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 Post subject: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:51 pm 
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Arlo is our 5month old male Cocker.

A week ago we went to the vet to have his ears checked for the 3rd time since he was a puppy.
His ears smelled (and was itching at his ear) from the time we brought him home and we put ear cleaners in and noticed an improvement. But, then he behaved as if his ear was really bothering him - thus the Vet visit again last week.

What the vet saw:
They saw a "growth" and said his canal is so narrow they can't see the ear drum.

They flushed (not sure if correct word) his ears. And, he was put on antibiotics (Clavamox 125 mg), anti-inflammatories (Rimadyl 25mg) and ear drops (Zymox HC) . One week later we returned -that was today.

Todays Results:
The growth is unchanged, and the canal still narrow - inflammation a LITTLE better.

We now have an appointment for next Thursday to put Arlo under anesthesia and remove the growth and have it biopsied. They are are already discussing that if he does not respond he may need an ablation.

My Questions:
Does anyone know of a canine ear specialist in the LA area?
If the ear canal is narrow - but the infection is treated. Does the narrow canal just mean that we have to take extra special care to keep him from infections?
At what point does one do an ablation?
I have read that ablation surgery can have bad after surgery problems. (nerve damage, hearing loss etc).

Any suggestions appreciated.

Arlo and I thank you :)

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


Last edited by leigh4ta on Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 11:28 pm 
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Yep extra care and cleaning with a narrow canal I personal would not consider such a thing without a specialist. I think he is a bit young to know if it's needed

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:44 am 
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Ask your vet for a referral to an ear specialist. I do think that most vets do the surgery. It's very intrusive, but after the surgery healing time, your baby would be pain free.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:51 pm 
Holy moly, I would never go to an ablation so quickly on a five month old pup. Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance, is the key to keeping a healthy cocker ear. Not just when they stink, or he's itching, but a couple, maybe even three times a week, every week, all year for a narrow canal. Read through the various ear threads here and see what everyone recommends for maintenance. The recipe Jim has, K-9 Liquid Health ear solution, or make it yourself blue power treatment. Any one will probably keep you problems at bay.


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:37 pm 
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Thanks for your posts.

Here is an update.

We brought Arlo home at 8 weeks. At that time his ears already smelled.
We went to the Vet - and they saw his ears 3 times with no sign of infection.

So - we used the Jim Zimm treatment and the smell went away. However, about 3 weeks ago he had that bad experience with us being unable to remove his collar (he bit me) and clearly did not want that collar put over his head.

So - we went to the vet.
This time she found a growth and the canal very narrow.

We did the treatments I listed in my original post. When we went back for a check up there was no improvement. So, this Thursday he goes under and they biopsy the growth.

Now - tonight I touched his ear and he yelped. We feel so bad for him. So young and already in pain.

Thus the maintenance was being done - we were very attentive to this - and still he is in alot of pain.
Once they finish the research this Thursday we'll get an ear specialist.

He is SO sweet - it breaks our hearts.

:)

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:49 pm 
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PS..

We are looking for any recommendations for allergist or ear specialist in Los Angeles area that people know are good. We will also be asking our Vet for recommendations but if anyone here had a good experience we'd love to know.



Thanks

Leigh

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:57 am 
I don't think there is such a thing as an ear specialist. A dermatologist will be your best bet to fix the ears because it is a skin thing. A surgeon is what you would want to use for an ablation.

However, growth aside, there is no way talking about an ablation at this point is appropriate. One, a culture has not been run on the ear, so there is no way to know if the antibiotic he was on was even effective against what's growing in his ear (the infection not the actual growth). I know some people swear by the Zymox, and good for them for it working, but if I were facing talk of an ablation in my dog I want some good old fashioned antibiotics and antifungals in my dogs ear, not enzymes (which have their place, but IMO not here).

Just out of curiosity, what color is the discharge in his ear? Too often vets put cockers on antibiotics when in fact they have yeast infections and the antibiotics just make it worse.

I'm also curious about the narrow ear canal. Is that by nature or is it swollen? If it's that swollen he should also be on an anti-inflammatory.


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Just my opinion - I am not a vet ...

HOWEVER I have cared for hundreds of Cockers in my 8 years of doing active rescue work.

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT do an ablation on the pups ears! K9 ear solution cleaning instead!

