Posted by: Magnus | 2008/08/27

Boerboel problem ears

hi there. I don' t know what to try next. My Boerboel has permanent ear infections. (he is permanently shaking his head off the irritation in his ears) He is male, weighs about 60 kg' s and is almost 4 years old. this problem is almost going on to it' s 3rd year. I have had him and different vets. Where they put him under, clean his ears.(from ' mites' ) Gives some medication and 3-4 months down the line where are back at the vet to clean again. It is so bad that he at one stage actually started scratching his ear so bad that it bleeded badly. Every night you have to lay in bed and hear him cry from the pain. We even tried the Vetchoice Sensitive (Low Allergen Formula) food. But nothing seems to help. As horrible as it sounds my next thinking step would be to rather put him down. Reason being that it is not nice to hear him permanently crying and being afraid that one of my chidlren might touch an ear one day and be bitten. Can you please tell me what else i can try.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hallo Magnus

It can be a food allergy and the best (only) way to make a diagnoses of this is to feed him on hills z/d for 6 weeks. Only this nothing else, not even a treat! You are wasting money to try different diets, most of the diets have a protein source that the dog has been exposed to and thus not helpfull in making a diagnoses of food allergy.

Also what makes a big difference to ear health is to put the dog on long term oil (efazol, mirracoate) high doses and antihistamines. Remember that skin lines the ear canal and what you are trying to achieve is a healthy skin inside the ear. This will reduce irritation and minimize the possibility of an infection starting. This is helpfull with any ear problem.

People do not follow this advice usually and they think it is nonsense to feed it on the most expensive diet in the world solely for 6 weeks. This bla bla with oil- the same applies.

If you follow my advice please let me know how things are going in 6 weeks. If not, tell everybody I give bad advice- This usually happens in practice- the bit about not following advice and then complaining about competence.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Anonymous | 2016/01/02

Hi Magnus, Generally recurring ear infections are a symptom of some allergy it could be a food allergy, environmental allergy or flea allergy. Try a hypoallergenic dog foodsuch as Acana grain free single source of protein, you can try the lamb and apple to start with. It is a very high quality dog food with very good ingredients. I wish you luck and hope you come right.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Beth Rowe | 2013/03/29

I have the same problem with my boerboel. He has constant ear infections and it is heart rendering to see him suffer. I have spent to date about R8000.00 and nothing is working. The huge problem i am having is that he wont let us put the ear drops in his ear. My vet says that this is the only solution for ear infections. Help please anybody.

Reply to Beth Rowe
Posted by: Rottie lover | 2008/08/28

Hi have a Rottweiler who had an ear infection for over a year and it was a devil to get rid of. Eventually perserverence, oridermyl and preds worked (oh and several visits back and forth to the vet for check ups!). Rule number one - don' t give up the treatment when you " think"  it is cleared up - carry of for a while afterwards and let your vet decide whether to stop or not. Ear infections are a horrible thing for a dog but good luck.

Reply to Rottie lover
Posted by: WR | 2008/08/27

BTW - I tried Chill' s advice - works a treat!

Reply to WR
Posted by: Carol | 2008/08/27

Chill would that work with a cat ???

I have a long haired white pavemnent special that has black gunge all the time. And he doesnt like the vet at all.

Reply to Carol
Posted by: Chill | 2008/08/27

Time to trot out my ear-cleaning essay again...

You need to get a routine going, and maintain it for AGES, until the ears are COMPLETELY better. Here' s what I typed out once before, which luckily I have now had the foresight to save so I don' t have to do it all over again:

Here' s what you do. Get some Betadine liquid. Get a tube of Oridermyl.(Prescription required) Get a roll of cotton wool. Get an empty syringe, without a needle. Then, you' re nearly ready.

1. Cut the cotton wool in to squares of about 5 cm with scissors. Take each square, wet it slightly, squash it between your palms to remove the excess water, and then split it into a whole lot of thin squares - you' ll see it' s very easy to do. Let them dry and keep them in a clean jar or plastic bag. Get ready about 6 of these squares for each ear cleaning session... 3 for each ear. (This not only makes the cotton wool go a whole lot further, it also means you don' t have to work with a huge thick wad of the stuff, and also, you don' t end up with bits of cotton fluff inside the dog' s ears.) (It' s also great using these squares for your own cosmetic use... but that' s another whole different subject!)

2. Suck about 2 cc' s of Betadine into the syringe. Put a lead on your dog' s collar, sit with him and keep him nice and calm, but keep your foot on the lead, so that you can stop him running away. Very gently, holding his head still, squirt about 1 cc of the betadine into each ear - DON" T allow him to shake, this will be his natural reaction! - and VERY VERY GENTLY massage the OUTSIDE of his ears, at the base. You do this by putting the palm of your hand over that area - pretty much NEXT TO his head, really - and moving it around firmly... you' ll actually hear the stuff squelching inside, it' s a good sound!. Once the dog gets the idea, you' ll find he doesn' t mind... at first it' s hard because he expects it to hurt. You will have to win his trust.

3. After a bit, take one of the cotton wool squares, wrap it round your index finger, and use it to clean out the betadine. You don' t have to get it all out, just what you can EASILY reach - do NOT poke your finger far into the dog' s ear. You really need to be SUPER gentle at this stage. The first square will be soaked - repeat with two more for each ear, and you' ll see that it will be quite adequate.

4. Then put the long soft nozzle onto the Oridermyl tube and put a little squeeze well into each ear... and massage again, as before.

Do all this stuff every day for about a week and you' re almost bound to see an improvement. Don' t stop too soon, because if there' s infection which hasn' t yet cleared up, and you stop, you' re encouraging bacteria which are resistant to the oridermyl, which isn' t good.

Once the infection has cleared up and the worst of the gunge and inflammation has gone, then you could maybe just do the Betadine bit without the Oridermyl, once or twice a week. If at that stage - I know this sounds disgusting, but still - you sniff the cotton wool once you' ve finished, you' ll soon know if the infection has come back, and you need to use the ointment again. This type of thing often recurs - the trick is to keep on top of it.

If your vet has given you something other than oridermyl, then use that - same system.

Lastly - betadine looks like lethal stuff that will never wash out, but actually it does - it rinses off no problem at all. I suggest though that you really try to stop the dog shaking his head between when you squirt the stuff into his ears and you start to massage... it' s not much fun having to wipe it off the ceiling!

Reply to Chill

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