Hello everyone, we are having such a tough time with Bernie our 4.5 welsh terrier. Let me just say since a puppy we have had constance ear problems and stomach problems. He at one point had a yeast infection in his paw from constant licking and chewing- he was probably between 2/3 but it resolved with medication. I will now start with the most recent issues.
Sept 2012 he had a vestibular episode. I thought he was having a stroke. He could barely stand, very wobbly, couldn’t really walk, his eyes were rapidly moving back and forth so we rushed him to the emergency vet. they kept him over night and they explained it was doggie veritgo and he was safe in a padded cage (if you can imagine how scary this night was for him and myself) and they gave him medication to keep him calm till morning. we then had a nuero consult and he said it was probably a middle ear issue and decided to go in there with the digital boroscope and check things out. He cleaned his ears out really good, saying the left one was worse but no further testing was needed- ear drum was intact and an MRI could be helpful (very expensive) but he didn’t feel it was necessary.
About 2 months in late december he started acting up again. constantly circling(alway to the left) rubbing his head on walls, in the shower, on the carpet. His seemed to not hear as well (which was hard with welshies b/c they are so stubborn but I knew he wasn’t hearing me the same) He just wasn’t reacting the same to sounds basically. So we took him to our personal vet, and she immediately said to consult with a nuero vet again. Her biggest concern was his eye pupils were not reacting to light, they didn’t dialate or constrict when light was shined into them. So we went to a nuerologist and he recommended an MRI, spinal tap, and Myringothomy. That was all to rule out any tumor, lesion, as well as rule out any bacterial infections in the ear itself. All MRI /spinal tap CSF fuild tests came back clear thank god but it did show inflammation to his brain showing some concern. But he put us on antiobiotics (Zenaquin 50mg) and we waited for the culture of the middle ear to come back. It came back clear -no active sign of bacterial infection. We stayed on meds and about a month later inflammation in his left ear still present and starting to act up again. Bernie didn’t have alot of “stuff” in his ear mainly inflammation seen by the nuero in his check ups causing discomfort. So our nuerologist switched antibiotics thinking the one he was on (zeniquin) he was resistant too. So we switched to another one and tried that for about a month (calvamox). Slight improvement, not much and his left ear was right back to where it was when we started after a few week check up follow the med change. So the nuerologist gave us two options, try another antibiotic randomly or do another myringothomy and try to get a culture that would show us the correct meds to use. I am a very inpatient person and trying another random medicine wasn’t good for me so we go back in to the middle ear and try to get another sample. AGAIN, culture taken and no sign of bacteria or infection in the middle ear. So then my doctor calls saying it could simple be an allergy and prescribed an antihistime and see him a week.
So I was very frustrated and decided to make an appointment with a skin specialist to get allergy testing. He overlooked Bernie’s records and prescribed Atopica- an immunosuppressent drug. and we will do skin testing in 2 weeks.
Bernie is doing okay, seems to be doing better but I’m just afraid I’m not doing all that I can to take care of all this. ANYONE had any experience with chronic ear infections, vestibular disease, allergies, etc……I just need any advice or support in all our efforts to make sure we are doing the right thing!!!
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Hi Bernie831 –
Here are some articles on chronic ear infections, vestibular disease and allergies from Dr. Karen Becker that I strongly recommend you read:
<i>Canine Vestibular Disease</i>
<i>Does Your Pet Have Allergies? What You Need to Know and Do</i>
<i>Ear Infection: Number 1 Reason Dogs Visited the Vet in 2011</i>
<i>Tips For Keeping Your Pet’s Ears Healthy</i>
You’ve got your dog on a lot of medications. Have you tried any alternative treatments (change in diet, supplementation, etc)? You’ve had your dog on several antibiotics, antihistamines, etc. – often drugs only treat the symptoms and not the underlying cause, so you may find that his problems will be recurring without a change in diet/lifestyle. Also, is he on a quality probiotic supplement? After being on so many various antibiotics this is important – antibiotics will wipe out his gut flora and a healthy gut is key to avoiding allergies and keeping the immune system strong. BTW – what does he eat? Sorry for all the questions.
That’s all I’ve got – I haven’t had any personal experience with these issues (that god). Maybe someone will pop in with some more input.
Hound Dog MomParticipant
Okay I just posted a long response and – naturally – it went right to the spam folder.
I would recommend visiting healthypets.mercola.com – this is the website for holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker. Read the following articles:
1. Vestibular Disease in Dogs: Symptoms and Proper Treatment
2. Ear Infection: Number 1 Reason Dogs Visit the Vet
3. Help Your Dog Overcome These Three Common Dog Allergies
4. Does Your Pet Have Allergies? What You Need to Know and Do
5. How to Manage Your Pet’s Allergies
6. Eating These Foods Can Cause Dog Yeast Infection
(I’d post the direct links, but I think the links are what sent my previous post to the spam folder).
Have you tried any alternative treatments? Often drugs will clear up the symptoms for a time, but they don’t treat the underlying cause so the issues will be recurring. It’s important to make diet and lifestyle changes to permanently eliminate the issue – especially in the case of allergies, yeast infections and chronic ear infections. What is your dog eating? Is he on a high quality probiotic supplement? Antibiotics wipe out gut flora and balance of strong gut flora is necessary to help overcome allergies and keep the immune system strong. BTW – if his allergies are food related an allergy test likely won’t give you accurate results. The only way to properly diagnose a food allergy is through an elimination diet, allergy tests are very inaccurate.
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