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 Post subject: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:20 am 
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I have a three year old Cocker (Murphy). He has had a chronic ear infection in both ears for almost 2 years. Nothing seems to work. We have tried multiple food changes, constant ear cleaning and use of Mometamax and Zymox -- The only time we get some kind of result is when he is placed on steroids.

Can anyone provide me with some options, suggestions?

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:27 am 
What are you cleaning with, how are you cleaning, and how often? Steroids take down inflammation and will help with allergies. Usually not food allergies though. You are probably best off going to a dermatologist to get this cleared up once and for all. Then keep him on a regular maintenance schedule of cleaning with one of the products most recommended here. The K-9 Liquid Health or Zims solution.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:42 pm 
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Hi Andy

Welcome to the forum!

Have you read my suggestions about how to treat ear infections at http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/EarCleaner.html?

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Please take Murphy to a pet allergist; it costs more money up front than a regular vet but in the long run they will be able to make a more accurate diagnosis therefore saving you money and saving Murphy from being uncomfortable. My Mandi had to have myringotomy in both ears and is now on allergy injections in addition to allergy pills (the allergist puts dogs on a much higher dose of allergy pills than vets because dogs metabolize pills differently than people do) and a homemade diet. Before going to the allergist I spent almost a full year going to my regular vet with very little results and my little girl was uncomfortable for so long :bang :bang

Here is an additional thread which you may find helpful viewtopic.php?f=35&t=8319

Leigh please chime in here how important a specialist can be :th-up

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Sasha~Chocolate Sable~1/30/2010


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 3:41 pm 
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Hi Andy

Arlo's mom - Leigh here.

I agree with both Julie and Debbie. Debbie actually pointed me in the right direction when this happened with Arlo.

Basically - What we learned was that if the infection is in the middle ear.
All the treatments don't clear up the problem. He had been on antibiotics, steroids and food changes.
Each time - as soon as the meds stopped. The infection showed up in the canal again.

The ONLY way they helped was the treatment in this link below:
It shows you the treatment and follow up.
All the posts on this page show the testing, images of myringotomy and follow up treatment.
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=7378&start=25

Also - sadly, the dermatologist won't go straight to the myringotomy (just in case there in not a middle ear problem)
..They don't want to puncture an ear drum if they can avoid it.

For this reason - your first stop will be a CT Scan. I was SO grateful Debbie let me know of this - as Arlo had suffered for a few months.
Once treated his personality changed to a MUCH happier puppy.

Best of luck and please don't hesitate to write with any questions.

Leigh & :Parti Arlo

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:52 am 
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Thank you for your replies.

I use Epi-otic Ear solution to clean his ears, however now that he has been on zymox the vet says do not clean the ears, just use the zymox. His ears are no longer and itchy, however his both ear canals are swollen. He doesn't display any other allergy symptoms, just chronic ear infections.

The last two weeks, Murphy has been throwing up at night, religiously between 330am-530am. It ranges from a light brown to clear bile, no solid food. My vet told me to give him a little food and Tagament just before going to bed. It's been almost a full week with no throwing up, but he will still smack his lips and lightly gag -- always 330am-530am NEVER during the day???

He is also on doxycyline for Lymes just about finished with his 30 day prescription. However, the throwing up started before the meds.

Murphy is eating Natural Balance Duck and Potato recipe. Thoughts? Are there other limited ingredient with different protein sources that you would recommend?

I appreciate all of your suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:33 am 
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Andy, chronic ear infections is a sign of allergies.

The swelling in her ears may likely be from fluid in the middle ear. This is not something that will go away no matter what ear medication or diet changes you make. The only way to take the swelling down, if in fact there is fluid in the middle ear is having a myringotomy done. If you can find an allergist in your area they most likely will recommend putting Murphy under and going down the ear with a camera to see what is actually going on inside. This is not something a regular vet will do or should do, it really is for a specialist. My allergist has told me some stories where a general vet will try to do the procedure with horrific results. She also tells me it is quite painful to the animal to have the fluid build-up so please find an allergist so Murphy can get some relief.

