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Ear Gunk


XTRAWLD
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So my oggie Kasey has been bothered by, I guess, excess ear wax buildup which perhaps has led to an infection. We are taking him in to the vet this afternoon.

 

A few weeks ago, I attempted to clean his ears as per usual routine, and I couldn't believe the amount of dark brown stuff that was coming out. After the cleaning he would not stop shaking. Shaking every few seconds to dislodge whatever I seemingly couldn't get or I had disturbed. His ears started to go dark red from the violence. I took him outside, found an old bottle of Hexadene and pretty much used more than half the bottle during a full out flushing of both ears. It seemed to do the trick, he stopped shaking and was content. While medicinally I do not think it is effective (due to expiry), that forcing of liquid that was more than just what warm water would be is what I was after.

 

This morning, I thought let me just check again, he seemed slightly bothered lately and was scratching at his ears. A direct copy of what took place above happened again this morning, except after flushing he was still bothered. The amount of dark brown to black stuff that was coming out of both ears was incredible. I just gave up, and called the vet.

 

Kasey has NEVER had an ear issue. At worst, he had slightly yellow ear gunk all his life. During his routine checkup in April, the vet tried to peer into his ear and he yelped. He was given antibiotics just in case, he's NEVER done that either when being looked over, so obviously he was sensitive.

 

When we first adopted Ryder he had dark black coffee ground like issues, which we cleared up immediately with flushing and meds, (only in one ear, the other was spot on clean). I know that stuff means trouble, but what is this dark brown to black stuff that is essentially waxy, in a dog that has had healthy ears all his life? Is brown-black wax what is in normal ears? How do we prevent this?

Edited by XTRAWLD

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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In my experience it usually means a yeast infection no biggie Otomax I think clears it. I have often seen it happen shortly after a dog is vaccinated. This happened to my mali after she got her 1st rabies vac-first one ear and then the other- put her on coconut oil, make sure her diet doesn't have a bunch of carbs(she eats raw now) and no more problems and its been a year or more now. Personally I would not use any oral antibiotics(unless infection is identified) as IMO they will make a yeast infection worse.

Edited by racindog
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Good to see the vet. When we've had ear problems here (rarely, thankfully) we use Hexadene flush twice daily for about 10 days. I just squirt it into the ear, massage very gently for about 10 seconds, and then stand back for the big messy head shake.

 

We have usually been given Surolan drops to put into the ear(s) after cleaning. Gradually the gunk dissolves and comes out, becoming softer and lighter and eventually non-existent.

 

Hope Kasey feels better soon!

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It could also be ear mites. "Coffee grounds" is a common descriptor when talking about them. The vet will be able to tell you if it's mites or a yeast infection.

 

Poor boy, hope he feels better soon!

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Guest LunaTheGreyt

My standard poodle, James, had terrible "ear gunk" and ear infections for many years. We treated with antibiotics, topical wipes, rinses, etc which cleared things up, but only for the short term. Several years ago I started doing research on fillers in dog food -- I switched him to a kibble without corn or beet pulp and he has not had a single problem since. He's been on totall grain-free, as well as one with rice, and has been fine. Check the ingredients in your food and see if there's any corn (many dogs are sensitive to it). Good luck!

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My old girl gets issues with her ears in the fall. Allergies is a common cause of yeast infections whether it be from food or something else. In my girl's case she seems to have environmental allergies that get really bad during October/November and then ease up.

 

I read up that a vinegar/water combination can really help clear up a yeast infection. I cleaned her ears out with 1 part white vinegar mixed with 1 part water and that really seemed to help.

 

Hope your boy is able to get some relief. Ear problems really seem to cause a lot of misery.

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15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I'd have the vet do an ear cytology to check for yeast, infection, and mites. In the meantime, they will be able to give you anti inflammatory or steroid that can relieve the itching.

Quick and dirty tips:

 

Yeast is going to have a yeasty smell.

Ear mite gunk will turn red (bloody) when you put it on a moist paper towel

Excessive wax production usually presents in both ears, not just one.

 

If everything in the cytology comes back negative, and his ears are getting gunked up on a regular basis, you're probably looking at a food allergy. I literally just went through this with my cat. He's 8-years-old, has eaten the same food for years. Out of nowhere, he began violently shaking his head and pawing at his ears. The test turned up nothing other than wax. After that, the cat specialist vet suggested switching to a novel protein (duck). Voila! Somehow, he developed an allergy to the food, which caused inflammation in the ears, which then causes an overproduction of wax. After a month on the new food, he's back to normal.

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I wanted to update this thread. Kasey was sent home with a bottle of Aurizon after getting a full flush in both ears last week, and actually a full once over as well oddly enough.

 

We are now on day 9 of 10 prescribed of putting 7 drops in each ear once a day. Needless to say the problem is clearly up quite nicely, but I'm still not 100% sure I like how much dark brown stuff is still around. It is a lot better, but there is still some darkness left. I think I'll call the vet just to ask if we can continue a little longer or what he would suggest otherwise.

 

As far as Ryder goes, we had a bottle of Surolan kicking around, which the vet said as long as it is clear it is ok to use regardless of the expiration date, much to my surprise. So we have been treating him with what we have left over, and he is also getting better.

Proudly owned by:
10 year old "Ryder" CR Redman Gotcha May 2010
12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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