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Dogs and Ear Infections - Our Experience with a Beagle
Our Beagle got another ear infection recently
I woke up in the middle of the night a few nights ago, and my dog was itching and rubbing something pretty repetitively. Earlier in the week, while doing that, she let out a little yelp, and we wondered what was wrong. The combination of these things caused me to get up at 3am, and look at her more closely. I thought maybe she had a small bug or thorn or spur somewhere? I looked in her ear and it was good I did as she had another ear infection. I was so disappointed and sad for her.
Now she hasn't had one for some time, but when she did a few years back it was awful. In fact, its partly why I think she hates the vet so much and cries so hard. It was rough getting that all cleaned out and I had no idea about ear infections before that. Needless to say I learned all I could to prevent this from ever happening again.
Signs or Symptoms of an ear infection in your dog
The very first thing I learned, was to look for redness, but especially for an odor coming from the ear. A very infected ear on a dog will have a smell to it, and I imagine it wouldn't be too different for cats. If they are doing what I call "fiddling around with" their ear, like rubbing it or scratching it more than normal, that could be a sign. They are in pain and its uncomfortable. I wondered if maybe there was some bug on her she was trying to get off? No, it was a simple ear infection and it was bright red, on a Friday night. I called the vet first thing in the morning.
The other sign that something was wrong, is that she was sticking very close to me, no matter where I went, she did too. They want comfort I think when they are hurting, no so different from humans. She feels connected to me and I think she didn't know what was wrong, but that something was wrong.
What to do if your dog has an ear infection
You can confirm the symptoms with whatever online resources you trust, but really they need to see a vet. I found, that we kept ear infections at bay the cleaner we kept her ears. It was usually enough to have her groomer make sure to clean her ears each time. So it surprised me when she had an infection.
It turns out the reason for the infection is because of yeast, this time. The Vet asked me if she had been swimming maybe lately? I told her no, not unless they did something at the kennel where she was on our time off about a month ago. Beagles and other dogs with long ears, can trap more moisture and dirt inside the ear canal than other dogs. This can cause an ear infection as well.
They thoroughly cleaned out her ear, which I am sure she didn't like. Then they tested it and found the yeast. Then they knew what best to give in the way of medicine. My heart sunk when I heard she needed to have 5-7 drops of Otomax (15mg) every 24 hours, and rubbed in at the base of the ear. Ever since her last infection, she almost hardly lets anyone touch her ears anyway, and wants to snap at them to protect herself. She already can get so stressed out and seems to me to have high anxiety.
My Solution for getting drops in the ear of a dog that doesn't want them.
I truly, was so sorry to hear we couldn't treat it with internal antibiotics. The reason is that I can disguise a pill in a hot dog, or something else that she loves to eat. This yeast infection in her ear, needed outer, topical treatment with Otomax, like I said before. My son saw me walking up to the house after we got home that Saturday morning, and said, "Mom you look sad..." I realized I did probably look that way or concerned, because she won't let me touch her ears normally, much less when they are hurting. I had to get creative, as I was at a loss, and we needed to deal with this.
I decided since her favorite thing, or one of them, are treats, that I would still incorporate that somehow. I decided that in her food bowl, I would give some kind of food, like peanut butter for instance, and put it in little bits all around the bowl, in many places. This kept her super happy and busy, while I could quickly drop the drops in, which she still didn't like, but allows me to do. I am so happy I have been able to get them in there. Its not deep enough, nor much of a science to how I do it, but I can still kind of do it.
If you have any other tips on how to help people get drops in their hurting dogs ears, let me and others know! I know I would love the advice, and I hope maybe my idea helps others too. Already, my dog Molly is rubbing and scratching her ears less, or not at all and the redness is gone. So happy. I am making sure she is getting plenty of water too, and she seems very happy with her treats.