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Problems with Lily's ears. (raw feeding?!)

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by SarahPlzX, Jan 14, 2012.


  1. SarahPlzX

    SarahPlzX PetForums Member

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    Since I got Lily in September, she's had issues with her ears. Sometimes they are fine, other times they are sticky/waxy/gross.

    Last week I took her to the vets for the third time, telling them I was fed up of her being aggravated by her ears, and I wanted it sorted (they'd fobbed me off with drops one too many times). It had gotten to a stage where she's scratching her ears to a point where they crackle and sometimes bleed. Yesterday she was sedated and her ears were plucked and cleaned thoroughly. This morning I took her back because it was weeping clear gunky stuff.

    Anyway, the vet asked me what I fed her...and knowing she'd explode, I told her I feed raw (eek!!). She told me I was stupid/silly and that raw is "a waste of time" basically it's my fault that her ears were bad. Well, the seed of doubt has well and truly been planted. I think I initially gave her a bit too much ACV with her food (half a teaspoon- 6kg puppy). Do you guys think this COULD be the problem? I read somewhere that too much can cause ear problems, which is my biggest worry. I don't give it to her anymore. I know raw is the best thing for her. But this is my first dog, and I'm mostly inexperienced :(.
     
  2. dvnbiker

    dvnbiker PetForums Senior

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    did you vet say that it was raw feeding that caused the ear problem?
     
  3. SarahPlzX

    SarahPlzX PetForums Member

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    Nope, just the usual drivel they give you about it. Vets are not normally too enthusiastic about feeding raw. :nono:

    Just the ACV I'm concerned about really.
     
  4. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    Can't comment about Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), as I do not use it however i will tell you about Nelson. Nelson is our Beagle/Cocker mix. He used to have his ears cleaned regularly with drops etc. Since on raw we haven't had to clean his ears at all.

    One thing I would ask is if you are using treats and what they are if you do. Treats are something a lot of people forget about and are sometimes full of poor ingredients.

    The idea of vets not liking raw is a common one. There are some vets however who have looked into it and agree it can be the right thing if you have done the preliminary research to ensure nutritional requirements are met.
     
  5. SarahPlzX

    SarahPlzX PetForums Member

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    The reason I switched to raw was becuase I heard it's good if they've got ear problems. It hasnt gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten better either...if you get me?!

    I didn't think about treats! D'oh. She really doesnt get too many of them, training treats are tiny cut up hotdogs and she gets vitakraft sticks about once a week.
     
  6. Goblin

    Goblin PetForums VIP

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    #6 Goblin, Jan 14, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  7. Beau-a-saurus

    Beau-a-saurus PetForums Senior

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    Hi Sarah, I know how you feel when the vet challenges raw feeding but if you know that the quality is good with no additives I very much doubt this is causing Lily's problems.

    As Goblin says it could be additives in treats she is eating, however I am just wondering if Lily's problems are could be a maintenance problem, I am not saying you are doing anything wrong at all but she looks like a small furry and you say the vets did a big plucking session, can I ask do you regularly pluck her ears and ensure they are cleaned and allow air to circulate as this can really help?

    Beau had horrid ears when we got him, it took weeks of very short, gentle ear plucking sessions (with lots of treats), clipping the hair round the ear opening and using thornit once a week to get his under control. I also suspect beet pulp in dog food sets off ear infections but I have no evidence of this except excluding this from his diet has helped. I also think you have to make sure any infection is totally healed before starting any plucking or you could cause more pain :(

    Again, I do think you are doing right by feeding raw, and doubt you have caused this issue, some dogs are more susceptible and need greater preventative measures, you just need to work out what Lily needs. Good luck with Lily and hope she is feeling better soon!
     
  8. Manoy Moneelil

    Manoy Moneelil PetForums VIP

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    We don't have ear problems to tend to (raw fed) just occasional cleaning.

    On the subject of plucking, this will leave an open rupture of the skin within the ear, any infection etc will be able to get within the skin even if you wipe with disinfectant after plucking. Would it not be 'better' to just shave or trim with a tool like this that just cuts the hair/fur not removing the follicle.

    Has the ear infection developed over time after one incidence of cleaning the normal waxy gunk out resulting in over cleaning over time? A bit of waxy is normal and natural.

    Is the AVC dose too high? Is this affecting the acidic balance within the dog allowing a yeast infection to take hold? I know that ACV is suggested as a cure for yeast infections.

    I have read in the past on the subject of feeding vinegar: "just leave your dog's pH well enough alone", something to consider.

    I do wonder if it might be better to stop feeding AVC and just use it diluted 50% applied via a cotton bud as an ear wipe. Even then make a point of only cleaning one ear over a period of a few weeks and monitor the process or not.

    Something like this I would monitor via a diary along with a series of photographs, taken at the same location at the same time of day, this ritual both maintains the habit and gives the best chance that the light is the same so photographs offer a true comparison day to day.

    Hope you post follow-ups over time as this will be informative to others.
     
  9. SarahPlzX

    SarahPlzX PetForums Member

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    Thank you for your reply! :D

    She gets her ears plucked every 6 weeks when she's at the groomers. I also tend to cut off the hair on the outside of her ear if she'll sit still long enough for me to do it, which she does if I bribe her with hot dogs :eek:. Then she gets them cleaned twice a week with CleanAutral/cotton wool. I think I'll increase this for now to maybe every morning.

    They are looking a little bit better today, so fingers crossed that yesterdays gunk was just a side effect of the sedation.

    The vet has sent off a swab of what was in her ear, and I'm hoping to hear by wednesday if it's something more specific we can treat. :)
     
  10. SarahPlzX

    SarahPlzX PetForums Member

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    Thanks!

    The first time she had a ear infection it was mites, and as she was only 15 weeks, the vet gave us flea treatment which cleared it up. The second time we got Canaural to put in them, which worked for a while.

    I've stopped the ACV completely now. Maybe I could try the ACV mixed with water to clean her ear? I'll have a good read about it first.

    :)
     
  11. dvnbiker

    dvnbiker PetForums Senior

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    just thought I would mention, my girlie is a BC, quite a hairy one at that. When she was about 16 weeks old she managed to get a barley seed stuck right down into her ear canal and had to have it removed by being knocked out. Ever since then this particular ear needs regular cleaning as it gets gunky (no infection I hasten to add) yet her other ear never gets this. Just wondering if it is something that will just re-occur just because.
     
  12. Beau-a-saurus

    Beau-a-saurus PetForums Senior

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    It sounds like you have a good routine going :thumbup1: as Manoy Moneelil says plucking can leave the ear open to infection so maybe she is actually being over plucked in one session?

    In regards to the trimmer, It really would not work with a dog who has hair grow in the actual ear canal. I do Beaus weekly but only do a little at a time, hairs I remove can be over and inch long and are growing deep nt he ear canal :eek: I do use scissors to trim anything round the ear but could not do this inside the ear.

    With regards to cleaning it might be worth looking at a mild natural cleanser which could sooth the ear in case it is reacting to the cleaner, a number of members recommend Petnat, it is natural, alcohol free and very gentle. I actually use Thornit every fortnight but have no need to actually clean.

    As you say the gunk may have been a side affect of the vet trearment and it is good they are sending some off for testng, fingers crossed for you girly :)
     
  13. Malmum

    Malmum PetForums VIP

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    Change your vet, this one is obviously an ill informed tw@t who I personally wouldn't share the time of day with. WTF has raw food got to do with her ears? If anything it would aid her immune system and help them! ;)
     
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