How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask NancyH Your Own Question

NancyH
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience:  30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
127115
Type Your Pet Question Here...
NancyH is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

seborrheic ear margin dermatosis

Resolved Question:

Got so much great advice on my last question, I decided to see if you guys could help me out with another doxie medical question:

I have a ten-year-old red short-haired. About a year and a half ago, she developed ear margin dermatosis. It got really bad really quickly. I don't think there's a connection, but I should mention that it started right after she was bitten by another dog. The other dog had just come from a foster rescue home and was waiting for its new parents to arrive. It was current on its shots, but it was very dirty.

Anyway,,, the ear margin dermatosis has been virtually untreatable. Our regular vet tried prednazone (sp?), sulf-oxy-dex shampoo, antibotics, medicated wipes, and I'm sure there are other things I'm forgetting. We also switched to a raw food diet. after trying Science Diet's ZD with no result. He also ran a few tests to check for mites and various diseases.

We finally took her to a vetrinary dermatologist. They did a tape test, scraped a sample, checked for mites, etc. They finally diagnosed it as Seborrheic ear margin dernatosis, which we already knew. They sent us home with an ointment called Kerasolve and new shampoo. (I can't remember the name, and I've given it to my sister because it works wonders on her dog's hot spots. I know that it did contain some type of disinfectant that my vet uses to wash up for surgery.) Anyway, that was also ineffective.

The condition has gotten progressively worse: At one time we had to keep her ears bandanged 24/7 because they dripped blood.

Right now, through much research and trial and error, we've put her on pentoxfillyne. It has helped more than anything else. It at least controls the condition enough that she doesn't have to wear bandages. We missed three pill once because the compounding shop was closed, and we went right back to the bleeding.   

At one time, I also gave her a supplement called Oli-pet, but I quit when we started the pantoxofillyne. It also controlled the condition somewhat, but it is alternative medicine, and I'm not at all comfortable giving it to her.

One interesting thing I have noticed: One ear is markedly worse than the other. In that ear, she's always had a problem with smelly black wax build-up. I have to swab the wax out of the folds inside her ears very regularly. If I don't, she will develop a blockage. I also use an ear cleaner fluid on the one when it becomes itchy.   (About once every other month or so.)

The ear margins don't itch. She never picks at them, and they don't seem to hurt. She finds the bleeding very distressing, though.    

My question is: Does anyone have any other advice? Could the wax be related to the problem? Could the bite be related?

Thanks for any info!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  V Matthews replied 8 years ago.

Hi there! Have you tried cleaning using the ear cleaner on them more often to see if this helps to decrease the amount of buildup?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to V Matthews's Post: Well, yes, that works pretty well for cleaning, but she has open sores on the edges of the ears. The cleaner is irritating to them, so I try to use it as little as possible. She will let me swab as much as I need to because it feels good to her. Her doctor says this is fine because I'm only cleaning out the folds, and it helps me keep the cleaner usage to a minimum. Since she doesn't get infections, I try to only use the cleaner on the one ear when it gets bad inside. It will loosen the debris, and when she shakes her head, the excess wax comes out. Neither she nor I care for this much. :)
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.
Tacrolimus (Pro-Topic) 0.1%” ointment might help with the scabbing and bleeding. In combination with the Pentoxifylline which increases the blood circulation that seems to be one of the combinations of meds that works.
If you have not changed foods to one with minimal allergen potential you might want to do that. You may find a rabbit or venison or duck or even fish based food where no starches come from grains (sweet potato is a common substitute for the grains) will work. Wellness is one company that makes this sort of diet.
The ear wax build up could be in part due to a food sensitivity which dogs can get even if they have eaten the same food for years. Make sure all treats conform to the new diet too.
Hope this helps you!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Okay one more question regarding the tacrolimus: Is it not carcinogenic? I was thinking that either my vet or the dermatologist said it wasn't worth the risk. Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong thing.

-BTW, she switched to Royal Canin Venison and Rice, but we went back to Science Diet when it didn't work. Maybe it's her treats. We never switched those b/c we couldn't get the venison treats locally. I'll try again with mail-order...

Sorry to make you have to answer me again...
Expert:  NancyH replied 8 years ago.
She's 10 years old which is a senior dog. I'd worry about you handling it - maybe gloves? if you were putting a lot on or putting it on yourself.
The drug is also used in patients who get transplants as it is immuno suppressive
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a601117.html
http://dermnetnz.org/treatments/tacrolimus.html

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/medmaster/a601117.html

I don't think any long term studies have been done in humans or dogs.
You always have to weigh benefits against dangers when using meds. Other dachshund owners have had good luck using it in combination with the other med you are using.
Maybe its worth discussing again with your vet
Also the diet change - if she's not keen on venison try fish, or rabbit, or duck and do make sure treats including rawhides etc fall in the category of being OK
And you can buy one kibble for meals and another for treats - kibble makes nice small dog sized treats and if its different from dinner its still a treat!
NancyH, Pet Health Care, Rescue,Train,Breed
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 31957
Experience: 30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care
NancyH and other Pet Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Last | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    522
    2003 Graduate
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/Jav917/2012-2-20_54059_201221802254JoananddavidArchuleta3.64x64.jpg Joan's Avatar

    Joan

    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    2337
    Vet Tech for 30+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/rydergar/2012-6-6_192240_IMG0328.64x64.JPG Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    273
    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/1I/1ISUDVM/2011-3-1_22028_Honeymoon2005075294928803490646858.64x64.jpg Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    157
    12 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2916
    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/babybloo/2011-3-10_62613_DavidandI.64x64.jpg Theresa's Avatar

    Theresa

    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    1132
    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JA/jadedangel57/2011-11-8_193134_janenewsm.64x64.jpg Jane Lefler's Avatar

    Jane Lefler

    Behaviorist, Breeder, See Qual.

    Satisfied Customers:

    884
    15 years Breeding Experience, Former vol. Vet Assistant, Dog Behaviorist
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Pet Specialist
NancyH
NancyH
7528 Satisfied Customers
30+yrs pet vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior & training, responsible breeding, small animal care