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German Shepherd Dog > Ear mites and infections (16 replies)

by RAMMERJAMMER80 on 24 April 2012 - 03:04

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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 07:19 pm
I need help!! My GSD continues to get ear mites that lead to ear infections. This is her third time now. I have been flushing her ears 2-3 times a week as per instructions from my vet, but it's not helping. She will start shaking her head, then she will limp on her front left leg due to losing her balance. The vet will prescribe some antibiotic drops and a flush and the issue will go away after a few days only to return in a couple of months. It's getting quite costly to keep taking her to the vet, and Im afraid she may suffer hearing damage if the problem continues.

Is there anything I can treat her and/or my yard with to prevent this?????

by TingiesandTails on 24 April 2012 - 04:04

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Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:43 am
I have had that problem with my previous dogs and switched to holistic veterinarians.
Flushing the ear and antibiotics often only make it worse as the infection spreads downward through flushing and antibiotics destroy the "good" bacterias who help fight infections. I suggest to stop flushing and feed your dog probiotics (as in plain yogurt, no sugar added).
Are mites still detectable or is it only infection?
I would strongly recommend to switch dog food and try to determine allergenes (e.g. grain, chicken or others) and switch to raw food, if even only temporary. This might take some time. I did test my dog for allergenes and excluded different ingredients with trying different dog foods with limited ingredients. It took long to determine that chicken was the cause for ear infections in my dog's case...chicken was part of her raw food diet...but different dog react allergic to a variety of's worth trying, in my opinion...
Remember, many veterinarians want to sell food and would not recommend any other than "their" food brand...
good luck!

by GSD Admin on 24 April 2012 - 04:04

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Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 05:51 am
If you didn't get prescribed a miticide, I doubt it is mites. My guess bacterial ear infection caused by scratching and allergies. The best thing I have found is a flush with an antibiotic added. I just can't think of the antibiotic at this time. Some vets will be hesitant to do this but it works the best. I would get the allergy testing done and then find a food that can be tolerated.

Good luck,

by SitasMom on 24 April 2012 - 06:04

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Joined: Tue Sep 09, 2008 01:33 am
I had a dog that was misdiagnosed with infection that kept coming back, I insisted on a deep swab sample and culture and low and behold she had a resistant strain of bacteria..... a special compounded eardrop and after a few weeks and she fully recovered and it didn't return.

it was 250$ well spent.

by kjnagorka on 24 April 2012 - 10:04

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Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 10:37 am
My GSD had ear infections for years. I found out (after seeing several different vets) that just like me, she has some major allergies.  She is about 95 lbs and I give her Claritin 24 once a day.  It has worked wonders.  Along with an antibiotic and some ear medicine.  It is like I have a new dog.  I opted not to do the allergy testing...My vet recommended Claritin.  She can have up to 23 grams or 1.5 pills-2 pills a day.  Just at one a day it has done wonders.  I have lived in Cleveland Ohio, and now Kansas City.  It wasn't until I moved to Kansas where the allergy's are worse, where I had to put the whole family on Claritin.  Now both of my GSD's take it daily along with myself. lol.  Good Luck!

by Barenfell on 24 April 2012 - 12:04

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Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2009 09:55 pm
Dogs with recurring ear mites many times have a compromised immune system, so working on improving her overall diet and  health might help.  I would be curious to know if this is actually a bacterial infection or a yeast infection (reddish-brown gunk in the ear).  Many times ear infections are yeast related and can be helped with a dietary grains or potatoes (too starchy), possibly a new protein, plus probiotics.  Yeast infections can also be cleared up with a thin coating of miconazole cream (Monistat) swabbed into the ear...but you still need to correct the dietary or underlying immune issues. 

by RAMMERJAMMER80 on 24 April 2012 - 14:04

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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 07:19 pm
I don't see any type of "gunk" in her ear. It appears to be her left ear, but I have been treating both. There is no odor and no visible redness or discharge, and she shows no signs of pain to the touch. The flush and antibiotic is not working long term....I have tried that three times now, and have basically just wasted over $700 over the past few months with no results. We have a Boston Terrier that has bad allergies and we have to give her benadyrl (sp) after she goes outside, so it's not inconceivable that our GSD has a similar issue.

The breeder I purchased from has suggested that I use a cattle/swine parasite vaccine, whose name escapes me right now, and put in her ear. (dosage depending on size). she also uses this as a heartworm preventative, but I don't trust it for that.

I dont want to self diagnose, but her issues are exactly the same as the other times. I live in Alabama and this is not a great place to live if you have allergies, especially this time of the year...... Think I will try another vet visit and get the allergy test and deep ear test done to see what is going on. Maybe that will get me and the vet in the right direction.

