Vet question - Doggie Ear Wax

So our pup over the past few months has been having an ear wax issue -

Vet calls it allergies - we give her Benadryl 2 - 3 times a day - but the ear wax continues - we try cleaning them both with liquid cleaning stuff from the vet and a semi-weekly q-tipping for the obvious stuff.

Yet the wax persists -

Doc says it can be normal -but this is ‘new’ to the dog and clearly causing her some level of aggervation (although her snipping at ghost flies is occasionally quite funny).

Any other thoughts on how to treat/remedy this? I feel there must be a cause for this, but the vet doesn;t mention anything beyond allergies being the cause.

I was going to suggest ear candling for dogs as a joke…then I found out it actually exists!

What sort of wax is it? Is it dark, brownish, and smell? Toby had a yeast infection in his ear a few years ago, and the vet gave him ear drops. Toby will let me do pretty much anything to him, but that really pushed the limit. Five minutes with his head on his side, per ear? Yeah, he didn’t like that.

The upside is that the q-tipping was extremely productive, and who doesn’t love a really productive q-tip session?

has a smell - but not bad - just ‘cheesy’ - yellowish/light brown -

It is generally not dark unless she has been scratching at them and caused a little bit of a bleed.

I’d still guess some sort of infection, but I am in no way a vet. I’d call the vet back up and ask if there’s any harm in using a bit of rubbing alcohol after each of your q-tip sessions.

My advice is: get a second opinion. Maybe ask around at a dog park or with your neighbors for vet recommendations. If she’s scratching til she bleeds, then clearly the benadryl and ear solution aren’t working. You need a vet who will be more proactive in figuring out the cause and the treatment.

Was a cytology done to rule out yeast, bacteria, fungus? If not, see a different doctor. There’s a list of things it could be, many of them can be ruled out so that the possibility of the problem is more likely allergies, but even that can’t be a definitive diagnosis without seeing a dermatologist and getting allergy tested. Even if it is an allergy, if it’s food borne, no amount of diphenhydramine is going to help.

Vet here. Allergies may be the underlying cause, but it sounds like there is a secondary infection of the outer ear canals. As the poster above mentioned, ear cytology–at the least–needs to be done to determine what kind of medicine is warranted. Your vet should be treating the otitis as well as treating the allergy. Most chronic otitis in dogs is due to underlying food allergy.

In any case, your dog needs more than ear wash–she needs anti-bacterial/anti-fungal meds, and depending on how severe the swelling in the canals is, she may even need steroids. I would get a second opinion.

Surely not diagnosing your pup here, but my pup had scratch 'till they bleed allergies, and a change of diet solved it- long term. (Proper meds in the meantime.)
My pup is allergic to grains, or grains of some sort. Since a grain-free diet solved
her issues, I’ve never tried to isolate the allergy beyond that. (She’s not suffering from her diet, mind you, her favorite dry food is venison and sweet potato.)

Thanks all - that was the direction I was leaning, so it helps with the thoughts here.