Sorry for the long post but ever since I lost Amy, my 17 year old Pomeranian in September of 2015, I've began struggling with Bella's health. I adopted Bella, also a Pomeranian, when she was 6 or 7 years old so she is approximately 14 or 15 years old. She has always been pretty healthy. After Amy passed away, Bella she was having trouble walking, and at one point, couldn't walk at all. I never found out exactly what it was; it wasn't her knees it was possibly her back but xrays weren't conclusive. I brought her to a chiropractor and she eventually got much better but not 100%. Next, she started coughing a lot and she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure around February. I was told her heart was enlarged and she had fluid buildup. Bella has been taking Vetmedin, Furosemide, Theophylline, and Hydrocod.
Now, on top of everything else, Bella has developed chronic ear infections. I’m told that her ear canals are blocked with polyps, although of the vets in the practice call them tumors.
The vet suggested Bella have an ear canal ablation but due to the congestive heart failure and her age, it would be very risky. However, her ears have constant discharge and smell very bad. Most of the time, it's hard to tell if they are bothering her most times because she is constantly coughing from the heart issues, but I can't see how she can be comfortable.
For months my vet has given me drops and lotions like Posatex which weren'tt getting in the ear canals due to the polyps; 5 different antibiotics- only one worked but she was only on it for two weeks and the other vet switched it to another that didn’t work; and having her ears flushed but I couldn't afford to go every day as they suggested since I have a husband in a nursing home and two other Pomeranians I adopted in the last few years.
Since Bella's ears kept getting worse, in July, my vet suggested having a culture done. I don’t know why they didn’t suggest that sooner. She said she knew I was having a hard time with the cost of everything, but all of the antibiotics, lotions and drops cost way more than the culture. Attached are the results of the culture showing 3 organisms and giving a list of antibiotics and topical solutions sensitive to the organisms:
- Staphylococcus pseudintermedius
- Alpha hemolytic streptococci
- Diptheroids (they told me not to worry about this)
My vet put Bella on Clindomycin, the one antibiotic she was on previously that seemed to help. She is on it basically permanently. It worked for a few months and one ear seemed to be totally healed. However over the past week, I noticed the odor and discharge coming back in both ears so it seems to have stopped working.
I brought Bella to the covering vet on Sunday and she flushed her ears but was reluctant to change the antibiotic and when I asked her if we could at least try one of the topical solutions listed at the bottom of the culture results because they are at least are sensitive specifically for these organisms, she told me they were mostly for eye issues and could be dangerous. I left with Bella on the same medication that wasn’t working. The smell from her ears had gotten so bad in a few days that you could smell her in the next room.
The covering vet called me on Monday and said she discussed it with another vet and they told me to try the topical Neomycin (Antimax Ointment). I spent hours last night researching antibiotics, ear infections and treatments and read that some dogs are allergic to antibiotics, especially to topical Neomycin. However the first topical drug on the list is Florfenicol which I found in Osurnia and it sounds like it would work better than all of them. I called today to find out why they didn't try that one and all of the vets that have seen Bella weren't in today and they didn't want to ask someone that hadn't seen her.
Does anyone have any advice for me? I’m at a loss what to do. Thanks!