Even when she was not having issues, she often shakes her ears. I have not had this issue with any other dog before, but every one is different  I guess....

by Rik on 24 April 2012 - 15:04

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Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2008 03:41 am
the breeder is probably suggesting Ivermectin. It is very good against mites if that has been diagnosed for positive as the issue, not going to help with allergies.

My dad spent quite a bit on vet bills with his Lab and ear issues. Zymox is the best treatment we found.

good luck,


by momosgarage on 24 April 2012 - 15:04

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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:08 pm
Did the vet give the dog an ivermectin shot?  Did he just guess about whats in the ear or did he look at a ear swabbed sample under a microscope?  An antibiotic by itself isn't going to get rid of ear mites.  But, if its a resistant strain of bacteria , its , it      your dog is going to need a strong antibiotic like Baytril (shot, then possibly a week or two of pills).

by RAMMERJAMMER80 on 24 April 2012 - 16:04

Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 07:19 pm
She received a steroid shot, drops, and a flush. I'm somewhat confused about the flush now....He said I needed to flush a couple of times per week, but most opinions I have received from breeders and the like have said I don't need to use the flush that much.

The medicine my breeder suggested was Ivermectin.

Thanks for all replies!!

I have just scheduled her ANOTHER vet visit and I will really push some of these ideas....Hopefully they will be able to pionpoint the issue and get it resolved!

by Keith Grossman on 24 April 2012 - 16:04

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Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:18 pm
Could be a simple yeast infection; check your food and change it if it contains either corn or wheat.

by Hundmutter on 24 April 2012 - 23:04

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If it is an allergy rather than a mite infestation, you might find the yoghurt route actually makes it worse - a bitch of mine had recurrent ear problems which nothing shifted, until I worked out it was lactose intolerance.  Stopped ALL dairy products (pity cos she loved cheese) and never had ear trouble again.  Just a thought.

by GSD Admin on 24 April 2012 - 23:04

Posts: 9529
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 05:51 am
Baytril is the antibiotic I was trying to think of. Thank you momosgarage. If this is bacterial the Baytril injectable mixed with a PH balanced ear wash is the best, I have found. I would also look to switch foods to non-grain duck, venison or fish protein. But give the food switch time as it will take awhile to get the old allergins out of her system.

Please think about the allergy testing as I think it is key if no mites are found. FYI, in my area ear mites are very rare but some vets want to always try and blame it on mites. They have ear mite medicine to sell, ya know.

Best of luck,

by live4schutzhund on 25 April 2012 - 00:04

Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 11:35 am
I switched mine from TOTW Buffalo to Earthborne (SP?) Earthbourne Lamb Grain Free formula.  Fixed him right up.  Wished I had done it sooner.  Not only did he have constant ear infections, he also had skin, allergey, oversensativity to flees, and just poor coat in general.

When I switched I was worried he would crap his brains out because his stomach has always been so sensitive.  I didnt have enough left over TOTW so I bought a can of Pumpkin.  Fed him the new food and rolled the dice.

PERFECT POOP, for real.  Never openned the can of Pumpkin.

Not only that he is acting like a friggen puppy idiot all the time.  Its cute but sometimes irritating.  All in all I wish I had him on this food a year ago.  The only thing that makes me feel better is that its new, so I dont feel so guilty.

His coat is getting better and better every day.  I cant wait to see what I have been missing in another 6 months.

Change his food.  Buy that kind, trust me.  BTW its the exact same price as TOTW.

by Ramage on 25 April 2012 - 01:04

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Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 03:30 pm
I have used Ivermectin for ear mites. It works great and is cheaper in the long run. I mix 1cc with 1cc of baby oil, shake it up, and apply it to each ear. Tractor Supply sells Ivomec, which is the cattle Ivermectin.

However ... this doesn't sound like ear mites. With ear mites, you will see what looks like coffee grounds when you clean the ear. 

If she is getting recurrent infections, I would suspect her diet. She is probably allergic to something. Look into the raw diet. It might help.

by RAMMERJAMMER80 on 30 April 2012 - 16:04

Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 07:19 pm

Vet said she has ear mites (again) and a yeast infection.

Prescribed a drying flush, Rx for ear mites and yeast infection

Suggested I switch to Revolution, as it is the only flea/tick medicine that kills mites. Flush her her ears once a week and use some OTC ear mite medicine once a week to prevent in future.

So now we will give the Revolution a try....Maybe it's easier anyway since it's everything, and I won't have to remember heartworm and flea/tick.

by Keith Grossman on 30 April 2012 - 17:04

Posts: 3544
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 11:18 pm
That should take care of the ear mites but you'll still probably get recurring yeast infections until you change her food.

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