What can be Done to Prevent Recurrent Ear Infections?

I have a 4yr old Golden Retriever who gets chronic ear infections. I clean them once a week with a prescription ear solution but nothing...

Dr. Eric Barchas  |  Dec 8th 2010


I have a 4yr old Golden Retriever who gets chronic ear infections. I clean them once a week with a prescription ear solution but nothing seems to help. I’ve been told its a food allergy. I have tried numerous kinds of food with no luck. Any suggestions?

Joline
Hayward, Calif

Anything that causes skin inflammation also can cause ear inflammation and ear infections. In dogs, allergies cause most skin and ear problems. Golden Retrievers are famously susceptible to allergies.

Joline, it is true that food allergies can cause ear infections. Simply switching foods, however, usually doesn’t take care of the problem. You should try a special prescription hypoallergenic diet and stick with it rigorously for at least six weeks.

Also, remember life’s three guarantees: 1) Death. 2) Taxes. 3) Every dog with food allergies also has flea allergies.

If your dog does not receive a regular, high quality flea preventative then you definitely should get going on that.

Finally, don’t forget that pollen, mold spores, dust mites, storage mites, cockroach feces, cat dander, human dander, mosquitoes and millions of other potential allergens also can contribute to chronic skin or ear problems. Flea prevention and a hypoallergenic diet are the easiest steps to take, but they are not guaranteed to eliminate the problem.