View Full Version : Another sick doggy!!
12-27-2001, 01:02 PM
I'm so upset!! Dave just called me, he'd gone to the vet's office to pick up our dogs that were boarded for the past week while we were in California. He said they were SO glad to see him, but Riley isn't doing so well!
Riley is a terrier/poodle/lhasa apso shaggy mutt that I adopted 6 years ago. He was severely abused and neglected, and he's thrived since he's been with me! We've been through quite a bit together, and we're buds. He's about 9 years old now. He's had chronic infections in his right ear since I adopted him. Seems like I'm always getting antibiotics and foaming ear cleaner for his right ear, and within a few weeks it's right back again! It's always really red and crusty, and since they're 'floppy' ears I don't see the problem very often unless I look for it. He's constantly shaking his head and scratching his ear, and if you touch it he yelps! It's been that way on and off for a few years! The vet just kept prescribing antibiotics and ear cleaner. Problem with the cleaner is that it's supposed to be squirted into the ear, then massaged in to break up the wax and crusty stuff. Riley will NOT let me massage that ear, so it doesn't really work! :(
It was time for Riley's shots, so we told them to go ahead and give them while we were away. They examined him and found that his right ear is severely infected again, and because of the constant severe infections his ear is now 'cauliflowered' and they can't get much medication into the canal! :( Our vet recommended surgery soon to correct the problem, she says they'll keep him overnight and remove the cauliflowered area and open up the canal. She says the surgery doesn't have to be done right now, she gave DH 2 weeks of antibiotics, more ear cleaner, and ointment to put in his ear (which he won't let us touch), and they want to see how that works for awhile. She says he was probably born with some kind of defect in the canal, which is the main reason for the chronic infections.
Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing with dogs? The doctor says there's no real rush about scheduling the surgery, however I'm sure if you asked Riley he's suggest a rush! :rolleyes: It's about $700 they're saying, and the boarding and meds cost us $310 just for the past week, so we're trying to budget this too! Not that you can put a price on our loved ones, but we have to be practical also. I know how painful a human ear infection can be, so I can only imagine what my poor dog is going through! Plus, since he's been going through it for so long! She also says infections of this type can work their way down into the inner ear and beyond and can affect balance, walking, etc. I'm scared! Any puppy advice out there? :(
12-27-2001, 01:15 PM
So sorry to hear about poor Riley! If your vet says no rush, I'd trust her judgment. Ask her how long it can wait, if need be. Not that you want to put it off, but I can understand about worrying over the expense.
I haven't had this exact experience, but our oldest beagle Casey has chronic ear infections also. It's those darned floppy ears, but the other two haven't had near the problems she does. (And hers seem to be the worst after she's had a bath - I think the moisture gets trapped in her ears and just festers). We're constantly using solutions to flush out her ears - sounds like the same stuff you've got. Squirt in ear, hold her down for 5 minutes while massaging this pool of cleaner down into her ear canal, then clean it up with cotton swabs and tissues. Yuck. Afterwards, she just squirms around and paws and scratches at her ear. She can't STAND it. Then, there's the ointments (we have a standing prescription for Otomax with our vet). Not to mention the SMELL.
Sorry I don't have any words of wisdom, but I hope it all works out. Riley's so lucky to have you guys!
12-27-2001, 01:16 PM
No puppy medical advice, but just wanted to say I'm thinking of your pooch. Give Riley a big hug for me. I perforated my eardrum many years ago so I can imagine the pain he must be in. Poor thing!
12-27-2001, 01:27 PM
Thanks Eva and Susan! As I said, I know how painful a human infection is for the couple of weeks it's around, so imagine years of enduring this! :( He just can't stand it if you touch that ear, whether you're putting in medication or not! We've learned to warn guests, because they first thing they want to do with a friendly dog is scratch 'em behind the ears! The ear-splitting screech that comes from that little dog is enough to break my heart!
Kinda makes me feel guilty for spending all that money over Christmas while he could have been taken care of. :o I'm scared about him having surgery too! They'll be taking a big chunk out of his ear! It's about the size of a quarter or larger! :eek:
12-27-2001, 05:49 PM
Never having had dogs, I can't speak from experience, but our friends have a dog that always would get sick when they left it at the kennel or "doggie motel" when they were on vacation. The dog would throw up and be violently sick, once they picked it up. They now have someone who watches the dog for them, and he has not been sick since. Your doggie has an ear infection, but is there a pattern of him getting when being boarded?
