Since Misty is only 15 weeks old, I have spent 99% of my time on this forum in the "lab puppy training" section. However, we have had our first medical issue. Though I am sure this has been asked, and answered before...
Misty yesterday starting scratching her ears -- to the point, on her right ear, of making it bleed. One glance to my untrained eye (and a sniff from my untrained nose) told me she had some sort of ear infection. As soon as I got home from work, I took her to the vet -- and they looked at some "ear gunk" under the microscope. They determined she has both a bacterial and a yeast infection in her ears, and gave me some antibiotic pills, some ear drops of some sort, and some cleaner.
My questions (after absorbing the $100 vet bill!! ) are:
1. What might have caused this? (no change in our activities with her, no recent baths, no reason for water in her ears; aside from the weather here getting warm, I can't think of much change at all).
2. Is there something preventative that I should be doing to minimize the threat of this happening again?
3. If this does happen again, is there a way I can buy appropriate medication online or something, enabling me to give her appropriate care of her ears without having to see the vet (and thus save some money)?
Thanks so much in advance.
Did you change her food recently, or start giving her a new kind of treat?
Generally speaking, don't mess with a dog's ears if they don't have an infection. Look at them and check, but don't clean them for the sake of cleaning them. It messes up the pH balance of the ear and will breed infection.
Try the "purple stuff" that people swear by on here. I made a post earlier about recurrent yeast infections and there is a link to stuff you can buy. There is also a recipe if you want to try to make it at home, but I do not have that.
Coles Mom --
No new foods, no new treats.
Don't mess with the dog's ears? Got it.
I'll check your post for the "purple stuff."
Here's the ear article from Labby's website and the recipe is in there.
You sound like a really great lab Dad.
It very well could be just the change in seasons.
Make sure those ears are kept dry. Floppy ears don't get much air circulation and can get sweaty and wet in there leading to yeast infections.
We are currently battling one of these as well.
Always be sure to dry the ears after they go swimming or bathing.
<3 01/01/2006-03/18/2017 <3
Our Sadie is almost a year old now and we haven't had any ear trouble for almost 4 months. But between her being 3-8 months old we had probably a good 5 ear infections, (2 being really bad). We tried switching her food to no prevail, she got antibiotics once or twice, steroids once or twice(to help with the inflammation), we used a couple different types of ear drops, and even a couple different types of ear flushing solutions. We spent quite a bit more than $100 with our vet bills, let me tell ya' :
In the end, it was the ear flushing (twice/day) in each year along with a dosage of antibiotic/antifungal pills that inabled us to "nuke" (as our vet put it ) her last big outbreak. The ear flushes invovled filling her ear with the solution and massaging her ear canal for a minute in such a way as to loosen the gunk up. Sadie would then shake it out (fun part), and then we would look for and clean out all gunky bits if any visible. Oddly, we have had no problems at all since then and that was like 4 months ago. Nothing has changed in her diet or her general routine, (and we have actually been less strict with the occasional special treats and peanut butter, as for a long while Sadie wasn't allowed to have hardly anything but her food so we could keep her diet as controlled as possible).
So what caused all these ear infections in the first place? ??? Good question! I don't think we'll ever know.
Coles Mom --
Thanks for the kind words, and the link!
Thanks for your info. Sounds like my vet also took the "nuke" approach, as we are doing the flushing, two types of pills (at least one of which is an antibiotic), and some ear drops (I think that is the antifungal). Her ears have been great since the day after we went to the vet; I guess my only question now is whether to clean the ears regularly, or if that would do more harm than good. Do you still flush Sadie's ears, as a preventative, or was that something you did only when she had the infections?
You say to keep her ears dry -- which is fine, except that they are not getting wet (except possibly perspiration compounded by the warmer weather). She has not been swimming and has not been bathed recently. Just off the top of my head, is there anything (like a powder or something) that is recommended to keep the ears drier?
Steve what are you feeding her now? Check the food and see if it has any wheat or corn in it. She might be allergic to those items. You did the right thing in taking her to the vet.
Since we did the full 7-10 days worth of flushes and the pills (pills were for two weeks I think) as well as drops, we have done absolutely nothing to Sadie's ears. I kinda figured we might have to do a 2-3 day thing every month or something like that, but we ended up just waiting to see what would happen, and nothing did. I do know and meet many people that do clean their dogs ears regularly as a preventative though. I guess it depends on the dog. If Sadie had mustered up another infection or two by now, I might have gone the preventative route. But as the general rule of thumb goes, if you don't have to mess with the ears...Don't.Originally Posted by steveandginger
I say go through the flushes/pills/drops as directed by your Vet and then just wait and see what happens from there.
Also, did your vet look into Misty's ears with a scope at all, or was it just a glance and then a Q-Tip swab? I suppose it doesn't really matter..but our new Vet has a scope that he looked into Sadie's ears with that in turn, let use see what the scope could see via a TV screen. Pretty neat. It allowed us to see the problem first hand and what the ear canal looked like before and the after the treatment. Basically it allowed me to know for sure that the gunk was gone afterwards, man that stuff goes down deep. Now when I go see our vet for whatever, I always ask "hey, think we I can just get a glance to see how her ears are doing?"
Keep us posted. Sadie wishes Misty a gunk free recovery!