View Full Version : Ear problems?

29th September 2007, 10:01 AM
About 3 or 4 weeks ago, Pascha took a head tilt, and started walking in circles, so we zoomed her off to the vets, (it was a bank holiday and she recieved emergency treatment) they checked her ears and couldn't find any infection. The Vet thought she might have an inner ear infection due to her symptoms and gave her an anti-inflamitory injection.

A couple of days later she had stopped with the circles and the head tilt improved (now the tilt is barely noticable) but, she is now deaf, in both ears. What is worrying me now is the fact that she keeps trying to "listen" for things (ie, pricked ears) and keeps scratching at them. Is this just because she can't hear now (she had perfect hearing before) and is puzzled?

I did take her back to the vet who will be doing her leg ops for a pre-op check, and asked him to take another look at this problem, he checked her ears and found nothing there that indicates any infection.

Her personality is now pretty much back to normal apart from the ear scratching and ear pricking (I had to hand and spoon feed her since the ear infection as she wouldn't eat) she started eating herself just two days ago.

Am just concerned in case she might have got something in there that worked its way in and the vets missed it. Shes terrible for sticking her head into undergrowth, including stinging nettles. So maybe the nettles are why shes scratching her ears?

any ideas would be great!


Cathy Moon
29th September 2007, 12:16 PM
I would quickly take her to a different vet for a second opinion. A head tilt would indicate an inner ear infection, which should be treated with strong antibiotic pills. The tilt would be in the direction of the infected ear. Sometimes the infection needs to be surgically drained.

Hope she's back to normal soon.:flwr:

29th September 2007, 12:50 PM
Wow, yeah I'm with Cathy, I'd be getting a second opinion. If it isn't an ear infection, that I sure as heck would be wanting to know what it is. Good luck. I sure hope it turns out to be nothing of great consequence, but it would be nice to have an answer.

29th September 2007, 01:03 PM
thats the thing, I've taken her to two different vets.. one said inner ear infection and gave her the injection, the other took another look and said he can't find anything there, her ears are clean, nice and pink and healthy. The head tilt is only noticable to me because I am looking for it, its really slight, her personality is okay and back to normal, other than the scratching of the ears.

how can they check for inner ear problems? X-Ray? if needs be I'll take her to another vet and have that done. Or maybe I can get them to do that while she's under for her first leg op.

29th September 2007, 01:31 PM
If you notice a tilt that wasn't there before, then it's there, you know your dog best. I'd go back or try a third vet.

30th September 2007, 02:55 PM
Update on Paschas ear problem. :)

After discussing this further, we decided to check her hearing again, and we found that she can actually hear me squeak a rubber chicken, so the theory is, so far, that her hearing may possibly be returning which is why she's acting like she is at the moment with the ear scratching and pricked up ears.

I am keeping my fingers crossed it will continue to improve (it might not), but heard that this is not unknown with middle ear infections.

1st October 2007, 09:59 PM
To be safe, have your vets also review the information on PSOM (like glue ear in children) and syringomyelia. Both of these conditions can cause a head tilt. More information on both at www.smcavalier.com. I doubt anything in the external ear would cause either of these problems. PSOM often causes hearing loss.

PSOM: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/psom/psom.html

Sounds like a middle ear infection or perhaps PSOM to me, but I'm not a vet!

1st October 2007, 11:11 PM
The first vet diagnosed the middle ear infection and the treatment for that certainly cleared up the symptoms, such as the walking in circles etc (at this point I know she was completely deaf) the latter symptoms such as the pricked ears and scratching at them occurred later, she doesn't appear to be in any pain or discomfort.

She does "seem" to be hearing more things now, but I can't be sure just how much as she could well be taking cues off Rozie.
I know the vets don't have the facilities for MRI and CT scans, and I've no idea of any places that do that around here..
However, I will have a chat about SM and PSOM with my vet, before we go ahead with her patella surgery.

1st October 2007, 11:18 PM
They wouldn;t want to do an MRI under the current circumstances. It's more to keep an eye out for anything further. PSOM can be diagnosed in other ways. A normal vet exam isn't adequate usually however.

Symptoms for PSOM and SM often don;t seem to involve pain, 'just' scratching. However, the leading expert in the area, Dr Rusbridge, says scratching indicates neurological damage to the dorsal horn in the spine and indicates some pain and irritation which the dog reacts to by scratching. Usually the scratching gradually progresses to become more frequent, turns into some air scratching sessions, etc. So it is worth watching out for and just to make sure your vet is informed. As the info on my SM site explains, you always want to eliminate all other possibilities first. It may just be that an ear infection left the ears feeling uncomfortable after and hence the dog scratches as a result. But if the scratching and/or the tilt doesn't go completely after a bit, I'd want to look into PSOM first, then consider the possibility of SM. But that is much further down the line.