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Cocker Spaniel with Itchy Ears

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Cocker Spaniel with Itchy Ears
  • I have a 7 year old male Cocker Spaniel who is in otherwise good health.  I have taken him to the vet 2 or 3 times for ear problems.  When I lift up his ears he has a scaley yeasty looking ear flap.  The vet has given his cortizone shots and prescribed predisone, but this is the 2nd time around using this and it is not that effective.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  I heard that someone uses Gold Bond for their Retriever's hot spots, but I'm not sure that this is a good choice in the case.  I am open to any suggestions as my little Sammy is pretty miserable.  Thanks so much for your help and advise.
  • When I got my cocker, one of the many problems she had was ear infections.  It looked as though her ears had never been cleaned.  I got some prescription drops from the vet and cleaned her ears every day for 2 weeks with the drops.  Her ears healed and now I do a weekly cleaning.  It sounds to me like you are beyond that, as this has been a reoccuring problem for your dog.  When I found out her ears were infected, I did some research and found this recipe for ear wash.  Had her ears not healed, I would have considered using this, and still have it saved to my favorites.  [linkhttp://www.zimfamilycockers.com/EarCleaner.html]http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/EarCleaner.html[/link]

    This is actually a breeder's site, but I have found lots of good info on there.  I hope he starts feeling better soon!
  • Your vet should do more. I had a Cocker with infections and she just got pred. shots etc. This is over 20 years ago... I would see a derm. vet, a specialist and really get some good treatment. It is so serious with Cockers. I had to have her ear canal removed, very serious surgery. If I had her now, she would see a specialist like my dog now does. Trudy is fine because of her doctor.
    What food does your dog eat? This often is part of the problem.
  • My cocker also has recurring ear infections, to the point that my vet now wants me to give her antibiotic drops every week as a preventative.  I don't like the idea of prolonged use of antibiotics, so I think I'll try this ear cleaner you listed NC cockermamma--it sounds hopeful.  I remember back in the '70's they used to say put boric acid in cocker's ears to keep the yeast infection at bay.  With the mixture of ingredients, this sounds like it could work. 
    p.s. If you can't find boric acid locally, you can always order it online.  I think I saw it at drugstore.com as I was considering getting some before I read this.
  • I've got an English cocker whose ears were swelled SHUT when we took him 3 years ago (and he's about 8 now).  Ohhh his ears were SO bad.
    Allergies can cause recurring ear infections -- hot spots develope IN the ear canals which can lead not just to yeasty infections but also *deep* bacterial infections.
    Honestly all of you who are fighting this need to have your vet do a "culture and sensitivity" FIRST.  Often to keep costs down vets will just hand over tube after tube of yeast drops or even something mild like genticin.  But unless that bacteria is CULTURED so they know *exactly * what bacteria it is and what will kill it (that's what the 'sensitivity' part does -- it will give you a list of what drugs will kill it and in what order!!).
    Once that's ascertained and treated -- I have used the Blue Power Ear Solution (from the old AOL cocker board!) with super super success.  It won't kill a bacterial infection but it's SUPER for yeasty ears. 
    Then for maintenance I like Zymox a lot -- it's enzymatic and keeps the ears nice and clean but helps you cope with the allergy stuff too. 
    But please -- don't just expect your vet to 'know' -- often they won't suggest an expensive test (the c & S is about $100) BUT if you don't get the ear infections stopped and the inflammation goes on and on ... then the ear canals ossify and suddenly you've got a dog whose ears *can't* respond to drugs because the blood supply to the ear has been cut off.
    This is my second cocker -- the first one came to us with 'bad ears' -- and I had a vet who screwed around and didn't give me anything strong enough to FIX it and I didn't know about the C & S.  By the time the bacteria was diagnosed the ears had ossified and we had to do bi-lateral ear ablations on him -- literally they REMOVE the ears surgicially -- don't let it go.  Sorry -- I've 'been there done that' -- getting a diagnosis and getting the infections FIXED is soooooo important.
  • PS -- if you do a search on here for "Blue Power" you'll find the recipe -- if you don't find it, email me and I'll send it to you.
  • See the "Blue Power Ear Wash" in this post:
  • calliecritturs
    Then for maintenance I like Zymox a lot -- it's enzymatic and keeps the ears nice and clean but helps you cope with the allergy stuff too.

    Callie, I found 3 Zymox ear products.  Do you use the enzymatic solution with or without hydrocortisone?
    Zymox Ear Cleanser - 4oz 
    Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution Hydrocortisone Free - 1.25oz or 8oz
    Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution w/ Hydrocortisone (1.0%) - 1.25oz or 8oz
  • curlover
    When I lift up his ears he has a scaley yeasty looking ear flap.

    Grains tend to promote yeast.  There are a number of grain-free foods:
    The list includes Origen Puppy(link).
  • Thank you everyone for your wonderful advise and quick replies.  Callie, I ;printed out your recipe for Blue Power Ear (alcohol, Boric acid, gentian violet) and will try it immediately.  You said that this is also good for the outside flap portion of the ear?  Can I apply it to the flap with a cotton ball?  You are right in that when he itches his ears he starts whining and rubbing.  I feel so bad for him.  Thanks Callie and I look forward to hearing your reply.