This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
This is an exceedingly common disease of dogs, and when it has been allowed to run on unchecked becomes very intractable.
When the internal ear is in a diseased condition, i.e., disease of the bones, etc., the malady is incurable.
In the majority of instances the middle ear alone is the seat of inflammatory action and suppuration, and usually curable.
One form of ear canker is produced by parasites (Symbiotes auricularis canis) invading the passage.
The ordinary form of canker is the result of some slight abrasion of the middle ear, and subsequent infection of the wound by germs.
The secretion of the ear and constitutional predisposition towards eczema have no doubt an influence in determining the onset of canker, of a non-parasitic nature.
The entrance of water and other foreign materials is thought to be equally productive of this disease, but, as already stated, in all probability it is necessary to have some slight excoriation of the lining membrane.
Turning the head to one side—when one ear is affected, though frequently both are diseased—pain when the ear is manipulated, revealing, on close inspection of the passage, increased redness, with a sooty-like deposit (dry form), or moisture (moist form), passing into various stages of suppuration, are the usual signs of this disease.
Freqently the pus is mingled with blood, the latter either coming from the tender abraded lining of the middle ear, or, may be, from disease of the bones.
Careful inspection will generally settle the matter. The duration of the malady is of importance when forming an opinion.
In bad cases the discharge drops from the ears, emitting a most offensive odour.
Cleanse ears thoroughly with warm water and a little spirit of wine.
Syringe out daily.
Pour in some of the following lotion night and morning.
R Glycerine . . .2 ounces.
Laudanum . . 1/2 ounce.
Lead acetate . . . 1/2 drachm.
Water added . .8 ounces.
Mix. Warm before use.
Milder cases can be cured by dusting boracic acid powder into ear night and morning, and for parasitic canker, use in the same way a little white precipitate (ammoniated chloride of mercury).
Give a dose of purgative medicine, such as Epsom salts, and then follow up with a course of alterative medicine. (See Recipes).