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Rip_Some_Lip

Springer Spaniel Ear Issues

17 posts in this topic

I have a Springer and noticed that she shakes her head alot lately. She has also been scratching one of her ears alot lately. I tried looking in them but didnt notice anything, although I dont know what to look for. Is there a medication such as ear drops that I can use without having to take her to the vet? I will take her to a vet if need be, but was looking at a less expensive approach plus I am out of vacation time for the year. Thanks for any replies.

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My lab gets a yeast infection in one ear and I need to clean it out every couple of weeks. His symptoms are just like your dog. If you see dark blackish or brown "dirt" way down her ear that could be the case. I got some cleaner/flush from my vet and it works good for my boy. You can't go wrong by running it past your vet though. You don't want to take a chance on any potential hearing problems.

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As fivebucks said it sound like an infection and probably worthwhile talking with your vet. They will probably tell you he needs to come in so they can see what it is and can prescribe the proper meds (depending on what the issue is). You don't want to risk any issues with hearing.

You could try the "Purple Stuff" (see below) to see if that will take care of it. I have gotten stuff prescribed from the vet in the past, but now just do routine ear cleanings.

From another site....FYI I know many people that use this.

Quote:

Cleaning Ears and Treating Ear Infections

Own a Labrador or any drop eared dog long enough and someday you'll notice a foul smelling odor coming from the ears. Dogs with drop ears are notorious for developing ear infections. Ear infections can make dogs and their owners miserable. Its probably the number 1 complaint of dog owners with their veterinarian. The dogs itch, and scratch their ears until they start bleed. Hematomas can develop because of the shaking of the dog's head and the intense itching and scratching. Because the drop ear hangs down and doesn't allow air to flow through the ear, they are subject to ear problems since a moist, dark and hot ear is an ideal growth medium for bacterial or yeast infections. Because of this problem, it is important to keep your dog's ears clean. Owners of floppy-eared dogs should regularly check the ears for a build-up or an odor inside the ear, particularly if the dog scratches the general are of the ear a lot, shakes its head often holds the head crooked or rubs its head. If your dog has these symptoms, you are probably looking at an ear infection. Ear infections can be dangerous if they're ignored. The eardrum can perforate or the infection could travel to the brain since it is so close to the ear canal. Always have your vet check the ear the first time you notice a smell, a buildup inside or any of the previous symptoms. Your vet can determine if you're dealing with excess wax, yeast or ear mites.

This is the best solution I have used when it comes to gucky ears. It was given to me years ago by a veterinarian.

16 oz. bottle isopropyl alcohol (or witch hazel)

4 tablespoons Boric Acid Powder

16 drops Gentian Violet 1% Solution

Mix all ingredients in the alcohol bottle & shake. (make sure you shake before every application).

Treatment: Fill ear with solution & massage gently for 30 seconds and wipe with a tissue. Fill a second time and just wipe without massaging. The dog will shake the excess out. Be careful, the Gentian Violet could stain. I use a eye dropper to fill the ear.

Treatment:

2 times per day for the first 2 weeks

1 time per day for the next 2 weeks

1 time per month thereafter

If you are concerned about the alcohol burning the inside of the ear (it could if the dog has been scratching its ear), then you can substitute the alcohol with witch hazel.

All ingredients are available at a pharmacy. The Boric Acid is usually in the First Aid section where you find the alcohol. The Gentian Violet will be the hardest to find and may need to be special ordered.

Even despite the alcohol, dogs don't object to even the first treatment. The Boric Acid soothes the ear & the Gentian Violet is an anti-infection agent. This solution is also effective for the treatment of fungus type infections on the dog including hot spots.

Avoid getting in eyes

This recipe or ones similar to it have been circulating on the Internet for years. This is the one that was given to me long before the Internet was around, which is why I have it on my site.


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Before my springer passed away last winter, he had ear infections all the time. Pretty much three or four times a year, sometimes more, for most of his life...just a part of having a long-haired, floppy eared dog. My vet gave us a cleaning solution called Epi-Otic for cleaning the ears, and a medication called Synotic to treat the infections. Once the Synotic cleared things, the Epi-Otic rinsing/cleaning once a week really helped keep things under control. Summertime was the worst for the infections, but like I mentioned before, regular cleaning with the solution really helped a lot.