Get well soon, Riley!
12-27-2001, 06:34 PM
We just had this same problem with our Great Dane, whose ears were cropped. He's had several ear infections in the past year, and my husband has been doing most of the ear cleaning, and drops. About 2 weeks ago I looked at his ears, and they looked like they had a wet cotton ball stuck in each of them - which is (I think) the swelling of the cartilage. Our vet also recommended surgery - he was a little leary about prescribing the $200 worth of antibiotics that he has been on several times in the past few months - mainly because of Max's age. We had the same dilemma - you want to do the best thing for your dog, but then again you need to budget it and factor in other things like age, and how they would come out of the surgery, recovery, etc.
Unfortunately, our decision was made for us. On Christmas Day, when my DH went to walk Max, he kind of lay down by the fence at the end of the driveway and wouldn't get up. We got him to the emergency vet, and they thought (at first) that it was his hips. As we were leaving the vet palpatated his stomach and said he needed to be x-rayed immediately. Long story short, it turns out he had bloat, and he had (possibly) torsion - where the stomach actually twists around. She said he had to have surgery immediately, and we were looking at $2000-$4000 and maybe more. We made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. Max was 8 1/2 years old - old for a Great Dane, and we just weren't sure if we spent that money if he'd make it through the surgery, recovery, not to mention the recovery period after surgery.
It was the worst feeling. I still feel like we didn't do all we could, although I do think that we probably did the best thing we could. We were with him to the end and told him how much we loved him, and what a good boy he was. He went very peacefully.
Sorry. I kind of went off the subject, but I hope everything goes well with you and Riley. If you trust your vet, I would take her advice.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.
12-28-2001, 07:23 AM
Jewel, sorry to hear about Riley. We've only had Otis since Feb. but he seems to have the same problems. Otis or the O-man as we sometimes call him is a St. Bernard/Bloodhound/Black lab mix. Again those darn floppy ears, that are so darn cute! Anyways the infection you are describing sounds like a yeast infection, which is what our guy always has. One time the vet suggested that maybe he is allergic to the yeast in addition to having the infection. He gave him a shot of anti-histamine and it seemed to clear up faster than when he is just on Otomax. Maybe ask your vet about that, if you could get some quicker relief for Riley, maybe he'd let you do the drops massage thing more easily. I have to admit that I am sometimes lazy about cleaning his ears, I should probably do it every other day.
12-28-2001, 10:17 AM
I'm so sorry about Max. :( I'm sure he thanks you for loving him enough to do what you did for him.
12-28-2001, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by Shirley Panek
Long story short, it turns out he had bloat, and he had (possibly) torsion - where the stomach actually twists around. She said he had to have surgery immediately, and we were looking at $2000-$4000 and maybe more. We made the very difficult decision to have him put to sleep. Max was 8 1/2 years old - old for a Great Dane, and we just weren't sure if we spent that money if he'd make it through the surgery, recovery, not to mention the recovery period after surgery.
Oh, Shirley, I'm so very sorry.
My family lost its Dane/Rhodesian cross (a BIG dog) to a torsion. Actually, big dogs like Danes are prone to it. I think it was Max' time to go, and he was fortunate to have loving people who didn't force him to go through surgery and a difficult recovery just to make themselves certain that they had done all that they could.
My vet calls euthanasia, under those circumstances, 'The Final Kindness', and it is true for you and DH. I sure hope you can go beyond your pain and enjoy the good memories. Max must have been a character - Danes generally are!
12-28-2001, 12:13 PM
Shirley, I'm so sorry to hear about Max. It was a difficult decision, but I also agree with it being a final act of kindness for an ill animal. We had to make the same decision for Rex, my husband's white German Shepard. 9 years old, and he literally became ill overnight with Pancreatic Cancer. The vet said a $1500-$2000 surgery might help, but he didn't think so. Dave's first thought was "This is my best friend, so here's my Visa card, go FIX HIM!" We had to sit back, however, and think it through with our heads as well as our hearts...and made the decision to put him down. We sat with him holding his paws while the vet gave him the shot, and Dave and I were able to pray that the Lord would welcome his newest Angel. It was difficult, but it was the best thing for Rex.
