Ear infections are not common, at least in my experience if you have a regular weekly ear cleaning routine.
My first Golden lived to be 15.5, had one hot spot in his lifetime, no ear infections.
My second Golden did not have any ear infections or any hot spots, she lived to be 11.
My current boy who is almost 10, has not had a hot spot but when I adopted him, he was dealing with ear infections off and on. I adopted him from my County shelter, he had been turned in as a stray and had been on his own for awhile-he was 15-20 lbs. underweight.
I got his ear infections cleared up, I use a combination of equal parts of water, alcohol, and white vinegar mixed together. I soak a cotton ball with it, place the cotton ball in each ear and rub the base of the ear. Then I put a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe in each ear and rub the base of it-I do this on a weekly basis.
I also make sure after he's been swimming or has a bath, that his ears are dry, I clean them, then put a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe in each ear.
I've seen it recommended when you give your dog a bath to put a cotton ball with nothing on it in each ear to prevent water getting in the ears and to keep them dry.
Here's the Healthy Ear Recipe-
Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane)
1 tube Monistat (generic is fine)
1 tube Polysporin (use the real deal - it's inexpensive)
1 tube Cortaid (generic works here as well)
Use tubes of similar size. Mix all three together in a container that can
be closed well. It takes a bit to incorporate because the Polysporin is a
bit like Vaseline. Once incorporated, it stays mixed.
If ears are gunky, inflamed or smell bad, start with using a pea sized
dollop twice a day. Use your finger to gently push it into the ear. Rub.
Dogs will only shake their heads once or twice! It's a creamy, very
soothing mixture. Once you have the ears under control, lessen how often
you use it till you're only using it once a week. Once a week keeps ears
from getting bad again.
My doctor (human) is the one that came up with this as her dogs were having ear issues that weren't really under control from the things her vet was prescribing! Anyone that I know that has gone to using it has had
remarkable results and the dogs are much happier and SAFER than using
anything with alcohol in it. I was told by my vet that alcohol just dries
the ear out - which includes drying out the ear drum AND that if there is
even the tiniest of perforations in that ear drum, it can let alcohol down
into the middle ear where it can do permanent damage. That's why this cream is SOOOOO good! There's nothing "liquid" about it. It goes in and melts it's way down to where it's needed. No alcohol to cause drying or damage and it will take care of anything yeast, bacterial etc...
You'll need to get the ear infection cleared up before using this Healthy Ear recipe. Once it's cleared up, this can be used as weekly maintenance.
There are all kinds of ear cleaners on the market, if you want to use a mixture that is all natural and less expensive, the water, white vinegar and alcohol mixture works really well. You can buy the items at Walmart or any drug store along with the items for the Healthy Ear Recipe.