How do you treat a dog’s chronic ear infection and why would hypoallergenic food be prescribed to help treat the problem?

Original Question: Our 3-year-old Golden Doodle seems to have a chronic ear infection problem. We’ve been through 3 different drops (Burrow’s is the most recent) but nothing is helping. I took her for swab today (culture and sensitivity) and the vet suggested hypoallergenic food. My friend swears by Zymox that we haven’t tried yet. Help! - Trina

How do you treat a dog’s chronic ear infection and why would hypoallergenic food be prescribed to help treat the problem? Apr 24, 2018

Hi Trina,

Thanks for your question. I have always enjoyed conquering long-term ear infections!

The fact that your veterinarian is using Burrow’s solution likely means that he or she may feel there is an allergy contributing to the problem since Burrow’s solution has no antibiotic in it. It is just an anti-inflammatory but it does work well to reduce the inflammation and help the ear fight the infection itself. This is also the reason why a hypoallergenic diet has been recommended.

My suggestion is to wait for the culture and sensitivity to return. This will tell you the bacteria that are present and the specific antibiotics that will kill them. Then ask your veterinarian to have an ear medication made from a compounding company with those identified antibiotics in it including the same ingredient in Burrow’s (which is a steroid). A really important point is to make sure that you have them look for yeast as well. This may not show up on a culture and yeast often causes chronic ear infections that do not resolve with antibiotics. If it is present, have them add an anti-fungal medication to the eardrops.

I recommend you use the eardrops for a minimum of 6 weeks if your veterinarian agrees. Have the ears monitored and re-checked regularly, such as every 2 weeks to make sure they are progressing properly and changes can be made if they aren’t. I often put my patients on oral antibiotics as well during this time.

Lastly, make sure you are doing proper ear cleans. Have the registered veterinary technicians at your clinic demonstrate this. It is vital to resolving the issue.

Our “7 Key Strategies to Treating Ear Infections” goes over all these points thoroughly and includes other considerations and advice. I think if you work through it, you will have success.

All the best,

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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Disclaimer: healthcareforpets.com and its team of veterinarians and clinicians do not endorse any products, services, or recommended advice. All advice presented by our veterinarians, clinicians, tools, resources, etc is not meant to replace a regular physical exam and consultation with your primary veterinarian or other clinicians. We always encourage you to seek medical advice from your regular veterinarian.

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