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Ear infection.

Species: Dog
Breed: lhaso ahpso/maltese
Age: 8-11 years
last year my dog came home with an infection after being groomed. she has been on 4 rounds of antibiotics in the last 12 months. i have taken her to 3 different vets. the last vet said she might need antibiotics off and on for the rest of her life. i have spent a small fortune trying to get her healed. when i take her to the vet we dont eat. this last infection she has appears to be an ear infection. her left ear is red and theres blood. i have been keeping it clean. i also noticed a white spot that has appeared in the middle of the pupil of her left eye. i have an appt with the vet but barely have the money to pay for it. is there any advise you can give me? the vet is going to examine her next week but what do you think the white spot in her eye could be? any advise would be appreciated.. thanks, lois

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that you are having these frustrating problems! I have several patients with chronic ear problems and it can be challenging to deal with them.

It is unlikely that the spot in Selena's eye is related to her ear infections. If it is a little white spot on the cornea it could be a scar from a previous injury, or it could be a calcium or lipid deposit. We usually don't get too worried about any of these.

I have a few thoughts for you on the ear infection. I always advise that my patients come back for a recheck a few days after their ear medicines are cleared up. Sometimes the ear can look normal, but there is still a small amount of bacteria or yeast present. If we stop treatment too soon it will just come back again.

Your vet may want to do a culture of the ear. This is definitely recommended for a dog with repeated ear infections. This is to make sure that there is no resistant strain of bacteria growing. If there is one, the lab report will tell us which medication is going to be the best to treat it with.

You may also want to talk to your vet about the possibility of allergies. Some dogs with allergies will get repeated ear infections. If we can keep the allergies under control then the ear infections usually go away.

I just had one other thought. Although it is not terribly common in lhasas or maltese you could ask your vet about the possibility of hypothyroidism. Dogs with this condition tend to have more skin and ear problems and sometimes they can have high lipid levels which can cause the white spot in the eye.

I hope everything goes ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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