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I have a 12 year old Golden Retriever. She has several

Hi. I have...

Hi. I have a 12 year old Golden Retriever. She has several chronic issues, but does pretty well given her age. For the past 6 months, her chronic ear infections are uncontrolled. She has large polyps in her ear that bleed easily and she needs daily cleaning to stay on top of things. One vet wanted to remove her ear canal. Another vet suggested removing polyps. She has had neuro issues - suspected Graves’ disease - and almost died when she was 10. We have no interest in having her put under with anesthesia.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. There are all sorts of infections the Golden Retriever can pick up. I'll have you talk to the Veterinarian who'll sort out what is wrong and help you decide what to do about it. What is the Golden Retriever's name?

We are trying to figure out what palliative measures might be options.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the Golden Retriever?

Her er name is Sadie

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The main issue is that her ear literally smells rancid. She does well with antibiotics and steroids, and has had several courses over the past few months but within 2 weeks her ear stinks again. She has constant discharge and we clean it at least every other day with the Oticleans. When we ran out, and before we got her a refill, we used 50/50 water and Apple Cider Vinegar (And I would argue that seemed to work better). But now that we have the oticleans, we are back to using that. But her ear is so raw from the constant discharge and cleanings. And we are incredibly ginger with her, but honestly, It’s awful.We’re wondering if we should just ask to have her put on constant antibiotics/ steroids. Or maybe an antifungal like flucozonole?As it stands now, we can tell that she is very uncomfortable. She is afraid of us, because she doesn’t want her ear touched. And the smell is permeating our house and because it clings to fabrics/ carpet, she is now only allowed in our tiled mudroom. We want to love on her and enjoy her golden years, not have her life like this. We’re broken hearted.What ideas do you have for long term palliative care to eliminate the rancid odor? We understand medications have side effects on other organs etc, but would rather have 6 good months than years of what we have now.
Answered in 10 hours by:
3/16/2018
Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,134
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
Verified

Welcome to JustAnswer.com! My name is***** and I have been a licensed veterinarian for 10 years. I would be happy to answer your question. I'm sorry to hear that your dog is having these recurrent and severe ear infections secondary to polyps. May I ask why you don't want to put her under anesthesia? Your vet would do blood work to make sure she could tolerate the anesthesia and monitor during the procedure. If that is not an option, I recommend having some of the bacteria from the ear sent for a bacterial culture, in order to identify exactly which bacteria is causing the infection. After the lab identifies the bacteria, they will run some tests with antibiotics to determine which antibiotics would be best to control the infection. I do think that you are correct and that it would be worth keeping her on antibiotics and steroids. However, I do think you should reconsider surgery. You can talk to your vet about your concerns about anesthesia. I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns and I would be happy to continue our conversation.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
She honestly does not seem healthy enough to be put under with anesthesia and one vet said removing the polyps won’t solve her chronic ear infection, that they will come back because no one has been able to determine the underlying cause of her allergic ear. He said the only way to stop this is to remove the entire ear canal. That seems cruel. She’s 12. That would be life altering for her.. and because we live in the country, and she likes to be outside playing, we don’t want to rob her of 50% of her sense of hearing. We have coyotes, bears, etc.My husband is fed up. He is adamant that he won’t pay for surgery. When she became gravely ill and dropped from 60 to 40lbs, in a month... no one could figure out what was wrong with her. She wasn’t expected to live to see her 11th birthday. I nursed her back with homemade chicken soup every day. I am willing to cook for her again and forego storebought kibble (which we have done every brand the vet recommended and no improvement.).Surgery is absolutely not an option. We want to give her quality of life again. Surely there is a way other than removing her ear canal. Please advise.

I ​understand your dilemma. I would treat based on symptoms. So for rancid owner, keep her on antibiotics. For her pain, ask your vet about a pain medication that you can keep her on until her last days, such as Rimadyl, tramadol, or gabapentin. If her pain is controlled she may be more willing to let you clean it. Oral prednisone will also help decrease inflammation and pain.

Dr. Rachel
Dr. Rachel, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,134
Experience: Owner/Veterinarian at Austin Home Vet Care
Verified
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Thank you! I appreciate your candor and expertise. We will call the vet on Monday and request a culture and a long term medication plan based on your recommendations.

Y​ou're welcome! Good luck and have a great weekend.

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