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Old February 1st, 2009, 04:20 PM
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Prone to ear infections?

Hello

In july we got Remington. He was 18 months old and is a chocolate lab. His previous owner had said he had 2 ear infections in the past but no other heath problems. In october he ahd a very bad ear infection that went away rather quickly with the treatment the vet prescribed. 4am this morning I was woken up by remington shaking his head very aggresivily. I called my vet and he let me bring him in to be seen and sure enough he has yet another ear infection! Is this normal because of floppy ears, are there actually dogs that are just prone to ear infection?
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Old February 1st, 2009, 06:34 PM
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Ear Infections

What kind of food are you feeding?? My girls had terrible ear infections until I cut corn and wheat out of their diets. I know that floppy eared dogs have more ear infection as dogs with standup ears, just because of the ear not airing out properly. rustte
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Old February 1st, 2009, 06:55 PM
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Really corn and wheat causing the ear infections, good too know. he's eating Royal canin but I've been looking for a new food
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 12:25 AM
Karin Karin is offline
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Labs are prone to ear infections. They love water and with floppy ears they are prone to yeast infections. Having floppy ears makes their ear canals a petrie dish to fungus.
And labs are more prone to food allergies as stated before, corn is a big culprit. It is used as fillers in most low quality dog foods.
IMO, I would have him tested ...complete sensitivity.
If it's the yeasty type infection you need to take great care in keeping his ears dry.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 05:20 PM
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I have newfs, which also have floppy ears and are listed as 'being prone' to ear infections. However, I have seen a tremendous difference in their ears when they are being fed different foods. In fact I quit feeding one food based soley on the fact that all of a sudden, both newfs had dirty ears constantly.

I clean their ears on a regular basis anyway - but I found a huge difference with just changing foods. Neither newf has ever had an ear infection, they are both 4 yrs old.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 05:25 PM
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Ear Infection

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....e+Lab%27s+ears

Please see this thread
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  #7  
Old February 5th, 2009, 09:21 PM
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Switch to a grain free diet (you won't pay any more than you do for Royal Canin in the long run) and start cleaning his ears on a regular basis with a drying product.

You want products that contain witch hazel, boric acid and/or gentian violet.

Urban Carnivore's Gentian Ear Treatment contains all three and we even use it on ourselves (a friend of mine is prone to ear infections after swimming and she uses it every time she swims now).

Fill the ear canal, squish it around really good, and let him shake it out (outside or in the tub please!). Wipe the outside of the ears, but do not go digging. Do this for three or four days, twice a day if necessary, and you should get some relief. Once the ears have calmed down, you can follow the fill/squish with a good cleaning with a cotton makeup pad (no q-tips please). Continue every other day for a week until the ears are squeaky clean.

After that, every other week or every three weeks should be sufficient. Also, after baths/swimming do a cleaning to remove any remaining water. The drying nature of the cleaner will prevent any yeast overgrowth.

If you don't see an improvement within 48-72 hours, get thee to a vet! In addition, if you see any green discharge, go in immediately. Ear infections, when deep in the canal and allowed to fester, can permanently damage hearing.

Using this program we have never had to treat a dog using anything else. I actually had a client with a ten year old cocker spaniel who actually had his ear canals removed and tubes inserted when he was 2 due to severe ear infections. Because of the operation he is severely hearing impaired and STILL was suffering from ear infections every 8-12 weeks on average. We removed the grains (the dog actually went to raw food, which generally isn't necessary, but in this case the owner wanted to go full throttle) and added regular gentian ear treatments. The dog has been 9 months now, no ear infections. The poor owner is so happy her dog is better but feels terrible for the operation and the ten years of discomfort the dog endured.

A homemade version of this ear cleaner is available as well (google blue power ear cleaner) using pharmacy ingredients. I don't believe there is witch hazel in the recipe, but you can certainly add it on your own.

Some people use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, but I find that the dogs find the smell so disturbing that they scratch/rub their ears to get rid of the smell, thereby aggravating the situation. Others have reported that they don't have this issue, but I also didn't find the vinegar solution worked nearly as well as the gentian or blue power.

And for the record, it's funny how certain breeds are supposedly "prone" to ear infections due to conformation - and yet some are prone due to floppy ears that trap moisture and others are prone due to erect ears that allow in debris and irritations.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Our Lab Penny used to have yeast infections in her ears all the time. They were always smelly and filled with brown goop . We had tried a variety of different kibble and cleaned her ears frequently but the infection always persisted, even with prescription meds. Any type of ear cleaners with perfume made it worse and vinegar burned her sensitive raw ears .

