Red and Itchy Ears...Infection? - Labradors Forums
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Red and Itchy Ears...Infection?

I was hoping someone may be able to give me some useful information on ear infections. My 7 month old yellow lab has ear problems every now and then. One or sometimes both ears become red on the inside and there is a significant buildup of a dark brown substance in the ear. When this occurs, it really seems to bother him and he will itch quite a bit, worsening the redness. This has been an ongoing problem since he was about 3 months of age. The first vet I took him to told me that he had some sort of yeast infection in his ear. She gave me drops to treat this that I was to administer once a day for two weeks (Tresaderm). She also gave me an ear cleanser called Epi-Optic by Virbac. I was supposed to clean his ears with this solution twice a week for the rest of his life apparently.
I switched vets shortly after this, and the new vet told me unless the problem became more severe, he would recommend not using either of these products. I took him in to get neutered about 3 weeks ago, and it just so happened that one of his ears was acting up at that time. I told the vet to check it out while he was under anesthesia. I could tell that they had thoroughly cleansed his ears when I got him home, but they told me that there was no problem.
Now that I have given as much info as I can on the situation, I would like to know what I should really be doing about this. When his ears act up, it really seems to bother him, but he absolutely hates getting his ears cleaned out. I have used the cleanser probably once a week since the last vet visit (mainly after he gets water in his ears from the pool). The water seems to really worsen the problem.
To cut to the point, should I be doing anything about this? If so, what do you recommend. Thank you for any assistance.

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Old 13-07-2008, 12:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Ellie has ongoing ear problems, and it's flared up again this week since i've moved, but i've been cleaning her ears every day with a solution from the vets called Epi-Otic. I make a big fuss and a game and she comes and lies down, i squirt it down her ear and rub the residue off with cotton wool balls and it takes about 20 seconds. She then gets a small treat and thinks, well that was fun! And the next time is a little easier.

For a short term solution, homemade saline solution (salty warm water), cleared out afterwards with cotton wool balls should help.

Obviously, if the condition gets worse, then u should go back to the vets....


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Old 13-07-2008, 12:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I find Thornit is very good for "ear maintenance" - it was recommended to me by numerous people before I bought it and we've had it here for years. Not sure if you can get it in the US or if one of the UK sellers would ship to the US? It's a power, you just need to use a little bit.
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Old 13-07-2008, 12:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Daisy has on and off ongoing problems with ears and we pretty much follow a similar path to the one you mention. We use Epi-Optic to clean ears a couple of times a week, but every so often they become red and mucky and we have to get drops from the vets. She's not that fond of the drops but is very good and I do give her a tasty treat.
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Old 13-07-2008, 07:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Indie had an ongoing ear infection from being a pup, I did clean her ears regularly, but she just more prone to having mucky ears and used to get loads of the dark brown waxy discharge. Our old vet (who for various reasons I self referred from to a better one) used to just prescribe an ear cleaning product. Once I was with a different vet they realised there was a problem, and took her in for a GA to take ear swabs, which were then sent off and the underlying infection was correctly diagnosed, meaning it could be treated effectively. I now use thornit powder to maintain her ears, and it seems to be working.

Neither Tau or Chloe suffer from mucky ears, and although I occasionally pop a bit of thornit in Tau's ears, I don't do anything with Chloe's and they are both absolutely fine.
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Old 18-08-2009, 12:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Bad Ears

I just wanted to tell you what really works in my labs ears and its called Thornit. Just google it and you will find it. It doesn't cost very much and you won't have to visit a vet about your labs ears again. Please try it. I have told loads of people about it and they have all be sceptical at first but amazed when its done the job. I live in th UK. Bye Bye for now, let me know if you try it.
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Old 18-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Matt, dogs can get swimmers ear just like humans.

The best thing you can do is clean them out everytime he swims.
The vet has given epi-optic which is fine, or you can use a cheaper saline solution. My lab is not a fan of the squirt from the bottle so what I do is make sure it's at room temperature (ie not cold as thats even more horrid) and then squeeze the solution to soak a cotton ball, I then squeeze the cotton ball into his ear, i'm not sure why but this is less of a shock for him and more tolerable.

I also used to do this always right before a meal - they are much less inclined to run around the room and dodge you when they know it's just a job they need to get done before meal times.

Thornit is a great preventative treatment but it's a powder, which is less ideal if your dog gets trapped water post swimming and more for helping work out the brown gunk in general.
The main thing is to get the ears clean and dry post swimming - the dog shaking his head should do the drying but if not give his outer ear a quick massage after the clean to help work out all the solution and water.
Sarah and Nellie x
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