As far as the diet goes you can try an allergy elimination diet once the ear issue is addressed. Your allergist will be able to guide you on how to proceed once they have solved the ear swelling mystery.

Good luck.

_________________
~It's All About The Girls~
Mandi~Buff~11/4/2008
Sasha~Chocolate Sable~1/30/2010


Waiting At Rainbow Bridge; Lexi ~ Buff ~12/11/2008 - 10/17/2017 [i]and [/i] Brandy~Red/White Parti Cocker~7/96-11/2008


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Andy,
One of my girls has had chronic ears for her entire life (8) years. What works the absolute best for her is to keep the ear canals dry. K-9 Health ear cleaner or Zim's recipe is the best we have ever used and we have spent a fortune on meds, and other ear cleaners. My dog has very heavy ear flaps, it is always warm in there. She has improved so much from feeding Wysong's Epigen line. We also feed lots of fresh meats, etc. Dr. Karen Becker has some great videos regarding canine health. Her website might prove helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 8:40 pm 
You still don't say how you go about cleaning the ears? Most people swab around with cotton or q-tips, cleaning every nook and cranny and irritating the ear canal, causing it to swell even more.

Since your vet hasn't exactly been able to fix your problem, I'm not sure I'd be following their advice at this point.

A dogs ear has a horizontal and vertical canal. It's important to 'clean' deep in the canal. IMO that means flooding it with an appropriate cleaner and letting the dog shake out the excess.

I have a client who had a cocker with horribly swollen ears. I recommended K-9 liquid health and after years and years with the vet, ears controlled. However, I noticed last time she was in the ear was swollen again. When I mentioned it she said oh I guess I'll have to start the cleaner again. Apparently I didn't mention that it's a weekly or twice weekly thing that needs to done forever. Maintenance is the key. Just not treating when an infection pops up.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:22 pm 
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Hi Andy,
Welcome to the Forum! You have arrived at a place where people care deeply about their dogs, most of whom are cockers. Collectively, there are hundreds of years of experience here!

I have plenty of experience myself, from owner and rescue perspectives, but Julie H is one of my most trusted go-to people regarding all things medical and/or grooming. She has an incredible amount of experience in those areas, along with being a well-respected breeder and cocker mom of many.

So specifically to your concern about chronic ear infections-
I used the Zim recipe for many years on my own dogs and rescues. I also used lots of stuff from the vet on the rescues. (I did not have success with Epi-Otic. I always felt that it probably lost it's potency in a couple of days; the odor and viscosity of it changes quickly after it's opened.) The Zim cleaner works Great! But then I got lazy, not wanting to make it any more, and started using the K-9 Liquid Health that Jule talks about. It works Great, too.

I use it weekly. In the summer months, outside, I fill the dog's ears, they shake it out. In the cold months, I stand them in the tub, fill the dog's ears, pull the shower curtain closed, they shake it out. If I'm not bathing them right away, I just wipe off any excess liquid.

Long ago I was taught to stuff cotton down into the ear canals, squish around, pull out, and repeat. I always felt that caused more irritation than it solved, and it turns out I was right! I'll never do that again.

Honestly, it's really that easy. And I have NO ear problems with my own dogs, and solved so many with the fosters. It is my opinion that sore ears are a huge factor in cockers being abandoned; the owners can't get a handle on it and the dogs are miserable.

>>>> Regarding throwing up bile, do you feed him once or twice a day? Many cockers do better with smaller feedings twice a day, as evenly spaced as you can do, i.e. 6am, 6 pm.

I hope you can resolve these challenges soon. You and your pup will be happier!

_________________
Chris
Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:44 am 
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My Maggie suffered with ear issues. I finally took the advise of others on this board, not only did I get food allergy testing done, I also got the environmental testing done. Turns out she had a bunch of environmental allergies (cedar trees, dust mites etc) I made the house as good for her as I can and run an air purifier, wash or steam clean all the areas that she hangs out or sleeps.

