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Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16855
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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Please can you help I have a German shepherd/border collie

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Please can you help I have a German shepherd/border collie cross bitch, over the last few weeks she has been showing signs of having an ear problem. Her ear has been extremely dirty and red I have used ear drops and cleaned this on a regular daily basis but it does not seem to go away completely. She seems to be clear of the redness for a few days and it flares up again but I am still cleaning and checking the ear on a daily basis
I am sorry to hear about Sascha's ear. Ear problems can be frustrating.

My name isXXXXX am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

The first thing I do when only one ear is affected, is to look down into the ear canal, as far as the ear drum to see if there is anything in there that is causing the problem, like a tick or a piece of plant, and also to be sure the ear drum is intact. When you look at a dog's ear, you are only seeing about 1/4th of the ear canal; you need a special instrument to look all the way to the ear drum.

If the ear drum is intact, and there is no foreign material in there, the next step is to clean the ear completely. What ear cleaner are you using? I like mild cleaners with no alcohol, that contain agents that break up and loosen wax and dirt. You fill the ear with the cleaner, gently massage the ear for a minute, and then jump back! she will shake her head, and everything that has been loosened up will come flying out. Then gently clean everything you can see with a tissue or cotton.

I clean the ear daily or every other day. Twice daily, I use drops that contain both antibiotics, anti yeast, and anti inflammatory medication: Tresaderm, Otomax, Animax, etc.

I continue this regimen for a week after the ear looks normal.

If all this does not work, and often it doesn't, I next look for some underlying internal cause: food allergy, hypothyroidism, pollen allergy.

Fish oil supplements, probioitics, and other immune supports can be helpful. Trying a "limited ingredient" diet might help, if it is a food allergy.

These ears can be extremely painful, so pain medication like anti inflammatories, tramadol or gabapentin can be helpful.

I know it does not make sense that allergies and hypothyroidism could cause a problem in only one ear, but we see it quite often in dogs.

Like I said, these ear problems can be frustrating. The place to start is a good look at the ear drum, to see if it is intact. If it is not, it can be dangerous to put cleansers and drops in there.

Please let me know what else I can answer or help with.


Rebecca and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So would you advise that I stop using the drops and cleaning and take sascha to the vet for a profesionable check up - if this is he case then I am sorry but I feel I have just wasted an extra £13 as I was going to do this anyway But thanks for your oppinion


If the drops you are using have not helped (what are the ingredients in your drops and cleaner?), and the ear has not been checked to see if the ear drum is intact, then a vet visit would be my recommendation. This website is for information, and I have given you the best information I know, and told you what I would do if this were my very own dog.

You could try things like the diet change, fish oil, and proboitics I suggested, but it is alway best to get a diagnosis of the problem to know the best treatment. You can't see into a dog's ear without an otoscope. Different conditions could be the cause of this ear infection.

You have not wasted your money. If you are disappointed with the service, you have only paid a deposit which will be returned to you. You only pay for this service when you are totally satisfied with the information we give, and give the answer a good rating. Do not rate my answer, and your deposit will be returned.

I wish you luck with Sascha.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I will go ahead with my original plan and take my baby to the vet I only used his on the recomendation of a friend of my husband for a quicker answer but as you have not told me anything I wasnt going to do I feel a bit disappointed.


I don't doubt you know what you are saying and may be able to help other people but at this time I feel you have not told me anything i didnt already know so feel let down.

If I could think of anything else, I would have told you. I did spend a lot of time on my answer!

You are very knowledgeable if you already knew about probiotics helping things like allergies and ear infections, and that ear problems can be from a food allergy that can be treated with a limited ingredient diet. If you had told me you had already tried these things, I would not have suggested them.

Sorry my answer was a disappointment. I only can answer based on what you tell me, which was that you had only tried ear drops and cleaning her ear.

I will opt out, and let another expert help you; there are many others on this site. Do not respond to this posting, so that another expert can respond to you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I feel that all of what I have said has been taken out of context, I am not clued up on all the information you have given me and never said I was this is obviously not a good idea for me to use his site as I will be taking my dog to see the vet for more in depth look with the correct equipment as you said.


I will make sure you get your money for the advice you have given and what I meant was instead of using this site I do in fact need to take my much loved dog to see someone wih experience and this time you were not the correct course of action for me to take.


That's said I believe you are very good at what you do but whilst I can accept that I was wrong to use this site many other people will be parting with money for advice from you an in the end the same as me will end up taking there beloved pet to see the vet that is the point I am making.

Thank you for the positive rating!

When you said "I feel you have not told me anything i didnt already know" I did take it that you were disappointed with my answer.

If there is any way I can help you with Sascha, anything else I can answer, I will be happy to do so. There really is no substitute for a hands on physical exam by your veterinarian.

Thank you again.