We made the switch to raw, treated her diligently one final time with Surolan, and have never had a problem since...that was over a year ago. Her ears are always squeaky clean and we don't have to clean them at all .
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Old February 6th, 2009, 01:32 AM
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One of my dogs is a 3 1/2 yr old lab and has been on a grain free kibble (Orijen .... www.championpetfoods.com) for over two years now and we have never had any ear infection problems.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 09:57 AM
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Exclamation Brown specks in dog's ear

My question is: why are we told to keep our dogs’ ears dry – such as when we bath them or after they have been swimmings; yet we are told to put lotion/solution in their ears once a week to clean them and also to apply liquid medication. Isn’t putting liquid in their ears the same as putting water in?

The ear cleaner I got from Vet said to put in dog's ear and she will shake it out - but why doesn't she shake out the lake water or bath water?

I took my dog to the vet first time when I saw bits of dark wax in one of her ears and was given medication for her after vet checked into. Since then it has happened three times. I would like to go to the vet each time and have her ears checked (the dog's) but at $80. each time, I wish I knew when there is a problem and when its “just wax.”

If the above sounds confusing, sorry, but I'm still confused. I will check into grain free kibble and also the two ear treatments that 'dry' the ears... thanks

Thanks
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 11:03 AM
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I agree with everyone here. Change the food for sure. Get some ear cleaner from the vet, it has an actual drying agent even though it's liquid form. Use it daily, and if it smells really bad get an antibiotic such as surolan. When it's under control, probably clean a couple times a week or so. My golden lived till 15 with chronic ear problems but if I stayed on top of it he was good. FYI the food didn't change my goldens problems unfortunately, but the routine hygiene did.
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Old February 23rd, 2011, 11:23 AM
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You are right to be confused, Inthedoghouse.

Vets are kings of conflicting information!

I have NEVER concerned myself with water in my dog's ears. When they are bathed, or when they go swimming, their ears get FULL of water.

Now, an excessive amount of water over a lengthy period of time (for example, a weekend at the cottage where the dog has full access to the water) can absolutely allow bacteria to get in there, and in a moist, warm environment such as the ear canal, bacteria THRIVES.

I have NEVER seen a dog get an ear issue from bathing, and we bathe our dogs quite frequently.

After a long swim, when we get home I use the Gentian ear treatment on all the dogs. For two reasons; to keep bacteria from growing, and to remove any bits of junk that may have flowed in there with the water (sand, bits of seaweed, etc.).

Some dogs naturally produce more ear wax than others (like people!) but that does not mean that they have anything wrong with them. Dogs in dusty environments will also produce excess wax. This wax can be removed easily by following the Gentian treatment with a cotton pad (you can buy them at the drug store, round cotton pads for makeup removal, they're about $1-2 for 50 or so).

Use the cotton pad to remove the ear wax after filling the ear canal with cleaner and allowing the dog to shake out the liquid, and try the grain free diet - you should be fine.
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***Above All Else -- Let Science Be Your Guide, and Truth Be Your Goal.***

Lexus - Rottweiler/Cattle Dog - Raw fed, lover of all things humorous
Fable - Cattle Dog/Australian Shepherd - Grain Free - hyper, hyperintelligent, apple of our eye

And of course, the cats Jasper and Pey'j, and the current flock Kenya, Kirby, Sunny, Simone and Duffy.

Last but not least, the endless stream of incoming and outgoing rescue pups!
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  #13  
Old February 23rd, 2011, 04:10 PM
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Inthedoghouse Inthedoghouse is offline
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...thanks

Thanks for the information folks...
I will double check the ingredients in her food (she has a mix of "high end" bought dry, and wet dog food (Beneful) and our food)... and I will try the drying ear cleaner.
I have UBAVET ear cleaning solution but as I mentioned, was reluctant to squirt it in her ears. It's very perfumy too.
Now I have a question about my husband's ears.... (just kidding)
ha ha
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  #14  
Old March 4th, 2011, 03:48 AM
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A bit late to the party, but growing up, we had a lab/golden retriever mix who was incredibly prone to ear infections. We never heard the bit about the food (although I wouldn't doubt it!) but we found that simply cleaning his ears a couple times a week with dry swabs helped tremendously with the infections. Hope your Remington's ears get better (my Remington's ears stand up, so I only clean his ears when he asks. and he does ask, it's the strangest thing)
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  #15  
Old March 4th, 2011, 11:23 PM
reanne reanne is offline
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The difference between cleaning our dogs' ears (putting liquid in) and them getting wet from swimming, is that from swimming it is just water, and the cleaner is medicated liquid that will a) dry out the canal and b) clean it.

My boy swims a LOT so I use the ear cleaner once a week, more if he is swimming daily like in the summer. We are also grain free. I do a more thorough cleaning of the ears about once a month, where I soak a cotton ball in the ear cleaner and have the dog's head in my lap and clean ONLY VISIBLE parts of the ear with a couple of the soaked balls. Then I clean the cracks with a q-tip soaked in cleaner, again ONLY visible parts, NEVER inside the canal. If you can not trust your dog to stay absolutely still do not do this.
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