TRUE STORY:
A cocker came into rescue (adult/senior) whose canals were the worst I have ever seen. Calcified. Almost completely closed off. Infections supreme. My vet wanted to do the ablation - I was afraid we'd finally have to do one in the Rescue. BUT - I had experience and faith in the K9 Ear Solution so we put off the surgery, to see if the tales of "miracles" were true.

Ginny's ears were SO closed off, the Foster Mom could just barely trickle the solution down the canals to start with - instead of inserting the tip of the bottle into the canal as she usually did. THREE TIMES A DAY to start for treatment. After about 3-4 months she was able to start cutting back the frequency until the 6th month, Ginny was finally on 1x week maintenance. We went back into my vet (who I trust 100% in ear issues) and he took a look (took before/after photos too). He couldn't believe it was the same Cocker! Calcification was GONE. Redness/irritation was GONE. Canals were OPEN.

Really - in extreme cases it does take a lot of CONSISTANT work, but it CAN be done!!!

(PS - be sure there is no corn, wheat or by-products in food and treats - they can make recurring infections worse. If your dog swims, clean ears with K9 Ear Solution right after swimming. Cotton in ears when bathing).

PLEASE do NOT ablate a puppy's ears!

And I love your pup's face - it's a look that I just adore : )-

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:09 pm 
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I don't think you will see improvement until after the growth is out assuming it is painful. Even treating his ears with anything is probably painful to him.

Please keep us posted!

Julie, the zymox for Abby is strictly maintenance. It was not the treatment or med I used when she had the nasty infection, which I do believe was yeast. For the infection we used metomax or something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:36 pm 
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Thanks for all the posts:

For now we will do the following:
This Thursday morning he goes under and they will:
Remove the mass (and biopsy)
Do a flush
Put an antibiotic treatment in his ear that will last 2 weeks.
I do not know if they will also give anti-inflammatory or other meds.

(I don’t know if flush is both ears and will get that confirmation).

While under we are asking them to:
Shave his hair on the underside of ears while under as well.
At that time we’ll learn if they could see the ear drum.

Meanwhile...
The meds will be for two weeks – so during that time – We will put him on the allergy diet (or allergy elimination diet) and see the dermatologist specialist - which they say is the allergy doctor as well. (Thanks for the diet info Debbie)

I will ask my Vet and Dermatologist about K9 and see when that could be tried.
(Thanks for the tip Peggy)

Expectation:
My other vet (I have 2) thinks the mass will be one of an “inflammatory nature” - she also said in all her years of practice she has never seen cancer in the ear so young – nor such a fast onset. So, that is good news.

She also thinks the canal was likely not so narrow in the beginning (feeling it is not from birth) because they had looked for trouble with his smelly ears last December and had not noticed this problem.

IF this problem is not resolved from this initial treatment...

When he is neutered (in about a month or so) they will be able to take a another look then – my vet can have the specialist there at same time.

NO surgery (ablation) will be considered:
Until we exhaust all treatments (allergies – meds – etc).
Not so young
And, for sure not without running these stages by all of you as your feedback has been extremely valuable and helpful.

Thanks again for the posts.

:)
Leigh (and Arlo)

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:07 am 
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I'm so glad the ablation will be a last resort. Like the others, I felt it was your pup was young. I had a very old female rescue who was blind. One ear was nearly swollen shut. One vet in the group I go to wanted to do an ablation. I refrused. Tunie never acted like it hurt. I flushed her ears every day. She lived like that till the day she died.

I know that the ablation is necessary for some dogs. But the recovery is really something else. Personally I wouldn't put my dog thru it unless there is no other recourse.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 7:15 am 
May I suggest that you request a culture and sensitivity BEFORE they do the flush and 2 week treatment. If what is growing in his ear is not sensitive to that antibiotic, it will do absolutely NO good at all.

What the C/S does is grow the bacteria in his ear on a medium. They then take each type (usually there is more than one) and put it in a separate medium (augar disc). Then they'll put little antibiotic discs on the different bacteria all around the medium and see which one gets the widest 'clear' margin around it, meaning which one keeps that bacteria the farthest away from it. That's the one you need to go with.

IMO a bad bacterial ear infection needs to be treated both orally and topically.

I say this from many years not only as a cocker owner, but a vet tech as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Thanks for your post Julie.

The last time they saw him they looked at a smear and ruled out yeast.

