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Question
Hi,
I have a female mix breed that has had a ear infection of some type along with the constant scratching of it to create open wounds for a few years now have paid numerous vets and all test taken came out negative so she is constantly on steroids the best I have ever got her was to clean out the gunk(dark greasy type wax out the best I can with qtips then rub Neosporin on and a few drops of zymox I will get it to where it seems clear then it goes to the next ear or comes right back. I'm at a total loss and don't want to shorten her life span with the constant steroids.

Answer
At low doses, steroids are of significant benefit in allergic dogs that also keep ear infections.  Low dose steroid therapy is not harmful over the long term. Ask your vet about Temaril-P.  It is when high steroid doses are used continuously, that we see all kinds of side effects.  Allergies stimulate the ear canal to produce things that the bacteria and yeasts thrive on. There are alternative treatments, like Atopica or hyposensitization, used to decrease allergic symptoms.  If the infection persists, then a bacterial culture and antibiotic sensitivity test will help the vet choose the right antibiotic to knock out the ear infection.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf

Expertise

Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats

Experience

I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

Organizations
American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

Publications
Veterinary Forum
Veterinary Medicine
Waltham Focus

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