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My dog is 11yrs old pit brindle prone to ear infections I'm…

Customer Question
Hi my dog is...

Hi my dog is 11yrs old pit brindle prone to ear infections I'm not working right now and I have used part vinegar and water in his ears all the time ..my friend gave me some pennicillin from tractor supply and I have to use a syringe..I don't know how often or how much ..but he is miserable I can not afford a vet ..please help me thank you .

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. There are all sorts of infections your dog 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 dog's name?

Simon

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Simon?

No just he is getting older and he eats good but I been giving him some tumeric in his food ..is that ok ..my friend says she gives it to hers for all kind of stuff..

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 14 minutes by:
5/29/2018
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19,012
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Verified

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I'm here
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
No I don't have any money in need some help ?
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

I understand that Simon is uncomfortable due to an ear infection.

Of course the ideal situation is to see his veterinarian and have his ear debris tested to see what sort of infection he has to get him on the right medication, but I understand that may not be possible right away given your financial situation.

In general systemic antibiotics will not successfully treat an ear infection in a dog. Unlike people that get inner ear infections dog ear infections are in the outer ear canal, and systemic antibiotics don't penetrate the skin lining the ear canal or the thick, waxy debris in the ear well at all, so they don't work very well unless the infection spreads to the inner ear. If the infection spreads to the inner ear we can add systemic antibiotics, although Penicillin would not be one we would use because it has poor efficacy against bacteria that normally cause inner ear infections in dogs, but we would still need to use topical medication. In short I DO NOT recommend using Penicillin.

There are some other systemic medications that can help prevent some of the predisposing factors for developing infections, and thus are useful for prevention, but it is extremely rare to be able to give an oral medication, especially an antibiotic, and cure an ear infection.

In some less common types of ear infection with very aggressive bacteria (pseudomonas for example) that cause erosions of the ear canal skin we may need to combine oral systemic antibiotics with topical medications too. That isn't the usual though.

While he does need to see a veterinarian in the meantime there are some things that we can do to help him feel more comfortable.

Since most ear infections are secondary to allergies and the inflammation they cause you can use a combination of antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to help with those. In combination fatty acids and antihistamines work synergistically, much better than either one alone.

You can try:

1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic) at a dose of 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.

Some dogs do better on one antihistamine rather than another. Give the one you pick a 3-5 day trial and if it isn't working (he seems just as itchy) try another. Be aware that antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.

Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight. I recommend an omega 3 fatty acid dose based upon the EPA portion (eicosapentanoic acid) of the supplement as if we do that the rest of the supplement will be properly balanced. Give him 20mgs of EPA per pound of body weight per day. For example an 85 pound dog could take 1700mg of EPA per day.

I also recommend using a gentle ear cleaner like Oticlens daily now 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.

Once you have his infection treated and cleared use the cleaner twice a week as that helps prevent infections and also allows you to know what a normal ear looks like and catch ear infections very early.

Sometimes with an early infection simply cleaning the ear daily is enough to stop it in its tracks.

If his ear canal skin surface is very red after cleaning you can apply a light coat of hydrocortisone cream (like Cortaid) to the ear skin with a cotton ball.

Then I recommend that he see a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Do not clean his ear the day of his veterinary appointment so they can gather a sample of the wax for testing.

If your regular veterinarian is beyond your means financially now your other option is to contact your local shelter or humane society and see if they run a low cost clinic or know of one in your area.
If not here is a web-page that lists some that may be able to help:
http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html?credit=web_id91754962#Assistance_by_state
Other sources of help can be found here: http://speakingforspot.com/?p=Financial%20Assistance%20for%20Veterinary%20Care

I also want to add that if Simon has had repeated ear infections there is likely some sort of predisposing factor. In most cases it is allergic inflammation, particularly food allergies, so you might want to try feeding him a prescription true hypoallergenic diet. I recommend Hills z/d, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary diets HA or Royal Canin restricted protein diets.

Tumeric is a herbal supplement used to decrease inflammation. It should be helpful for arthritis, allergic inflammation, and cancer. Unfortunately there are no testing agencies that monitor supplements, so some are great and others are really poor. It probably cannot hurt to give it to him, but I can't say it will help.

It has been my pleasure to help you today, and I hope that I have earned my 5 star rating. Please remember to rate my service by selecting the 5 stars at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). You are welcome to ask follow up questions about my response here until you are satisfied, simply use the reply box and let me know. Thank you!

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
No phone call ...if you can not help me refund my $5....I'm not working !
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

No need for a phone call, can you see my written response above?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Do you have any questions about what I have written?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Kara, Veterinarian replied 2 months ago

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your pup. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****

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