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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:07 PM
Stay Awake Stay Awake is offline
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Aggressive dog with ear infection

I have a two year old, 65 lb, aggressive male dog. He's had a reacurring ear infection for quite some time now. I've taken him to the vet twice and gotten oral medicine for it (he won't let me put drops in his ears), but once the meds are gone, the infection comes right back.

My dog is extremely protective of me and he's not real used to being around strangers, so every time I've taken him to the vet, they've had to sedate him to even look at him. And the way they have to sedate him is horrible, they get a short leash, hog tie him to the door, and stick the needle in him from behind. He soils himself and squeals every time. It's the most horrible thing I've ever had to watch. Not to mention, the sedation fee gets expensive. We've tried putting muzzles on him but the second we bring one into the room, he gets mean, snapping at anyone who tries to put it on him, including me.

His ear infection is probably the worst it's ever been right now, I feel so bad for him. If I try to even touch it he yelps and he's constantly shaking his head. I don't know what to do for him. I don't want to put him through all that at the vet again.

I bought some ear cleaner for dogs at the store, and I actually think that's what's making it worse.

Are there any alternatives for me here?
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:15 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Welcome to pets.ca, StayAwake .

I think if I were in your shoes, I'd call around and try to find another vet who has some better experience dealing with aggressive dogs . You may want to try to sedate him at home with meds before taking him to the vet's. He may also have a yeast infection in his ears which is why oral anti-biotics aren't working. As well, store bought ear cleansers made one of our dogs' ears much worse too because of the perfume in it.

Perhaps once his infection clears up, if possible, you may want to consult an experienced behaviorist about his aggresson issues. You'd be amazed all you can learn to help de-sensitize him to things he now fears.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:22 PM
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Blackdog22 Blackdog22 is offline
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GET A NEW VET ASAP.

I have a protective dog as well, weighing 95lbs.
He will NOT allow strangers to touch him, no way. He will however be polite and responds exceptionally well to commands. When we take him to the vet, he too has to be sedated, our vet will not dare come near him unless he is. That being said, to get him sedated the vet obviously has to admimister the shot. This is where constant OB and respect pay off. I put him in a sit-stay, while he is muzzled and the vet swiftly (and in a very unchallenging way) gives the shot, he then immediately gives us privacy until our boy gets dopey. IF my vet asked me to muzzle my dog so he could hog tie him and fight him to give the shot....I would likely walk out the door and never return. A good vet will NOT aggrevate the situation, but instead accomadate the dog or politely refuse service.

Ear infections are very painful and dangerous if left untreated. My advice would be to find a vet who feels confident and comfortable with dealing with aggressive dogs. That should be your first step.

After treatment you will obviously need to look into prevention.
First you need to get to a dog trainer whom is EXPERIENCED with aggression. You must figure out what type of aggression you are dealing with. True dominance aggression is actually fairly rare in dogs, so I would put that at the bottom of the list of possiblities until you speak to someone qualified. What breed of dog is this?

From what you have written it sounds more to me like learned aggression due to fear or enviorment.

If it is dominance aggression, you will need to do ongoing work with a trainer for the safety of the public and your dog. It is NOT right to keep and house an aggressive dog unless you intend on taking steps to control it. To simply live with aggression without taking all nessecary steps is IMO very irresponsible.

I wish you the best of luck!
Keep us updated.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:26 PM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is online now
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Recurring ear infections are frequently related to diet. What do you feed your dog?
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:29 PM
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He's an australian shepherd/lab mix.

I know his aggression isn't from being dominant. He's just really protective of me. Plus, he knows what the vet is now, and he absolutely HATES going in there (what dog doesn't?).

I didn't like the fact they had to hog tie him to the door, so I actually did go to another vet, and they did the exact same thing.

I'm an 18 year old living on my own, not making a lot of money, so I can't pay for training classes at all. He's gotten better with strangers over time, but he will never be ok with the vet.

If I could put him in the sit/stay position and let the doc give him the needle really quick, I'd do it, but he won't have it. The minute he felt that needle he'd attack. I've tried holding him by the collar with all my might while they do it but he's just too strong.

I don't want his infection to get any worse, I just don't know what to do.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
Recurring ear infections are frequently related to diet. What do you feed your dog?
I feed him Iams lamb and rice formula. If money's super tight sometimes I get Beneful salmon and rice formula. He's got a sensitive stomach so I stay away from chicken and beef. He's also got skin allergies, his vet has told me to give him benadryl, which did help with his skin but not with his ears.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:34 PM
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You can'tget near him at all with ear drops? Are you afraid of your dog StayAwake? Perhaps someone at your local Humane Society/SPCA can give you some hands-on training advice?

