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About 2 months ago, we saw neverending black ooze coming out of Anabelle's right ear. It was Friday and we took her into the vet Monday. Turns out she had a very bad rod bacteria infection. It really came out of nowhere. Her ears are always gunky when we clean them but this was like a faucet.

The vet filled her ear with some kind of yellow goo to treat about 3 times (once every 2 weeks).

While we were away to LA and overseas our housesitter noticed it got worse and took her in again. This time she saw a different vet at the clinic, the main senior guy. Normally we see the younger vets. He saw what may have been a tumor and recommended surgery within a week to completely clean out her ears and check for the bump.

No bump turns out, but now we're looking at putting her under for the 2nd time to clean out her left ear, which suddenly also has a really bad infection. The right ear has improved but the left has only gotten worse.

So 6-7 vet visits, 2 overnight stays, and $1200+ later it's been suggested we put them on a hypoallergenic food to see if that helps. (By the way pet insurance == lifesaver)

I am thinking of trying the Wellness basic brand with salmon. Has anyone else experienced this and what do you recommend? The vet gave us a sample of the skin Hills prescription stuff but I'd rather shop around on my own for something higher quality.
 

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later it's been suggested we put them on a hypoallergenic food to see if that helps. (By the way pet insurance == lifesaver)

I am thinking of trying the Wellness basic brand with salmon.
Wellness or any other food made with a natural meat protein is not hypoallergenic. Any traditional protein source can be a source of a food allergy. There is nothing inheriently less allerigenic to salmon than chicken vs beef. etc. truely hypoallergenic dog foods treat the protein in the dog food cutting into shorter amino acid chains that are so short the can not tigger an immune system response. These food came out because of problems with the tradition exclusion diet for a variety of reason. Because dog now are routinely exposed to a number of protein source not all of which are in the dog food but dog snack etc. It is very difficult to create a properly balanced protein source other than chicken without using multiple proteins, So very often that So called salmon diet often contain small amounts of other meat and vegitable proteins as well and it might be these that the dog is actual allergic to. So to be effect an exclusionary diet must have only one novel protein source and a novel carbohydrate source (that is because most carbohydrate sources contain protein as well) which makes the diet unbalanced this is fine for a short period but not for long periond of time,

I an not implying the the Wellness Salmon would not be an exclusionary diet but you need to make sure there are no overlaping traditional food ingredients other than 100% fats to any food that anabelle had in the last 12 weeks it would be exceeding long shot to find any comercially manufactured that did. Which is why in the past exclusion diets were homemade. And why the need for truely hypoallergenic food.

That said hills is not the only manufacture of hypoallergenic food however hypoallergenic food is general available by perscription only

Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hypoallergenic HP 19 Dry Dog Food


Purina Veterinary Diets HA HypoAllergenic Canine Formula Dry

btw the skin protection formulas by hills are not hypoallergenic as well but might server as an exclusianary diet depending on the dogs previous diet however they do make a hypoallergenic food.

If you don't follow the right protocal ie the new diet is neither hypoallergenic or exclusionary it is very possible to have a food allergy that is missed

Allergic and Non-Allergic Food Reactions Causing Skin Diseases

Caring for a Dog with Food Allergies
There's only one way to diagnose food allergies accurately, and that is an elimination diet and challenge. So what we do is take the dog off all the foods it's eating and we put him on a food that he's never had before. With all the exotic diets out there now, this can be pretty difficult. I've sent people out for alligator and yak. Once the dog has improved, we start reintroducing the old foods that we think caused the problems in the first place. If he has a reaction, which usually takes a few days to a few weeks, then we know he has a food allergy.
 

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I think the idea was to find a food without any chicken ingredients to see if it's the chicken (or processing of the chicken) that is causing the problem.

She did suggest that I try home cooked with venison, but I hardly ever even cook for myself so it would be hard to do.
 

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I think the idea was to find a food without any chicken ingredients to see if it's the chicken (or processing of the chicken) that is causing the problem
taking a shot in the dark, the "approved" method is first to determine if a food allergy exist and then determine what that allergy is actually to ,. Simply guessing at the food allergy is a very long shot. Especial given that with food allergies it is is often multiple allergies as well. If the dog was allergic to chicken iit easily could be allergic to a plant based protein like wheat as well. If the new food contained no chicken but had wheat glutten it would be ineffective. Beause the treament was ineffective the assumtion would be no food allergy or at least no allergy to chicken but that would be wrong because there were simply multiple food allergy and not all were eliminated in the diet trial

Which speaks to why a dermatologist is an asset over a general pacticing vet in sorting through these issue because the know how and are capable of sorting through the multiple combinations in a systematic way
 

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My cocker/springer has had an ear infection since Feb/Mar. We tried everything the vet gave us and had pretty much given up hope of it ever clearing up. Out of desperation I went online and found this: Amazon.com: Pet King Brand Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Pet Ears, 1.25 Ounces: Pet Supplies. It's been about 2 weeks and his infection is finally starting to clear up. Not sure if it would work for Annabelle or not...
This is what I use for Annie and it's the one and only ear meds that don't make her crazy. She still semi resists letting me put the drops in but then after they are in she doesn't run off and rub her ears on the grass, which is what she has done in the past with every other ear drop. They do not suggest using any other cleansers when using the Zymox drops, so the enzymatic process isn't disrupted. I have the Zymox cleanser as well but we are still in the middle of treating with the drops. There is a noticeable difference in her ears also. They seem to be "throwing up" the gunk and she doesn't shake her head or paw at her ears anymore.
 

