The reason steroids are so dangerous in pregnant bitches is that in the first trimester steroids can cause birth defects, and later in the pregnancy the cortisol in steroids can cause premature placental detachment. This is all theoretical, topical ear medications with steroids have not been evaluated for safety, but in the absence of evidence to the contrary, we are going to steer clear of any steroids during pregnancy.
I normally do a prophylactic treatment of Mometemax just before I expect my bitch to come into season. If you’ve ever had an issue with ear infections with your breed, I recommend this. I missed doing this with Velvet this time around (she did not come into season when expected) and we have been struggling with an ear infection for almost her entire pregnancy.
We did do a round of antibiotics, which I hate to do (we did a culture and found that the infection was susceptible to a safe antibiotic). That knocked back the infection but it came back shortly after the antibiotics stopped. We were flushing it with a safe solution every night but we were really at our wit’s end.
I did not want to strip her gut biome with more antibiotics so Dr. Lovell suggested cold laser treatment for the ear. That did the trick and got us through this without more medication. It did not totally eliminate the infection, but with flushing and the laser it knocked it back and kept it at bay.
She also has been rashy on her belly and teats and I have been giving her frequent baths and also wiping her down alternately with witch hazel and chlorhexidine wipes several times a day.
What is so fascinating is that we have been doing reverse progesterone timing and her ear and skin have been clearing up in a linear fashion as the progesterone goes down. So I don’t have a ton of wisdom to share except that cold laser is very safe and a great option if you have a pregnant bitch with an ear infection.