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Ear problems, anyone hazard a guess..?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by GoldenShadow, Jun 30, 2010.


  1. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Vets said a while ago all they can do is test for allergies which wont be cheap so they said do what I'm doing and try to pinpoint it or keep the ears as good as I can and if it gets worse etc we will have to do some tests on him.

    He's a golden retriever and his ears are very often red and enflamed. Allergy vets thought last year, shot of steroids etc and all gone. Came back, was put down to grass pollen. Then it started happening in non pollen seasons so his food was changed and it still happened. Thought it could be mites, think he does get ear mites as Thornit cleared them up a couple times and the symptoms fitted.

    Problem is Thornit isn't solving it now (doesn't look like mites either to be fair) and his ears have been not 'normal' for about 8 weeks in the last 10 weeks. I didn't think to take pictures before but his right ear looked like a wax build up inside, but his ears on the outside were rather dry and scabby (not dried wax, it looked different to that). Cleaned them up with ear drops as told so his ears are now hopefully clean and I've put some Thornit on. I just can't see what is making his ears so bad. He seems to cope OK with them but at this rate I'm going to have to do ear drops at least twice a week and he is so good with everything, but he really doesn't like ear drops and I don't want to have to give him them if there is something else I could do for him :(

    Does anyone even know anything that works well for ears? I have Bepanthen but it didn't soak in and just stuck all his fur together so had to cut some of it out, seemed to work a bit though. Might try calamine next. Do you think its worth cutting some of the hair away from his ears so air gets to them, or leaving them hairy? They are a bit bare at the mine as the Bepanthen matted it all up :eek:

    This is what his ears look like now all clean etc:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 GoldenShadow, Jun 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  2. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    Ahh bless him they look so red! What county are you in. My mum had this homeopath come and look at Jonty, her Cocker. He gets horrendous sores on his feet, ears and eyes. They also thought it was pollen, but this guy also thinks he is allergic to beans of any type. His prices were really reasonable. Mums opinion was she would try anything if it meant he wouldn't spend the rest of his life on steroids. It would depend on which area you are in though. Let me know if you want some more info. :)
     
  3. rona

    rona Guest

    My god they are red :eek:
    How often are you cleaning them?
    Alfie's ears go red when I've cleaned them because they are quite sensitive
     
  4. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    oh bless him,they do look sore!
    you say you changed his food,what was he on and what is he on now? Is there any other sore areas?
    Do you use a washing powder for washing his bed etc.if so could it be that? some dogs react badly to washing powders.
    Have you tried Aloe vera gel at all?(applied thinly) thats great for all sorts of sore/burns/healing etc.
     
  5. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    I'm in Lincolnshire but moving to Essex. Do you know how this guy works out what it is that's wrong?

    They didn't get any redder after I cleaned them, they were just like that before, if not a bit paler now as they are covered in a fine white powder. Ear drops have salicylic acid and say to use up to 2-3 times a week, I have done his once early last week and then this morning just because they needed a clean and the ear drops are meant to loosen the wax deep in so you can wipe it off. Some people have said you should clean em every few days but my vet says bet left to nature if possible as they shouldn't need people to clean their ears out, so he thinks do what I am doing and only intefere if its not clearing itself up (I check them at least 3 times a day and usually give them a day or two to improve a bit).

    He has been on Fish4Dogs dry for a few months now and seems to get on well with it. He is fine in all other areas.

    He doesn't actually have a bed :eek: He tends to wreck them so he has some blankets on my bedroom floor but never really uses them, he just sleeps on the carpet mostly so he isn't really exposed to washing powder I don't think.

    Not tried the aloe vera, is there a certain type I should get or is any old Aloe Vera gel good?!

    Thanks for the replies guys :)

    He doesn't seem in any pain with his ears and he never scratches at them or shakes his head, he really is very good bless him.

    I might well do an ear diary and post pics on here throughout a week to see how he goes. This morning it looked in his ear canal as though he just had grotty dirty ears that needed cleaning but there was nothing like that yesterday it just came up overnight which is what is so odd, ears don't get filthy over one night do they, I thought it builds up...
     
