See the photograph above, it is of our neighbourhood street dog who had been having these elbow rashes in both of his fore legs, as time passed by and rains intensified last year this infection spread on to the whole of his front forelegs. We took him to one doctor after the other and met with no success, he was repeatedly administered antibiotics and we were advised to orally administer him Avil (Anti-allergc drug), Ampoxin, Topclav and so many other medicines at various intervals by so many of the vets we consulted, but over a period of 3 months we met with no success at all!
Ear infections in Street Dogs-our experience at treating them
Come rains, comes humidity and mositure in the air, the ideal weather for microrganisms like bacteria, yeast and fungi to proliferate. How often have you seen a dog walking with his/her head titled to one side or continuously shaking its ear? If you do see any dogs exhibiting the above symptoms or scratching its ear with a wall or body of a car, our advice is do not ignore that sight, if you do care for the well being of that street dog…for this could well be an indicator that the dog is battling with a microbial infection in its ear.
We at Jaagruti had two such doggy patients to attend to in the past month and in this post we share what we did to get their infection treated.
Case 1: We saw a dog walking with its head tilted to its left, he was badly shaking his head and was in visible pain. On closer examination we found that his external ear had pus accumulated in it. Though the dog was friendly, we took no chances and tied his mouth with a cloth string and then using cotton dipped in Betadiene solution went about clearing his ear as much as possible of the accumulated pus, which if not removed would have served as an ideal breeding ground for more insects and flies and could have also resulted in maggot infestation in the dog.
We kept on changing the cotton swab till we were able to clear most of the pus and then we tried to trace the location from where the pus was oozing out from and noticed that it was coming out from a spot in the ear lobe. The first aid treatment in the form of clearing of this pus from the dog’s ear visibly relieved the dog and he was now much ata ease and trusted us to put him in our car and take him to our consultant vet. At the vet’s clinic, after an examination it was found out that this dog was suffering from Yeast infection in its ear and that was what had caused the Pus. At the vet’s clinic, a thorough cleansing of both the ears of that dog was done (yes, we got both ears cleansed, even though the pus infection was just in one year), two injections followed, one an antibiotic and the other being Belamyl (a Multi-Vitamin injection) and then the doctor advised us to administer ear drops into the Dog’s ear for a course of 3 days.
We were advised by our vet to administer Cipla’s Otibact Ear Drops into that dog’s ears-these ear drops contain Enrofloxacin and Silver Sulfadiazine, costs Rs. 80 for a 15 ml bottle. These ear drops are used in case of canine external ear infections complicated by yeast/fungi/bacteria. The ear drops look more like a white emulsion and contains drugs that inhibit the multiplication of the microbe by acting on the enzymes involved in that microbe’s DNA Replication process). The dose prescribed by our vet was 4-5 drops of Otibact once daily targeted into the ear lobe and then we were advised to rub the ear so that the drops get rubbed into the ear skin properly.
We religiously administered these ear drops, and the dog’s ears were fit and fine again and had even regained their original shape and were back to being standing ears again from the floppy ones! :)
We also learnt that ear infections are more common in dogs with floppy/bent ears than those with standing ones as shade and mositure are easily available in a floppy ear which are ideal conditions for microbial infection, whereas in dogs with standing ears, there is more access to air and light.
Case 2: Involved a middle aged female dog who was continuously scractching her ears and shaking her head vigorously. On closer examination of her ears, we found a coat of dry powdery looking ear skin in both her external ears. To fix this problem we followed a simple course of administering her a set of ointments for a period of 3 days before she was fit again.
Treatment course followed is mentioned below:
Wear gloves, muzzle the dog and then squeeze ample amount of Spectrazole (anti-fungal, anti-microbial) ointment , mixed with some bit of Betadiene ointment onto the gloves and rub it onto the inner part of the dog’s ear flaps, then gently rub the dogs ears from outside in such a way that the ointment spreads itself all over the infected portion. Just make sure that you do this with gentle hands, because even street dogs like us, don’t like their ears pulled for no reason :)
Please remember that since we are dealing with street dogs in both the above cases and if you happen to be doing something similar, it is important that our first effort is to restrain these dogs using a muzzle or a cloth string, if need be even gently cover their eyes with dark wet cloth, this will help calm the animal down while you put drops or rub ointment into their ears.