Chronic Ear Infections in Dogs

Hope for chronic ear infections.

By | Posted: Mon Jun 27 00:00:00 PDT 2005

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Case History
Hunter is a 3-year-old Golden Retriever owned by the Swenson family in Rhinelander, Wis. For two years they diligently tried to keep Hunter's ears clean, visited the veterinarian often, and administered medications. Both ear canals became so overgrown with scar tissue that it was impossible to treat Hunter medically. His life was miserable, and due to the odor of his infected ears, he no longer got the hugs and kisses he deserved; and the odor from his ears was noticeable throughout the home.

"When we found out that a surgery could be done on his ear canals," say the Swensons, "we started to think that maybe this would be his best chance for a happy life. Plus, we were quite tired of all the cleanings and medications, and still not seeing much good come of it. Now that he has healed from surgery he's like a new dog! He's so happy and frisky. You can see the joy he has in his life again. The kids stopped playing with him a long time ago, due to the odor and messiness of his ear infections ... but now they are overjoyed. They've got their dog back."

How can you know when to consider surgical intervention? Veterinarian Dan Degner is a board-certified specialist in veterinary surgery, working at Michigan Veterinary Specialists in Auburn Hills, Mich. He lectures at national surgical meetings and teaches microsurgical techniques. He says, "Surgery is an excellent option for dogs that have chronic ear infections that are unresponsive to medical therapy. If a dog has developed such a resistant infection that no medication will work, then surgery sh ould be done. In addition, if the ear canal has become thickened and scarred, surgery should be done." The message is that surgery should be considered long before advanced scar tissue and bony infiltration occurs. If your dog has been suffering from long-term ear troubles, consulting with a veterinarian experienced in lateral ear canal surgery could give him a new lease on life.


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CC   Duncan, BC

2/25/2011 8:27:56 PM

Diet people. Ear infections are due to an imbalance within the body. Out of control bad bacteria re: Yeast imbalance. Yeast loves sugar so cut out all high glycemic foods, incuding grains. Carrots, peas, sweet potatos etc. Build the immune system up do your dog can resist infections.

If you feed a commercial food diet, rotate the food each bag is a good rule of thumb. Know what every ingredient is in the food you feed. Research each ingredient and it's connection to yeast problems in dogs. It is not easy to find a kibble that works good for dogs that have a yeast imbalance but what we use in Go Natural Salmon and Oatmeal Formula. The oatmeal, a grain, is a small price to pay to be able to feed a kibble without the sugary vegetables and brown rice factors. No problems to report due to the oatmeal. These diatary changes have been remarkable for my dog. No more yeasty smelling ears, no more scratching the ears and sniffing paw, no more licking paws and scratching at her body. This works for us. We are what we eat and diet is always the key! Medications, antibiotics and such add to depleting the immune system which needs to be built up and supported, naturally. Just because a kibble has promotion that states ow great their food is, it is up to us a fur parents to know exactly what is in the foods we feed our dogs, not go by just what the sales pitch says. Research and learn so to understand exactly what goes into making the commercial food you feed and what exactly all the ingredients are. Likely there you will find the reason(s) that your dog has developed problems. Before an ear infection, a problem, with diet started long before. That is why we can feed our dog the same thing (commercial food as many do) day in and day out for years before problems develop. Start now and avoid unrest in your dog later.

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Bob   Toms River, NJ

11/7/2010 10:41:54 AM

I have a 9 year old female cocker spaniel. She has an ear infection. I am seeking a second opinion.I was told by my Vet. that she has cocker ears. Also I was advise she would have to go under surgey. which would result in them removing stuff from her ear which would make her deaf in one ear. This would be a last resort when it comes to me. Can you help(give any advise).

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Cindy   Pleasant Grove, UT

3/12/2010 3:41:05 PM

I am so thankful I found this web site today. My Lab has endured 5+ years of chronic ear infections. I have done everything possible to help her. Just watching her scratch at them, I know she is miserable! Lateral ear canal surgery could hopefully put an end to all her years of constant suffering.

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