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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10379
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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I have a 5 year old, male, neutered lab who is in good health.

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I have a 5 year old, male, neutered lab who is in good health. We have had him since he was a puppy. We live in Southern California and he is an inside/outside dog. We have a huge garden and he loves to go out with us everyday and run around, but he stick pretty close to us when we are in the house.

He has developed sores on the inside tips of his ears. I don't think it is flystrike because we don't have a "fly problem" and I never see them buzzing around him or sitting on him. He doesn't scratch or paw at his ears, but he does shake his head which opens up the sores.

In an attempt to get the wounds to scab over and close, I have been spraying them with Nexcare, No Sting Liquid bandage spray. The ingredients are hexamethyldisiloxane, isooctane, acrylate terpolymer, and polyphenylmethylsiloxane. It does not bother him at all and he is tolerating completely

It seems to have helped close one of the sores, but not the other. I am wondering whether he needs some other treatment and whether I am attempting to treat a symptom (the open sore) rather than the cause. The wounds do not appear to be infected and the surrounding tissue is not inflamed or swollen. I have photos that I can send.

I would appreciate any help I can get.

Hi Dean,


My name isXXXXX've professionally worked with animals for over 16 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.


What you are seeing might be a skin condition (dermatitis) or be from fly bites, ear mites or even mange. However, mites and even allergies usually cause some itchiness. However, he might be scratching when you are not paying attention. Here is some information on mange and allergies

You can read up on allergies here:

Various causes are discussed here:

. It may also be ear margin vasculitis which causes redness and sores on the ear edges. Tick borne disease and auto-immune diseases can cause this. A biopsy can be done to see if your dog has this condition. Blood tests can also be done to check for these diseases. An over the counter hydrocortisone ointment can be used to see if it helps until testing is completed if you think this is a possibility. Tacrolimus (Pro-Topic) 0.1%" ointment might help with any scabbing and bleeding with this condition. Some vets use this In combination with Pentoxifylline This drug increases blood circulation. These two medications together seem to work to clear up this problem.


You will want to get this checked out by your vet to determine the cause so appropriate treatment can be given. In the meantime you might try some Neosporin or triple antibiotic cream on them to provide some relief if it is bothering Cooper in the meantime.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your effort. I would prefer to work with a Vet who actually wanted to see the photos rather than giving me a long list of possibilities and telling me to take him to see a vet.

I would prefer someone else answer this question, please.

Hi, I'm Dr. Deb. Jane has asked me to help you with your concern about Cooper.
I would love to see the pictures that you have if you know how to send them to the site.

It can sometimes be difficult to post pictures (unless you've done it before) and I usually recommend that you post to an independent website such as Photobucket (which is free). Then just send me the URL link.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I use Flickr, these are public pictures, let me know if you have trouble seeing them.


I will send two of each ear. For the ear that is more healed, the close up is a little out of focus, but you can see the scab and the other picture of the same ear is focused. The ear with the more open wound photos are both pretty good. If you want better pictures let me know.


I know for a fact he is NOT scratching at his ears.[email protected]/9300912691/[email protected]/9300910471/[email protected]/9303694834/[email protected]/9300907609/


Please let me know if you have more questions

These are perfect, thank you!

No, I can see that he's not itchy; these lesions weren't created by scratching nor do they continue because he's scratching at them.
But he is shaking his head which is one reason why they aren't addition to the fact that it's notoriously difficult to get the tips of ears to heal. It can often be a nightmare because there's a good blood supply and it's a tough area to bandage.

I believe the one is well on it's way to being ok but the other one looks slightly infected to me. Of course, it could look that way because of the spray you used but it has a much nastier look to me.
So, the goal is to treat this wound topically as well as to prevent more damage when he shakes those ears.

My suggestions would be as follows:
1. I would clean both areas with dilute betadine/iodine (to the color of weak tea) twice a day and let it dry. These anti-septic products are available at most pharmacies. I would avoid hydrogen peroxide since it can retard healing and alcohol will burn (which you probably already know.)
You can also purchase products with chlorohexiderm in the label which has good antibacterial properties.
2. Then I would apply over the counter topical antibiotic ointment such as you would use for a wound on yourself.
3. I would purchase or make a "hood" such as is described in this LINK. It's often difficult to immobilize those ears but this will give you an idea of what I mean and what will be necessary to prevent more damage to the one ear tip. It's even possible that pet stores will carry such products since many have expanded their product line to include cones, etc.

It's quite possible that he'll need oral antibiotics before you see significant improvement in the one ear but I'd try the above first for 3-4 more days.

Regardless of what initiated these wounds (and in many cases, we haven't a clue), it can be extremely challenging to get them to heal unless the ear is immobilized.

I hope this helps and I wish you much luck. Deb

Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10379
Experience: I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks so much for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

I'd like to check back in with you in a few day so you can update me on Cooper's situation. I'll send you a follow up email to which you can respond when you have the time.

Kindly disregard the information request. Regards, Deb
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you can email me at [email protected]

Unfortunately, we're not allowed to exchange personal information on this site so you'll receive my email as you have been. I assume it's the same one that you tried to send but was blocked from my viewing it...but thanks for trying to send it to me directly:)

Take care. Deb