Crusty stuff on ear tips!! help!!

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Barked: Thu Aug 23, '07 5:29pm PST 
We just noticed Nina & Max have crusty stuff on the tip of their ears. Does anyone know if this might be a case of mites? Does anyone here recommend an type of medicine or product to put and make their ear tips heal.

Mocha Bear- (Mokie),- VGG, KPA,

CEO of Rewarding- Behaviors Dog- Training
Barked: Thu Aug 23, '07 5:33pm PST 
It sounds like sarcoptic mange.

I've actually done a bit of reading on this today, so here's what I found:

I’ve read that sarcoptic mange can only be confirmed through skin scrapings in about 20 -50% of all dogs that suffer from SM. A lot of websites seem to say that, since it is so difficult to diagnose, the standard method of addressing sarcoptic mange is by doing a “maybe mange” test, which actually means that they treat for SM for two to four weeks to see if the symptoms subside. If they do, they assume it’s mange and continue with treatment, if not, they look for other possible reasons behind the itchiness.

Another diagnostic method suggested on this page: http://www.thepetcenter.com/exa/mites.html is called the Pinna-Pedal Reflex test.

In over 95% of dogs with Sarcoptic Mite infestation (Scabies) a simple test can suggest that these mites are present. It is called the Pedal-Pinna Reflex Test. Since almost all dogs with Scabies mites will have mites along the ear flap (called the Pinna) margins, as displayed in some of the photos below, the dog will reflexively use a back leg in a scratching motion if the Pinna is scratched gently by a person testing this reflex. Simply take the Pinna between your thumb and forefinger and vigorously scratch the surface of the underside of the Pinna with the forefinger. Dogs with no mites seldom work the back leg in a scratching motion. Dogs with sarcoptic mites almost always will demonstrate an involuntary scratching motion with the back leg while you are scratching the Pinna.

Also, if the dogs were to have mites, would it be reasonable to assume they are on the cats as well? Most sites seem to suggest that all animals in the house should be treated for SM.

Anyone have experience with skin scrapings at the vets? It sounds so painful. They recommend “deep skin scraping” (ouch!?) in 12 or more places on the body, and even that is “iffy” on giving you any real diagnosis.

Symptoms that lead me to agreeing with the suggestion that it may be SM: crusty scrabs and lesions, balding in arm pits, frequent scratching around ears, belly, and back of hind legs.

Here are common treatments for SM:

Dips: paramite dip, mitaban dip, lime-sulfer dips given weekly. Often used in combination with other treatments. (Often dogs are bathed in benzoyl peroxide before dips) I worry about this, because the dips are very harsh and irritating, and for them to be effective, you have to get in the face and ears of the dogs, which sucks. Also, I think that the weekly bathing/dipping routine, particularly with what they’re suggesting, would only enhance the dryness issues I’ve noted in their coats. The dips can be very toxic, and some cases of mange are resistant to the dips.

Ivermectin: (not yet approved by the FDA for this purpose). Weekly or biweekly injections in 1 – 4 doses. Used at much higher concentrations for mite control than in the standard monthly preventives. Antibiotics and corticosteroids in addition to Ivermectin are often prescribed.

Revolution: useful for control of fleas, roundworms, hookworms, ticks, ear mites and sarcoptic mange mites.

Frontline: Apparently, one dose is usually all that is needed.

Interceptor/Sentinel: used in monthly heartworm treatments.

Treatment of the house with insecticides is also recommended.

I also found this:

"The best cure for dog mange is to mix a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution with water and add borax. Dissolve thoroughly. Wash the dog with it once a week. Do NOT WASH THE solution left on the dog with ANY WATER. Do not wipe the dog dry. The solution will take effect on mange. The treatment period should not be longer than a month or two. The dog will probably not be resistant as the treatment is painless. This has worked well for me."

"However, I do recommend a less toxic form of borax, which is sodium perborate if you can find one. The secret is that borax (plus hydrogen peroxide) will work better then most other remedies I have tried, this includes mineral oil, neem oil (no, neem oil does not kill the mange as effectively as sodium perborate) I have tried it. In my "mange colonies" and commercial brands to kill insects don't work. Hydrogen peroxide DOES NOT KILL mange, I USED IT SIMPLY USED IT AS A CATALYST for ordinary borax in case you cannot obtain sodium perborate. Mineral oils simply prevent oxygen from reaching mange, but that didn't stop it. I have tried naphta, bentonite clays, DMSO, potassium permanganate, light fluid, etc. They all worked temporarily, and it just came back. I must make a strong statement that the formula (borax+h2o2 or sodium perborate) works bests and it is broad spectrum. You can use it to control mange, mites, fleas, and lyme disease (initiated by those crawly insects). I have actually compared side to side with neem oil, mineral oil, apple cider vinegar and others here in Bangkok and this is the most wide spectrum cure I have found. Borax prevents denaturation of DNA/RNA in dogs and I currently use this as life extension for dogs. For example a ribose sugar, deoxyribose sugar, and various sugar that causes accelerated aging in dogs can be slowed down with supplementation of dogs indirectly when you do the borax wash. "

"Prepare peroxide 1% solution, add 2-3 tablespoon of borax to that cup. Stir and wait for a couple of minutes for the borax to dissolve. The formula doesn't require an exact science. The importance is to add enough borax until the solution is no longer soluble and well past saturation."