I asked for a culture and sensitivity while he is under and for some reason they suggested we wait.

I called my other vet. She is out of the country - but her associate talked with me. We talked it through. In the end she felt we should go ahead with the 2 week treatment now rather than wait for the culture. And, meanwhile - we'll learn the culture results as well. She felt that perhaps the other vet was trying to save us money. But, we'll be asking for the culture anyway.

Thanks all...

_________________
Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


Last edited by leigh4ta on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:11 pm 
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I am so sorry for all the ear problems. Cockers are known for this problem.. Hope the growth pathology comes back negative. I am not sure if you were able to see the growth and how it looks. Last year my Holly who has multiple medical issues and is 12 years old had a growth on her ear. It grew so fast and it looked like a grape bunch, dark red/purple the vet just cut it off with no anesthesia, the biopsy results were negative. Good luck and hope the pathology is negative.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:54 pm 
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Update:

The news was mixed and sad.


First the good news:
The ear canal was more open and the Vet could see the ear drum. This is good because the narrow canal was not structural.

The bad news:
The growth in Arlo's ear (about 3/4 size of eraser head) turned out to be so hard - (bony) that the Vet stopped the procedure.
They could not even break any portion off (to dangerously close to the ear drum) to take a look at or biopsy.

Also - while under when they touched around the growth the nerve would cause his head to twitch a little. Meaning this growth is agitating the nerve.

Next Step:
Referred to surgen who will take skull xrays and most likely CT SCAN to see what they can.
After that - they hope to get better idea of what it is.

Once that is known we will know how to proceed.

Possible causes?
There was mention of possible teeth growing in wrong direction (rare ) and don't think this is it.
But, then this growth is rare according to even the surgeon.

Our Vet called the surgeon personally to see if there where any ideas.
Arlo is so young (5 months) .. they are all stumped. He seems too young for primary bone cancer.
The one possibility is congenital tumor. If this is the case we are praying for benign.

Anyone hear of things like this before?

Thanks for listening ... :)

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:32 pm 
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I have no experience, but I sure am praying for something benign that can be removed without causing additional problems. If it is close to or gets close to a nerve there would be pain I'd think.

I feel absolutely sick for you and Arlo. I know how worried you must be.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:41 pm 
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This is really a tough case. You might want to contact the UC-Davis Vet School. There are some LA vets who are associated with the vet school, or at least work closely with them on these unusual cases.

Colleen Keough


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:21 pm 
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Colleen Keough wrote:
This is really a tough case. You might want to contact the UC-Davis Vet School. There are some LA vets who are associated with the vet school, or at least work closely with them on these unusual cases.

Colleen Keough


I absolutely agree with Colleen, we took our Persalina there after many local (Dublin, Ca.) Internist visits and a surgery. With the U.C. Davis Hospital's advanced technology, they were able to diagnose her condition much more clearly than even the Emergency Hospital Internist. Unfortunately, for our 15 year old girl, the diagnosis was lung cancer. Thankfully, absolutely nothing associated with Arlo's current condition.

Your little guy, Arlo, is very young and will have a much better chance with another opinion from the University of California College of Veterinarey Medicine. Or, as Colleen states, there might be some associated Medical Veterinary Doctors in your area as well.

I am sorry, but I have fallen in love with his little picture. :hp

Dawn :paw

PS: Contacting the U.C. Davis College of Veterinary Medicine could be a time consuming task, but well wort it. Especially considering Arlo's current troubles. And, their costs are quite a bit lower. A plus at any rate.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:46 pm 
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Alro's update today:

I spoke with the surgeon. He has been doing this for MANY years.
He actually travels to my Vet's office - and others to do the surgery on their site and is associated with some of the top Vets in the City. My friend used him and was very happy.

Also, once the surgery is finished. Arlo remains at his primary Vets for follow up care. I like this because these people know him and are invested in him. They care more about his comfort. More than once this Vet has saved one of my Cats lives with their "extra mile" approach.

Monday, Arlo will have his CT scan. After that the surgeon will examine him and then determine the next step.

Right now I can't get any of the specialist I have talked with to say they "don't think it is cancer". Most end up saying they suspect it is congenital and hope it is benign. All have agreed that the growth being just like bone is very unusual. So - I choose to read this as more hopeful for benign.

