Chronic Ear Infections - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Chronic Ear Infections

I was wondering if anyone had any all natural/homeopathic recipes for chronic ear infections? My old guy had chronic ear infections that ooze this black liquid. I have taken him to the vet and he has been on mometamax on and off, but it gives him this horrible body odor when he is on it. Also, the ear infection comes back as soon as he gets off the medication.

It's not his diet or anything like that. We've been working at this for about 10 years now, so I would really like to find a more natural way to clear this up since he is getting old (he recently turned 12)
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 11:08 AM
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Oozing black liquid?? (Sorry, having to censor my language here...what I'd like to say isn't allowed!) I think you need a new vet!

There is NO WAY this should have been allowed to go on so long!

How is your dog when you try to clean/treat his ears? I have a female that HATE HATE HATES it and resists me with all her strength. So, what I've found that works is to fill a 1 ml. syringe with ear cleaner, and carefully inject it into the ear canal. (NO needle, of course!) That gets the cleaner down where it will do the most good.

After about an hour or so, I then put Surolan in the ear. I've noticed a tremendous improvement in her ear problems after doing this for just one week. Prior to this, she was fighting me so much that the medication didn't get where it needed to go, and both of us were getting really stressed out.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 01:13 PM
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I have a male gsd that has bad ears too, for 3 years he had that black yeasty crud. I found this two step ear cleanser treatment that has essentially solved our issues. Here's a link to it The cleanser cleans everything out really well, and the liquidy lotion dries up into a powder that removes all remaining moisture. The first time I used the ear dry I put too much in both ears but my god, totally cleared out the gross and for the first time our boy has normal coloured ear wax. Highly reccomend!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 01:48 PM
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I recommended this for my MIL's dog who was getting chronic ear infections. She said it cleared them up. Don't clean the ear prior to using, the ears should be 'dirty'.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 02:11 PM
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1. You must culture that ear infection. I'm annoyed that your vet hasn't already done that -- it costs about $100 to send it off to the lab, and you'll have an answer back within a week. Chronic, recurring ear infections are sometimes resistant to commonly used antibiotics, so culturing them will tell you what you've got. It will also tell you if there's any drug left that works on the particular microbes your dogs have -- antibiotic resistance is real, and it's a big, big problem. Progressive vets are culturing all of them now because there's so much resistance, but old school vets seem to have not yet understood how serious the problem of resistance is.

2. Change to a limited ingredient (allergy) diet. Many dogs with recurring ear infections and yeasty smells have an underlying food allergy. I recommend starting with fish-based food, with a brand labeled "limited ingredient" -- there are lots of options. We use Wellness Simple in rescue, and it works for a lot of dogs. If fish doesn't work, try something more exotic (rabbit, venison, etc.). Or get the dog off kibble and onto an alternative diet (commercial raw, The Honest Kitchen, Sojo's, etc.).

3. Try a bottle of Zymox Otic Advanced Enzymatic Ear Solution (the red or gold bottle -- red has hydrocorisone to help with itching, gold does not), and follow the directions on it exactly. It's very, very good with chronic conditions. It's the stronger version of the product Courtney linked. You can find it on Chewy or Amazon.

We had an old dog in rescue with chronic ear infections. She'd been treated on and off for years, and had lost hearing in one due to the infections. Our rescue vet cultured, found the one drug left that works, and used a delivery system called "Oti-Packs." It's a wax plug infused with the drug of choice, ordered from a compounding pharmacy. It slowly releases the drug into the ear over a couple of weeks, and then it falls out. They don't hurt, and there's no fighting with putting medicine in painful ears -- it's a good, good product but not a lot of vets know about it.

We also changed this old dog's diet. All her problems went away. She finished out her life without skin or ear problems, after years of suffering. It just took the right vet to sort her out.
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Last edited by Magwart; 06-01-2018 at 02:16 PM.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 03:45 PM
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I second Magwart's suggestion. Zymox Plus Advanced Formula 1% Hydrocortizone Otic Dog and Cat Ear Solution. I swear by this stuff and it's saved me hundreds in vet visits. My dog has chronic ear infections due to allergies. I honestly couldn't get a handle on it. He's allergic to dust mites, grass, chicken, you name it. I was at the vets every few months at $300 a pop. 13 years of dealing with allergies with him. Ugh.

I found it was cheaper at than Amazon for me.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 04:44 PM
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Besides the other topical suggestions.......

My suggestion is ..... put this dog on REAL Food!



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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 07:23 AM
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Hello wantes to pop in and ask a question.
I have had to clean maggies ears pretty consistantly, the vet told me either she would have no ear infections or chronic because thats with GSD.. have you found this to be true?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 10:43 AM
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I have a horror of foxtails (grass awns) in dog's ear. Non GSDs I have had got them, and they can migrate with their one way structure right down into the dog's brain. These were flop ear breeds. Can it be that the big upright ears of GSD they can just shake their head and dislodge the foxtail before it goes down the ear? Has anyone here had foxtail in ear GSD?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-02-2018, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by chevyfreese View Post
I have had to clean maggies ears pretty consistantly, the vet told me either she would have no ear infections or chronic because thats with GSD.. have you found this to be true?

It depends on the dog. I clean my dogs' maybe once a month. Mostly we're just getting dust out. Some of our dogs almost never have gunk in them. Some of them are consistently very gunky. Gunky ears all the time are sometimes a sign of a low grade infection. It's not "normal" for a GSD to have lots of black gunk! If you're finding it, it's a sign of a problem. I don't believe chronic ear infections need to be chronic. I've treated so many of them in rescue successfully that I get a little mad when vets just give up on fixing them, repeating the same thing that hasn't worked before -- they hurt. When you see a dog with gunky ears trying to rub their paws on them, they're saying, "Ow, it's uncomfortable!" It's work to fix them, but they're fixable -- and once you treat them successfully, most of the time getting the dog on a limited ingredient or non-kibble diet makes them stop recurring. Sometimes, though, environmental allergies are extremely difficult to control (as in IllinoisNative's dog's case), and then it can be much harder. I really do think that there's an allergic component to many of the recurrent dogs based on what I've seen -- just as with skin, an allergic reaction triggers inflammation, and opportunistic microbes all around us love setting up house where there's inflammation because it's a vulnerability that's attractive to them. When you get the allergy under control, you treat the current infection, and then you stop having a welcome mat out for those bad microbes.

This is the best ear cleaner I've ever found -- it's the cleanser companion product to the Zymox solution linked above, but instead of treating, it just cleans:

I love this product because it's painless for the dog -- it's honestly the most humane cleaner I've found. Many dog ear cleaners are quite painful for dogs with low grade infections, and once an ear cleaning hurts, you'll always have a dog who resists allowing it! (Some vets also use a vinegar/water solution, and that was common in the sheltering world because it's cheap -- I stopped using it because I think can be painful for dogs with problems).

For dogs that are consistently producing black gunk though, I'd really look at one of the Zymox solution products (not just cleaner--but also the one that's a treatment) to clear them up. Simply cleaning them isn't going to make a low grade infection go away.

I've had good enough results with Zymox products that I'm not switching, but if I were going to try a new product, it would be this one -- I really like Vetericyn's other products, and the active ingredient (hypochlorous acid) is a proven winner in hospital research on preventing infection in wound care:
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Last edited by Magwart; 06-02-2018 at 12:12 PM.
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