That and being religious about her food intake--avoiding the foods that showed up on her food allergy test.

She has not had to be on steroids for almost one year now. Occasionally she will get itchy feet, and I'll check to see what I have lapsed in taking care of.

Yes, the test were expensive but in the long run, she is much happier and the vet bills are lower too.

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Maggie, rescue cocker, mommies little girl
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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:45 am 
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Like Julie and Chris, I am a proponent of the K9 Ear Solution from Liquid Health http://liquidhealthinc.com

I first put some into the dog's ear and then I massage the outside base of the ear for 60 seconds (I usually do this whole procedure with the dog on a table - it's easier on my back and makes it easier for them to understand I want them in one place, not running off to play. I also "sing" to the dog during this ... I sing my count of 60 and try to make it a fun bonding time with the Cocker ... people would think I'm due for a visit to a mental asylum if they didn't know me and saw me doing this - LOL!). So, massage for 60, then I DO use a cotton swab and clean out the outer ear canal, reaching into the ear (unless it is too inflammed and cleaning that area would be an irritant ... as you use this treatment that will go away pretty quick). As Julie already taught us, a dog's ear canal is more of an L shape, so you can't risk puncturing the ear drum if you clean deep into the canal. But as Chris said, if it's too irritated, wait til later in the process as the ear heals.

Next step for me: put cleaner into the ear again and massage for another 60 seconds. This time I don't clean, I stand back and let the dog shake it out (the gentian violet, the active ingredient, can stain, so do this out side or as Chris does, in the easy to clean shower - great tip!).

If your dog has active infections (and it might easily be active inside the ear where you can't see it, don't forget!), then you'll want to do this anywhere from 2x a week all the way up to 3x a day (depending how extensive the infection is). As the ear gets better, you can slowly cut back until you at 1x a week - and this will be maintenance for life. I recommend it for all Cockers, whether or not they get infections. Even if you had the most healthy of Cockers, that never ever got an infection - this is good time together on the table, teaching them to stand for groomers, vets, etc!

When I finish an ear treatment (or eye goop application, or teeth cleaning, or ... you get the idea) I treat the dog with a special, to die for cookie. But I give it to the dog while she is ON the table, not on the floor. Over time this teaches the dog that the sooner they stay still for the treatment and get it over with, they get a special treat. On the table - not on the floor, where they would think they have to jump down to for the cookie :wnk I also never let the dog jump up or down off the table (I used to use a low table on my deck in my old house, they could easily get on and off themselves) - this way I am in control of when our time on the table ends, and reduces chances of injury during a high jump.

We had Ginny in rescue - until her I had never seen calcified ear canals, only heard about them. The Rescue vet knew I did a lot of more natural treatments, and he almost apologized that he'd have to do an ablation on this one :cry But I didn't let him convince me. Ginny's foster mom Eileen was WONDERFUL about treating her ears three times a day. At first she was sure it wouldn't work - Ginny was so blocked Eileen thought the liquid wasn't even getting down the canal. But she trusted me and kept with it (we're both stubborn, and friends, I think we were each privately betting we'd each be right - although we both wanted it to work for Ginny's sake :gig Fast forward - 6 months later, we had another look with the camera down Ginny's ears at the vet - he swore we had brought him another dog! :neen Her canals were pretty pink, not inflamed red, and wide open! Being 10, and having had such severe calcification, she did have some permemant hearing loss, but she could still hear the cookie jar opening from the other room. :Clap :Clap

I LOVE K9 EAR SOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:14 pm 
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Chronic Ear Infections -- The story continues....

So my wife and I were gone to Mexico for a week. We gave Murphy to our friends to watch. During the 7 days, his ear infection cleared up completely. The swelling went down, and no wax build up. I couldn't believe my eyes!

We bring Murhpy home and within three days, the infections are back. There was absolutely no change in food while we were gone. Our friends are on well water, so we decided to get a water purifier since we are on city water. We have hardwood floors with some small areas of carpet. NO furnace or duct work for that matter, we have baseboard heat. What is it in our environment that is causing this? Ideas?


