dog ear infection
January 2, 2013 5:41 PM   Subscribe

My little dog seems to have an ear infection -- head tilting, ear-scratching, ear-shaking, general sadness. She has a vet appointment Saturday, for an unrelated follow-up, and I will tell the vet about it then. In the meantime, would it hurt her to give her some of the miconosol eardrops (1%) I have left over from when this happened before?

They have an expiration date of 9-2011, which isn't great, but probably just means it would be a little less effective. She'll certainly be looked at this weekend, and in any case I know it may not be a yeast infection, as it was that time. I just want to be sure that this isn't the kind of treatment that you definitely don't want to give unless it's necessary.

(I know, I feel responsible. She haaates having her ears fooled with, so they don't get washed much. When a dachshund wants to hide from you, they stay hidden.)
posted by Countess Elena to Pets & Animals (9 answers total)
I've done this before-given the ear drops that expired, and it was just fine. It helped a lot.
When we got to the Vet, he said it was no problem.
My Great Dane is the same way-hates ears and eyes fooled with. I wait til he's napping and try to get it done then, that seems to work for me.
posted by donaken at 6:05 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is there any reason you cant call the vet in the morning and ask then?
posted by Blisterlips at 6:33 PM on January 2, 2013

Have you cleaned and examined the ear to see if it is indeed an infection? I would start with a good clean before giving drops.
posted by crazycanuck at 6:36 PM on January 2, 2013

IANAVet, but when we had a dog with chronic ear issues, we would often use those drops as a first line of defense--never posed any trouble, almost always made her more comfortable until we could get her to a vet.
posted by like_a_friend at 7:16 PM on January 2, 2013

I've also used them on my dachshund as a first line of defense -- you should be fine. Poor little bunny! My girl (who's had some nasty ear stuff herself) sends hugs and chicken.
posted by at 7:49 PM on January 2, 2013

Call the vet. If possible with your schedule, see if they can move you up - explain about the potential ear infection and they can usually get you in sooner. The vet can tell you whether or not to give the drops.

Also, they may give you some liquid ear cleaner to use periodically. Stay on this - it doesn't have to be a ritual, just a quick nabbing of the dog, squirt a little cleaner in, and rub the ears and you're done. We have bulldogs, which are ear infection magnets, and the ear cleaner has helped tremendously - we hardly ever have ear infections anymore.

Good luck. Dachshunds are hilarious little pooches, and a lot more fun when they're feeling healthy.
posted by azpenguin at 9:07 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

The vet is not going to tell you that it's OK to give expired ear drops for an undiagnosed ear infection, so don't bother calling them to ask what you should do. You could call them to move up the appointment, if that is feasible for you.

If the dog hates getting her ears fooled with, I would not go to the hassle of giving her meds that may not be effective on two fronts (expired and incorrect), when you will likely have to give her further meds after she is diagnosed.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:29 AM on January 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Miconosol works by preventing fungi from synthesizing ergosterol, which is an organic molecule unique to fungi and used to build cell membranes. The yeast can't replenish their membranes, and their cells leak out and die. Mammals' cell membranes are composed of cholesterol, and the drug has no effect on it.

If the dog's not on any other meds to cause some sort of interaction (drugs that weren't present on the first go-round), I can't imagine that there's any reason NOT to use the drops. It's probably a recurrence of the yeast infection and they'll likely still be effective. If it's a new infection, they won't do anything, but they won't hurt.

I'd use the drops and then mention it to the vet. We all want to do right by our pets, but it looks like you have the solution handy, so why not use it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:00 AM on January 3, 2013

I wouldn't use the expired drops. I've had good luck with using a cleansing solution to fight my dog's ear infections. I can't recall the name, but it's a commercial brand made with chamomile, marigold, and apple cider vinegar. When I catch it early enough, it'll head off an infection, and it seems to provide relief even when the infection is advanced enough to require antibiotics as well.
posted by Kriesa at 7:07 AM on January 3, 2013

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