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Chronic ear infections in dogs-what to do?

If you notice a smell coming from your dogs ears, if you see a brown discharge, if your dog is scratching his ear or shaking his head, you need to to treat your baby for an ear ear mites or an infection caused by moisture and yeast in the ear. 


Ear mites are a tiny spider like parasitic mite that usually live in the ear canals but can also live on other parts of a dog or cat's body. Ear mites are the most common cause of ear infections seen by vets.  More commonly found in cats than dogs, they are still a considerable cause of ear infection in the canine population. As they feed they bite through a dog's skin, causing discomfort and pain. Other symptoms of ear mites include black or dark brown discharge from the ears (this may resemble ground coffee grounds), sores or hair loss around the ear. Left untreated, they can cause your dog considerable pain and damage to the eardrums.


The other common cause of ear infections is yeast-- caused by moisture trapped in the

ear.  Dogs with floppy ears are especially prone to yeast infections in the ear canal.

Left untreated it can cause pain and even lead to hearing loss.  Hair can grow in the ears, causing moisture and wax to build up. This hair and wax needs to be removed.  I just had the groomer take a look at one of my Yorkies.  She took an instrument and took hold of the hair in her ear and gently twisted the hair out.  There was no pain to the dog, but I was surprised at the knot of hair and dark brown wax that came out of what looked to me like a clean ear!  Be sure to have your groomer or vet check your dogs ears periodically.  


An infestation of mites usually causes an allergic reaction in most dogs.  Since an infection caused by moisture and yeast in the ear can produce similar symptoms as ear mites, it is important to get a proper diagnosis from your Vet. 


If your dog has mites, and there is a buildup of debris in the ear, the ear will be cleaned with an ear cleanser and gently swabbed out with cotton. Anti-inflammatory drugs or an antibiotics may also be prescribed to relieve infections. A routine ear cleaning once a month can inhibit the presence of ear mites. If your pet has recently recovered from ear mites, be sure to thoroughly clean his bedding and check your other pets for infection.

If your Vet has determined your pet has an ear infection caused by yeast, he or she will prescribe an ointment-- to be used twice a day.  The one I recently received for my dog is under the name "Tri-Otic Ointment" by Phonex and it has worked for him--my dogs have only had an occasional ear infection. 


My mother's dog however, has had chronic ear infections for years in his floppy ears. My mother tried different foods, and diets--thinking his problems were caused by a food allergy.  He would improve for a time, and then the ear infections would start again, which would necessitate another visit to the Vet, and more meds. She was running up quite a vet bill-- on a retirement income it was becoming a drain on their finances. 

Every time Bailey had a new infection, the Vet prescribed the same salve.  My mother asked if there was anything else they could try since the infections reoccurred so often. Her Vet said, "No--this salve was the only medicine we use".

Recently I was researching this problem for her and came across three products on Amazon that had a huge number of favorable reviews.  I placed an oder for all three and had them delivered to my parents. When Bailey recovered from his last ear infection, she began cleaning his ears weekly with Zymox Ear Cleanser With Bio-Active Enzymes,

For the first time in years, Bailey has had a long periods of pain free, normal ears.  Gone is the redness and scabbing that used to plague him!   I also got her Zymox Topical Pet Cream with Hydrocortisone and Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone 

(both very favorably reviewed on Amazon) which she has yet to use because the Zymox Ear Cleanser has worked so well. While he still gets ear infections from time to time, the frequency has been greatly reduced with my mom's home treatments with the Zymox products.

If you have chronic issues with your pet's ears, please do some research on these products. They might bring relief to your fur baby and save you money and trips to the vet.

Regular cleaning once a week with a solution just for ears (especially after bathing), will help prevent an ear infection and keep your doggie happy and healthy. A gentle blow dry also helps. Making sure those ears get dry can help prevent yeast.

Here are some how to videos to show you how to clean your pet's ears.  

Scroll down for how-to videos.

Be sure to give your doggie lots of TLC and keep them healthy!

If you live on Long Island and need to board your little dog, please visit my website

Long Island Small Dog Boarding with The Doggie Nanny. TLC for little doggies...minis, toys and teacups!

Private home boarding. Suffolk County, Long Island, New York.

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