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Sounds like your dog has a yeast infection, hate to say this but N/B duck and potato feeds that yeast infection in side the intestines. Any drugs kill off the beneficial bacteria.

SandraJ is correct on trying this food (WYONG'S EPIGEN) it's starch free as starch feeds the yeast inside the dog. I had our higher end pet store order it for me, but I don't have a problem.

Vet Dr. Karen Becker
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl_X1I1GJ1Q

Wysong Epigen™ Starch Free™ Dog Food, Cat Food, Pet Food
http://www.wysongepigen.net/
Wysong Epigen™ is the first and only dry kibble Starch Free™ dog food and cat food. With 60% protein and 60+% meat and organs, Epigen™ is the most ...


Andy Haase, do you have fluoride in the drinking water?

Good luck


Last edited by Joe in North Bay Ca on Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:57 pm 
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Andy,

WOW! So that's quite remarkable! Cleared up spontaneously in 7 days and back in 3...Yikes!

A couple of things occurred to me as I read this,

First, and this may sound like a rather silly question, but, do you have a cat?
The reason this comes to mind is that I have a friend whose border collie is allergic to cats. I had never heard of a dog being allergic to cats, but it has been vet tested and documented for that one. (Possibly your dog and cats were separated while you were gone, thus removing an allergen for your dog?)

Second, it's entirely possible that something in your municipal water is bothering him intensely , i.e. fluoride, or other additives, on their own or interacting in the water.

Third, conversely, it's also entirely possible that your friends have a mineral in their well water that cured the problem. You might want to ask them for a copy of their last well test to see what their mineral content is. For instance, naturally occurring magnesium [manganese] in the water could have the effect of balancing his system and allowing him to heal the infection. (in my experience, the guy/company who does the well test is the most knowledgeable; have a chat with him.)

IMHO your house sounds pretty "clean" allergy-wise, and the food was the same, so I'd sure be looking carefully at the water. Ha. Also, ask your friends if he drank the water there! I had a dog who would go for days refusing to drink "foreign" water! I carried water in my car for years for her.

Good luck in your detective work. Be sure to let us know what you find out.

_________________
Chris
Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:35 pm 
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here's a question ... what does he get for cookies/treats/extra yummies at your house that you either didn't give to your friend, or they didn't use when you took it over with him?

This IS a mystery - but the upside is that we know there is a trigger and this doesn't have to be a lifelong battle :joy

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:Parti Indie Kodak's Canyonview Little Miss Independant, CGC, ThD (in training)
:Parti Bennett Kodak's Canyonview The Best Is Yet To Come, CGC, ThD (in training)


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:31 am 
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Just to add my experience in the mix re food allergies, which might well be the cause of the ear infections: my cocker can only handle raw/cooked food, but not dry dog food (regardless of the ingredients). So he is on raw food only, and only certain meats that he is not allergic to - in his case it's turkey and pheasant and occasionally venison and fish. It might be worth trying a raw diet with him if you haven't yet.

All my dogs also get thornit ear powder once a month or so which keeps their ears clean and free from infection and mites. I know that both my cockers would suffer from ear problems if it wasn't for thornit powder, as whenever I leave it too long, they start rubbing and scratching their ears. As soon as the powder is in, they stop. I find that sprinkling their ears every 2 - 4 weeks or so suffices to keep them problem free. :sm

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:53 am 
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Vera
Have you tried the new starch free kibble?

Wysong Epigen™ Starch Free™ Dog Food, Cat Food, Pet Food
http://www.wysongepigen.net/
Wysong Epigen™ is the first and only dry kibble Starch Free™ dog food and cat food. With 60% protein and 60+% meat and organs, Epigen™ is the most ...

