Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
It started a couple weeks ago with Savage shaking his head a lot and scratching excessively at his left ear. And then in a couple days he actually couldn't (or wouldn't) hold that ear up at all. His right ear stood up smartly, while the left hung out to the side, reminiscent of when he was little and I would take his ear tape off for a day before taping them upright again.
It's been quite awhile since he's been to a vet, and I realized immediately when we arrived at our local vet's office that Savage has become a lot more anxious about vet visits now. After coaxing, begging, and pleading with him (none yielded results) I finally had to physically push him in the door, with his collar tight on his neck and much frustration on my part. This refusal to see the vet will, I suppose, have to be addressed soon, but at the moment I was just relieved to have him in the door!
The vet allowed my puppy to stay in the waiting room for his examination, thankfully, and diagnosed him with an overgrowth of yeast in his left ear, and possibly in the right. After the diagnosis the decision was made to completely clean out his ears, which involved some kind of soapy cleaner and lots of warm water. Knowing my dog's never-ending capacity to drool when stressed, and his obsessive head-shaking when his ears are uncomfortable, I suggested we take the whole operation outside and the vet agreed. Savage was a little difficult to control while his poor ears were flushed with water, and he proceeded to show his exasperation with the vet tech and me by doing his best to drench us with water also. After that the vet gave him some MalOtic brand ear drops; anti-yeast, antibiotic, anti-imflammatory and advised me drip this into his ear canal twice a day for two weeks. He also prescibed an ear cleaner solution, OtiCalm, which may be more effective than the alcohol I use to swab out his ears bi-weekly, and I'm intending to use it after swimming to prevent swimmer's ear and further infections. I'm using the anti-yeast ointment up before I start cleaning Savvy's ears again, so I'll see if that works after this infection is cleared up.
The good news is that almost immediately after the MalOtic was administered (and after all the slobbering and head-shaking in the vet's office) Savage stopped scratching at his ear and started to relax a little. It's been a week or so now, and he is holding his ears up normally and the terrible ear itching has pretty much stopped. As we left the clinic, the vet was scrubbing his hands and arms in the sink and the vet tech was mopping up the linoleum with a Swiffer sweeper. At the very least, my dane left a big impression!