Ear Infection?

Posted By: Gregg

Ear Infection? - 01/04/10 05:23 PM

This is a long post, so here it goes.

I found one of my gliders (who just turned 10 in December) yesterday morning spinning around on the floor. The only thing he could seem to do was go clockwise and apparently couldn't climb back up to go back to sleep. I had just been to the vet the day before because he's had a lot of trouble eating due to teeth issues. He had surgery to remove some teeth (small ones) about 3 weeks ago and seemed to be doing better for a while. I would chop up mealworms in a couple of pieces for him and he'd eat them. But starting about a week ago he wouldn't really touch the mealworms much. So I brought him back to the vet on Saturday and she said it looks like his lower front teeth might be rubbing against the upper teeth and doing some damage. She put him on an antibiotic (Baytril) and anti-inflammatory/pain reliever (Metacam). I only got to give him one dose of the antibiotic before I found him on the floor yesterday morning. I paged her and she told me to cut off the antibiotic just in case it was a reaction. She also had me give him Meclizine (Dramamine Less Drowsy formula) to hopefully make him less dizzy.

Anyway I found him on the floor again once at 2am and once at 7am. Brought him to the vet this morning and she said she thinks it might be an inner ear infection (possibly having begun from a tooth infection) based on the behavior. She said it could be a stroke (which is what I thought it was), but since he seems okay other than that so it was unlikely. I brought him back home and gave him the Metacam and Baytril and force fed him a little from a syrings before I left for work (he seemed to eagerly eat the food). I'm going to put him in an 20 gal aquarium when I get home. She wants me to continue giving him the Meclizine as well as some Vitamin B complex and omega 3 fatty acids.

I was a nervous wreck all last night and this morning figuring I'd have to put him to sleep today. At least I have a glimmer of hope. I'd just like to know if anyone has any words of advice.

Thank you.

Posted By: KattyM

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/04/10 06:13 PM

I'm so sorry one of your babies is ailing. hug2 I haven't experience with this, but could your vet consult with other glider-knowledgeable vets for more tips?

It's good you're confining his movements so he can't fall and hurt himself. I don't know if an aquarium is a good choice, or a small reptarium might be better. Be sure you line the bottom with soft fleece, and hang his pouch low.

Hopefully others will be along with advice.
Posted By: Gregg

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/06/10 12:57 PM

Dale might be a drop better this morning. It was hard to tell especially since I had to go to work and couldn't spend a lot of time with him. I'll get a better idea tonight.

I have him in a 20 gallon tank with a small little cat bed and his nest box (turned over on the side to he can get in easy). I have a long branch going into the aquarium so his brother can come in and visit. I've probably been giving him fits with all the medications and force feeding. I think he might be eating a drop on his own (I gave him a small piece of avocado which he loves - and rarely gets -and he definitely managed to eat some of that), but his weight is down quite a bit so I need to make sure he's getting enough.

I'm still curious if anybody here has ever had a glider with an inner ear infection and what the outcome and treatment was.

Posted By: glidrz5

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/06/10 01:36 PM

Gregg, I'm so sorry you are having to go through this. I went through the exact same thing in August with my Bailey and it is heartbreaking watching them. Unfortunately, Bailey didn't make it, but maybe your vet can learn something from his experience. You can find his post here Bailey's post He saw Dr Kaiser at the Katherine Road Animal Hospital and Dr Kaiser has all of his records and x-rays that he took during Bailey's illness. Please feel free to contact him at 217-228-1982 and I'm sure he will pass on all information that he can. I hope that your baby has a happier outcome. Many hugs and prayers coming your way.
Posted By: Gregg

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/06/10 02:00 PM

Thank you so much. That post was very helpful. The situation is so similar it does give me at least a little comfort that it's worth a shot. I'd like to give him some more quality time if possible, but he's not a youngster anymore. I'm sorry you're suggie didn't make it through.

I see you mention Metacam in your post. Did you end up using that?

Thanks again.

Posted By: glidrz5

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/06/10 03:16 PM

No, we used torbuteral for Bailey. With the side effects and possible liver damage that metacam can cause if used for more than 3 days, we felt that torb would be a better alternative.
Posted By: Gregg

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/10/10 03:23 PM

I brought him back to the vet yesterday and had some X-rays done. She didn't see an ear infection which was disappointing since that still means it can be a bunch of different things like stroke, tumor, etc. She said there is still a small chance it's an ear infection and she just couldn't see it. We switched to a new antibiotic and I'm slowly going to increase the dose of meclizine to see if that helps.

The good news is he seemed to be moving around a little better yesterday and he was happily eating mealworms which I cut in half and hand fed him. He wasn't circling nearly as bad. I took some extra cage material and made a 'bridge' which lets him climb up and down from the floor to the bed which they sleep on. I think he was really happy about that and it took a load off my mind since I knew he hated sleeping on ground level no matter what I tried.

I don't dare try to fool myself that we're out of the woods by any means, but I'm trying everything I can and he doesn't seem to be suffering.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/18/10 04:43 PM

Hi! I was at the vets office on friday and I know these are 2 completely different animals BUT it just made me think of this when i read your story and may kinda give you another sujestion on what it could be ...Any way a lady brought her dog in to get it put to sleep because he was doing the same thing as your baby... He was a older dog so I asked the vet when i went in and got my babies what was wrong with the poor dog it just brought tears to my eyes and she said that it was senile from old age. I dont know if this will help or not. But I hope you find what is wrong with your baby and wish you all the best of luck!!
Posted By: Gregg

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/21/10 02:17 AM

He seems to be getting better. It looks like switching antibiotics could have been the answer. I took him off the meclizine. He still mostly turns to the right but he is climbing fine and jumps a little, but very cautiously. He gained back 5 grams so far and is up to 85. He'll be on the antibiotics for at least another week at which time I'll consult with the vet again, but I'm very pleased with his progress!
Posted By: glidrz5

Re: Ear Infection? - 01/21/10 10:25 AM

I'm glad he's doing better, and have my fingers crossed that he continues to improve.
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