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Hello everyone, new here. ?

I have a two and a half year old German Shepherd dog, and ever since he was younger, he’s been getting chronic ear infections. We’ve taken him to the vet each time, gotten testing done, realized it was a bacterial (sometimes yeast) infection, gotten an ear medication, along with antibiotics, and it went away for maybe two days, before coming right back again and the cycle restarting.

I’ve been having to spend hundreds of dollars every month, which really adds up, but on top of that, my spoiled, precious pup never gets a break from these painful ear infections. ? Sometimes, when he scratches his ear, he cries, and it hurts my heart.

We got lab testing done to see what can cause this, and apparently there was a lot of bacteria in his ears. We got ear drops to put in his ears as well as an antibiotic, but nothing seems to help. We clean his ears once a week, but right after they get cleaned, they just get dirty right away. It’s so frustrating because I want him to be happy and healthy, not worry about his stupid ear infections. ?

Has anyone dealt with this? Our vet has ruled out allergies (without doing an allergy test), because apparently no one thing is causing his ear infections. I really want to do something to help solve this because I’m so upset by it all.

If anyone has any experience, advice, or anything else they could add, please do. I’m so worried and googling information about this is freaking me out even more.

I’ve attached a picture of his ears as of today (Wednesday), when the last time his ears were flushed out was on Friday, about 4 days ago.

Thank you so much. ?
 

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By the way, we were prescribed Baytril Otic eardrops, which I just picked up yesterday, and I’ve been putting in his ears every 12 hours (only about 3 times so far).

However, he HATES whenever anyone touches his ears. When I mean hate, I mean haaaaaaaates. He had a bad experience as a baby and now won’t let anyone touch his ears, so it’s hard getting the right dosage in his ears. Any advice? Thanks so much.
 

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Been there done that. I used every antibiotic and antifungal known to dog and man on my previous gsd without success. Also changed dog food numerous times in case it was an allergic reaction.i did use some lidocaine as a topical anesthesia for ear cleaning. Personally I believe it was ear mites that didn't respond to treatment. Other than my story, I have nothing in the way of advice for you.
 

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Did you culture it to see what antibiotics it's susceptible to? That's essential in these situations as antibiotic-resistant bacteria is emerging and becoming more common. Baytril is an unusual antibiotic to choose for the ears, so I'm guessing there's something like that going on -- ask your vet!

Our rescue's vet uses Oti-Packs -- and I love them. It's compounded with whatever medicine the vet wants infused into a wax plug (I think Roadrunner Pharmacy in AZ is the source). The plug is in liquid form in an ear syringe, and it gets inserted and "gels" in the ear, hardening like candle wax. It stays there and slowly releases the medicine over 2 weeks. Then it breaks down and falls out. You don't mess with the ears at all -- not even to clean them -- while it's working.

While it's in, they can't hear much (it's about like when we wear ear plugs). I've read that a few people have reportedly had dogs experience permanent hearing loss from Oti-Packs, so I guess that must be a risk to consider with your vet. OTOH, ear infections can cause hearing loss too, so I'm not sure if it's the plug or the infection that's causing those reports. All I know is we've had really good success with them for our rescue's dogs, including in a dog with a resistant ear infection that had been cycling for YEARS with former owners.


If the Baytril fails, the only other thing that I would think to try is Zymox Plus Advanced Formula Otic Solution in the red bottle (highest strength). You can't use it while the dog's on antibiotics -- it's either/or. It's an enzyme solution that breaks down the biofilm and gunk and then the bacteria. It's labeled as effective on resistant staph -- it's not an antibiotic. It works a little differently. It's OTC. It has to be used daily for a week (or two), but it doesn't hurt. It's sold on Chewy and various pet med sites (don't buy it from Amazon due to counterfeit med issues there). You can read about the product here:

http://www.zymox.net/pet-ear-health.html
http://www.zymox.net/zymox-ear-care.html

https://www.chewy.com/zymox-plus-advanced-formula-1/dp/143331
 

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Have you tried changing his diet? 9 times out of 10, if both ears are affected, the diet is the problem.

If it were me: I would go with a limited ingredient diet. Corn, wheat and soy are the enemies. I would infuse olive oil with garlic placed into a condiment bottle and squirt that into his ears daily (outside as the shaking creates a mess) There is a recipe for Cocker Spaniel ears (they are notorious for ear issues) by the Zimmers. You can google it. The boric acid is purchased at the pharmacy counter, not 20 Mule Team. Not advised if the dog has a broken ear drum or open sores, as it contains alcohol and will burn.

I did rescue in the southeast. We simply did not have the donations to run to the vet with everything. It was all we could do to get the heartworm treatment needed. So we had to find other ways to get the dogs up to snuff for adoption or transfer to northern rescues.