  6. sue&harvey

    sue&harvey PetForums VIP

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    He is base in North Norfolk, but may still be able to help. (Mum) Denise,Jonty&Dulcie would be able to explain better. (lots on at the mo, so will get her too when she gets a chance).

    Jonty had to be medication free for a week, so no piriton, eye drops, ear powder or shampoos.

    She arranged for him to come to the house on Saturday morning 10 pm. He arrived 30 mins early and stayed till 1 pm and only charged £45 consultation fee :thumbup: ( did mum and dad as well as the dog) :lol:

    He had a machine with 2 probes (cost him £15 000 :eek:) which rigs up to a PC programme. The probes touch the skin and then the info is read by the programme. Apparently shows any imbalaces in vital elements. They think Jonty is missing a enzyme (sp) hence his allergy problems.

    He then uses a laser type thing which the programme "loads" the laser with the necessary "elements". When the programme reads the results, the balance is improved. (Unless you are my dad and it took 4 goes :rolleyes:)

    He also made some soloutions up for his paws to be bathed in and some for his ears and eyes.

    I know some would be really sceptical but mum was really impressed. As she said anything is worth a go, and it was cheaper than one visit to the vet. It's not a mirical cure, but takes a while.

    I probably haven't worded that very well, but when she gets a chance I'll get her to explain it a bit.

    Apparently when he did mum, he said she suffered from SAD, which she does but she had not told him, and her light box is upstairs.

    He is licenced to do humans too but thought there is more need with the four legged varieties. :)
     
    #6 sue&harvey, Jun 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  7. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    That's certainly something worth thinking about, thanks very much for the info :)

    I just gave my vet a call to ask if Dawn was in at all (its three branches of the same vet) only to be informed that she moved to a vet at Lincoln (an hour away) a month ago :crying:

    She was the only one he really calmed down with...think we might go to visit the chap who does dermatology there just to see if he thinks its anything other than an allergy. Its just so weird that its only EVER his ears and not anything else that is affected :confused1:

    Got a big lump of wax in the less pink ear at the minute so going to put some drops in I think. Apparently allergy tests start at £100, but insurance covers them. Got a pre appt on Friday to have a look at them with the intention of allergy tests if that's what it is, and to look at the lump he's got and these things that look like bites near his winkie and to do his anal glands :eek: Bloody expensive dog :rolleyes:

    If he goes I will just request that he be sedated from the off I think, save him getting all upset. He gets so excited with all the people there but because he's had his anal glands emptied etc I don't think he really likes the place and then he jumps when the vet touches him and wriggles about so they can't do anything :(

    Its a real bugger not knowing what makes them look so sore, he seems not at all bothered but it looks so sore, this is them now, I think the right one looks a bit better than before...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    I had this same issue but in one ear of my fella. Wasn't as inflammed but very gunky and irritating. We did swabs and allergy tests and things would go well for a while but then it would be back. I kept a diary of food eaten, locations of walks, central heating on, basically everything... Vet wnated to keep on medicating which I hate.

    I started looking into his diet and even on the best kibble foods (trialed many) tthere was minimal improvement. He now eats home made/raw and his ears are spotless. It has been over a couple of years at this stage since we have had a problem (touch wood!).
    I use ACV in water with honey to clean and slightly warm the mix so it is more comfortable going in. Then clean and dry well.

    Best of luck with it :)
     
  9. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Hi Tinsley.you had loads of usefull advise there, Sues reply is really interesting.got to be worth a go!!
    Just found this online;
    Aloe Veterinary Formula to soothe irritations
    Just as an example,But i believe it comes in all forms for lots of different ailments.
    Iv just bought some organic aloe vera gel from my health food shop to help with my sun allergy rash,its brilliant,very soothing and fast healing.Youve nothing to lose,as its all natural.

    What is your carpet made of? (wool/nylon) ,do you use carpet smelly sprays/cleaners?
     
