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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24379
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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DocDave. I loved your answer to a question regarding a

Customer Question

Hello, DocDave.
I loved your answer to a question regarding a re-occurring bacterial ear infection posted 5 years ago. I have a Bloodhound with long luxurious ears, but on the inside tight little cavernous Petri dishes! I've tried nearly everything. She is currently on Royal Canin Ultamino. Right now I can't use any flushes or washes because she had part of her lower jaw removed, (local cancer,) 3 weeks ago, and I am worried she will start her vicious shaking and start to bleed or do something to the tissue bridge the doc installed. I'm sorry this is so long, you left a great answer, and great vets seem hard to come by these days. Everyone just seems to treat the superficial, and it never clears completely. As for cause, I've explored everything under the sun: blood tests, exclusion diets, topical and seasonal allergies...
I'd love any information you might have on lasering. My friend, a large animal vet, has offered to treat them for free with her laser. I'm hesitant. Do you have any information on lasering?
I'd like to try the mixture you found out about at the dermatological seminar. What parts of each do you mix?
Thank-you again for your post, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. I don't believe that DocDave is still active on this site and so rather than keeping you waiting, I'll address your concerns as best I can. If my answers aren't satisfactory, please contact***@******.*** for more information concerning DocDave.

Chronic ear infections are addresssed by performing a cytology (microscopic exam of a sample of the ear exudate) in order to determine which infectious agents are present - rod or cocci bacteria, yeast, mites - and a bacterial culture and sensitivity in an attempt to determine the best antibiotic to be present in an otic product. If there is evidence of middle/inner ear infection (otitis media/interna) such as a bulging or perforated tympanum (eardrum) or sclerosis/accumulation of pus within the bullae of the ear as seen in X-rays, a systemic antibiotic and/or surgical intervention is prescribed. If Savvy's ears have stenosed (strictured) to the point that medical therapy alone won't suffice, lateral ear resection of total ear ablation may be recommended.

Savvy's ears will need to be thoroughly irrigated once samples have been obtained for testing. I understand that irrigation will have to wait until her surgery is well healed. I don't see the value of lasering in such a problem and don't know which "mixture" you're referring to. Many have been advocated but until testing is performed, a "mixture" isn't appropriate because we don't know which infectious agents we're addressing.

Yes, allergic skin disease often underlies chronic otitis and it behooves Savvy's vet to clarify if, indeed, that's the case and address it satisfactorily in conjunction with addressing Savvy's ears as mentioned above. Finally, please note that you have the option of having Savvy attended to by a specialist veterinary dermatologist as can be found here: www.acvd.org/ Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.