Dogs with long floppy (droopy) ears have a higher chance of getting ear infections compared to dogs with upright ears. While ear infections are not limited to ear structures, excess hair in the ear canal, wax overproduction, hormonal disorders, allergies and autoimmune diseases also contribute to a higher chance of ear infections.
I will attach a website regarding ear infections for further reading, symptoms and causes for dog ear infections were cited from the same website.
Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections
Some dogs show no symptoms of ear infection aside from a buildup of wax and discharge in the ear canal. But ear infections often cause significant discomfort and affected dogs may show signs such as:
- Head shaking
- Scratching at the affected ear
- Dark discharge
- Redness and swelling of the ear canal
- Crusting or scabs in the ears
What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?
The canine ear canal is more vertical than that of a human, forming an L-shape that tends to hold in fluid. This makes dogs more prone to ear infections. Ear infections are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. In puppies, ear mites can also be a source of infection.
Factors that may predispose your dog to ear infections include:
- Moisture, which can create a prime growing environment for bacteria and yeast
- Allergies, which lead to ear disease in about 50 percent of dogs with allergic skin disease and 80 percent of dogs with food sensitivities
- Endocrine disorders, such as thyroid disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Wax buildup
- Foreign bodies
- Injury to the ear canal
- Excessive cleaning
Truffle’s persistent ear infection
Puppies comes with great responsibility. Who doesnt know? I knew what I was getting into when I got Truffle. Well, at least I thought I knew. I never expected myself to be dealing with persistent allergy problem and also ear infection.
Truffle have 2 ongoing issues: environmental allergy and recurring ear infection.
I will talk about how I dealt with his ear infections since day 1 in this blogpost.
Kindly note that I will be listing some products that I used on Truffle below. If you want to try the below products, kindly get your vet’s approval or suggestion first before purchasing. But generally, the products I mentioned are safe to use for all breeds as they are sold in our local vet clinics. I tried many products before finding out the best one for Truffle, so if you are experiencing the same problem as me, take time to find out which product works best!
The first time
When I first found out about his ear infection, his ears were all red and itchy. As a first time puppy owner, I did not dare to clean his ear and I went to the vet for consultation.
A microscopy with stain test was done and confirmed that Truffle have yeast infection in both ears.
Vet A prescribed Dermotic ear cleanser (40ml) and EPI-otic skin and ear cleanser (125ml).
EPI-otic is a great everyday ear cleanser, I recommend every dog owner to have a dog ear cleanser at home. It is good to clean them once a week, preferably after shower.
However, Dermotic is only effective during the first treatment of Truffle’s ear infection.
After the first successful treatment of dermotic, Truffle’s ear infection came back again after a few months. I purchased both EPI-otic and dermotic via shopee and self prescribe, it works but his ear infection keep coming back with a few months interval. Example, it came back every 3 months, but cleared up with a week of self prescription and ear care.
During this on and off ear infection period, I did not consult the vet as I thought that they will prescribe the same medicine, so why not save on consultation fees, transport fees and also medication fees? Everything is cheaper on Shopee.
It got worse
After a year and a half, Truffle’s ear infection came back again with full force. This time round, there were black discharge and his ears were red and inflamed.
Warning- some people might get grossed out by the photos below.
This was when I know that the current ear drop (dermotic) was no longer effective and I bought Truffle to vet B. Vet B saw the photos above and prescribed Aurizon ear drops (20ml).
As per vet instructions, I were to clean the ears everyday with Epi-otic, then apply Aurizon twice per day for a week.
Truffle’s ear infection improved and all the discharge were cleared, his ears were no longer inflamed too.
Then.. It came back.. Again…
Yup, you guessed it.
Truffle’s ear infection came back again, with the same black discharge and red ears. I went back to Vet B and they did a microbiology test (Aerobic culture and sensitivity test). Cost of this test is $85.
Results: Heavy growth of yeast, Malassexia sp. is noticed. No bacteria pathogen is noticed.
Yeast infection, again. This time around, Vet B prescribed Dermotic ear drops because they only carry Aurizon and Dermotic.
However, Dermotic did not work on Truffle this time round. His naughty ears built up a resistance for this 2 common ear drops and I had to go to Vet C for second opinion and other variety of medications.
My experience with Vet C
Before I mention the medications they prescribed, I would like to let you know that Vet C charged me $65 consultation fee for “second opinion”. I will not mention any names here, but it is a popular clinic in Serangoon. Their regular consultation fee is $36.
I am already in distress over the fact that Truffle’s ear infection is not improving and causing him pain, Vet C gave me another punch by charging me a “second opinion” consultation fee of a whopping $65. I accepted it, with Truffle’s recovery in mind.
Vet C did an Ear Diffquick Cytology, yeast was detected in both ears, slightly more on the left ear.
Of course, being an expensive clinic, they recommended K9 biotic Otic Gel ($62).
It is a leave in treatment. No cleaning the ear or showering within 1 week. When it dries up, it looks like the photo on the right.
Vet C first cleaned his ears, then applied the medication which will dry up in his ear canals to act on the infection.
Vet C assures me that this leave in medication will work as it has proven effective for previous customers.
Next scheduled review is in 2 weeks time.
After 2 weeks, the ear infection is still there…
Vet C then recommended me a second round of K9 Biotix Otic Gel. Yes, 2 times of this gel cost me $124. I agreed, I hoped that the vet’s recommendation is right.
HIS EAR IS STILL INFECTED.
I went back after 2 weeks for review and did an Ear Diffquick Cytology and results were: Yeast infection is still present.
Vet C asked me if I want a third round of K9 Biotix Otic Gel, since his condition is improving. Of course I said no! I want the infection to be cured, not improve.
I then asked them for an alternative and they recommended me the Trizultra + Keto Medicated ear wash (118ml).
This is a medicated ear wash that provides antibacterial and antifungal action, it is effective against various fungi. Its anti fungal properties helps reduce yeast and bacteria, which in turn prevent and treat infection.
I had my doubts with this ear wash, but Truffle’s infection cleared up within days!
I washed his ears twice daily for a week, then decreased frequency to once daily. Now its once per week.
I am using this ear wash exclusively every week and stopped epi-otic. Truffle’s have a high risk of infection, a mild ear cleaner might not be for him.
I paid $75 for this cleanser at Vet C, amazon sells for $29.93 inclusive delivery.
Trizultra + Keto Amazon: https://bit.ly/36fY6nu
This experience really taught me what is patience, what works for others might not work for Truffle. Usually, dermotic and aurizon is sufficient to clear ear infections, together with epiotic ear cleanser.
K9 Biotix Otic Gel is definitely a waste of time and money as it did not clear his ear infections at all, despite being administered for 2 weeks.
I spent $408 on Vet C before they recommended me the Trizultra + Keto Medicated ear wash.
The process of finding the right medication takes time and I hope that the medicated ear wash will be effective for a long time and that Truffle do not build a resistance.
I highly recommend all dog owners to wash their furkid’s ear at least once weekly, even for dogs with upright ears. Maintain good hygiene to reduce the risk of having ear infection. EPI-otic is a good gentle cleanser for ear hygiene maintenance. https://shp.ee/m5vx9s2
Its almost a year since the episode of Truffle’s crazy ear discharge. I hope my journey will provide you with some insights regarding ear infections, and that you never have to experience it.
Truffle and Joey