"...The reason why it is not working is YOU CANNOT RINSE THE DOG OF borax and peroxide solution with any shampoo or water. After bathing the dog, keep the dog that way, no drying no rinsing. This is why the dog has not improved. Also BORAX is added DIRECTLY to the 1% hydrogen peroxide solution and no water is added separately, otherwise the solution is too weak."


Good luck!

Leisure Dog- Extraordinare!
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '07 10:09am PST 
Well, our foster dog has that crusty stuff on the edges of her ears, and the rescue coordinator told me she thought it was from yeast infections. The dog had some sort of infection in her right ear that the vet checked out. She said it was a yeast infection, not mites, and gave us the regular cleaning stuff & cream for it.

I sure hope its not mange! If it is & my dogs get it, I'm going to be quite upset with myself!!

Nikki aka- 'Eyes to the- Soul'

hey Irie, wasn't- that MY toy??
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '07 11:02am PST 
My Boxer had the 'crusties' all over his inner ears after being bit by red ants. Do you see any swelling in the ear?
His ears (mainly at the top) swole up and then went back to normal as the drainage that caused the 'crusties' discipated.

I would NOT jump directly to thinking it is Sarcoptic Mange.

I did nothing but watch to see if it got better or continued.
If it had worsened, off to the vet I would have been.

Please don't immediately treat your dog for SM. The treatment can cause organ damage although it is necessary if it truly is SM.

Love me!
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '07 11:30am PST 
I wish I could remember what the vet called it (two vets have looked at it and said the same thing to me) but Bucca has some dry skin (almost crusty, but more dry) just at the tips of his ears. He has no other symptoms (no itching, no bald spots, no redness-nothing) and the vet said it was something sometimes seen in dogs with allergies, or sometimes for no apparent reasons at all. Because Bucca is so healthy otherwise, neither vet was worried (they said it was mostly a cosmetic issue, like some dogs get skin tags) and said if I wanted to I could rub vitamin e on it to see if it helped. It doesn't bother Bucca at all, so I don't really notice it anymore.

However, I don't know what else might be going on with your dog, so checking with the vet is always a good idea...it probably isn't too big of a deal, though...

Puck goes- packin'
Barked: Fri Aug 24, '07 6:08pm PST 
We had the same experience as Bucca. Both Puck and Zeb developed allergies. One of the symptoms was a flaky and sometimes greasy looking stuff on the very edges of their ears and then later Zeb also developed it around the base of his nails. We have been able to control it by feeding a food for allergies and giving plenty of Omega 3 & 6 oils. We use Lipederm with great success. Hopefully your vet will be able to distinguish as to exactly what is bothering your precious little guy. wave
Isabella- Pickle Face

"Did you say- peanut butter?!
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '07 7:20am PST 
Izzy had really dry and crusty ear tips when we got her at the pound. One of them was so dry it bled and had a little scab on it, and the tips of her ears seemed thicker than the rest. Our vet said to rub a little Vaseline on it twice a day, and remove the old, dry skin by gently rubbing your fingers together on the ear tips. Not only is it way cheaper than what some people are recommending, but it worked. Within a week her scab had healed, and her ears are really soft and completely healed. Dogs get dry skin just like people do. Make sure your dog's ears aren't just chapped!

Sure it could be mange, and your dog might have allergies....but go the cheap way first before spending a fortune on your dog's dry ears. A jar of vaseline costs about $2.00.

Edited by moderator Sat Dec 1, '07 4:55pm PST

Edited by forums moderator

older and- wiser..respect- your elders :)
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '07 8:32am PST 
Daisy gets the same thing from time to time---though I haven't noticed it since we started feeding RAW--Bostons' are prone to allergies, at least mine is anyway, could be a yeast issue as well--especially if your dogs bite each others' ears--you could try a solution of vinegar/water --i always clean my dogs ears with this--and it really helped with Daisys' itching--its a 1:1 ratio-you could use a cotton ball and just wipe the ear--wouldn't hurt anything--if you don't notice crusty stuff all inside the ear then its probably just where they were nipping at each others' ears--my labs do this constantly---good luck
~Angel (RIP- 11/20/07)~

Busy sprinkling- angel dust all- day
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '07 8:34am PST 
I don't know anything about mites or mange, but anytime Angel had any kind of skin irritation, I just washed with an antiseptic rinse and used good old Neosporin. Good luck! cheer
Sienna, NPC,- CGC

Adopt a homeless- dog
Barked: Sat Dec 1, '07 10:07pm PST 
With mites you will see black coffee grounds INSIDE the ears. Once one of our dogs had a yeast infection in the ears. If it is causing pain (head shaking, scratching), i would go to the vet.
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