We have been holding our collective breath for the past couple of days because Katie has been in obvious distress. She has been hesitant to eat, overnight, she let out a yelp like she was being hurt terribly!
It turns out that she was. Cock-a-Poos have an inherent problem in their genetics… they don’t have good ear ventilation and they grow a lot of hair down in their ear canals which makes the problem worse.
Every time she gets groomed, they clean her ears and pluck all the hair out to keep them as open as possible. Unfortunately, like Cocker Spaniels, her ears have no stiff cartilage to perk them up even a little bit. We knew from the beginning that this was going to be a never ending fight to keep her ears clean and disease free. This past few weeks, we have failed and she has suffered ear infections that are a mix of bacterial and yeast contaminants that have both ears inflamed and her right ear completely plugged up.
Maybe it has been due to our being in Florida instead of North Carolina that has rendered our normal ministrations inadequate. I sure hope so because I really can’t stand the thought that we might have been neglectful of her care and caused her to have such pain that could have been avoided.
After a day of her not eating or drinking and not wanting to move about much we took her to a nearby emergency vet that has gotten her back on track with some antibiotics, antifungal, pain meds for a few days and a thorough ear cleaning.
He said that beyond a certain point, the ear irritation is self accelerating because the inflammation causes the ear canals to narrow more and more and that reduces the ventilation even more.
This will not happen to our little girl ever again! Though we thought we knew what needed to be done and what to look for as symptoms of this sort of problem, we now know that there are other indicators that she needs deeper attention than we have been giving her ears.
We have been told that there are some laser treatments that can greatly reduce the likelihood of this happening in the future. That might be the only option if our best efforts can’t prevent this from happening again.
Meanwhile, she is almost back to her old self. She is eating and drinking ok and even just came out to ask me when I was coming to bed. I told her I needed to finish this post and then will come to bed so she climbed up in my recliner behind me and lay down to wait. Talk about pressure. I have learned to never tell her something that I am not going to do because she considers every word a promise and won’t let me forget it.