News

Pet Of The Month – May 2015

6 May 2015

Loki is a fun-loving, mischievous SharPei who had a lot of problems with his ears.

web pic

He suffered from repeated ear infections that were very painful.His owners were very diligent in keeping an eye on Loki’s ear disease and brought him to see us when he began to show discomfort.Signs of ear infections can be head shaking, scratching at the ears, and tenderness when the ear is touched.

Unfortunately, despite medical management, which included antibiotic therapy, ear drops and ear flushing, Loki’s ears remained a painful problem. His ear canals were  thickened and blocked as a result of his recurrent infections. Due to the severity of Loki’s chronic ear disease, one of our vets recommended that Loki should have a Total Ear Canal Ablation and Bulla Osteotomy (commonly known as a TECA). This surgical procedure involves removing the ear canals completely and flushing out any infection within the middle ear.

Both Loki’s ears had to be operated on. Surgery was performed on each ear individually, with 6 weeks in-between to allow Loki time to heal. He recovered well from each surgery, although he did need to wear a collar, as healing ears can be itchy, and we had to stop him scratching.Looking a little sad with his collar onPoor Loki really went through a difficult time, but the surgical results have been a great success. Loki is now much more comfortable. He is happy with his new ears, despite some loss of hearing.

Causes

There are a number of reasons why chronic ear infections develop:

1. Puppies exposed to mites and dusty surroundings will develop chronic ear infections quite early on, if left unnoticed and untreated.

2. Lifestyle: dogs that play in water which can keep their ears constantly moist. Those with a tendency to dig (debris collecting in their ears) or in the summer, playing in fields of grass predisposing them to grass seeds in their ear canal.

3. The inner lining of the ear is a continuation of the skin and if the dog or cat has allergies these can manifest in the ears as well, again causing chronic otitis.

There are also other common causes like tumours, trauma and polyps in the ear. All of these conditions can instigate recurrent ear infections that may be difficult