My husband adopted a dog from the pound about 8 years ago. She is a mix breed with very large ears. We are constantly battling ear infections. She has yeast that grows in her ears. We have tried feeding her yogurt, we clean her ears weekly and the poor pooch still gets them. We have very regular trips to the vet. Any suggestions on what to do next? I feel so bad for her, she always seems to be in pain.
Allergies have been implicated as a common cause for ear infections. Dog's can be allergic to anything in the environment, such as dust mites, rag weed, cigarette smoke, and many more. Dog's can also suffer from food allergies and these also affect the skin.
There are accurate allergy tests for environmental allergies, but there are no accurate tests for food allergies. Determining the cause of food allergies requires placing your dog on a novel protein food trial for 8 to 12 weeks and if the symptoms go away it means that your dog was allergic to an ingredient or ingredients in his previous food. Please discuss a novel protein food trial with your vet if you are interested. One of the problems with allergies is that many patients have a combination of environmental and food allergies.
The medication Atopica may be helpful for your dog, since it works on food and environmental allergies. Atopica will take approximately one month to become effective. During this first month other medications, such as anti-histamines and steroids may be required to keep the infection tolerable, but after that the Atopica should be effective. All other secondary infections or infestations must be treated simultaneously this first month and may require periodic or occasional treatment for outbreaks especially if the allergy is seasonal. Secondary factors include: bacterial or yeast skin infection from scratching and biting of the skin which has allowed the infections to penetrate the defensive skin barrier, and/or demodex, scabies mites and fleas if found. Atopica can be given long term unlike steroids.
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