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IMHA holistic approach
Posted: Mon, Aug 3 2009
My 5 year old toy poodle has been scratching his ears lately.
His ears are red and flaky most of the time due to the aggressive scratching. There are also some yellow-brownish kind of cream-like texture in his ears when I go to clean them. I believe that the yellow-brown stuff dries up and becomes the flaky stuff I see in his ears. I take a wet cloth to clean his ears and there's a lot of the yellowish-brown stuff. He also has been shaking his head very often and intensively. I don't really know how to describe his ears, but I'll post some pictures later on (since I just cleaned it).
So I thought it might be an allergic reaction to the food he was eating. So I switched to Blue Buffalo brand from Eukanuba cause I've heard that Blue Buffalo was a good choice for dogs prone to allergies. It helped for a few weeks, but his ears went back.
Has anyone else have this problem with their dogs? Please help me out and let me know. I really want to relieve me dog from the pain he is going through : (
Has the vet ever sent off a culture and sensitivity of his ears? That would be my first choice. They'll grow whatever's in his ear goo, and test different antibiotics and antifungals on it, then tell your vet what will work the best.
It may be a sensitivity to food but likely **underlying that** is just plain atopic (inhaled) allergies -- often a food change may help but usually atopic allergies underly everything and can keep such symptoms riled up at least seasonally or even all the time.
You will definitely need another vet visit because that sounds like quite an infection going on -- and the huge concern is that altho it may simply be a yeast infection, there **can be** a dangerous bacterial infection deeper in the ear canal which can go completely undetected and which can feed continued ear infections, and can ultimately either cost the dog his hearing or literally can be fatal if untreated.
Ask the vet to not just look at the outer ear but to do a deep exam with a culture and sensitivity test -- that may seriously be why the ear infection returned so promptly.
It is also entirely possible that the atopic allergies are also contributing to the soreness of the ears and the presence of infection (inflamed tissue is open to anything from staph to more serious, severe stuff).
If your regular vet isn't giving you the answers you feel are necessary, I would suggest you try something else -- either a holistic vet or even a different vet. Some vets are more at east treating allergies than others.
But don't expect allergy problems to just disappear with a food change -- dogs grow INTO allergies and the often worsen as they age. Sometimes it's seasonal, sometimes - depending on your own situation -- they are just day to day. Dogs can be allergic to everything from hay, grasses, trees, etc. as well as other environmental allergens like dust mites, wallpaper, mold (like in a damp basement), etc. that may be a part of his environment. Generally they require more aggressive treatment periodically and sometimes day to day maintenance.
My allergy dog does really well on Zymox drops (not ear cleaner -- these are drops I use daily) -- but those are usually more for maintenance than for *treatment* of a current problem.
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