Features April 2014 Issue

Caring For and Preventing Your Dog's Ear Infections

This Maltese has a history of recurrent ear infections, and would have benefitted from more frequent veterinary and owner care. On this visit, Dr. Diane Castle, of Union Hill Animal Hospital in Canton, GA, found his ear canals so swollen that they could not be examined with an otoscope.

Caring For and Preventing Your Dog's Ear Infections

Regular attention, gentle care, and a little sleuthing can help fend off ear infections.

Severe and/or recurrent ear infections cause more than chronic discomfort or even maddening acute pain for your dog; inadequately or belatedly treated, they can cause total deafness. I once helped transport a rescued Bouvier who had suffered such serious chronic infections that she required a total ear canal ablation (TECA, a procedure in which the entire middle ear canal is surgically removed). While such operations are usually a last-resort effort to both reduce the dog’s suffering and preserve the dog’s inner ear (hearing organ) and ability to hear, in this case, the damage from her many past infections was already done and she was completely deaf.

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