Like I said, possible more minerals in Celtic sea salt will help, I have changed to using it, felt strangely for a week as the body was supplying the minerals to lacking organs. Had a bad knee, had a bad back. HAD. To cheap to work? I put in over five miles in yesterday and the knee should had flared up. Three miles is or was the limit.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:39 am 
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Wow, that is wierd! I would bring a few gallon jugs over to your friends and fill up and use that water and see what happens. Next, triggers, carpet in your home, hardwood in your friends? What do you have they don't that could trigger the ear issues, which I am sure you have been thinking and thinking about. Hope you figure it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:38 am 
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Forgot, cities send out either every six months or yearly report what's in your Municipal drinking water as they test it. Most people toss it away and never read it. If you rent I'm sure you don't unless you pay your water bill.

The Safe Drinking Water Act sets standards for drinking water and mandates the Environmental Protection Agency set Maximum Contamination Levels (MCLs) for a number of pesticides in public water supplies. Private water supplies are not monitored or regulated by this Act.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:23 am 
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Heard this on AM radio this AM.

ABC news: Are pesticides in water linked to food allergies?

Are pesticides in water linked to food allergies? New study released
Examiner.com-15 hours ago
Pesticides in the tap water are the culprit. Who knew? Organic food enthusiasts and advocates have been saying these things for a very long TIME!

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 112912.php


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:37 am 
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Joe in North Bay Ca wrote:
Vera
Have you tried the new starch free kibble?

Wysong Epigen™ Starch Free™ Dog Food, Cat Food, Pet Food
http://www.wysongepigen.net/
Wysong Epigen™ is the first and only dry kibble Starch Free™ dog food and cat food. With 60% protein and 60+% meat and organs, Epigen™ is the most ...

Like I said, possible more minerals in Celtic sea salt will help, I have changed to using it, felt strangely for a week as the body was supplying the minerals to lacking organs. Had a bad knee, had a bad back. HAD. To cheap to work? I put in over five miles in yesterday and the knee should had flared up. Three miles is or was the limit.


I haven't and as I am in the UK, it isn't available here as far as I know. Raw food suits my guys well and I wouldn't change back to all kibble. My two normal dogs (without food allergies) are on half grainfree kibble/half raw, but my American cocker with multiple food allergies is on just raw and doing well on that (he used to throw up regularly when he was on dry food - any dry food). He also gets coconut oil on a daily basis that helps his digestion too. :sm

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Mum to Flash (Saluki), Jesse (American Cocker Spaniel), Skye (English Cocker Spaniel) and Blake (Saluki Lurcher). RIP Troy and Dylan!


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:58 am 
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Vera wrote:
Joe in North Bay Ca wrote:
Vera
Have you tried the new starch free kibble?

Wysong Epigen™ Starch Free™ Dog Food, Cat Food, Pet Food
http://www.wysongepigen.net/
Wysong Epigen™ is the first and only dry kibble Starch Free™ dog food and cat food. With 60% protein and 60+% meat and organs, Epigen™ is the most ...

Like I said, possible more minerals in Celtic sea salt will help, I have changed to using it, felt strangely for a week as the body was supplying the minerals to lacking organs. Had a bad knee, had a bad back. HAD. To cheap to work? I put in over five miles in yesterday and the knee should had flared up. Three miles is or was the limit.


I haven't and as I am in the UK, it isn't available here as far as I know. Raw food suits my guys well and I wouldn't change back to all kibble. My two normal dogs (without food allergies) are on half grainfree kibble/half raw, but my American cocker with multiple food allergies is on just raw and doing well on that (he used to throw up regularly when he was on dry food - any dry food). He also gets coconut oil on a daily basis that helps his digestion too. :sm


With a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt, add some Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to the vegges. Love that coconut oil, your doing great. Just look this up.


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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 4:36 am 
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I'd try the raw diet.....

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 Post subject: Re: Chronic Ear Infections, HELP!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:11 am 
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Hello All,
Please pardon my ignorance and i must admit i am new in this forum and i just adopted a 3 years old cocker spaniel. I just have some questions regarding the ear infections. My dog is healthy, lively and active and i didn't notice any problem at all, but the ear somehow had a bad smell coming from the ear. Is that a sign of ear infection? Can i use the ear cleaning solution from Jim Zim? Thanks for the advice.


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