Sugarcatmom also has a very good point about diet in relation to ear infections. Corn and wheat based diets can be major contributors.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:40 PM
Stay Awake Stay Awake is offline
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It's kinda complicated with the ear drops. The first time I tried it, he let me squirt them in there, but once he felt it he freaked out and shook his head frantically, so there was hardly any medicine left in his ears. When I tried again, he snapped at me. I'm not necessarily afraid of him, if I'm not trying to treat his ears, he's a big sweetie. It's just a little scary when a big dog snaps at you.

How would I sedate him at home? I've heard about oral sedatives you can buy over the counter but I've also heard they're not really effective.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 08:59 PM
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The sedatives would have to be prescribed by a vet.

If your dog does indeed have a yeast infection, we found that Surolan drops (also vet prescribed) is what worked best for us (ear cleansers will not help clear up an infection). I didn't think to warm it up in my hands for several minutes the first few times we used it so our dog wasn't too thrilled with it either. We started rewarding our dog with the yummiest treats every time we administered the medication and now she lets us near her ears without so much as a flinch.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 09:04 PM
Stay Awake Stay Awake is offline
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Thanks for your help.

My vet's office was closed today, so that's why I created this thread. Hopefully tomorrow I can call them and see if they can give me some drops for him without having to bring him in. I think there was actually some yeast found in his ears last time. I was going to see if I could swab his ear and just bring that to them, I doubt they'd let me do that though. I just absolutely do not want to go through that awful process with him again.

He has gotten better with me touching his ears since I bought that cleanser, even though I ended up having to just soak cotton balls in the stuff and rub them in his ears. Hey it's a start, right? He used to not even let me do that.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 09:10 PM
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Throughout the day, every day, you can ask him to sit and while offering him a treat with one hand, you can lightly touch an ear with the other. Start slowly but frequently. As the days progress and his comfort level increases, you can start to hold onto an ear lobe for a few seconds, and eventually put your fingers in his ears. You can also alternately hold the small bottle of ear drops in one hand while you give him treats with the other. Try touching his ear with the closed bottle too. He'll eventually positively associate with hands and the medication bottle on/in his ears.

Good luck with getting this infection treated .
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 10:09 PM
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Excellemt advice Luckypenny. Definitely worth doing, and I like the idea of warming the bottle a bit too. Your vet should be willing to give you a mild sedative if you need it to do the treatment yourself. Good luck.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 11:02 PM
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It's amazing what a bad trip to the vet can do. Our first dog got a cortizone (sp) shot from the vet in his leg for a recurring limp. I've never heard such a sound come from any dog. After that he turned into cujo if you even thought about touching any of his feet, or had to take him to the vet. We changed vets. Our current vet was wonderful with him, although Freddie still turned into a nasty piece of work there. It never daunted the vet at all. He had to have bloodwork done at least once a year for a thyroid problem. To get him there we had to throw a hotdog into a hockey bag and then zip him up in it with just his head sticking out. Then we could get the muzzle on him. Once at the vet the vet it would take 3 of his to hold him down while the vet took the blood. It was always an adventure. Then back into the hockey bag and the vet would insist on carrying the bag out to the car, and Freddie was no light weight. The vet loved Freddie and still talks about him. My parents had a cat that was also horrible at the vet. I used to have to take him for his shots when he had to go and wore numerous sweatshirts and 2 pairs of leather gloves to handle him while there. The vet was bitten by this cat more than once and never ever refused to treat him or show any signs of anything but caring and affection for the cat.
I hope your dog can overcome his fear of vets, but if he doesn't, having a vet that has compassion and genuine love for animals makes it easier, no matter how aggressive the dog.
At home, you may have to muzzle your dog, as we used to to do any treatment with Freddie, but staying calm and not getting excited to add to the dogs anxiety certainly helps.

Cindy
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Old March 24th, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Phoebespeople Phoebespeople is offline
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bacterial/yeast ear infection

Our dog had an ear infection and soaking a cotton ball in the medication and rubbing it in her ears was the only way to get it in there. One tip for preventing a bacteria or yeast infection in the ear is to use diluted vinegar, 50/50 in water, soaked in a cotton ball, and massaged in your dogs ears. It changes the ph balance in your dogs ear and bacteria and yeast wont grow. I wouldn't use it on a dog with an advanced infection, it might sting. I got this tip from a labrador/hunting dog website, they have to deal with dirty water in their dogs ears causing infections all the time, I suppose. It also makes your dogs head smell like fish and chips for a while, better than the smell of an ear infection though.
I have no advice on the agression issue though, sorry.
Good Luck!
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