What is causing my dogs uncontrollable scratching and screeching?
My dog is about 95 years old in dog years. She lives outside for the most part. She's constantly scratching her ears uncontrollably and screeching really loud then she shakes her head as if she's shaking out her ears. Does anyone know what can be causing this or how I can provide relief for her??
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Ear infection, ear mites, allergy induced ear infection, "cheatgrass" or "foxtail" lodged in her ear, an insect bite/s, an injury, a piece of fur.
Could be any of those things.. The first thing you should do is take your dog into a well lit area, get a magnifying glass and a flashlight/lamp, if you don't have a magnifying glass you can use a magnifying make-up mirror instead. Get your dog to lay down and relax, if you can give the dog a toy or chew(so long as your dog doesn't have possession aggression) calm the dog first and then gently lift up the ear flap and look inside making sure you have a bright light so you can see, look into the ear canal.
It should be healthy pink or grey skin with no crusts, or dirt or waxy buildup. It should be shiny and clean deep inside.
If you see black/brown/reddish "dirt-like" build up in the ear canal take a cotton ball and wipe some out.. put a dab of water on it.. if it turns bloody red it's most likely your dog has "Earmites". They cause intense scratching, pain, and can lead to infection, inflammation and skin disease.
You can buy effective and reasonably priced OTC earmite medication from your local pet store. I reccommend taking the dog to a vet for a conclusive diagnosis but if you are unwilling or unable, OTC meds will work to cure ear mites, you can even try a home remedy if that's all you can manage... Home Remedies.. http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/ear_mites.html
More info about OTC and vet meds and more about ear mite symptoms and treatments.. http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ear_mites.htm...
If you look in the ear and it is dirty, waxy and with a brown/dark discharge, and a sour, foul scent.. it's most likely an infection.. bacterial. In that case you will need to bring your dog to the vet to conclusively find out what bacteria is causing the infection so you can treat it. Yeast smells yeasty, like beer or bread dough and has a yellower discharge. Again if you are unwilling or unable to go to the vet, you can try OTC ear meds or a home remedy.. Keep in mind the reason you need to see a vet is to know exactly what it is, otherwise you are just guessing and it may not work.
Home remedies... http://www.petherbalinfo.com/pet-health-concerns/h...
If it is allergy you will see/smell almost the same thing as an infection, except it will keep coming back no matter what you treat it with, until you determine the cause.. Could be food, inhalant, environment. In this case you should change your dogs diet to a food that has NONE of the same ingredients as the old food. If it is environmental you will need to find out the source and remove it from the dogs environment. If it is inhalant you will need to treat the dog with an anti-histamine. For more about allergies and treatment go here.. http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_food_allergie...
Inhalant allergies... http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_inhalant_alle...
If it is cheat grass or foxtail, or hair.. the ear will appear healthy and clean except you may be able to see pieces of grass or hair deep in the ear canal, your dog may have also injured herself scratching or shaking her head. Either way she will need a vet to safely remove the grass/hair and treat the injuries with antibiotics etc.
Hopefully your dog didn't shake her head too much and give herself an Aural hematoma.. if that is the case her ear flap(the outer flap) will be filled with liquid like a small balloon and hot to the touch. This is a very painful condition caused by a broken blood vessel in the ear due to shaking of the head. It could easily cause a dog to cry out in pain. My dog had one, and trust me it is best if you take the dog to the vet and get the ear surgically drained and sutured open to allow it to drain and head. Again if you can't go to the vet, you can drain it yourself using a sterile syringe or razor blade to drain the ear. You will have to clean it and drain it daily and make sure it doesn't get infected. It's best to leave that to the vet but it's possible to do it on your own if you have no other choice. They also can be left to heal on their own but it leaves the ear deformed and thickened.. I know my dog's previous owners did this to her and her ear was ruined. It is thick and lumpy.
More on Aural Hematomas.. and their treatment. http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_aural_hematom...
Good luck, hope I helped you help your dog..
- KatieLv 44 years ago
I don't want to worry you, but I had to put my basset hound to sleep b/c her allergies were horrible. She was allergic to pretty much everything. I had expensive allergy testing done (which I'm glad i did, so i know i did what i could ) and gave her allergy shots for a year and it just didn't help my poor baby! It was devastating. They also gave her a couple of shots of either steroid or cortisone, ( i can't remember ). The first shot helped but the second didn't. I started out putting hot spot medicine on her (the kind that doesn't sting and you can get it over the counter) that helped, but had to put it on her everyday. She finally started getting cysts type bumps all over her back near her tail. It was awful and such a hard decision to make to put her down, but i truly believe she had suffered long enough. With all this said, please take it very serious and take your dog to the vet. Maybe if I would have gotten her help sooner the vet could've gotten it under control. And definitely have your dog on some good flea medicine and keep your dog's nails short which will help the dog not hurt himself/herself so much when scratching. And don't feed your dog table scraps b/c there may be something in that causing allergic reactions. I wish you well.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Sounds like a bad ear infection. You will need to get her to the vet for some drops and possibly antibiotics. It is a very painful complaint and she needs your help!
- Anonymous4 years ago
Chances are you're eating too fast. Try holding a conversation with a meal so you're not necessarily gulping down more than you need to feel full.
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- 1 decade ago
Sounds like an ear infection and she is in pain. get to a vet asap!!
- 4 years ago
Distracted dining is certain to get you in trouble. Avoid eating looking at a television or in a movie theater, as you're bound to ingest more calories.
- MiMiLv 41 decade ago
Have you looked inside her ears? Could she have mites or an ear infection? Do you have a vet you can call?
- Anonymous4 years ago
Use a vegetable bean dip such as hummus instead of ranch dressing or possibly a fatty cream-based dip.
- 4 years ago
Identify the emotional triggers that lead you to seek unhealthy comfort food. Picture your goal weight when a trigger strikes to allow you to resist temptation.
- Anonymous4 years ago
People who regularly weigh themselves and account for their progress in a journal will probably lose weight.