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Old 01-07-2014, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crusty Ear Tips

I have noticed over the last few weeks that Jade has been excessively itching around her ears. Also the tips of her ears have gotten crusty looking, almost like a scab. As it has gotten cold outside it has been spreading down the sides of her ears as well, and now she has little patches of hair loss on the back of her ears.

I took her to the vet yesterday and he did a skin scraping that (thankfully) came back negative for mite. She had a pretty bad case of mange when she was younger and I did not want to go through that again! The vet is not totally sure what is wrong so he look some picture and is going to do a little bit more digging. In the mean time he gave an ointment to put on her ears twice a day and told me to start her on Vitamin E and fish oil.

The only thing he thinks it might be is the cold weather (there are been no diet/treat/medicine changes). He said that there is a problem more common in short haired dogs where the cold weather can mess with the blood circulation in the tips of the ears causing the skin to actually die and get that crusty look to it. But he said you don't normally see it in German Shepherds, but since it has gotten worse with the cold weather (I'm in Houston, TX so 30 F is pretty dang cold) he is going to look into it.

I totally trust our vet, he is an old family friend of my husband, and I love the way he treats his clients and patients, but I figured I would do a little bit of digging on my own while he did his. I will take some picture tonight and post them so you can see what I mean by crusty. Anyone ever heard of this or have any ideas what it might be?
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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my Lucille is having the same issue with white crust on the tips of her ears and little white tufts of hair pull out.....I believe its just the cold weather but she really seems to be itching excessively....any ideas?
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abby142 View Post
I have noticed over the last few weeks that Jade has been excessively itching around her ears. Also the tips of her ears have gotten crusty looking, almost like a scab. As it has gotten cold outside it has been spreading down the sides of her ears as well, and now she has little patches of hair loss on the back of her ears.

I took her to the vet yesterday and he did a skin scraping that (thankfully) came back negative for mite. She had a pretty bad case of mange when she was younger and I did not want to go through that again! The vet is not totally sure what is wrong so he look some picture and is going to do a little bit more digging. In the mean time he gave an ointment to put on her ears twice a day and told me to start her on Vitamin E and fish oil.

The only thing he thinks it might be is the cold weather (there are been no diet/treat/medicine changes). He said that there is a problem more common in short haired dogs where the cold weather can mess with the blood circulation in the tips of the ears causing the skin to actually die and get that crusty look to it. But he said you don't normally see it in German Shepherds, but since it has gotten worse with the cold weather (I'm in Houston, TX so 30 F is pretty dang cold) he is going to look into it.

I totally trust our vet, he is an old family friend of my husband, and I love the way he treats his clients and patients, but I figured I would do a little bit of digging on my own while he did his. I will take some picture tonight and post them so you can see what I mean by crusty. Anyone ever heard of this or have any ideas what it might be?
My rescue girl, whose name is also Jade, had the same stuff, and, yes, I have seen it before. No vet I have ever asked about it could tell me what it is. One vet said that she has seen it before in GSDs, always around the month of January. Her theory was that it was a reaction to pollen from pine trees... (in JANUARY?? in Michigan?? What tree would be releasing pollen in the middle of winter??) Right now Jade's ears seem to be getting better. A breeder told me to try putting iodine on them... I really think that the iodine had nothing to do with them getting better, it seems that whatever it is just ran its course. If I remember right, the other GSD I had who suffered with it got better in the same way.

If your vet finds out anything, please post it here. I have been curious about that for years!
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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One thing I did learn--keep their toenails clipped down because they can give themselves an ear infection digging, because the stuff itches pretty bad it seems. One topical thing I did use was neosporin rubbed into the affected areas, the kind that has an anesthetic in it for pain--it does help with the itching, for a while, at least.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Ear edge dermatitis: Look beyond scabies - DVM

Written by a vet dermatologist.
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I used to use Iodine tincture on any cuts and scabs.

Now I use neem oil and it cures the ear crust and elbow marks.

Works for mange, hotspots, fleas and tics.

Good all rounder.
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