When I point out that at 8 weeks when we got him I had noticed his eye tearing and he was scratching at this ear. So, whatever was going on had already begun to disturb him. Again, making them think "congenital".

I'll keep everyone posted. Right now everyone is preparing us for a very major surgery. Bless his heart.

Not sure if I left the video of him here before. But, if anyone wants to see this adorable little boy.. he is the star of my Vet's promo's and they were going to follow his first year of life.
I'd suggest the Arlo series Inoculations one - it shows him older and running with glee :)

http://www.youtube.com/user/PacPalVetCe ... sults_main

_________________
Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


Last edited by leigh4ta on Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:28 pm 
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Hi Leigh,

I am hoping that I did not sound too harsh. :wk I was just concerned about Arlo's condition. And, I sure hope that Arlo does not have ear cancer.

I do have experience with: First a young Cocker, our Persalina, who did have a small ear cancer growth removed successfully at at very young age. As I stated before, she lived to the age of 15 years.

Second: I recently had a 10 year old Cocker, Moonbeam, who did have an ear ablation surgery. The results were it was cancerous and was terminal. She did very well through and after her surgery, but her diagnosis was not good. I want to reiterate that she was 10 years old and can not be related to Arlo. If you read the "Caring for your Cocker" section of the forum, you will see my IMHA/AIHA thread and Moonbeam's sad story. She had contracted IMHA a very deadly autoimmune disease. It is not known if her cancer caused the IMHA or if the IMHA caused the cancer. This is probably the reason that I am being go vocal here. Sorry...

One thing that I want to relate to you is that Moonbeam's Surgeon, who did the ear ablation, made an incision and the best word I can use is "cupped" part of her ear over. This caused much concern and infection in the long run.

Sorry for being such a "pain", but I just wish that your very young baby could avoid this type of surgery at such a young age. I am sure that you are a very conscientious doggie owner and do know much more than I realize....

Dawn :paw

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:39 am 
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I love the video. Arlo is so incredibly cute.

It sounds as if you have a lot of trust in your vet. I have the same in mine. I love mine and feel I can take every word he says as FACT...never had a reason to feel differently. Keep us posted on Arlo's CT and the surgeons report. I hoping for a good report and a quick healing for that happy cute little guy.

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:54 am 
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I'm sending positive thoughts and prayers for Arlo and you. I know how hard this must be. May the drs. successfully diagnose and treat little, darling Arlo's ear issues.

:hp

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:00 am 
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Dawn -thanks for your posts and they are not at all too harsh. :)

The UC Davis consideration:
Luckily, our Vet is a personal friend of many years, is very good at her job, and always wants to get to the bottom of a diagnosis. Through her we also have a personal connection with Western University down here in Pomona -the So Cal version of UC Davis. We've had the discussion of considering UC Davis, or Western. In the meantime, even after calls to associates - all remain stumped and feel seeing the CT is going to help. Most refuse to "guess" at what it might be.

At this time - we decided to go the route I described earlier.
1) Get the CT (done with a radiologist that the surgeon feels is excellent)
2) Have the surgeon look at Arlo and the test results.
3) Discuss our options.

If the tests don't reveal a conclusive diagnosis we will possibly reach out to Western - as I always prefer that personal connection to the person treating my puppy.

I strive for this in every phase of Arlo's treatment. To be sure that each person touching him has been brought on board with that little "extra" sense of commitment to take a strong interest in Arlo's excellent treatment

About the surgeon. He is 74 and doing this all his life and has seen many things throughout his years. I do feel confident in my Vet (friend) that once we see the CT and the surgeon has an opinion she would not have me proceed with this surgeon unless she had 100% confidence in his abilities.

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Arlo (Male B/W Parti) 10.08.11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ycQNqVT5Lg


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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:15 pm 
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I'm sending along my best wishes for successful surgery on Arlo, but also want to comment on what a darling little Cocker Spaniel he is. :love

Please keep us all updated on his progress. :dk

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 Post subject: Re: Ear infection - Narrow ear canal - ear growth
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 5:54 am 
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Leigh:

I just wanted to add my prayers and good thoughts for you and Arlo as you go through this procedure. I can't remember whether Arlo is a rescue or whether he came from a breeder, but I'm wondering if you have talked with his breeder at all to see if any of the other pups in the litter are affected with the same type of problem? I feel so sorry for him to be so young and in pain, and hope for the best resolution as you proceed.

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