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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you tell the difference between swimmers ear in your puppy and a regular yeast ear infection? What are the symptoms of swimmers ear? Our puppy spent most the weekend swimming and I tried hard to dry out his ears. Anyways, he hasn't stopped going at them and I cleaned out a lot of brown stuff in both ears. Still, I was thinking it was an ear infection and not neccessarily swimmers ear. Any thoughts?
 

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I'm not sure, but I think "swimmer's ear" can be caused by yeast. Have you tried a vinegar and water rinse? Vinegar makes the ph unfriendly to yeast, but if it the infection is well established, you may need a trip to the vet for some anti fungal meds. We keep a bottle of vinegar/water around all the time for after swim, just like they used to do at summer camp when we swam in the river!

If there's a lot of brown gunk and it smells funny, try cleaning it very gently with a cotton ball (or two, or three) after you put the vinegar/water solution in and your dood has run around shaking his head. If it doesn't start to improve in a day, you need a vet visit, unless you're CERTAIN it's yeast. If you know it's yeast, you can get some lotrimin drops (for athlete's foot) at the drup store, or even a cream for vaginal yeast infections, put a little in the ear(s) twice a day and keep up the cleaning. If it doesn't start to improve in a day or so, time for the vet.

Yeast infections are really common, but important to treat... a series of yeast infections can lead to scar tissue which can cause hearing loss.
 

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I hate to split hairs if that's what I'm doing but I have been told that we should NEVER put water in a dog's ear. I don't know if the (white) vinegar will mitigate that problem, but I've heard of mixing a small amount of rubbing alcohol (3:1?) with the vinegar...and earwash solutions are VERY cheap...like less than $5?

The brown stuff on the outer ear is a sign - or at least can be - a sign of infection so I would contact my vet for ideas or try some earwash solution to see if it will go away before needing an antibiotic ointment.

also look at the food you are giving...if CORN is in the top 3-5 ingredients I would recommend changing. But yeah, the bacteria in a river/pond can exacerbate a bacterial situation in the ears, for sure.

hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi everyone...thanks for your replies. I ended up bringing Dunkin to the vet today after he had a sleepless night last night. It was to the point where putting your hand on his ears caused him to cry out. So the vet said he has ulcerations in the deep ear canal. So a pretty bad ear infection. She doubted it was from swimming and that was more of a coincidence. She gave him a shot to ease his pain and he's on meds now. We go back in ten days. My vet noticed that the groomer got every last hair out of Dunkin's usually very hairy ears and she said that may have started off the ear problem. Her suggestion was to tell the groomer to leave his ears alone and we'll see how he does with his old hairy ears back and being cleaned by me. I feel bad for my little guy!
 

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Wow... I'm so sorry for Dunkin. Good thing you got him right the vet and started on meds. I'm glad my advice didn't didn't make you wait. I'll bet he'll feel better in no time.

Maureen, don't worry about "splitting hairs!" I had an Old English Sheepdog who had yeast infections in his ears off and on for 9 years. We lived in Texas, so it was always hot and sticky, really conducive to yeast. Back then we used athlete's foot powder regularly in dogs' ears to help with it. My new vet suggested the vinegar/water solution for the doods, who like to swim in our pond and sometimes get that "yeasty" smell. He told me not to use the athlete's foot powder, though my old vet had suggested it. I think it's funny how recommendations change over time and how two different docs can have different advice....
 

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Cassie, I'm SO glad you went to the vet. I was thinking that the swimming was probably coincidental but didn't want to push my know-it-all ways too far for a change. :wink: I've had too many dogs and tried those same conclusions...your Dunkin probably had the infection before any swimming, if he was in that much pain. That doesn't happen that quickly, typically. We now have on hand a great (Rx) cortisone-based, anti-biotic cream that we use if an ear irritation gets away from me before we remember it. It's pricey, but a great "insurance plan" to have it here.

Oh, about pulling all the hair vs. leaving some? I wondered about that once with my Sheba, and in our case the vet said that the infection was probably already brewing down in there, before the hair was pulled, and it was just bothered more with the hair-pulling. But again, A LOT is left to individual guessing and judgement, as 2Doods said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Maureen and 2Doods - I really do appreciate what you had to say about the ear infection. It's always good to learn more and more for future incidents, which I'm sure we will have. I will inquire about the Rx cream you have. I'm just praying that Dunkin isn't going to have chronic ear infections for years to come now.
 
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