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It seems as if Charlie has had a constant ear infection. I feel stupid always calling the vet but nothing seems to work. He just finished a round of antibiotic for a staph infection and she thought the antibiotic would clear up his ears too....NOPE.

the outside of the ears don't really look that bad, I clean them constantly, but they smell, and he's constantly itching and shaking his head. I think its down in his ear.

I hate otomax. I think its useless and at $30 a pop I refuse to use it anymore!

I've tried Bragg's apple cider vinegar and other natural remedies. What do you guys use that works?
 

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aka Sam =)
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The vet just put my fiance's dad's yellow lab on something that neutralizes the Ph in his ears. I read somewhere on the forums that someone else is using this product with great results, too. I think a lot of Hunter's isues are because of the food he's on, though. He has a lot of allergies and he's on a crappy food with a ton of fillers....we're working on getting Jeff's dad to take him off of it.
 

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Have you had a cytology on the ear debris? That would be step one.

When you have used the otomax how long was your treatment period? It often takes 2-3 weeks to actually get rid of a yeast infection.

How often do you clean the ears and with what?
 

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Kate
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With Danny we used both the Ottomax and a cleaner - both provided by the vet - and he would be on antibiotics to help clear up the yeast infections.

It did help a ton, but he was definitely chronic with those ear infections. The majority of the vet bills between age 2 and 12 went into his ears. :(

With Jacks - he started off with a few yeast infections in his ears (I blame all the times I took him swimming). So far (fingers tightly crossed) he's been mostly clear. He had an infection this summer that cleared up pretty easy.

With him I've been using alcohol pads. I wouldn't use these any more than every 15 days or three weeks, because they DO dry his ears out. But his ears are staying clean.
 

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I was going to suggest the thyroid panel as well, especially as he just had a staph infection. Recurring ear infections and unresolved skin issues are two of the biggest indicators (other than weight gain & lethargy) for spotting thryoid disease in dogs. It might be worth investigating.
This was the underlying cause of Paddy's recurrent ear infections and now he is ear-infection free! Thank goodness!! They're awful and it is sooo difficult to see them in such obvious discomfort.

When Paddy did have infections, the treatment that worked best was Panalog and alternately Baytril drops. They both tend to be greasy and sticky so the ear area gets all goopy and matted, but they helped with his overall comfort level.
Now that we understand the root cause, he has been fine. But it was so bad otherwise, they infections would clear up and as soon as he stopped the antibiotic they would start up again. We ran allergy panels - literally tried everything, and it turned out to be a thyroid issue.

Good luck, and I completely understand and empathize with what you're going through.

If you do opt for the thyroid panel, remember to run a full panel as the T4 they run in-house is not often enough to tell if there is a real problem. They generally send the blood out to an independent lab for dialysis testing. And with goldens, if the values come back on the low-end of normal, that still indicates an overall LOW, as the ranges for Goldens are optimal in the mid-to upper values of normal.

Hope that helps!

Kim
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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My Tanner had problems with his ears several years ago. I ended up having to have his ears flushed. He also was on otomax and the dermatologist thinks that it was the otomax that was the culprit. Otomax tends to create a film when down in the ear - so it was keeping the ear junk in the canal and it was not getting better. They don't prescribe it here anymore. Since I had his ears flushed he has never had another problem with his ears - and we did food trials and everything. Just something you might want to think about - good luck.
 

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Kate
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My Tanner had problems with his ears several years ago. I ended up having to have his ears flushed. He also was on otomax and the dermatologist thinks that it was the otomax that was the culprit. Otomax tends to create a film when down in the ear - so it was keeping the ear junk in the canal and it was not getting better. They don't prescribe it here anymore. Since I had his ears flushed he has never had another problem with his ears - and we did food trials and everything. Just something you might want to think about - good luck.
That's why we also did the ear cleaner. Otherwise D's ears would have been pretty gunky.

I do echo what the others said about thyroid testing. We had D tested (sent to MSU) several times. It always came back clear, but it was worth knowing for sure.
 

