Hello Lab Lovers!
I have a 1 1/2 year old black Lab. He seems to be suffering from more than his share of ear infections/problems. There is no ear mites, no pus, no itching. He shakes his head constantly and his ears are red and warm to the touch. He is on Science Diet Weight Management, he gets NO table scraps or foods. The last time I took him to the vet for this, it cost quite a bit of money. I have 2 home remedies in mind, but my question is, what, if anything, can be done to prevent future problems? Thanks for your help. Kim
Floppy ear dogs are notorious for ear infections because moisture gets trapped and offers a great environment for bacteria and yeast.
If your dog already has an acute ear infection, there really aren't any shortcuts....you need antibiotics.
But...as for prevention, pick up some Epi-Otic from your vet. It's an ear cleaning/drying solution and can be used after swimming, after baths, etc.
If parasites have been ruled out, there are a few other things that can contribute beyond the moisture level. Food allergies, flea allergies, ticks bites, etc can also contribute.
Chronic otitis--even otitis externa can create long term problems as the cartilage actually thickens and and can block off the ear canal sufficiently that hearing loss or even worse ear infections can take place.
But at minimum, weekly cleaning with an ear drying solution and then using the same after swimming or bath can help reduce recurrence.
You can google "otitis externa canine" and get lots of good articles on cause and prevention.
Baloo had major issues with yeasty ears from the time he was little. His ears were always bad, had lots of infections regardless of what brand of food he ate. It wasn't until I took him off all carbs altogether that his ears cleared right up, no more gunk at all, despite swimming quite a bit.
Hope you find something that will work for you!
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
As has already been mentioned, ear infections can be a sign of a food allergy. I'd try changing his food. The last time I looked, Science Diet foods had chemical preservatives (which is what Mick reacted to), plus, if I remember right, they are pretty heavy in corn, which some dogs react to.
Change his food.
Change his food.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
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Ditto the food change. Science Diet isn't the best of foods to begin with, but their weight management foods are generally worse ingredients wise. Why is he on a weight management formula if you don't mind me asking? as a young dog, he shouldn't need to be on one. An adult maintenance food should be just fine for him. If he is overweight or prone to weight gain, just adjust his feed and exercise levels accordingly. Weight management foods are a con -- they use poorer quality ingredients and bulk up the fibre content to make the dog poop more, thus appearing to lose weight faster. You can get the same results by using a maintenance formula and reducing the amount you feed.
Tucker had that problem as well...I switched his food to Royal Canin Duck and Potato and he hasn't had a problem since (knock on wood)...I highly recommend it!!
+1 on this.Originally Posted by Trickster
I have not had a single ear issue since I put my dog on a grain free food. We use Wellness CORE but there are others out there as well. Take the advice about changing the food.
I agree, change the food!