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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know most of you have dogs with upright ears that might be less prone to infection, but I just wanted to share with you a recipe that I've used in our Labrador's ears. My previous vet recommended it to me for his chronic ear infections. None of the over-the-counter or prescription products seemed to work for my lab when he had gunky ears (brown goo in them), but this does:
http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/ears.html

I buy the common ingredients at the drug store or grocery and then order the gentian violet solution from an old-fashioned pharmacy in town. IT WORKS!
 

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That does work very well, but if a dog has a serious problem it may not. My friend's bloodhound came this close to having to have her ear canals removed.

It took agressive antibiotic and antifungal treatment that even this stuff could not touch. But I HAVE heard wonders about it and it makes sense.

Alcohol for the bacteria and Gentian Violet for the fung (They used to paint babies mouths with the Gentian Violet when they got thrush years ago and they still use it to treat fish for fungal diseases). I guess the boric acid would kill any mites?
 

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As Konnie said, her vet recommended this. Important point! This is a good, old-fashioned remedy for the beginning of a mild recurring ear problem.

But please do NOT use OTC remedies for what you suspect is an ear infection without specific vet recommendation, or experience of your own. Get vet advice, as Konnie says.

Ear infections come in all types, and spending time with an OTC remedy in the case of a serious bacterial infection can result in not just severe pain to the dog, but, as Nancy says, destruction of the ear canals.

I rescued a dog in the 90s who was deaf from repeated ear infections. These were a combination of bacteria and yeast (common), and, as Nancy says, required a broad-spectrum antibiotic to clear up the one she was enduring when she came to me and then treatment for the 30+ severe allergies she tested with (and which were triggering the ear infections).

I'm all for OTC remedies, and very much in agreement that we overuse and misuse antibiotics, but serious ear infections can be one of the places where antibiotics are godsends.

I also want to mention that alcohol in an inflamed inner ear with possibly broken skin or punctures from claw-swipes would be much worse than painful.

I examine my dogs' ear regularly (especially the GSD's ears) and am alert to even the beginnings of inflammation. Then, when I see the beginnings of one (either inflammation or debris, or both), I start home treatment immediately.

BUT this is for just the beginnings of a problem, and it's also for dogs whose ears I've become very familiar with. Also, by now I can smell or see the difference between most ear problems (yeast, bacteria, mites, etc.). Even so, I can't tell when there's a combination of problems, which is very common, and which requires the vet's microscope (at least) to sort out.

I'd recommend that if it's a dog's first ear problem, we always see the vet. Leaving a bacterial infection untreated can really present problems down the road, including escalation from simple antibiotics to aggressive broad-spectrum antibiotics and even antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (This last is definitely not a common outcome, but a local rescue group put down a dog two years ago after trying to save her with IV antibiotic therapy in the hospital; she had an ear infection that had turned gangrenous and killed tissue from her ear down the side of her head and jaw and into her upper shoulder.)

Because I have rescued several dogs with allergies, I've met a lot of ear infections. I've learned to respect them and to watch for them diligently, especially with any dog who has allergies.

Thank you both! I'm glad you brought this up. This problem comes up more and more as canine allergies become more and more prevalent. :( And GSD's, even with their upright ears, are one of the ear-infection-prone breeds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
A couple of interesting points:

First, my dog, although he has scratched his ear with his toenail until it bled, has never objected to the treatment despite the alcohol content. And believe me, he'd let me know if I was hurting him! Also, as noted in the text on the link, you can substitute witch hazel for alcohol if you're worried about it causing pain. My vet also mentioned that he's never had a dog "complain" about the treatment due to the alcohol. I'd be interested in hearing if anybody had experience otherwise though.

And, I didn't really stress that you should never substitute my advice for the advice of your vet. As both Connie and Nancy mentioned, ear problems are nothing to fool around with. However, the purple ear wash has been an awesome thing for my dog and I believe it has prevented minor ear problems from turning into major ones.

At any rate, I hope my information is helpful.
 

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Lynn Cheffins said:
I use the same stuff - I don't get many ear problems, but the mixture works great on hot spots and minor scrapes and dings.
Wow!

Thanks to all three of you!

Sounds like something to make by the quart.
 
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