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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a 6 year old English Cream Golden Retriever. He has had an ear infection on and off (WAY more on) for about 2 years (along with allergies that he is chewing on his paws a lot like they itch). We have brought him to the vet 4-5 times a year minimum and have tried several different medications along with routinely cleaning his ears. We even have brought him to the vet to have them clean his ears once a week to see if we were not doing a good enough job. He is MISERABLE, shaking his head non stop, rubbing his (stinky) ears on the rugs, and scratching at them constantly. We have tried several different foods to try to rule out a food allergy, even the $115/bag prescription dog food from the vet. Nothing we have tried seems to work and it is terrible to see how miserable he is. Has anyone had issues like this? Has anyone found a remedy that helps? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Fly free, my sweetheart
752 Posts
Yes. We are in Florida, and there are plenty of seasonal weeds and grasses that Roxi is allergic to. When I see her scratching her ears, I address it right away as those ear infections can come on very quickly, as do the hotspots. Same with the paws, also (hence the constant chewing): keep a water bowl to rinse his feet in after he goes out.
Just like people, dogs get allergies!

I use Epi-Otic once a week on their ears (I have more than one Golden). If I notice her scratching and if the ear starts reddening and looks like an infection is starting, I use Zymox Otic for several days. It all depends on being aware of when the itching, etc. starts. There are other products that work, but those are what works for us (she is 13.5 years old).

We have fed her ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach, Salmon for years and haven't had any food allergy problems since she started on it.

If she starts scratching elsewhere and hotspots begin, my vet gave me a topical spray called GentaSpray that soothes the itch and also prevents the bacteria from spreading.

We used to used Benadryl 25 mg. for itching, etc., but my current vet prefers that I keep Apoquel on hand. I only use it when she is going crazy with the itching and scratching and it does help. Benadryl did, too.

Check with your vet on these things and see what he thinks. I hope your poor boy can get some relief.

At her age and with the summer heat, Roxi is not as active outside as she used to be, so I believe that also helps as she is not laying and rolling in weeds and grasses.

Super Moderator Leader
52,261 Posts
Welcome to the forum. Sorry your dog is having problems with allergies and ear infections.

I've been feeding my guys Purina Pro Plan for Sensitive Skin and Stomach for the last 7.5 years, I feed the Salmon formula, it's also available in Lamb. I started feeding it after members recommended it here on the forum. My boy was underweight 15-20 lbs. when I adopted him at the age of 2, was having stomach issues. He was in the Vet numerous times for various medications. I tired various dog food brands and formulas, the PPP SSS was the only one that worked.

Have you done allergy tests on your dog? My boy did not do well on chicken, any poultry for that matter. He also does not do well on corn, lots of dogs don't do well on either.

I use a mixture of equal parts water, alcohol and white vinegar to clean out my boy's ears. I soak a cotton ball with it, place the cotton ball in his ear, then rub the base of his ear for a minute or two. After I clean both ears, I put a dab of the Healthy Ear Recipe in each ear, then rub the base of the ears again.

Anytime your dog goes swimming or has a bath, be sure his ears are clean and dry....

You will need to get the ear infection cleared up before you can use the Healthy Ear Recipe. Along with my boy being underweight when I adopted him, he was having ear infections off and on. He's my 3rd Golden and the only one ever to have ear infections..... When he was on his 3rd infection, he also got a blood clot on his ear which the Vet drained, she put a heavy duty ear infection treatment in his ear. I don't remember the name of it because it was several years ago and I no longer have the paperwork. It's green, it's put in the ear and you can't bathe them or let them go swimming for two weeks. It did the job. Now I clean his ears weekly with the alcohol/water/white vinegar combo and put a dab of the healthy ear recipe in each ear.

Here is the 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...
I also only give my boy Salmon treats, take a look at the ingredients of any treats you are giving your boy. They could be causing problems too.

124 Posts
One of our girls had this problem off and on her whole life--we always had to watch her. It was not her food--it was seasonal allergies (inhalant allergies). Apoquel (prescription from vet) was what kept them in check, but of course we had to clear up the infections when it got to that point first, cleaning with Epi-Otic solution and Zymox ointment. I hope you can figure out what it is. They do feel miserable and it's hard to see them always licking/digging in their ears/shaking their heads.

1,493 Posts
Yes - my Chance also suffered from the same - on and off and hotspots too,

When we put 2 and 2 together, paws and ears both at the same time, my vet suggested eliminating grains from Chance's diet. I guess I was just new to this problem because I even used pieces of a buttered roll for a really high value treat in Rally-O class. So I stopped that practice and switched over gradually to Wellness Core grain-free. It will sound too good to be true - for me it was - but that was 9 years ago and Chance has not had any hotspots or ear/paw redness again. In the beginning, I was very diligent but learned he can tolerate grains just not a steady diet. If he were allergic to grains, that would be a different matter. He was just sensitive enough that his regular diet that contained grains was an overload for his system. So for example, when someone offers him a biscuit/treat now, I can let him have it and he doesn't have an adverse reaction.
It might be worth a try since it was a relatively easy solution and it even eliminated the hotspots as well.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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