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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 24434
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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She has chronic "cocker ear" with this episode lasting 7

Customer Question

she has chronic "cocker ear" with this episode lasting 7 days+ despite Rx drops, ear flushing & antibiotics. WORSE, she's developed head twitch & looking into her eyes, it's obvious she's in pain. She's 11 yrs old, a cocker mix. PLEASE HELP! Thank you.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Lucy as in I love Lucy!
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Lucy?
Customer: Nothing except that each yeast ear infection episode seems worse & more painful. DROPS: Surolarr; FLUSH AGENT: PhytoVet Ear Cleaning Solution
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. By definition "cocker ear" implies chronicity with proliferative and stenotic ear canals +/- calcification of the ear cartilage. In many cases, the middle ear is also infected (otitis media). These ears often reach the point of being unamenable to conservative treatment as appears to be the case with Lucy. These are called "surgical ears" because without some type of surgical intervention, we have no hope of helping these dogs. Total ear ablation is often chosen as the surgery of choice although a less invasive lateral ear resection may be chosen if the middle ear has remained unaffected.

Of particular concern is Lucy's head twitch which may represent head tremors or focal seizures and both represent encephalopathy (brain disorder) and so infection in her inner/middle ears (otitis interna/media) may have translocated into her brain. I would X-ray Lucy's bullae (the bony compartments containing the middle ears) to see if otitis media exists. If so, Lucy is a surgical candidate. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.