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Dog ears flopping violently - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden

November 25th, 2005, 01:24 PM
My dog, a half-border collie, half-german shorthaired, has started shaking her head back and forth rigorously, making her ears flop, as if she's tryin to dry off. She'll make them flop about 12-15 times and then stop, and then do it again about 3 or 4 more times. She will then cease for an indeterminate amount of time, and then start over.

This seems like she might have an ear problem, like fluid buildup or something.

Anyone encountered this?

Thank you.

November 25th, 2005, 01:27 PM
It sounds to me like she is definitely having issues with her ears. Have you looked inside her ears to check their condition? She may have ear mites or an ear infection. What do the inside of her ears look like? Are they red? Any type of discharge? Smell the ears. Do they smell bad?

November 25th, 2005, 03:20 PM
Yeah definetly an ear problem.

I had the some problem with my dog, and it was yeast build up due to the warm moist environment of the dog's ears. I had to take him to the vet many times for the same problem to get some ear drops.

When it was yeast, there would be a brownish discharge and they smelled pretty bad too...

November 25th, 2005, 03:40 PM
If it's earmites, it's quite simple and inexpensive to treat. Your vet can alleviate her suffering but needs to examine her ears before he can prescribe the drops.

November 25th, 2005, 04:03 PM
Dogs' floppy ears tend to close the ear canal and create a moist, warm, dark environment that bacteria and fungi love to grow in. You can buy ear cleaning solution at the vet to help prevent ear infections and ask your vet to show you how to do it. Don't attempt to do it yourself without guidance because it can be incredibly painful for your doggy if you do it wrong, and you can make your dog become afraid of anybody touching his ears very, very quickly.

My vet also said that once the ears are infected, you can't use the regular cleaners because they really sting...

But if you go to the vet, most likely, they'll clean the ears out and if it's an ear infection, you'll get an antifungal, antibiotic solution that you have to administer 1 or 2 times a day for a week to 10 days. You have to be consistent with the treatment though, or you will get resistant bacteria and fungi and your doggy will have chronic ear infections.

November 29th, 2005, 11:33 PM
I examined both ears. One has little balls of ear wax, but the other has quite a bit of wax in one area. I'm going to make an appt and take her in to the vet.

Thanks for your replies, everyone. I'll write back and tell you what the diagnosis is.


November 30th, 2005, 12:14 AM
How do the ears smell?

December 12th, 2005, 12:40 AM
They don't smell that great, but it's probably just a dog smell. They aren't repulsive or obviously indicative of an infection. I still haven't taken her to the vet b/c the flopping has greatly decreased, although sometimes still occurs.

December 12th, 2005, 10:23 AM
Please take her in. It is probably one of the two, ear mites or infection. Either way it needs to be treated. You don't want to just leave it as it can cause deafness if it is an infection that is not treated. These are usually the only reasons why a dog does this except when it is a brain issue or other associated problem. They usually don't do it for no reason.

December 12th, 2005, 10:54 AM
Please have pup checked by vet - it is very probably an ear infection - but there is a chance it is not - could be neurological. Don't know age of your dog, but my pup was a senior when this happened with him and it wasn't an infection. Hope it is something minor.

December 12th, 2005, 11:50 PM
Ok, I will definitely take her in. It decreased in frequency so much that it didn't seem to be of concern, but I don't want to take a chance.

Thanks. I'll follow up to let you know what happened. BTW, she is 3.5 years.

December 13th, 2005, 12:00 AM
Glad to hear your taking her in to be checked. My pups have bad ears lots of problems one of my vets said it could be due to a food allergy so I changed foods and it does seem to help.

December 13th, 2005, 01:46 AM
That's the thing with ear infections though- if you don't get rid of it completely, it's going to just keep coming back over and over, without ever really disappearing, making your doggy miserable.:( I'm glad you're going to the vet.:)

December 20th, 2005, 08:41 AM
Many causes are implicated: allergies (whether inhalant, flea or food based), infectious causes (bacterial, fungal, ectoparasite such as earmites, etc.) and irritant type such as foreign body (many weird things become lodged into the ear canal), frost bite, excessively high/low humidity, and the list goes on.

It is time to visit your veterinarian to find an answer and a fix.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

December 22nd, 2005, 06:59 PM
Sorry it took me so long to reply. I took her in to the vet immediately following my last post. Her verdict was the dog has allergies which causes her to get flaky skin if untreated. She said that this caused problems in her ears as well by leading to a yeast infection. Anyay, she got a hormone shot to cut down on the irritation and some solution that I've been putting in her ears twice a day. The ear flopping ceased immediately after visiting the vet (except for when I put the drops in...she hates that!)

Thanks for your advice and encouragement, everyone.

December 22nd, 2005, 07:06 PM
Just be careful with the shot. It can make them drink more, so be ready to let her out a bit more often for the first few days.;) I'm glad it's all good.:)