    #9 Bearpaw, Jun 30, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  10. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Raw isn't possible for Roo. Where Mum is moving there just wouldn't be the space and as much is a vegetarian I wouldn't really want to make her chop it all up for him, she probably would but she really wouldn't like it :nonod: (I'll probably be at uni in the week). Thanks for your reply :)

    Its a wool mix apparently but we don't do carpet cleaners really, not since before we had Roo as no one is ever really up there enough to dirty it :lol: Roo has only been allowed upstairs in the last 2months ish anyway, before that he was banned and there was a stair gate.

    This is what I mean its so hard to pinpoint it :( It might not even be an allergy but something isn't right with his ears in general...
     
  11. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Hi,unfortuneatley allergies can be so to trace.
    Can i ask which fish4dogs he is on and also what exactly he was on before??
    (may be nothing to do with food,but be interesting to check the ingredients in both for possibles).Also does he get alot of sleep in his eyes? do they get gunky at all?Anything else you can think of,does he smell any more than he did,are hi poos ok?
     
  12. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Well funnily enough his breath has been a little off lately but I am really sure that isn't the food, its just the odd day and I think its more a case of him having been sick from eating grass or something. Been on Fish4Dogs for at least a couple months and he has been perfect, same for the wet he gets.

    He is currently on Working Fish4Dogs (the same as Finest Fish ingredient wise) and Nature's Harvest wet food (was Nature's Menu a while back but I wasn't giving that consistently and the ingredients are literally the same, and I pretty much weaned him off that for a bit in case and this has all been happening without the wet). So I would take it basically as him being on the Finest Fish 4 Dogs dry, he's not properly been on the wet yet and symptoms aren't consistent with it.

    Before he was on Applaws Dry and some wet with it. I realised all the awful rumours and got him off it after about 2 weeks. Before that I believe it was Arden Grange Ocean White Fish and Potato. That is what sorted him out with the delicate tummy issues once and for all but it didn't have as much meat as I wanted (the Fish4Dogs has a higher content as did the Applaws).

    His eyes used to get quite gunky, but to be honest they have been better of late.

    So overall, he's on Fish4Dogs dry, was Applaws Chicken, before that AG Ocean White Fish. Breath is a bit iffy once in a while last 3 weeks or so, eyes fine.
     
  13. Bearpaw

    Bearpaw PetForums VIP

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    Obviously he has had some great foods,and its briiliant hes on one that sorts his tummy as well as being a good food.Theres not much in any of the foods that would be a cause for an allergy,with the exception of possibly beet pulp and brewers yeast (this is known to be the cause of some allergies),but im not convinced its the food.
    Its probably more likely to be something like house dust mite/mould spores/pollen/flea/grass etc,so therefore an inhalant allergy.Im guess the only way to know for certain would be for an allergy test via the vets.(as they arent things you can easily illiminate)
    Iv probably been no help whatsoever lol (but hey it kept me out of trouble for half an hour :) ) I really hope you get some answers really soon.But do try the aloe vera,brilliant stuff!
     
  14. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    No its nice to be quizzed makes me think a bit more, I really appreciate it thank you very much :thumbup:

    I will ask the vet if I can ask for specific allergens to be tested, would be nice to ask specifically for the beet pulp and brewer's yeast to rule that out, then I could stay safe with it!! The vet said last year when he suspected allergies that if he does have issues with them food will be the next problem so he suggested I went on something hypoallergenic which was when we started to change over time. In his life he's had James WellBeloved, Pedigree for about 2 weeks shock horror lol! Alpha (original, original extra and gold), Arden Grange, then the Applaws and now the Fish4Dogs. I keep him away from pork/beef usually as proteins are meant to be harder to digest and that helped sort his tummy out a while ago.

    He caught fleas off the cat once when he was a pup but apart from that he's not had them. Our cat is allergic to fleas though, poor bugger! I am wondering if you are right and its dust mites or spores or something. He had flares up November/December time last year etc.