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When Gracie had problems, I'd clean her ears w/R7 Natural Ear Cleaner and cotton balls, and use the gentamycin otic ointment from the vet. I like it because there's no alcohol, has aloe in it, too, and leaves the ears smelling clean. She hated it, but never pulled away or fought me because she knew she'd feel so much better when we were finished. Once I figured out it was allergies causing the problem, and put her on generic Claritin, her ears stayed dry and healthy. If she went swimming in the lake, I'd always clean here ears when we got home, just in case.
 

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*Melissa* Three Dog Mama
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When I was in college, I worked in retail and this woman used to come in all the time and buy yeast infection cream for her dogs' ears. I'm not sure this is helpful, but it might be worth a shot!
 

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...
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Treating the symptoms (ear cleaners, meds, etc) without getting at the cause of recurring problems is throwing money away. Recurring ear infections is one of the first symptoms of thyroid disease. The thyroid controls the immune system. If this dog is low normal (very low for Goldens) getting him on thyroid supplement would take care of it. If he is low, and left untreated, other symptoms may begin to occur (hot spots and skin infections, lethargy, weight gain, joint pain, behavioral changes...).
 

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Dog Lover
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Pointgold

Pointgold

Thanks for that information-didn't know that!
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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Sometimes after checking all of those other things - as we did - it just came down to the fact that otomax wasn't letting anything in the ear - it had created a barrier. Good luck - we struggled with Tanner's ears for some time and that was over 5years ago. Oddly enough Tanner just got his very first hot spot about a week ago - he will be 10 on Labor Day. Keep us informed.
 

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Been there.

Dakota had "Bad Ears" for his first 4 years of his life. I spent probably $2000 on them. And yes, I think Ottomax is useless too and I hear now it can be bad for them. Something about damaging their hearing.

It turns out it was a food allergy. He was put on California Natural and within 6 weeks his ears were perfectly clear and spotless. He stayed that way the other 6 years he was alive.

I would get an allergy panel run.

It seems as if Charlie has had a constant ear infection. I feel stupid always calling the vet but nothing seems to work. He just finished a round of antibiotic for a staph infection and she thought the antibiotic would clear up his ears too....NOPE.

the outside of the ears don't really look that bad, I clean them constantly, but they smell, and he's constantly itching and shaking his head. I think its down in his ear.

I hate otomax. I think its useless and at $30 a pop I refuse to use it anymore!

I've tried Bragg's apple cider vinegar and other natural remedies. What do you guys use that works?
 

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Been there.

It turns out it was a food allergy. He was put on California Natural and within 6 weeks his ears were perfectly clear and spotless. He stayed that way the other 6 years he was alive.

I would get an allergy panel run.

That is exactly what happened to Roxie. It was all caused by her food. We haven't had another infection for almost two years now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Well the otomax was 2 times a day for 3 weeks and he has used it 3 different times. It seemed to get better briefly but then he immediately got the infection back as soon as he was done with the otomax.

He has never had a culture or thyroid panel. He was eating Ol Roy and everyone said how horrible it was and my vet told me to switch him to Purina Dog Chow. He's been on it now for about 3 months. The last time I was there I mentioned that I didn't think he had improved since the switch and she said not to change that he needed to be on it longer, but I'm thinking a food change would probably be best.

I use a ear cleanser that the vet gave me to put in when he goes swimming or gets a bath but then I also have ear wipes that I use almost daily that has witch hazel, aloe vera gel and botanical extracts in them. He absolutely hates the liquid cleanser from the vet, when he sees the bottle, he runs and hides behind the couch!
 

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I would deffintly change his food. O'roy is like feeding twinkes and ice cream and dog chow is not much better IMO.
 

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Nancy
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My Maggie had chronic ear infections her entire first year. I was told, no swimming, given Ottomax to use, antibiotics etc. The infection would clear up then be back again. It seemed we were treating the symptoms rather than finding the cause.

I did some research and decided it was a possible food allergy. The vet poo-hooed that idea but I took her off all corn and her ear cleared up.
 
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