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She still semi resists letting me put the drops in
I find if you warm the liquid to body temp like milk/formula for a baby the dog are a lot lest resistent to the drops over time cold liquid in the ears is not a pleasant experience warming it up makes it more so. Need to be careful doing so with any liquid containing alcohol however.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I will have to try the stuff in the link. I think both dogs could benefit from it.

I am giving this food a shot, we will see if it makes a difference:
Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Formula Salmon & Potato Adult Dry Dog Food at PETCO

It was the only limited ingredient food that my local Petco carried in big bags so I am trying it first.

Harley hasn't eaten in the morning all week so far (most picky eater ever), but this morning he ate all his food with a bit of this stuff mixed in, so far so good.

I am considering if all goes well after several weeks mixing in some wet Wellness limited ingredient duck for some variety but we'll see.
 

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When it came to Webster's allergies, which were very severe, the elimination diet prescribed by his vet was:

2 parts potatoes
2 parts sweet potatoes
1 parts turnip or rutabaga
1 tbsp olive oil

This was not nutritious enough for a long-term diet, but adequate in the short term to determine that he did in fact have food allergies (within a week I noticed a difference in his skin). Then I added one ingredient at a time to see whether he reacted to it or not. Chicken would turn him bright red within 24 hours. He was also allergic to beef, canned tuna, eggs, pork, lamb, grains and a few other things. After considerable trial and error he ended up on a homemade fish and potato diet, which was not too hard to make as I basically gave him whole raw sardines that I bought frozen in bags and mixed it with a batch of boiled potatoes and olive oil.

Nowadays I would probably reduce the potatoes, use sweet potatoes instead (better glycemic numbers and more nutritious), and see if he could tolerate bacon grease or fish oil instead of olive oil.

Once his allergies were under control I tackled his ears with Blue Power Ear Treatment
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/Adobe/Blue%20Power%20Ear%20Treatment.pdf

Results were noticeable within days.

We started with ears that were oozing yellow pus, that you could smell a mile away, and were so tender I couldn't even dab gently at them without them bleeeding. After two weeks, the infections that he had had for years, that caused his previous vet to recommend putting him down, were totally gone.
 

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We did a thyroid level test and she is a "gray area" they said so we have to do more tests but it looks like she may have developed hypothyroidism which may be what is causing it. Not a big deal to us since Harley has had it for years.
 

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seriously, try foot powder in the ear! Daisy my beagle has had an infection for almost TWO YEARS now, and we've spent about $1,000 on 3 different vets, ear flush, shots, ear medicine, and she still has issues. A few days ago we decided to try drying foot powder. Last night i cleaned her ear and there was only one cotton ball worth of goo (ususally there's at least four) and i had put powder in bowsers ears too, though he never has issues, just the usual dirty ears...bowsers ears were totally absolutely clean.
the ear needs to stay dry, and my oh my that powder worked!
 

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foot powder would work on yeast not so much on a bacteria infection,

she is a "gray area
If it were me have her treated for it could very well be the underlying cause that you are seeking,
 

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also, how about just feeding her canned peeple salmon? or canned tuna?
then that's the only ingredient in it...

hope ya feel bettah soon, Anabelle.

ummm. i get my ears flushed. am i supposed to be getting chunks of gunk out? (cause i haven't been). usually the liquid in the canal just comes out clear.
--Worm
 

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I dropped her off this morning for another total flush of both ears while sedated, also getting blood drawn for the next thyroid test. She was NOT happy to be left by herself.
 

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that's really good worm! keep those ears dry and clean!
Bowser had mites, and a yeast infection when he was a pup, but they have been clean for a year now. ANd by clean, i mean not gunky, but there will be dirt, and a bit of ear wax when i clean them once a week. But seriously, the foot powder makes them spotless. it's quite the miracle.
and yes, i know for bacteria the foot powder is not the magic cure mikey, but it DOES help. Especially when you've already exhausted your credit cards on the issue *lol*
 

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i know for bacteria the foot powder is not the magic cure mikey
the problem with treatment of any infection especial a severe and chronic one is it is likely the ear drum is punctured which is not a big deal but many of the item which are not a problem inormally in homemade ear cleaner when the ear drum is intact and protecting the middle and inner ear are ototoxic. They can cause permenent deafness. vestibular problems ie dizzyness incordination etc. That said it appear most antifungals are generally considered otosafe provide the powder does not contain any of the ingredients listed in the article below it probably would not be a problem


another peculularity of gram negitive bacteria is ph can be very imporant to the effectiveness of the antibiotic. Often times a solution need to be used to condition the ears ph to make the bacteria mores susceptable to the antibiotc. one need to be carful about adding anything that can change the ph of the ear canal
Ototoxicity in dogs and cats.

