Typically, vets will do this procedure on dogs when they have ruptured eardrums, lots of ear infections, cancer, or perforation in their ear canals. It's a delicate surgery, and unfortunately, it's unlikely that your dog will be able to hear after having a total ear canal ablation, also called a TECA.
Regardless of how well the surgery is conducted, it's likely that most dogs will suffer from some degree of hearing loss, some more than others. Are you wondering if a TECA is necessary for your dog? Are you curious about the signs your dog might be giving you to let you know they might need a TECA? Read on for more information.
Signs Your Dog Might Need an Ear Canal Ablation
If your dog frequently has ear infections, faces issues like crust or scabs on the outer ear, has hair loss around their ears, or is obviously suffering from hearing loss, it might be worth taking your pup to the vet to talk about hearing issues, ear problems, and the potential of a TECA procedure for your dog.
Your pup might also face issues like blood in the ear, yellow or brown discharge from their ears, excessive head shaking and ear tilting, loss of coordination, and other serious issues.
- Head tilting
- Sweaty paws
- Dropped Ears
- Ears back
- Ears up
- Chronic ear infections
- Red or inflamed inner rear
- Cauliflower appearance of ear canal
- Scabbing or crusting
- Head shaking
- Coordination malfunctions
- Hearing loss
- Ear discharge
- Bloody ears
Historic Reasons for a TECA
For example, dogs who typically suffer from chronic ear infections are ideal candidates for TECA procedures. This condition, also called Chronic Otitis, is a common disease in pups and, if left untreated, can do serious damage to your dog.
Typically, undergoing TECA will help remove the facets that contribute to chronic ear infections. Other causes for a TECA procedure typically revolve around infection, tumors, ruptured ear drums, perforated ear canals, and cancer.
The Science Behind a TECA
Then, the vet will insert drains into the surgical site to allow the infection to drain out before closing the wound. The dog's incision will be closed and the dog will be left to heal.
The reason that dogs typically lose their hearing following a TECA is because they have removed a vital part of the ear. While the removal of the middle ear will result in an impossibility for the ear to hold onto bacteria, yeast, or infection, it will alter the shape of the ear canal and likely affect the dog's ability to hear.
Training Your Dog to Cope with Hearing Loss
First, we suggest monitoring your dog much more closely than before - because he or she is unable to hear, it will take a while to get used to using other senses to aid in detection. Deaf or hard-of-hearing dogs are not able to hear traffic or other dangers around them, so it's important that you're training your dog to stick close to you while training yourself to keep a more watchful eye on your pooch.
That being said, you can teach your dog to abide by special hand signals in order to keep their behavior in tip-top shape. You'll first want to ensure that your dog is associating a hand gesture with a common command. While your dog might not be able to hear you say "sit" anymore, you could make a specific motion with your hand, then guide your dog's behind to the ground - do this until they understand that sit is associated with this command. We suggest rewarding your dog with affection, play time, and lots of treats.
It's also important that you re-learn how to approach your dog, as well as teaching others to approach your dog carefully. While a dog's other senses surely can help him or her know when someone is coming, a deaf dog is more inclined to be surprised, so it's important to teach yourself and your guests to be sensitive to your dog's ear issues.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe During Their TECA Healing Time:
Monitor your dog closely.
Use more visual cues to get your dogs attention.
Begin training your dog using hand signals.
Approach your dog slowly.
Monitor your pup's injuries.