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Pug with ear infection

May 6th, 2008, 05:18 AM
I am new to this forum so please excuse me if I make a mistake.

I have a male pug about 4 years old. He has an infection in his left ear that has been treated with two 4-week doses of once a day oral antibodics as well as drops in his ear (Tresaderm) twice a day. (Ok, I not great at the twice a day drops.) He still has a mild infection according to the vet and he is now thinking that this is possibly a food allergy. We did put him on a special food because of a problem with calicum build up in his urine a few months ago. He also periodically suffers from ear mites so we use the Advantix and Frontline meds every month. Not that I doubt my vet, but wouldn't a food allergy result in infection in both ears not just one? Any suggestions or thoughts would be helpful. I dread the thought of 8-10 weeks on a special diet with no other food. He is a real scavenger, eating anything and everything that hits the floor as well as a lot of things outside.

Thanks for any tips you might have or any thoughts on whether this could be something other than a food allergy.

Dr Lee
May 6th, 2008, 10:32 AM
any thoughts on whether this could be something other than a food allergy.

I agree with you that allergies, food or environmental, are classically bilateral ear infections and not just one side. However not all pugs read the medical books! So, yes, I think your veterinarian is right that food allergies could be the cause. Your veterinarian does not know if food allergies is or isn't but knows that it is a possibility for the cause to a chronic ear infection. 70% of chronic ear infections are allergy related.

Another option, and possibly the course of action your veterinarian might recommend after the food trial, is to have your pet evaluated by a board certified dermatologist. They can look for the causes of chronic or persistent ear infections other than food allergy such as middle or inner ear infections, persistent and resistant infections, polyps, environmental allergies, immune mediated disorders, etc...

There are other less expensive options however, to find out the answer as quickly and directly as possible then a food trial or going straight to a dermatologist would be optimum. Other options include repeat ear swab cytology, ear cultures, additional antibiotic trials, steroid trials, anesthesia with bulla radiography, etc.. In the long run these sometimes can be as costly as a dermatologist, but sometimes we are fortunate and can get the ear infection solved with additional empirical antibiotic trials as well. I hope this helps. Chronic ear infections can be really frustrating sometimes. :pawprint:

May 6th, 2008, 03:33 PM
Don't try and cheap your way out of this. Fix the problem right. I would do an ear cytology, ear cultures and have the Dr Pull blood and send it in for both food and environmental allergies. Once you get the results have the allergy shots done.

Good luck