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Old 11-30-2009, 02:46 PM
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Default Do I *need* to take my dog back for a re-check? (Opinions, please)

My dog has been having a slight ear issue for about a month or so. He's been shaking his head a bit more and scratching his ears. It's nothing chronic, I can't see any wax, his ears don't have any foul smell, and it's not a constant thing but I noticed that it's been on-going for about a month so I took him to the vet a week ago.

The vet looked in his ears and said that everything looked good but they got a swab from each ear and looked at it under a microscope anyway, at my request. The vet came back out and informed me that she looked once and didn't see anything abnormal, but when she double checked she found 'a pretty nice patch of yeast' so she said he probably has a mild yeast infection. She gave me some drops and told me to put 4 drops into each ear twice a day, and to come back in a week and have him re-checked.

Well, I've been using the ear drops and the head shaking and itching seems to have gone down (although it's difficult to tell because he shakes his head and itches a bit because of the drops themselves) I'm supposed to go back tomorrow for a re-check but it's going to be another $80 and quite frankly, we just don't have that money to spend right now. We *could* do it if absolutely necessary but we'd really rather not if it's pointless.

My question to you is, do you think it would be okay to skip the re-check and just keep an eye on my dog's condition? I'd hate to waste the $130 we already spent by not seeing the problem all the way through to the end, but on the other hand, it seems like the yeast infection was very mild (after all, she had to look twice to even see anything) We've been using the drops and he seems to be doing better. The bottle said to use the drops for a week so I'm going to do that. I'd hate to not solve the problem completely and have it reoccur but $210 is a lot of money to spend in a week on a mild ear issue that may very well be solved.

What would you do? Is it okay if I skip the re-check? Any suggestions/opinions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:45 PM
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Personally, if I felt that the ear infection was cleared up I wouldn't go back. But I've dealt with lots of that kind of stuff so I'm reasonably confident. That said, the prudent thing to do is to go for the re-check.

If you don't go, you are taking that risk that it isn't completely cleared up, and round two can be much harder to get rid of. And when I say completely I mean he needs medication until it is all gone, otherwise it will come back, and (theoretically) stronger than before. By medicating until it is *almost* better, you culled the population down to the toughest fungi to survive and breed.

I can't say if you NEED to because it is totally dependent on whether or not it's cleared up. If the infection really is gone, then it is pointless. But if you're wrong, I think you'll wish you'd paid the $80 . It's a bit of a gamble, and it comes down to how well you trust your own judgment.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:48 PM
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I'm someone who goes to the vet a lot, so I would go. In fact, I just went for an ear re-check today. Easy peasy -- the vet looked at his ears, said they looked good, washed them out and gave me some ear wash that I could use in the future. He didn't take any swabs to check under the microscope.

Bailey's ears looked good to me, and they were. So, in my case, I probably could have skipped the re-check. (I actually had other stuff to ask about -- plus, as I said, I'm a little uptight and like to have everything I notice checked out.)

I also paid less than usual for the re-check (though the $40 for a short appointment isn't particularly cheap) -- so maybe it's worth calling and asking what it would cost?
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Old 11-30-2009, 05:45 PM
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I would just keep monitoring him, keep using his meds as presribed until they are all gone or until he acts normal again. If it gets worse, then yes, go see the vet, but until then, just do what you can at home and keep an eye on him. hope he feels better soon!

have you thought about getting insurance for your pet? I got mine on trupanion pet insurance earlier this year and we found a tumor in his tummy and with all of those treatment costs and meds i wouldnt' have been able to keep my dog. I only pay $25 /mo and when something like this or an accident occurs, its nice to have to not worry about paying huge vet bills. trupanion covers 90% of the bill. worth checking out just in case for future purposes...

best of luck!
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:25 PM
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The problem with missing a recheck is if the problem recurs later, you'll most likely have to start from scratch money-wise, whereas if you do the recheck and things look good but a problem shows up in the near future, you might be able to classify that as another recheck instead of a full-on exam.
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Old 11-30-2009, 08:36 PM
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My vets have never asked for a re-check unless there are problems . If you are really torn , I'd call the vet and tell them your situation and how things are going .
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:43 PM
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I called and spoke to the vet that saw Dodger last week and she said that I don't absolutely need to re-check it, but they recommend it just to make sure they got everything. She said I could keep an eye on it myself and bring him if only if there's an issue.

She told me to get some ear cleaner and clean his ears once a week for a month and then after that month us up, clean them every two weeks monthly.

I'm still pretty torn. My boyfriend will be losing his job in January and we're going to have to move, so we're really trying to save every penny. I completely understand what you guys are saying, that it could be potentially saving money in the long run because it could turn into a bigger problem. But we need to get Dodger his shots at the end of December and that's going to be more money (I know that I absolutely need to get him his shots, so that's another reason why I'd rather do the wait-and-see approach)

I'm usually a very cautious person and so it pains me to take the wait-and-see approach, but I feel like I need to at this point. The vet didn't seem overly concerned so that sort of helped me reach the decision. Your opinions have made me feel like a bad owner and made me a bit worried though =/ So I don't know...

I really appreciate all of your opinions and advice though.
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:49 PM
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I've dealth with countless ear issues, especially with the rescues, so I myself wouldn't take them in.
The thing that you had to request the swab in the first place makes me laugh a little. I think it sounds like you will notice if it starts coming back before the vet would (just by looking) But thats just my opinion.
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  #9  
Old 11-30-2009, 09:57 PM
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In that case unless you see more problems , I'd wait until you go in for your shots . But do flush and clean !!!
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:01 PM
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With my vet if it is something a vet tech can do such as give a shot they do not charge me for an office visit. Something you might consider is calling the vet and explain your situation to them and ask if a vet tech does the check what would the charge be. They might be understanding and not charge anything for a check. You will never know if you do not ask.
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