The remedies mentioned work on mites, yeast and bacteria. If you get the oil IN the ears, you should be go to go. The Zimmer wash should be used after bathing and swimming or once a week, once things are under control.

I understand your frustration, completely. Our vets and human doctors have their go-to's. Steroids and antibiotics cannot fix everything. They create superbugs and low immunity. Some drugs have horrid side effects. We pay for this guessing game and get nothing from it. I do admit, sometimes they do get it right, but the long and winding path to get there is expensive and annoying.
 
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Have you tried changing his diet? 9 times out of 10, if both ears are affected, the diet is the problem.

If it were me: I would go with a limited ingredient diet. Corn, wheat and soy are the enemies. I would infuse olive oil with garlic placed into a condiment bottle and squirt that into his ears daily (outside as the shaking creates a mess) There is a recipe for Cocker Spaniel ears (they are notorious for ear issues) by the Zimmers. You can google it. The boric acid is purchased at the pharmacy counter, not 20 Mule Team. Not advised if the dog has a broken ear drum or open sores, as it contains alcohol and will burn.

I did rescue in the southeast. We simply did not have the donations to run to the vet with everything. It was all we could do to get the heartworm treatment needed. So we had to find other ways to get the dogs up to snuff for adoption or transfer to northern rescues.

The remedies mentioned work on mites, yeast and bacteria. If you get the oil IN the ears, you should be go to go. The Zimmer wash should be used after bathing and swimming or once a week, once things are under control.

I understand your frustration, completely. Our vets and human doctors have their go-to's. Steroids and antibiotics cannot fix everything. They create superbugs and low immunity. Some drugs have horrid side effects. We pay for this guessing game and get nothing from it. I do admit, sometimes they do get it right, but the long and winding path to get there is expensive and annoying.
I agree with this. Chronic ear infections to me signal a diet issue because ear infections are a type of bacteria and/or yeast. Can I ask what you are feeding? I would think that something in this dogs diet or gut is not allowing him to have the correct flora balance internally/externally and this is coming out in the form of ear infections. Its much like candida yeast in humans. If it were my dog I would not feel comfortable continuously using medication because in the long run, it will make this much worse. Medications most of the time are a band-aid and not a solution unfortunately. You might look into a good Iodine solution. Iodine is just a naturally occurring mineral with strong anti bacterial, fungal, and viral properties. Check this out, you could apply it to the ears:

https://www.nrsworld.com/horse-heal...MIid2ap5K43QIVluNkCh0fNgIeEAQYBCABEgICs_D_BwE
 

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Have you tried changing his diet? 9 times out of 10, if both ears are affected, the diet is the problem.

If it were me: I would go with a limited ingredient diet. Corn, wheat and soy are the enemies. I would infuse olive oil with garlic placed into a condiment bottle and squirt that into his ears daily (outside as the shaking creates a mess) There is a recipe for Cocker Spaniel ears (they are notorious for ear issues) by the Zimmers. You can google it. The boric acid is purchased at the pharmacy counter, not 20 Mule Team. Not advised if the dog has a broken ear drum or open sores, as it contains alcohol and will burn.

I did rescue in the southeast. We simply did not have the donations to run to the vet with everything. It was all we could do to get the heartworm treatment needed. So we had to find other ways to get the dogs up to snuff for adoption or transfer to northern rescues.

The remedies mentioned work on mites, yeast and bacteria. If you get the oil IN the ears, you should be go to go. The Zimmer wash should be used after bathing and swimming or once a week, once things are under control.

I understand your frustration, completely. Our vets and human doctors have their go-to's. Steroids and antibiotics cannot fix everything. They create superbugs and low immunity. Some drugs have horrid side effects. We pay for this guessing game and get nothing from it. I do admit, sometimes they do get it right, but the long and winding path to get there is expensive and annoying.
Yep, feeding Pork caused an ear infection in my dog 2 weeks ago. Easy to figure out what had changed for her, her diet.
 

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I'm chiming in a bit late, but we are going through this with our three year old. I had her on grain free everything, thinking that was the issue, and she just kept getting worse. I switched vets and my new one suggested that the two biggest allergy culprits are actually proteins: chicken and beef. Of course, that's not saying 'omgeeee dogs can't have beef or [email protected]@' But, we decided to adjust her diet to see what would happen. I can't guarantee anything yet (she actually has the medicine ear plugs in right now that another poster mentioned) but her skin and coat are already improved (she had eczema-like patches along her back that are now gone.) Fingers crossed, I think we found our culprit. Now, she basically only eats seafood products. Thankfully she likes them!
 
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