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Thread: Ear Problems

  1. #1
    Senior Member Daren Galloway's Avatar
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    Jun 2012

    Default Ear Problems

    Our chocolate male at my parents house has had ear problems after swimming since he was a young dog, now 10, there would be a lot of brown junk and his ears would be very sensitive when being petted. Dog lives 99% of his life outside. Our vet told us that labs have deep ear canals and it is very easy for bacteria and stuff to get in there with water and thrive. He gave us some ointment and its worked over the years but its annoying. He's been feed a large variety of food nothing fancy mostly whatever was cheap, just a family pet. I now have a pup of my own and after hunting him last weekend I noticed the same thing, not the sensitivity but the brown junk. He is only 9 months old, and spends about 50% of his life outside (when no one is home and usually at night) been feed Pro Plan Large Breed Puppy until about a month ago and now is on PPP. None of my buddies have ever had this problem with their pet or performance labs. Have any of you had this problem and if so have you figured out what more specifically than swimming causes it? Both dog houses are wood if that could be a source of the problem.

    Daren Galloway

  2. #2
    Senior Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Wasilla, AK


    I have a now 2 year old chocolate lab female that has the same problem she spends most of the time in the house tend to see more of the ear wax when she has been swimming or when the weather gets cold. My vet contributes it to the ears setting low on the head thus causing the ears to collect wax and not allowing for proper drainage. When my dog starts flapping her ears and scratching at them. I use Oti-Soothe ear cleaning solution has aloe vera in it to help moisturize. I just buy it straight from the vet as it is considerably cheaper and the bottle is larger than can be purchased at the pet store.


  3. #3
    Senior Member mitty's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    Salt Lake City


    Read this:

    I mixed the "purple stuff" (with witch hazel) prescribed there for a persistent, and I mean persistent, ear infection in my lab. I used it way longer than the vet ever told me, and she is now ear gunk free.
    Renee P

  4. #4
    Senior Member Breck's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    Elverson, PA


    If your puppy is getting brown gunk or whatever you probably need to be cleaning the ears more often. Good ear cleaner with ketoconazole or anything ending in zole in the ingredients list would be a good. the zole stuff knocks out yeast most of the time. Smell your dogs ears often, if they stink clean them. Except for when wet if you see dog shake his head at all clean his ears that day. A shot of cleaner in ear, massage it in for a while and clen with cotton balls a few times. Dont use qtips or stick anything else in there. The Purple stuff is good to have and may be helpful. Use it outside and get away from dog when he shakes as the stuff stains.
    "Darla" AFC Candlewoods Lil Smokin Tequila (2002-2013)(fondly remembered)
    "Smoke" Smokin Auggies Menace, QAA (2003- )(retired nut case, ask Randy)
    "Simba" Humewood Simba (1999-2014)(Kiltigan Co Wicklow)

    Per favore, non mi rompere i coglioni.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RockyDog's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Grove City, MN


    I have a CLM that had chronic ear infections. He was about 6-7 years old when I got him three years ago. I was having to clean his ears daily to combat the infections. In his case, it was an allergy to poultry. He's now on poultry free, grain free kibble and hasn't had an infection for at least a year. And the daily ear cleaning is now once a month, if I remember it.
    Sonia Liedman

    Handled by:
    Rocky's Red Hot Shot "Chip" MH QAA
    Babyduck's Blueberry Power "Blue"

    Trained by:
    Piva's Gem Rocky "Rocky" MH QAA - RIP
    Swede Grove's Rough Rider "Teddy" JH - RIP

  6. #6
    Senior Member Blklab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003


    You can experiment with foods...lots of ear problems until the most recent change of food and now all ear problems have gone away.....
    HR Winter Hill's Smokin Ruby "Ruby"
    Blindfaith's Dream Trip "Stella"

  7. #7
    Senior Member ad18's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Cobourg, Ontario, Canada


    Another vote for food allergies. My guys ears cleaned up in a few days after I got rid of grains (wheat, soy, corn) from his food. Poultry is usually the first suspect. I still clean them up with a wee bit of toilet tissue every week or two and put a good squirt of Vet-Link cleaning solution in each ear at same interval. Swimming actually helps clean the ears as well in my case.
    HRCH Scaupgetters Seminole Ben SH WCX
    2NMH 3GMH HRCH Heads Up Lightning Strikes WCX

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gauge123's Avatar
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    Dec 2012


    I'm surprised no one mentioned ear mites. I'd have them check for mites. I use Ivermectine for heart worms and it can be put in the ear to kill ear mites.

    My vet suggested "swimmers ear drops" after every hunt to dry up the water. Only after you clear up any existing infection. I use it and haven't had a problem in a long time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pam Spears's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Western Colorado


    Years ago we had a lab with chronic ear infections. The tips of both ears were scabbed and bleeding from shaking his head and scratching, and he was really miserable. This was long before grain free food was an option, back in the 70's. At the vet's recommendation we had a surgery done on both ears, where she literally cut open the area below his natural ear openings, providing better drainage. Worked like a charm. I'd sure consider it a last resort today.
    HRCH Roughwater Stacked & Packed, "Babe," MH, CD, RN, CGC, WDQ

  10. #10


    I also use the "purple stuff" just spray it in their ears after we get done with water work. Keep it by the back door in a spray bottle.

    The only complaint i have is it stains anything it gets on.

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