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I would echo the possible need to see the vet. My parents' springer had a yeast infection in her ear within the first 4 months of getting her. Their dog continues to have some ear problems, although regular cleaning has seemed to help.

I am very lucky because my Springer hasn't had any ear problems (knock on wood). Just took her to the vet for a wellness exam and they said she has some of the cleanest ears they've seen for a springer. I don't do anything crazy, just regular cleaning with an over-the-counter ear solution every couple weeks.

I think I lucked out with my dog, but most springers are probably going to develop problems unless you closely monitor them (again...the floppy ears). Those yeast infections are way inside the ear canal and I believe the vet had to insert some sort of solution into my folks' dog's ear and she did NOT appreciate it.

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Thanks for the replies. I have an appointment tomorrow morning with the vet.

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My Golden Retriever has had problems with ear infections on and off as well. Like others have said, there are a few different ointments that you can get to clear it up in a couple weeks. I got one a couple years back that we really good...don't remember the name...but it was an enzymatic ointment of some sort. You may end up dealing with it repeatedly, though...it seems like once it starts, it recurrs with regularity.

One thing that helps is to get some basic ear flush (off the shelf in most pet product areas) and just rinse the ear out when the dog has been around water or in damp conditions.

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I have found this to be primarily an issue that is limited to summer and fall when the dogs spend alot more time in the water. During hunting season, the dogs get into alot swamps, sloughs, etc., which is all loaded with various microrganisms. Whenever your dog gets wet, flush their ears out good and it will prevent alot of infections. It isn't unique to just spaniels, have had it with my labs too but have found I need to take more preventative measures with the spaniels.

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I agree with what everyone else said, get it treated by the vet then flush the ears once or twice a week. I have also make sure to rinse thier ears whenever we ware done hunting or anytime they get wet. Another thing that has worked for me is keeping the hair around the opening to the ear canal trimmed. Seems like the hair works like a wick when it gats wet and pulls the moisture into the ear.

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I took her to the vet today and he didn't think it looked infected, more like ear mites. He took a swab and looked at them under a microscope. He came back and said he didn't see any mites so he gave me some drops that will take care of both. I also picked up a bottle of "Clean Ear" to flush them out periodically. It says to flush them once a week or after swimming. Thanks again for the replies.

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Our first springer spaniel experienced constant ear infections - we tried everything without much luck. I'm not sure if this was somehow linked to the IMHA that ultimately resulted in her passing on. The bad ears were one of the reasons I was hesitant to get another springer but we went with a breeder that guaranteed we would be satisfied with the dog or we could return the dog. With a guarantee like that I was comfortable owning another springer. Good luck with the ears, I hope you have better luck that we did. The springer we have now hasn't had any ear issues so I'm hoping that trend continues.

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hi i have a springer as well actually fairly new i have heard of the ear infections and new a man who had one that got them very often when i got mine he told me to keep the ears very clean(which i do) and when the dog gets a bath be sure to dry them extremely well another thing i picked up was these Ear Widpes for Dogs and i do it about once a week because there ears get very dirty and are more prone to infection that way i hope the helps a little bit

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I am currently on my 4th springer and two had this problem all the time. Finally one vet told me something that i had not heard before: Allergy's. He said that springers can have allergies to certain dog foods. He told me to switch to lamb and rice dog foods. After 10+ infections a year to 0 the past 3 years, i am a believer in this theory.

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As I posted earlier, I took her to the vet and got medication for it. I gave her the drops for 10 days like he said. I have flushed her ears a couple of times since then and her ears still smell bad. They look clean inside but I notice her itching them occasionally. I still have some medication left over. Do you think I should give her some for another 10 days? I think there is enough left over or will that be bad? I dont want to take her back to the vet if he is going to say the same thing.

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I am telling you. Lamb and rice. It really works. A heck of a lot cheaper then trying all the fad cleaners and taking them to the vet every 3 months. and if it dosent work, nothing lost , they still need to eat.

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I think I will try that Sp180. Thanks for the tip.

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Rip Some Lip,

No word, has changing the food to lamb and rice helped? Like is said earlier, it worked for us. We even clarified it with our new vet this past month and he said that some springers will respond to the food change.

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