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My GSD is always scratching at her ears. We take her to the vet and they take her to another room to flush out her ears. Before long, she's scratching and whining again. I don't know how the vet is able to flush her ears because she won't let me or my husband put anything in her ears. We have tried telling her to stay, distracting her with treats and peanut butter. One day we trapped her in a bedroom with the intention of holding her down while squirting Monistat in her ears but she struggled so much we were unsuccessful. I asked if there was a pill she could take long term to kill yeast and keep it from coming back, but was told that should be avoided because of side effects.
 

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Teach her to put her head down on you lap. Yes, repeated infections left untreated can cause major issues. So figure out how to treat her.

Monistat???? why are you using that?! why not Otomax that is a medicine from the vet? 2-3 drops and done.

IMO, if your dog has repeated yeast in her ears then you should be looking at allergies.
 

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Chronic ear infections can definitely lead to hearing loss eventually, and resistant infections are on the rise (both bacterial and fungal). Ear infections can also be very painful for the dog -- that's why she doesn't want you messing with her.

You may need to send out whatever is in her ears for culture and sensitivity to see what it should be treated with. Treating with OTC meds is not something I would do -- vet RX meds likely won't cost much more (I think I paid under $20 for the last tube of ear meds from the vet). My rule of thumb is that we'll treat an ear infection ONCE with conventional vet RX ear meds because they're very inexpensive. If it works, we're done. However, if the infection comes back, then we're spending the $100 or so to send out the culture to see if the infection is resistant.

Once the infection is gone, to maintain the ear health, you can use Zymox Otic Solution weekly to keep chronic infections from coming back. It doesn't require "cleaning" -- just squirt, rub the outer canal, and leave it. It doesn't sting. Cleaning with alcohol-based cleaners or even diluted vinegar can be excruciating for dogs that are prone to this stuff -- so I would opt for more gentle products. For a dog with chronic/recurring infections, I'd use the "red bottle" version of Zymox -- and the hydrocortisone in it will help enormously with persistent itching:
Zymox Plus Advanced Formula 1% Hydrocortisone Otic Dog & Cat Ear Solution, 1.25-oz bottle - Chewy.com . Over time, once the problem is totally gone, you can step down to the regular Zymox without the hydrocortisone. Zymox is one of the products I always have on hand in my house -- we use it for at least a at the first sign of an infection starting and have managed to avoid the need for anything stronger by being aggressive with this product in my old dog with "trouble-prone" ears.
(NOTE: you cannot use Zymox with the vet meds or whatever OTC meds you are self-treating with -- it has to be the only thing used, so I wouldn't do it until the vet clears the dog, and then use it for maintenance of trouble-prone ears).

For dogs that are hard to handle, when there's a full-blown infection that needs treating, there's also a new-ish treatment called Oti-Packs that some vets use -- it's a wax plug compounded at a vet pharmacy and infused with a specific drug that matches the kind of infection the dog has (they likely have to order it custom for the dog). The vet may have to sedate hard-to-treat dogs to put the soft wax in, but once inserted, it hardens and slowly releases medication for two weeks automatically, and then falls out (and you do a final cleaning to get any residual debris out). Our rescue's vet uses a lot of them in her practice. Some people have claimed the plugs themselves cause hearing loss, but we've only seen hearing loss in foster dogs when the plug is in (obviously, the dog has ear plugs, so it's not going to hear much), and then we've always seen them back to normal after the plug is out...but YMMV.
 
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