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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16331
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Dr. Matt my 2 year old Shih Tzu has started shaking his head

Customer Question

Dr. Matt my 2 year old Shih Tzu has started shaking his head the past 2 to 3 hours. I suspect an ear infection, he was groomed two days ago. I have some expired Trizultra-ketoear wash (exp date 5-14). I will take him to his doctor in the morning..I am concerned about the wash age. I need your advice. My little boy is named Grizzly. Thank you.Judy.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry that you have been waiting for a response, but your requested expert isn't online which delayed your question coming up on the list for all to answer. I would like to help if you are still interested in an opinion.
I would not use the ear cleaner that you have for a couple reasons.
It is expired by more than a year, and this cleaner is not a general cleaner but rather is specifically formulated more for dogs with particular types of infections, and may be irritating for your pup's ears.
Grizzly does sound uncomfortable tonight, and I understand that is upsetting to see.
Since most ear infections are secondary to allergies and the inflammation they cause you can use an antihistamines to help with the effects of an allergen.
You can try:
1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours.
OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 25 pounds of body weight once or twice daily.
OR 3)Hydroxyzine at 1mg per pound of body weight orally every 8 hours.
OR 4) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily.
OR 5) Zyrtec (Cetirizine hydrochloride) at 1/2 mg per pound of body weight orally every 24 hours. That would be one 10mg tablet per 20 pounds of body weight. Make sure it is NOT the formulation with a decongestant (such as Zyrtec-D) because dogs cannot tolerate decongestants
You can also use a nonspecific gentle ear cleaner like Oticlens tonight to remove as much of the waxy debris as possible. This removes excess wax and keeps the ear pH at levels that discourage infections. When the ear is sore many dogs won't let you squirt things in their ear but if you soak a cotton ball with the cleaner, then place it at the top of the ear canal and massage the ear from the outside, putting pressure on the soaked cotton ball, the cleaner will be instilled easily. Wipe out excess cleaner and waxy debris with dry cotton balls.
Do not clean his ear the day of his veterinary appointment.
If his ear is very red, but not raw looking, you can apply a light coat of cortisone ointment (like Cortaid) to his outer ear canal skin with a clean cotton ball.
Then if his ear/head shaking continues I recommend having his veterinarian take a look at him tomorrow.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.