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Old 06-16-2011, 04:55 PM
Location: Round Rock, TX
1,301 posts, read 3,541,676 times
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My cocker spaniel (who will be 6 this year) has had a non-stop ear infection in his right ear for about all of his life. We've gone to the vet constantly to get his ear flushed, packed with goo and done everything else.

My vet has told me this is common in cocker spaniels, and due to the fact his ear canal has thickened so much from all the infections, he's most likely going to need to get his ear canal removed since there's not going to be much else left to do for him.

She already told me it's going to cost about $1500

So I'm wondering if anyone here has had a dog that has gone thru this and if it made the dog any better, worse or whatever. I've read a few articles about it online, but just want to hear some person stories about it.

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Old 06-16-2011, 04:59 PM
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Yes, I have experience with that... in a nutshell, my dog had to have BOTH removed. Of course, she came out of it deaf, but much relieved from the pain. I'm at work, about to go home, so I'll post all about my experience later.

Ok.. I'm back. I got my dog out of a local shelter. She was about 7/8 years old. She was one MAJOR infection all over... skin, ears, losing her coat. She was a sheltie. Her problems seemed to have stemmed from allergies, food and maybe environmental, too. Her ears had so many growths in them, that her ears had basically grown shut. Just enough of an opening to let the infection ooze out. It was awful.

My vet didn't waste any time. We got her infections under control, and when she was well enough, we had both ear canals removed. So she was now deaf. That's not the hard part. The hard part was recovery. She stayed in the vet hospital for 5 days, then I brought her home. They sewed the openings shut, so her ears looked a little lower on her head. They showed me how to clean her ears, which I did 3 times a day. It was rough because I live alone and had no help. So, I cleaned 1st thing in the morning, after work, then before bed. I used gauze pads soaked with hydrogen peroxide. Your vet may recommend something else for cleaning.

With this kind of surgery, my vet warned me that she may need 1 or 2 more procedures for "touch-ups." In other words, if the sutures open, or infection sets, whatever, it's common to undergo these "touch-ups." She went thru 2 more. The first time, the sutures opened up, and infection was setting in. Vet found loose cartilage and other debris in the ear, removed it, then closed again. 2nd time, it started to ooze again (same ear), and the vet found nothing, just cleaned it out, and closed it up. The almost 3rd time, it started to ooze a little and the sutures came loose, but the vet said to keep cleaning, and see what happens since it didn't look serious at that point. It closed up on its own. Lesson here is you must stay on top of the cleaning. If you have help with the cleaning, your dog may fare better in its recovery, since the cleaning can be done more often.

The procedure cost me $1200, the touch-ups were no charge. This was 3 years ago. Ask your vet about cost for touch-ups (there be shouldn't be). Also, MAKE SURE you have them SHOW you how to clean the surgical wound.

My dog has since passed, and I don't regret doing this. It was probably the only 3 years she had free from that pain.

Good luck!

Last edited by steelstress; 06-16-2011 at 06:28 PM.. Reason: To add my story.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:17 AM
Location: Ontario
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I've got cockers. I've never had major infection issues, but a few years ago my girl got a persistent one that would not go away. We'd go t the vet, get antibiotics, the brown goop in her ears would taper ff, she'd have less pain, we'd use up the meds, and bam in 24 hours it was back again. Three rounds of drugs and drops and it kept returning.

Many cocker sites have the link to the blue power ear wash. It fixed our minor reoccuring issues pretty quickly, and I've read many near miracle stories, where dogs were in so much pain vets were pushing for canal removal and this saved their hearing and changed their life around. Ingredients are pretty cheap. I'd at least try it before moving to canal removal. It's fixed a bunch of dog people's lives on other forums I've been on.

The recipe is on page three
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:52 AM
Location: Jersey City
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Do you apply anything to the dog's ear before giving him his bath? Dogs whose ears plop down have tendencies to get ear infections, hence the question...
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Old 06-17-2011, 02:20 PM
Location: Round Rock, TX
1,301 posts, read 3,541,676 times
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I took him in to the vet today, and it turns out he has a bacterial infection this time in that ear - rather than the usual fungal he gets over and over. I have him on antibiotics for the next couple of weeks now.

After about a week and a half, she said I could go ahead and clean that ear again, and I'll be trying out that Blue Power ear wash stuff and seeing what happens with it.

I really hope I don't have to go thru the ear canal surgery for him, but if all this continues - even with using a different ear wash, it may end up being...
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:02 PM
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when I was a vet tech I saw many cockers have to go through that surgery. The difference in their lives was amazing. On top of the relief to the dog, the owners no longer had the never ending chore of treating the ears, dealing with the AWFUL smell, the endless vet visits and the costs associated with them. I know when I get a 'minor' ear ache it is beyond painful. I couldn't imagine having chronic infections.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:19 AM
Location: Round Rock, TX
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Just an update on my dog.

The infection didn't go away and seemed to get worse - just alot of crap oozing out of his ear and then the other ear started to act up!

The vet just threw her hands up and said she couldn't do anything for him anymore since whatever "bug" he has in his ear is resistant to antibiotics and the medicines she was giving him now.

So she referred me to a dermatologist to look him over - which is the direction to the ear canal surgery.

I was going to start on the Blue Power Wash, but his ear was a little raw from scratching it and I didn't want to pour all that alcohol in there and torture him.

I was poking around the internet and saw something about Zymox ear drops mentioned, went on Amazon and saw the non-stop raving reviews about it and decided to spend $11 on a bottle and give it a shot.

I got it within 2 days in the mail, started it last Thursday on the 4th and today is the 7th and his ears have cleared up! His right ear (which was the bad one) had a non-stop stream of puss coming out of it and a smell you could smell a room away in the house - all that is gone! His ear is actually looking so much better and there's nothing coming out of it!

I swear, it's a freakin' miracle. He's stopped scratching at his ears, licking his paws, and while he still shakes his head sometimes - I think it's because of the drops in his ears.

I have to keep him on it for 14 days since he's a "chronic" and I've been putting it in twice a day. But wow - the results in 3 days so far!

My appt with the dermatologist is on the 18th - and depending on how his ears look a day or two before then, I'm hoping that I'll be able to cancel it and he'll be okay from now on with regular maintence on the Zymox stuff!

I can't say enough about it! Great stuff!
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:26 AM
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It's wonderful that he's doing better.

If you do find the infections come back, ear canal removal may truly be your best option. I've seen many dogs go through it, and I won't lie- the surgery itself is rough. Talk to your vet about pain control (and not just for the first day or two either). But as other posters have noted, the long term difference in the quality of life for these dogs is amazing. I've seen cockers go from growling and biting to being snuggle bugs after the surgery, just because they aren't in such pain anymore.
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:58 AM
Location: Round Rock, TX
1,301 posts, read 3,541,676 times
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I appreciate that, but the surgery just seems so drastic - and a bit too pricy for me. This stuff seems to be working and with regular maintence with a weekly cleaning of the Zymox ear wash I also got - once his ears are better, I have the feeling he's going to be okay.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:09 AM
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Wow... great news that he's much improved. Hope you don't have to resort to surgery. Good luck!
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