Help For Sophie's Ear Infection Is On The Way - The Dogington Post
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Help For Sophie’s Ear Infection Is On The Way

Hi Dr. Chris, I have a 3 year old Springer Spaniel named Sophie that keeps shaking her head and scratching her ears.  The same thing happened last year and she had an ear infection that got better with medication from my vet.  Unfortunately, I can’t afford the cost of a visit to my vet and medication.  Is there something I can try at home?

Jeanie
North Carolina

Hi Jeanie,

Poor Sophie! It sounds as though your Spaniel has another ear infection or inflammation and since it happened a year ago too, there may be an underlying allergy that is causing this problem.

Ear infections in dogs occur most often due to underlying allergies, just like people that get sinus infections because of underlying allergies.  In addition, those long, floppy ears tend to create a dark humid environment that can provide a place for bacteria and yeast to grow when there is increased inflammation in the ear.

Dogs are prone to environmental allergies and food allergies.  Food allergies only account for approximately 20 % of all allergy problems in dogs and they tend to cause year round symptoms.

Environmental allergies can be caused by pollens, molds or even indoor allergens such as house dust mites and human dander.  Yes, you read that right!  Dogs can actually be allergic to people!

If allergy is a cause of Sophie’s ear infection, it is most likely due to a seasonal allergy due to molds that are present in the fall. There are several things that you can do at home to try to get this problem under control.

The first thing you can do is give 10 mg of over the counter Zyrtec every 12-24 hours to help alleviate the underlying allergy symptoms.

Next, look inside the ears and see if there is redness, swelling or discharge in both ears or if just one ear is affected.  There is an over- the-counter product, Zymox (click here), that can be very helpful in dogs with ear infections.  I have found that this can really improve ear infections whether they are caused by a yeast infection or bacterial infection, as you can see by all the 5 star reviews on Amazon.

If there is a lot of redness and inflammation, get the Zymox with hydrocortisone.

The ear medication should be used once daily for 5 days then every other day for another 5 days.  At this point, you can then reduce the use to 2-3 times per week.

I would also recommend that every 3 or 4 days, take a cotton ball and wipe some of the discharge from the ear.

Long term, please keep a close eye on Sophie’s symptoms and at the earliest sign of her shaking her head, you can restart the antihistamine and ear medication.

Good luck with your little girl!

Dr. Chris
America’s Favorite Dog Veterinarian

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6 Comments

6 Comments

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  2. Tracey

    Nov 6, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    What is your suggestion for using Zymox on a dog with
    Epilepsy? He’s a Newfx and has chronic ear
    Issues. I know that mometamax can trigger seizures, so
    I’m very careful about what I put in his ears. Right
    now we are using posatex but I would
    like to get away from the prescriptions.

  3. Kathryn Holt

    Nov 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I had a black and white Springer Spaniel years ago. Willie lived to be 14. As a young dog he was plagued with chronic ear infections. The vet advised surgery to straighten out his crooked ear canal, which affected his ears’ ability to drain and dry out. The vet told us that that was a common trait of spaniels. (in addition to their long floppy ears) That surgery was successful! Afterwards he never had another infection. I did always keep an eye on his ears and swabbed them out especially after swimming. He was the greatest dog ever!

  4. Leann Smith

    Nov 6, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I just saw this post on Facebook and I jumped on it immediately. Our 9yr old Lab, Tucker, has been fighting ear infections for years now. We have done everything to help him and they just keep coming back. He even has had the laser treatments several times. Right now we are going through the antibiotic “plugs” which disolve over time and do seem to help for a while. Poor baby just breaks my heart. I will definitely order some Zymox and keep it on hand for the next time, which I’m sure will happen!!! Thank you!!

  5. Wendy Thun

    Nov 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    You could also use Swimmers Ear for prevention. I make my own.

  6. Katherine Goard

    Nov 6, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Oh Dr Chris!! Thank you so much!! My Springer has had ear infections and I know for sure allergies to something like dust all spring, summer and it’s still here this fall. It’s even bothering her skin. We did find an anti fungal shampoo that has helped her skin enormously, but still has it some.. but the ear infections I could do nothing to control! I’d do what the Vet told us and they’d get better for a while, but come right back.. and I keep them clean and dry. HOPEFULLY this Zymox with hydrocortisone will help her ear infections and the Zyrtec will help her skin allergies as well. and her eyes have started to gook up with a discharge like allergies , too.. THANK YOU AGAIN SO MUCH for the HELP!! I’m going to give it a try! Since I’m like the other lady and can not afford the drops from the vet and he said they wouldn’t help that much anyway if it was from an allergy.. he wanted to give her a shot of cortisone.. still can’t afford to go right now.. and I NEED to take care of my very special baby! You are a GODSEND!

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