oldest I have hardly ever had to clean. My youngest repeatedly had dirty ears.
Mentioned to vet, they diagnosed infection and treated and suggested it was an allergy. I was already suspecting he was allergic to wheat as he'd get rashes when he came into contact. So eliminated all wheat (which was only then treats as his food was already grain free) and I have literally never had to clean his ears since. 3 years on!

So that's why vets say allergy. It often is

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Wellhellothere101 Thu 23-May-19 12:44:56

Yes that's exactly what the vets have suggested to me @PrayingandHoping. However my dog seems not to have any other symptoms of an allergy and she always eats the same food. If I knew how much allergy testing might cost I'd give it a try. My vet is bloody expensive!

OP’s posts: |
PrayingandHoping Thu 23-May-19 12:49:39

I got lucky. It could have been something else....

Allergy testing isn't cheap. Is the dog insured? Otherwise try changing his food recipe and see if it improves. Obv at the same time as treating the infection

Wolfiefan Thu 23-May-19 12:53:10

We are allergy testing. For dogs they can apparently cope then the system is overwhelmed and the allergy manifests. I suspect chicken.
My girl it’s yeast. It always is.
It also seems to be affected by her hormones. Is your girl spayed?

tabulahrasa Thu 23-May-19 12:54:06

Allergies aren’t always to food btw...

It was about £500 to do contact allergy tests on my dog at a dermatologist - but he was a large dog and it took 3 goes to sedate him properly, so that will have bumped it up a bit.

PrayingandHoping Thu 23-May-19 13:02:51

No it's not always food, but it's an easy place to start if you don't want to test by doing an elimination diet

PeoniesarePink Thu 23-May-19 13:06:54

Grain free food is the first starting point.

Then get some good quality ear cleaner and Thornit's powder (around £8 off Amazon and it lasts years). Clean daily to get on top of it, then maintenance x2 a week. Then shave as much of your dogs hair as you can around the entrance to his ears so that there is better airflow - I often tie my dogs up with a hair band to let his ears breathe.

I've got a 6 year old cocker and he was plagued by them until we started doing the above.

tabulahrasa Thu 23-May-19 13:14:47

“No it's not always food, but it's an easy place to start”

Oh aye... I just more meant with the OP saying she always eats the same food, food is an easy one to change to see what happens but it not being food wouldn’t rule out an allergy is what I meant.

Dottierichardson Thu 23-May-19 13:27:42

I agree with other posters had this with one of mine – turned out to be allergies to dust mites, wheat, certain plants, as well as mites in kibble. The allergy testing can be expensive but think of how much that is offset by the later savings on meds/treatment for ear infections as well as discomfort avoided for the dog. Also may want to try different ear meds, ours responded well to the newer one Osurnia, the vet administers one dose, it’s left and about a week later you take the dog back and the nurses administer the second dose. Also watch out for hot spots, as recurring infections can also start to be accompanied by hot spots in the vicinity of the infection. I sorry you and your dog are going through this, it’s a pain for the dog and as you say can end up being quite expensive. Could also try Piriton see if it helps, can give a dog a standard one pill dose to help calm allergies down, the same one as for humans, BUT must be normal Piriton NOT Clarityn, Piriteze or any of the others.

Dottierichardson Thu 23-May-19 13:29:19

Also the fact that the food has been tolerated for a while doesn't necessarily mean not allergic, ours was fine for two or three years then became allergic.

PrayingandHoping Thu 23-May-19 13:34:25

Mine had the same as @Dottierichardson it's very slightly more expensive but has better success rate

Wellhellothere101 Thu 23-May-19 13:40:41

Thanks everyone. She has been spayed and we have insurance for her. I give her Burn's dry chicken and brown rice food every day with some bran flakes. Her food says it's suitable for dogs with allergies and intolerance. She also gets treats though (dog treats and the odd bit of cheese blush) so allergies may be coming from the treats. Good idea about the Piriton. I'll try that.
I've got Thornit powder at home as recommended by the breeder but I've never found it that great. Perhaps her ears weren't clean enough to begin with though!

OP’s posts: |
PrayingandHoping Thu 23-May-19 13:47:20

Hypoallergenic dog food needs to be taken with a pinch of salt!

Chicken is one of the most common allergens for a dog....

Veterinari Thu 23-May-19 13:51:25

Please don’t use thornit - powder should never be used in ears.

OP please simply try the cleanaural a couple of times a week. It’ll shift wax and help to ventilate her ears. It’s pH balanced and non-irritant.

If infections are still occurring then allergy testing is a good idea. Her insurance should cover it

OliviaBenson Thu 23-May-19 13:54:44

We had this with our dog and allergies were suggested. In the end I used a watered down white vinegar solution and washed them out every day for 2 weeks (lots of info on google about it). Turns out it was just a chronic infection that the expensive stuff wasn't fully clearing up.

MissShapesMissStakes Thu 23-May-19 14:05:56

Can you ask your vet about the costs? When my dog had an ear infection as a puppy the vet said that if he ended up getting recurring ear infections he would bundle up the costs of treatment and testing together so that the insurance would cover it once the excess was paid.

steppemum Thu 23-May-19 14:58:28

ok, so I have springer spaniel who has had a recurring infection for a year and we have finally got rid of it.
this was the process:

ear cleaner, plus drops once a day for about 10 days.
return to vet
continue with cleaning and drops until the vert announced it clear.
she checked it each time and instead of one week with antibiotics, we ended up with 3 weeks, until it was clear.
continue to clean 3 times per week for a while
go back after month to check.
Then it recurred again.
after repeating the above (this was 3rd or 4th time he'd had it)
we then went to a long term steroid drops. once or twice a week, clean and steroids.
That stopped it recurring and now he doesn't need anything.

BUT early on they sent off a sample to the lab so that we had the correct antibiotics, and every time we go to the vet,she takes a smear from his ear and looks under the microscope, so she can see if there are still bacteria, or yeast.

floppy ears are prone to them, and also worse if your dog swims (our doesn't)

steppemum Thu 23-May-19 15:02:23

oh and costs, unfortunately for us, ours is a rescue and it was a preexisting condition.
But vet said she could bundle them all together as the same recurring infection for our insurance if we wanted to try.

Bookworm4 Thu 23-May-19 15:03:07

One of dogs had recurring ear problems in one ear, it was found she had a very narrow ear canal, they were surgically flushed and we now clean 3 times per week, also on a grain diet, definitely all made a difference.

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