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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 11837
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My westie has an on going itching ear problem how can we fix

Customer Question

My westie has an on going itching ear problem how can we fix as ear drops not working
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Thanks for writing in. My name is***** and I would be happy to help you. I do have a few questions for you to better assess your situation.What ear drops are you using?Are you cleaning the ear as well?When was the last time your vet did an ear swab and look under the microscope?What does the debris coming out of the ear look like?Is she on any other medication?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Drops are called otomax we clean ear out all the time .vet never done a swab. Debris out of ear is brown colour. No other meds
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the information. In most cases, ear infections in dogs are allergy related. With her age, though, make sure your vet has ruled out a polyp or tumor in the ear. That can continue to cause problems despite treatment. I will start off by saying that if the ear infection has been chronic enough to cause severe swelling and calcification (would need an x-ray to see) of the ear canal, then you will not be able to clear the infection at that point. The changes are irreversible, and surgery to remove the ear canal is the only option. Hopefully, it has not gotten that far. If it hasn't, then I would highly recommend your vet run an ear cytology to see if this is a yeast, bacteria or mixed infection. If it is bacterial, and there are a lot of rod shaped bacteria, then it needs to be cultured and tested against different antibiotics, because it could be a resistant pseudomonas infection. If that is the case, then x-rays to evaluate the middle ear cavity is necessary because infection can reside there. If just simple yeast and/or bacterial infection (cocci shaped), and the ear canal doesn't have irreversible swelling, then aggressive treatment is usually necessary. First and foremost, medication to control allergies is needed. Most of these dogs need to be on prednisone for inflammation and swelling initially and maintenance doses of medication after. The maintenance can be very lose dose prednisone or medications like Atopica or Apoquel. Make sure you are cleaning the ears twice daily and using the medication as prescribed (just clean once daily if the medication is prescribed for once a day) for minimum of two weeks. Recheck visits with the vet after 2 weeks are of upmost importance to determine progression and if the infection is really cleared up at that point. When cleaning, fill the ear canal, massage the base of the canal for 30-60 seconds, let her shake her head and clean with a dry cotton ball. If you are diligent with treating and getting in for rechecks, then the infection can be cleared. They HAVE to be on medication to control allergies, though, or you may be just spinning in circles. Once the infection is cleared, I would be cleaning the ears minimum of twice weekly for maintenance. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns before rating. Hope this helps. DISCLAIMER: My goal is to make sure that you get all your question answered and all the information you need. If you are satisfied with my answer, please rate it. If you feel like it is not helpful to you, or if there is more information you need, please respond back to me before rating. Realize that our conversation is not intended to diagnose or treat a condition. There has to be a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship established with an exam, according to law. You should always follow up with your vet.
Expert:  Dr. John replied 2 years ago.
Hello June,

I'm was just following up to see how Holly is doing and to see if you have any further questions?

Dr John