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Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
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constant production of dark brown ear wax without odor

Customer Question

constant production of dark brown ear wax without odor
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Drew replied 8 years ago.
The first dog that is not scratching or exhibiting pain, likely just has excessive was buildup. Sometimes was buildup can be made *worse* by excessive cleaning and agitation, so I usually recommend just leaving the ears alone for a while to see if things quiet down at all. If there's no odor, redness, or irritation, there's likely no infection. And wax isn't harmful, it's actually protective to trap dirt, etc.

For the second dog, it sounds like there's an infection there, and I would really recommend avoiding q-tips, as they are remarkably abrasive and painful to use on swollen tissue. Your veterinarian can take a sample of the debris to see if the infection is caused by bacteria, yeast, or both, and then prescribe proper medication for it. Usually, if there's a lot of inflammation and pain, then a steroid will be needed in addition to the antibiotic or antifungal medication.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
This did not help solve my problem. The dark brown excessive wax is REALLLY excessive... You suggested that I leave the ear alone, but If left alone, it just pours out of my dog's ear even worse, staining everything (all of her hair around the ear and on the left side of her whole body) around the ear, and it just keeps getting worse each day. The whole inside of her ear has massive amounts of this dark dark brown waxy substance and is completely out of control. This discharge reminds me of my old lab I used to have, because it is the exact same type of wax, only the little poodle I have now has excessively more waxy discharge. On the second dog's problem ear, I already knew she had some type of fungal or bacterial infection... I just wanted to know your opinion as to what you thought it was.... fungal or bacterial, since she can walk into a room, and it stinks up the whole room very quickly. I t hought there might be some meds I could get OTC or online and if you thought these would work. I am disabled and have very little money and thought this web site might help me a lot more.
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 8 years ago.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having these problems! It's probably not what you want to hear, but most likely both of these dogs will need to see a vet in order to get better.


There are many different types of ear infections.

What you have described for BOTH dogs sounds like an ear infection. If I see an excess of wax production to this extent it usually is an ear infection. While most will have an odour, not all do.


It is rare for an ear infection to be caused by just yeast or just bacteria. I have had a few patients in which their owners have tried to treat an infection with an over the counter yeast medication and we have ended up with a raging bacterial infection.


If this were my case I would be doing, as Dr. Drew recommended, a laboratory test to determine what type of bacteria and/or yeast is present and then administering the appropriate medication. There are very few ear infections that will get better with over the counter medicines.


I hope this information helps! If you have more questions about this concern, just hit reply and I will respond as soon as I can. I am in between appointments this morning, so there may be a delay before I reply. Or, if my answer has helped you, please hit accept.


The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would highly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.


Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience: Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
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