Welcome! My name isXXXXX am a 2003 graduate, and currently a Medical Director of a veterinary hospital.
I am sorry to hear about this concern for Abby.
A few points to address.
1. If she was sneezing or anything resembling it, this could still represent a subtle upper respiratory infection. Happens all the time. Now, this does not always require a course of antibiotics. If infrequent, not getting worse, and not resulting in any bad nasal or eye discharge, and still eating and drinking fine, you may be able to simply monitor her for several days to see if it changes in anyway.
2. Careful with those ears and a Cocker! As I am sure you already know, Cocker's are greatly predisposed to otitis externa (ear infections). So, just for extra information, here is all my general information about ear issues.
What you are describing sounds consistent with otitis externa (an ear infection).
This is usually caused by a bacterial and/or yeast infection. Ear mites tend to be more common in puppies/kittens or pets that remain outdoors. Otitis Externa in Dogs
Over-the-counter treatments for ear infections. None of the below therapies, alone, are recommended in the treatment of an active bacterial or yeast infection. These are my best suggestions:Zymox
Ear cleaner recommendations:
TrizEDTA: A ear flush specifically designed to work with antibacterial ear medications to help kill bacteria:TrizEDTA Cleaner Douxo Micellar Cleaner Epi-Otic “Advanced” Cleaner
Ideally, the following would be done at your veterinarian,
Examination of the ear canal.
URL=http://www.mypetsdoctor.com/ear-cytology-for-dogs-and-cats]Ear Cytology[/URL]If the ear canal is dirty and not excessively painful, a deep ear flushing
A prescription for a ear medication and ear flush is sent home
If there is substantial inflammation/swelling, a steroid injection or oral medication is prescribed
If there is substantial bacteria identified on the cytology, an oral antibiotic should be prescribedGreat Summary about Ear InfectionsHow to Flush Ears
Just wanted you to have that info since there are some product suggestions as well.
Benadryl is frequently recommended, but the problem is that many allergy treatments require being given up to 3 times a day.
An alternative, just for you to consider is Zyrtec (cetirizine). Great product for pets. The dose is roughly 1mg per 2 pounds of body weight. So, a 20 pound dog could get 10mg tablet. Generally, most books suggest a medium to large breed dog starting with 10mg, and you can always increase from there. Just wanted to mention another allergy pill option since some antihistamines work better than others.
I hope that information has been helpful.
Please remember to select Reply to Expert, if for any reason you need further clarification, have more questions, or were expecting a different type of answer. Prior to leaving a feedback rating, which I greatly appreciate, my goal is to provide you the best answer possible.