Ear inflamation and infection
As explained in the animated sequence above, when serious otitis externa results in damage to the tympanic membrane (aka ear drum), most routinely employed ear cleansers and medications may access the inner ear via the vestibular and coclear windows of the middle ear. These can damage the middle and inner ear structures, which can result in pain, deafness, balance, head tilt and other neurological problems. Some of the common agents in ear cleaners and medicated ear preparations are ototoxic or of unknown ototoxicity
the article the goes into detail aout individual ingredients
 

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Yes I have been dealing with this for about 2 1/2 years. Dark brown almost black goo coming out of her ears.

It started in 09, I think it all started when I noticed Turtle was gaining weight and I kept cutting back on her food. Found out she was going over to the neighbors getting under the gait (very hard to do) and eating the cat food on his porch. Her ears started getting bad and I tried to clean them and finally went to the vet. He started out by giving me otomax and T-8 keto which was just an ear cleaner I think. I have looked up all my vet records so as to give you all I have done.

This didn't work so about 2 weeks latter he gave me Baytril for the bacteria.He put her under, flushed out her ears then taped up her ears to give them air, and all this did was rub under her neck raw, so I took it off. Her ears would get a little better but never did get the red out or stop the brown stuff coming out.

He also sent a culture off to see what they could find and it came back a strange rod bacteria. That's what he said anyway. Kept up doctoring with Baytril but it never did seem to get all the way cleared.The only other option he gave me was to do surgery and change the rout of her ear canals . I really didn't like this as I didn't think it was addressing the big problem which is allergy's. Anyway that's what I think. All this time I was trying different foods and home cooking I never really did find what she is allergic to but I have been feeding a pretty good quality food all the time I have had her. I also feed fish oil and was using a probiotic.

I fought this for another year trying all kinds of different ear cleaners, I still use the blue stuff. I even got a yeast fighting pack from b-naturals and it didn't get it all the way cleared ether.

On to 2011 they were so bad I finally went back to the vet only I took her to a vet in the next town. She was able to take cultures right in her office which was a big help. She said that she didn't see any yeast infection but there was this rod bacteria and it was very hard to kill.

I don't know what it is or if there are different ones but that's what she called it and my other vet also mentioned this.

Of course she would have loved to have me feed the Hills. No way are you kidding me first ingredient 1. starch (really)2. hydrolyzed chicken liver, the best I can find out about this is it's a flavoring. 3. soybean oil preserved with, oh yes BHA known to cause cancer 4.hydrolyzed chicken, I guess I already stated my opinion 5. powdered cellulose, ok again, really, saw dust I don't think I will be feeding this.

Her ears were so red and sore she had to go on prednisone for a few days so I could doctor them. Then I had to put Trizedta in the ear canals twice a day, keep it in there for at least five minutes and not let her shake it out then put in the Baytril. The Trizedta was to break down the cells of the bacteria so the Baytril could kill it. I guess that's why it didn't work the first time. I did this for over a month, going back to the vet and her telling me to keep it up. Finally we did another flush, putting her out and she did a final culture and found no bacteria. I know she is expecting it to come back and I talked to her about 3 weeks after to get the results of a titers test and she seemed surprised they were clear.

I still clean out her ears and do get some brown but her ears are not red and sore any more. She looks and feels soooooo much better.

I think maybe we are behind sometimes living in Wyoming but maybe you can ask your vet about the drugs I used. Although maybe the yellow stuff is up and coming. I just thought I would share my experience with you. And it wasn't any fun and I'm hoping to never have to do it again. But I think you do have to go to a vet if it is a bacterial infection I don't think you can kill it yourself. I think you can maybe yeast but not bacteria. Then you may have to work on what is causing it if it comes back.

I have never tried Wellness but it is a good food. I also have a bullmastiff that has some skin allergy's and the things she can eat are Evo and Natures Logic. I stay away from the chicken one but they have venison, lamb, beef and salmon and duck. They use millet for the grain and they are suppose to be for dogs with allergy's. I have not tried all the foods but these are the 2 I have found she can eat without breaking out her belly. And yes the Evo has chicken in it but I thought she broke out with the chicken Natures Logic.
 

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Well the Blue Buffalo Basics seems to have done the trick. One ear is completely healed and the other just has a little bit left. Rather than try to identify any allergies we are just going to keep her on the salmon+potato Blue Buffalo Basics food.

It's funny how much she likes it too. I brought the empty bag into the vet to get her opinion and as she went to throw it away she took a few pieces left in the bottom and gave them to her. When she finished eating/inhaling them she started barking at the vet to give her more.
 

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I don't have the name right now but we buy the salmon dog food at Costco, it has sweet potatoes instead of all the other bad stuff for them and vegetables. It's not as expensive as presciption dog food but has the quality ingredients. I cannot remember if it's a Kirkland product or not but I think so. We notied an improvement in their digestive systems with the switch.
 
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