Those gunky ears: Dealing with ear problems
If you are one of those conscientious PON
owners who have spent untold amounts of money with your local veterinarian
for gunky ear problems, then it is high time to take matters into your own
hands and look further than expensive veterinary ear solutions and ear
cleaning sessions at your vet's office.
What are the main causes of canine ear problems ? Most veterinarians will agree that the most common underlying causes of ear problems in dogs are allergic reactions (inhalant and food allergies). Pollen and molds which cause hay fever symptoms in people are the principal causes of skin and ear problems in canines. Canine immune systems change during the years and they may also react to ingredients in kibble, even after eating the same food since puppyhood. Alternative reasons for ear infections include foreign objects ( fur) that have become lodged in the ear, ear mites, polyps , and tumors within the ear canal. In certain dog breeds, the ear canal becomes thickened or mineralized and once this takes place, surgery may be needed to relieve chronic pain. Some PONS tend to get dirty ears which don't smell as bad as infections, but require cleaning on a weekly or even daily basis.
When you have pinpointed the main cause of your PON'S ear problems with the guidance of your veterinarian, and have found the problem is caused by allergies, you have a number of choices. You can put your dog on those so-called special kibble foods and still have problems (or not), or you can switch over to a home crafted diet. If your PON has inhalant allergies, you may have to take the decision to use antihistamines or other natural remedies. Most important, these ear problems need to be solved because if the ear canal remains inflamed and infected for a long time, the infection may move across the eardrum to the middle ear.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian and work together to find alternative solutions to improve the health of your PON'S ears. In some cases, you may have to do further research on your own in order to solve this painful problem.
Note: Dogs who suffer from pollen allergies may need to avoid certain foods.
The Connection between inhalant & food
Birch pollen associated food allergy is a well known phenomenon of
cross-sensitization to birch allergens and food allergens. Foods most
frequently associated to birch pollen allergy are apples, hazelnuts, peaches,
cherries, almonds, pears, carrots, and celery. However, most probably a birch
sensitive individual is sensitized to only some of these food items. You
should see an allergist for evaluation of your suspected food allergy.
Matthias Besler, PhD (matthias besler ONLINE PUBLISHER, Hamburg, Germany)
Therefore, if your dog has inhalant allergies you may prefer to avoid: apples, carrots and some of the following:
There are many fruits and vegetables frequently involved in Oral Allergy
Syndrome: apple, peach, hazelnut, peanut, apricot, almond, pear, tomato,
cherry, fennel, melon, orange, banana, carrot, potato, watermelon, chestnut,
pea, plum, celery and grape (according to an Italian Study). Foods frequently
associated to apple allergy include peach, pear, and cherry. Moreover, cross-
reactivity has been observed to kiwi fruit and celery. Birch and mugwort
pollens are associated in most cases. Golden Delicious and Granny Smith contained higher amounts of allergens than McIntosh and Red Delicious (Study USA). According to another study in Europe the allergen content of different apple varieties decreased in the following order: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jona Gold, Idared, Gala, Jamba, and Gloster