    Will let you know how we get on Friday and after that, thanks for all the replies everyone :)
     
  15. Assuming someone has checked that there are no grass seeds embedded deeply in the ear!
     
  16. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    Ears today! As you can see his right one is less red but very scabby. I am convinced its not wax because I can't wipe it off or anything and its too attached in the middle. Looks like his skin has just dried up and is scabbing off :( Might be better by vets tomorrow so have will show the vet the photos on my phone lol..!

    Do you think they are more scabs/dried skin too? His wax is normally dark brown but they are very well attached to the skin of his ear, making me think it is dried up skin :confused1: There are more of these bits than it looks too..Its a recent thing this, didn't used to happen when his ears got iffy, this is maybe the 2nd/3rd time (once yesterday, once today and may have once in the past but cleared up before I went to vets etc).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  17. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Going by these pictures the flakes look more like dry skin than wax. Actually, you know what they look like - they look like scabs that you get after an allergic reaction.

    I cannot believe how red the ears are. Considering how long this has been ongoing, they don't know what it is? Poor paws!
     
  18. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    The vet we like the most (after our favourite who left lol) doesn't want to keep giving him steroid shots and is of the opinion that if we can manage them and keep them calmish most of the time to go down that route. This is at a point right now where what you see in those photos is too much and too bad for me to see him with so he is off to the vets Friday. He isn't fussing or sad or shaking his head or anything, there is no inclination there is anything wrong with his ears unless you look. A different vet at the same practice who is good at his job but Roo doesn't like much, was the one who suggested an allergy last year. He said though that in his opinion unless it got unmanageable it probably wasn't worth doing tests for because its expensive, not too pleasant for the dog and it may just be as simple as pollen and as soon as the pollen goes he is fine. Then both the vets and myself thought it could be ear mites and I think he did have those once or twice but this reaction now in the summer seems much more like an allergy.

    I will actually be very pleased if this *is* an allergy because I'd rather it be that than not be able to find out what it is. I just wonder if it is an allergy because its only his ears no runny eyes/nose or anything...

    Its an odd one. I just want to know what it is. Pollen seems likely to be honest but then he had a flair up in November/December time, so that doesn't then add up again...Maybe he had mites then in Nov/Dec but now its an allergy in the summertime, I dunno but I want to know! Roo doesn't love the vets so I think he will need sedating to be properly looked at and for the allergy tests if that is what he has done. The vets know he gets jittery while he's there which is another reason they said if he seems OK and the ears are managable/improving with creams/thornit etc just treat it like that when it occurs and only when it gets too much, like now put him through the sedation/being properly looked at. The vet had a look a month or so ago when he had his hips x rayed and was knocked out but he said they looked perfect then, and they were.

    Poor little Rupey :(
     
    #18 GoldenShadow, Jul 1, 2010
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2010
  19. momentofmadness

    momentofmadness PetForums VIP

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    My mum got a GR from a rescue many years ago and he had what Im sure the vet said cauliflour ears..

    Them ears look very hot and sore, is the dog scratching them alot?

    Also i wouldn't clean them out to much as they have natural oils that they need.. and if your clean them out to much you may find you either dry them out or the dogs skin goes into over drive and produces loads of oils..

    Both are not good for the dogs ears...
     
  20. GoldenShadow

    GoldenShadow PetForums VIP

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    He doesn't do anything with them. No shaking no itching no pawing no rolling, nothing at all :nonod:

    I cleaned them a bit yesterday as I could see some wax down the inside and have these ear drops which are meant to loosen it up (vets prescribe them but I bought over tinternet) so he had some of that in. Aside from that I have the same thought as you and don't clean them unless see they need it. People have said as he's a retriever I should clean them every few days but in all honesty I check them and if they have nothing there I don't clean them, its very rare I do anything with them...They never look gunky though so I don't think its a wax problem, maybe it is, least its a simple explanation but I don't know.

    Its really odd Roo just isn't at all fussed by them, he's happily asleep on the sofa right now lying with his head down on the more sore looking ear. They aren't making him bat an eyelid.
     
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