Why does my dog only get an ear infection in one ear?

My puppy gets ear infections constantly... we have been to the vet several times and always get the drops that work while she is on them. But the day she gets off the ear drops she gets a large amount of black dibre in one ear. We have tried several different ear washes all suggested by the vet and some home remedies but the black gunk keeps coming back in large amounts daily. She is constantly scratching at her ear and shaking her head. I am worried this will cause more serious problems. She is starting to act like she is losing her balance and depth perception now. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

Asked by Moxie on Dec 21st 2009 in Other Health & Wellness
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are you sure it's not a real bad case of ear mites? I'd go see another vet and get a second opinion...

if the problem keeps on coming back... it sure sounds like a mite problem to me.. because even if one mite survives the treatment . it means you'll have to start over and over again...

there are other treatments also for mite problems. I'd see a second vet to get another opinion.

chase answered on 12/21/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I see you have two dogs...I find with mine a BIG problem is believe it or not, ear licking. I know mine don't have earmites. Watrch your dogs, if the other one is licking her ear she is keeping it wet and probably adding some bacteria. "Black gunk" usually means a yeast infection. Keep ANY water or/vinegar OUT OF YOUR DOGS EARS! Home remedies usually contain both of these. DO NOT put any rubbing alcohol in your dogs ears either. I have always had great success with the drops from the vet. Be sure you are getting those drops into the ear canal and not just the outer ear. What I get from the vet is named "TRESADERM". Also make sure you keep the medication in the fridge.
Remember, don't put any "home remedies" in your dog's ear you wouldn't put in yours. Vinegar and water both cause yeast to grow, and Isopropol alcohol is poison.

Just want to add a warning for everyone about eyedrops, don't ever use human eyedrops for a dog, they could cause blindness. Many people don't know that.

Member 901737 answered on 12/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Everybody gets ear infections in one ear. It's not symmetrical. You need to only post one question as well.

Jet answered on 12/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


In many cases dogs get only one ear involved since, according to my vet, that is the side they sleep on and it doesn't get the same air circulation as the top ear. However, since ear mites are not very common in dogs, it sounds to me like you and your vet need to try a different medication as this one doesn't seem to be completely getting rid of the infection. I would ask my vet to culture the gunk next time so you are sure you are using the right drug. Also, you need to make sure you are using the drops every day for as long as it says on the medicine. Many people stop after a few days, creating a super infection. Just like in human drugs, antibiotics need to be given for some time even after the symptoms are completely gone.
And, finally, you can ask as many questions as you like in one session, there is no limit!

Member 641257 answered on 12/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I would not continue with ear washes.

Try to find some ear wipes that kills ear mites.
Sometimes that is what causes the black gunk.
Wipe her ear daily and see if there is any improvements.
If not, then find another vet who can maybe look inside the ear with a scope for an ear polyp or pulp. The vet has he ever given you oral antibotic when it started?

Dieta answered on 12/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


First off, it's actually MORE normal for her to get an infection in only one ear than two. Most of the time, dogs have infections in one ear, but sometimes it can happen in both, especially if there's food allergies or swimming involved.

It sounds like this could be a combination of chronic ear mites and acute infection. Meaning that the ear mites are an underlying issue that goes untreated by the drops since the drops are only effective against the yeast overgrowth causing the infection.

Normally, discharge from ear infections is dark brown or almost a dark purple color, not black.

It sounds to me if she's experiencing these balance issues, you should get a second opinion from another vet. The ear canals are VERY deep and she could have a festering infection way down there that needs to be treated. The balance can be effected just in the same way we can get vertigo from inner ear issues.

Stop all washes until you get a diagnosis; some dogs are actually set off by those washes.

Jack answered on 12/22/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer