Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Chronic ear/bone infections can be very frustrating to treat and debilitating for your pet. If it has not been done already, I would pursue culture and sensitivity testing of the infection site to identify the most effective antibiotics which would be required for a prolonged course. It may be possible to implant antibiotic infused material near to the site also but you would need to discuss this with your vet

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If one tiny (and invisible) bacteria is left behind during surgery, it will fester and cause a delayed infection, weeks to months after surgery. Hearing doesn`t change much after a TECA in most patients. The ear canal is so swollen, that it has already become pretty useless to transmit sound.
Infection and/or abscess formation may occur up to two years after surgery; the risk of this occurring is 5 to10 percent. Other less common complications include signs of inner ear disease (circling, head tilt, abnormal eye movement) and difficulty eating due to jaw pain.
Temporary complications include, facial nerve deficits, vestibular signs, Horner`s syndrome and post- operative infection and wound dehiscence. Long term, the two main concerns are permanent facial nerve paralysis and draining tract formation, the latter which can sometimes take years after surgery to develop.
A retroauricular approach is routinely used for treating chronic otitis media. The incidence of surgical site infections after ear surgery is around 10% in contaminated or dirty procedures.
Most ruptured eardrums heal without surgery within three to five weeks. Middle ear infections often require oral antibiotics or antifungal medications for four to six weeks. Most pets will require frequent recheck examinations and follow-up care to ensure the infection is resolving and the eardrum is healing properly.
Chronic ear infections in dogs can be caused by a variety of reasons, the most common being allergies. However, they can also be caused by foreign material such as grass or dirt, parasitic causes such as ear mites, and ear canal masses and polyps.
The most common complication of grommet insertion is infection in which a runny, sometimes painful or bloody ear occurs. This can usually be dealt with by antibiotics or eardrops. The risk of grommets causing permanent damage to the ear is very small.
Signs of problems in your dog after surgery may include: Excessive licking or chewing at sutures. Swelling at the site of the incision. Discharge or bleeding from the incision.
Will my dog still be able to hear after the procedure? The hearing organ itself is not removed during the TECA operation. However, the removal of the ear canal itself will result reduced hearing sensitivity, similar to the effect of ear plugs or being under water.
If left untreated, mastoiditis can cause serious, even life-threatening, health complications, including hearing loss, blood clot, meningitis, or a brain abscess. But with early and appropriate antibiotic treatment and drainage, these complications can usually be avoided and you can recover completely.
Most surgical wound infections show up within the first 30 days after surgery. Surgical wound infections may have pus draining from them and can be red, painful or hot to touch.
Infections after surgery are caused by germs. The most common of these include the bacteria Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Pseudomonas.
Treatment of Middle and Inner Ear Infections in Dogs

Treatment will involve thoroughly cleaning the affected ear and then flushing the affected ear with a saline solution. Some veterinarians may clean and flush both ears, even if only one ear is affected.

Antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin-clavulanate, enrofloxacin, clindamycin, or cefpodoxime) will be used for a bacterial infection for a minimum of six to eight weeks. If the infection is fungal, an anti-fungal medication (most often itraconazole) will be prescribed.
With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within just a week or two. If your dog`s ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve.
If the infection does NOT go away, on its own or with treatment, the doctor may recommend ear tube surgery. In this procedure, a tiny tube is inserted into the eardrum to drain the fluid. The tube will usually fall out on its own. Ear infections are very treatable, but they may come back again.
Ear infections that do not clear up after trying many antibiotics may need tubes. Prevention should be tried before turning to surgery. Talk to your child`s doctor about when ear tubes are needed.
for 4-6 weeks after the surgery. You are also to avoid flying for 4-6 weeks. Also, coughing, straining, sneezing, and blowing your nose should be done as little as possible; if you must cough or sneeze do so with your mouth open as wide as possible to minimize the pressure.
Total ear canal ablation is a surgical procedure in which the diseased tissue of the external and middle ear is removed. This allows a pain free ear that does not require long-term medical management. Ear disease in dogs and cats should be treated medically before aggressive surgical intervention is recommended.
Most people with grommets do not get any ear infections. If you see yellow fluid coming out of the ear, it may be an infection. It will not be as sore as a normal infection, and your child won`t be as ill. In this situation we advise you to take your child to see your GP.
Grommets are tiny ventilation tubes that are put inside the eardrum to prevent a build-up of fluid. They are needed if someone has a lot of ear infections that have caused `glue ear`. A person will need to go to a hospital to have grommets put in. They need minor surgery under general anaesthetic.
After canine surgery, it is relatively common for the wound to become infected. However, it is not clear how often this occurs, what increases the risk, and how much it affects treatment costs.
Here are some signs that your dog is developing an infection or experiencing a complication after their procedure; A bad smell coming from the incision site. Acute redness, swelling, or bruising at the incision site. Lethargy for more than a couple of days.
The most common procedure for TT syndrome as well as stapedius myoclonus is tympanotomy with TT or stapedius tenotomy. It is believed that by releasing the muscle`s attachment site, it can reduce or eliminate tinnitus. A limited number of case series evaluating the role of tenotomy in MEM has been described.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.

If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.

For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.

Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.

Q. My dog is having ear problems. I have had her at two vets and they can not seem to find the cause. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. For a pet with chronic ear issues I would recommend checking her thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism can be a cause of chronic ear infections.

Then I would recommend having a bacterial culture of the ear debris to ensure the appropriate antibiotic is chosen to completely rid the bacteria in there. If there is resistant bacteria, the ear will appear to get better at first but then once ear meds are stopped they will thrive again and cause a re-emergency of the ear infection. Also longer treatment may be needed, for example instead of 7-10 days, perhaps 14 days continuously.

If all else fails, I would recommend a skull radiographs to look for signs of a narrow ear canal and/or an inner ear infection which will require not only topical antibiotic ointments put into the ear, but also oral antibiotics.
Most ear infections are caused by moisture in the ears, narrow ear canals, hypothyroidism or skin allergies. Each one has to be gone through systematically.

Q. I have two problems with my 16 yrs old dog: he’s constipated and has a ear ache. What can I use to relieve these?
ANSWER : A. Constipation is a common problem in dogs that can be due to a number of things. However it is a good idea to make sure the constipation is not actually diarrhea, as some dogs can strain after a bowel movement, making it look like such. If constipation is present, adding a little pumpkin puree or plain yogurt to the diet can help make digestion easier and make stools easier to pass. However if symptoms do not resolve after a few days, it is best to speak with your vet.

For ear aches, it is best to have your vet examine the ear as many things including allergies, ear infections, mites and more can cause ear problems. If the ear is just dirty, then cleaning the ear gently with cotton balls or a clean washcloth and a dog ear cleaning solution can help. Do not use Q-tips as a dog’s ear has a 90-degree turn in it and placing Q-tips in the ear can cause damage to the canal or inner ear. However if the problem persists or cleaning does not help, it is best to seek care.

Q. Can you use Floxin Otic for ear infections on dogs?
ANSWER : A. Floxin Otic is an ear cleaning solution designed for the clearing of ear infections in people. While it may be similar to dog products used for ear infections, it is best to bring it to your vet’s attention first so he or she can compare it to dog-safe products. It may be that it is in the same concentration and can be safely used, or your vet can instead recommend a product that is in the right formulation.

If you are seeing an ear infection in your dog’s ears, your vet can provide you with a dog-safe medication to use. Ear infections are usually treated over a period of ten days and involve cleaning the ear 2x daily and then placing the otic ointment in the ear to stay in place until the next cleaning.

Q. My dog has a bad ear infection, his ear is leaking a smelly fluid. Can he take a penicillin to get rid of it?
ANSWER : A. If your dog has an ear infection it is best to have your veterinarian examine it. Ear infections, depending on their type are treated differently. The most common way to treat an ear infection is through daily cleaning of the affected ear and then placement of a medicated ointment that stays in the ear until the next cleaning. Oral antibiotics are sometimes used, but usually in cases where the infection has spread or ointment has not cleared it up.

Do not use penicillin to treat your dog unless instructed by your veterinarian to do so. Penicillin is a general antibiotic and may not be the right choice for treating this particular infection. The wrong dosage can also cause your dog to become very ill.

Q. One my friends dogs has a yeast infection in his ear. Is their anything they can try at home to cure this. They are not working and have no money.
ANSWER : A. Cleaning out the ear 2-3 times daily with an over the counter pet ear cleaner may help to clear up the infection. Some pet stores do also carry over the counter versions of medications to treat yeast and may contain ingredients such as Tea Tree Oil – a natural fungal and yeast killer.

Treatment of ear infections typically involves cleaning the ear twice daily, then applying the medicated ointment to leave in the ear in between cleanings. A period of 7-10 days is usually enough to clear up the infection with medication. However, if the infection continues past 10 days, or appears to worsen with treatment, your friends should seek veterinary care.

If your friends need help with affording veterinary care, several services are available such as http://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/. This article from the US Humane Society may also help in finding funding for care: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_veterinary_care.html

Q. My dog keeps shaking his head at night and is very anxious acting? We’ve cleaned his ears and putting ear drops in hasn’t helped?
ANSWER : A. It sounds like ear canal infection. I am not sure if you used ear drops to clean ears (they do not contain antibiotics) or ear drops from your vets to treat ear infection. In case you used ear cleaner only you should take your dog to your vets to get antibiotics. If you are using antibiotics drops and there is no improvement your vet may recommend taking a swab from the ear to check what bacteria, fungus or parasite is responsible for the infection and then pick the most effective medication.

Q. I have a 3 year old female Shihtzu she has started doing alot of reverse sneezing at the minute she has a sore ear at the moment is it coming from it.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog being treated for the sore ear? Because the only way I could imagine an ear infection causing reverse sneezing would be that the ear drum had been ruptured, which can definitely happen in chronic, serious ear infections. More likely, probably, is that both conditions (the ear infection and the reverse sneezing) are caused by allergies. So they’re not really related from the standpoint that the ear problem is causing the sneezing, but they’re both coming from the same cause. Make sense?

If she’s not under a veterinarian’s care for this, I’d strongly encourage you to get her there. The ear problems can become chronic and recurrent, and can cause hearing loss. Allergies can be frustrating to treat, but a good vet will work with you to figure out how to help your dog. Good luck, let us know if you’d like to consult about this problem.