As for Riley, when I got home last night (after not seeing either dog for a week!) I immediately sank to the living room floor and was mobbed by two loving, slurping, climbing, jumping and wagging dogs! Riley seems fine, but if you put a hand even NEAR his ear you can feel the heat! :( We're giving him his antibiotics and hoping that will lessen the infection well enough so we can get the cleaner in there. Surgery is inevitable, we're just hoping we can put it off for a few months. Sad, isn't it!? :confused: Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone! I'll keep you posted. :)
12-28-2001, 01:08 PM
Thanks for your thoughts. I agree that it was probably the best thing for Max, although it sure doesn't make it any easier! I'm sure he knows how much we loved him.
Good luck, Jewel, and Riley's ears. We'll be looking forward to your posts.
01-04-2002, 08:47 AM
i'm voting for the surgery. i have been a professional dog groomer for 26 years. in that time i have seen a lot of ear infections. especially during the time that cocker spaniels were so popular. i saw the result of this surgery many times. i'm sure your vet has informed you that it doesn't always work, but in my experience i have never seen a failure. dogs that couldn't have their heads held became happy, smiley guys again! just relieving that pressure and infection must be a god-sent to them.
good luck to you and hugs to riley....
01-04-2002, 08:57 AM
Originally posted by nancymaring
i'm voting for the surgery. i have been a professional dog groomer for 26 years.
Thanks Nancy! We're on the second week of the antibiotics and he seems to be clearing up, but we know it will be short lived. He gets over the infection then it comes right back. Riley is a trouper though, unless you touch his ear when it's infected you would never know there is something wrong with him! He's still the happy, playful, loving and exhausting mutt he's always been! In fact, because the antibiotics and the ointment have helped this infection, he doesn't even get really spooked when you touch his ears now...I just hope this treatment works for awhile! We're going to schedule the surgery in a few months. I hate to say this, but it's gonna have to be after we find out what kind of tax damage is done this year! :( I'll pass on the hugs! It won't be difficult to do, he jumps into my lap and nuzzles my neck the minute I sit down anyway! ;)
01-04-2002, 09:19 AM
Shirley I am so very sorry for your loss.........you did the right thing, you have to believe.
I have 2 goldens now and lost an 8 year old gal a couple of years ago, she was diagnosed (after about $1,500 worth) with a heart tumor, we actually were debating whether to have the surgery performed, which would have cost over $3,000, but didn't have the opportunity - she collapsed in front of my eyes. The surgery would have possibly given her MAYBE 6 month - God worked his own ways. There is not a day goes by that I do not think of Shelby. Once again, I am so sorry.
Jewel, both of my goldens have on-going ear problems. The older gal had to have surgery, which was very costly, but we did it. She had to wear a 'collar' for about 3 weeks, but - knock wood - seems to be fine now. My little man has also ongoing problems. I use the Epiotic squirt stuff, and massage and then wipe out with kleenex - I think he could grow potatoes in there!!!! I know it is a problem for you to touch his ears, but I wonder if one of those collars would help while you are administering the ear drops and massaging????? Good Luck!
We noticed a sizeable lump on Buddy's left rib cage yesterday - he is going to the Vet tomorrow morning - he is only 3 years old so I am praying it is a cyst - it's just neverending with our furry friends - but they need us................
01-04-2002, 09:43 PM
jewel, so glad the medicine is working and making life a little easier for riley.
i did want to mention a product that we use, and have good luck with at the shop. it is called "ear relief dry" by "veterinarian's best". it is a thick liquid that drys to a powder. you place in the ear and massage, then let dry. wash out with ear wash every day or two and reapply the "ear dry". unlike liquid medications, that keep the ear damp at all times, this actually helps dry the ear out giving it time to heal. it's worth a try until you can work the surgery into your schedule.
if you can't find it, give me a jiggle on my e-mail and i will get you some. i just work down the road from you (puyallup) so it wouldn't be much trouble to meet you somewhere. (i go through auburn on the way home) or i could just mail it to you.
hope this helps....nancy
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