I have a Lab who we can not resolve a yeast infection in the ears. I've gone to the vet, tried Otomax and changed the

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Customer: I have a Lab who we can not resolve a yeast infection in the ears. I've gone to the vet, tried Otomax and changed the dogs food several times. Is there any other treatments
Answered by Dr. Spencer in 9 mins 12 years ago
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Dr. Spencer
5+ years of experience
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124 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Dog Veterinary, Dog Medicine, Dog Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

Hello and thank you for submitting your question to Just Answer.

Labs and ear infections seem to go hand in hand. They love the water, and the number one reason we see infections is water getting into the ears. They can take up to 6 weeks to resolve, and we see them reoccur many times, especially without proper treatment. Has the vet done a cytology on the ear? Where they look under the microscope and truly diagnose a yeast infection? or are they just guessing? Cytology is the first thing I would recommend. If it is truly a yeast infection, they almost never (unless it's a very minor one) go away with only a topical ointment such as Otomax. Yeast infections usually need oral antifungal medications (such as Ketoconazole) to get rid of them, in addition to a topical medication and an ear cleaner (which will help dry the ears out). If this hasn't been tried, I would definitely either consider trying a new vet for a second opinion, or asking her vet for an oral antifungal. These medications are not without side effects. Sometimes we'll see vomiting when they first start the medication, however giving it with food usually decreases the chance of it. Also, some vets recommend checking the kidney values on bloodwork prior to starting Ketoconazole, as at high doses it can cause problems. However, at a low dose, which is all that is needed for an ear infection, it can be used for over 30 days with no problems. Keep in mind that these do take awhile to clear up even on meds. You may consider, if she doesn't already have one, an E-collar (from her vet or Petsmart/Petco) to help so she can't injure herself by scratching her ears with her back paws or shaking her head (which can cause an ear hematoma that requires surgery to repair). I usually keep the E-collar on for 1-2 weeks, depending on how the dog is responding to treatment. Sometimes we can have a mixed bacterial and yeast infection (this would be diagnosed on the cytology). This would require her to be on an antibiotic as well as the antifungal, and sometimes even requires a bacterial culture to find out which antibiotic is most effective against that particular bacteria.

I hope this helps. If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Take care and happy holidays,
Dr. Spencer
Customer
Dr. Spencer

Thank you for your time. The vet has used a microscope and determined it was a yeast infection. They indicated that it was caused by food, our dog does not spend any time in water. Is their a brand you recommend over others? Is IAMS or Euchanuba good? The latter has probiotics, is this good for dogs with this symptom.

I hope I am not asking too much. I really appreciate your time and thorough answer.

Marty
I'm glad to hear that they did cytology to determine it was yeast, that's good medicine. However, there's no way that a food can cause a yeast infection, it's not possible. Perhaps he has underlying allergies that will predispose him to an ear infection (very common) but the food itself will not cause the yeast infection. He will still need to be on an antifungal medication to clear this up. As far as hypoallergenic diets go, the best (by far in my opinion) is Science Diet Z/D. They have hydrolyzed the proteins in the food (broken them down very small) to where the body can never become allergic to it. Some people recommend trying "novel", or new, protein sources, such as venison or duck....the problem with this is that it that the dog can BECOME allergic to this new protein. Sometimes it works for a month or two, then it's back to having problems and trying to switch foods again. The Science Diet Z/D is a prescription diet, so you have to get it through his vet, and unfortunately it is fairly expensive, but it is without a doubt the best food to do a food trial with and find out if he does truly have food allergies. With a food trial, you feed this food, and ONLY this food for about 6 weeks. If the clinical signs (redness, swelling of the ears, itchiness) goes away while he's on it, then you can pretty much say he has a food allergy, and needs to stay on the food for the rest of his life. But NOTHING can go past his lips (no rawhides, people food, or treats) besides the Z/D otherwise you're throwing your money away. If he's allergic to beef, and he gets ahold of a rawhide, you can see it won't matter he's eating a hypoallergenic diet, because he'll still be exposed to the allergen. Your other option, which is even more expensive, but if this is an ongoing problem may be worth it, is to have allergy testing done. Ask his vet if there is a dermatologist close by. Skin allergy testing is the best, XXXXX XXXXX can also have allergy testing done on blood, which a general practice vet should be able to send in. That is a quick way to find out if he does have environmental or food allergies. It will also tell you exactly what type of food he's allergic to (chicken vs beef vs other) so you can just avoid those foods. If he has environmental allergies, you can have special injections made up that you can give him, just like in people, to start making him immune to the allergens.


Sorry if it's long winded, I just want to make sure you have all the information. Good luck with him! Please click ACCEPT if you are happy with my answer so I can get credit for my time.

:) Dr. Spencer
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