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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20262
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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my dogs ear is smelly and red and has been itching it was

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my dogs ear is smelly and red and has been itching it was on antibotics about a week ago could this of caused it? also keeps licking his righ back paw we can not find anything wrong
Thanks for the question.

I will be very pleased to try and answer your question but to enable me to do so with accuracy I need to know a little bit more information, so first can you tell me :

1. Did your vet dispense the antibiotics?

2. Were these tablets or drops to put in the ear?

This is just a information request for which you have not been charged, I am online at present. I will answer your question shortly after receiving your reply.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes the vet did he had asparated pnemoina and they were tablets
Thanks for the quick reply,

In direct answer to your question : What you have to do here is to have your dog examined by a vet at the next opportunity, there is very little you will be able to do to sort this out on a home remedy basis. Antibiotics or other drugs are rarely effective if given orally in tablet form as they do not build up in any therapeutic level within the ear canal where the problem lies. The usual approach is to put prescription drops containing the likes of antibiotics or other drugs directly into the ear canal.

Basically if your dog has irritated ears then this is likely to mean ear disease deep down in your dog's actual ear canal. The general name for this is Otitis Externa, you may also see some degree of redness and irritation and smell and discharge in the ear canal.

Otitis Externa common situation in the dog but is a very wide ranging subject to answer concisely but I will tell you what I know. The possible causes of otitis externa in the dog would be the following :

1. Bacterial infection
2. Fungal infection
3. Ear mites
4. Foreign objects in the ear canal
5. Polyps and tumours in the ear canal.
6. Allergic ear / skin disease.

As a first approach what us vets do is have a good look deep down the ear canal with our otoscope and then decide which is the most likely of the above conditions and prescribe some meds such as antibiotics usually in the form of drops. Usually we are lucky and hit the target the first time, then if no joy we try a second time with a different drop.

If the first line approach fails the disease may become chronic and my approach then would then be :

I would send samples from the infected ear to an outside laboratory and have culture and sensitivity carried out. The objective here is to identify the precise cause of the ear disease and which drug will cure it best. I would then apply the selected drug into the ear canals for a two week period. Be aware that some ear treatments fail because the client does not put the applicator as far down the ear canal as they should, so get your vet to demonstrate just to be on the safe side. The infection is normally deep in the ear canal not at the surface you see.

Sometimes a good thing to do is to have the vet give your dog an anaesthetic and then flush all the debris from the ear canal and pack it out with antibiotics, this often helps. Beyond that surgery to open up the ear canals is possible as a last resort.

As far as licking his back paw goes there could be a number of possible reasons, as you are almost certainly going to have to see a vet for your dog's ear it would be wise to have him or her check the paw out at the same time.

As I said I am so sorry I cannot suggest any home remedies here there is nothing much you can do on your own, the problem is you have to identify the precise cause before you treat the ear condition as all the treatments are different and almost always involve prescription drugs you will not be able to buy over the counter.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

is that life threating? I mean can it wait til Monday or should we take him to the ER

the oral antibotics seem to help his pnemonia

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

ok, he was on antibotics for his pnemonia, this just started for the ear 2 days ago (ear thing) could it been caused by the antibotics

Hello again,

1. Common ear diseases of the dog are rarely life threatening and though uncomfortable for your dog you would be taking very little serious risk in waiting until the next routine hours appointment on Monday.

2. Oral antibiotics would be the right way to go as far as pneumonia goes, there is however very little chance that this would have caused his ear disease.


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