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What is Total Ear Canal Ablation?

Total ear canal ablation in dogs is a surgical procedure involving the removal of the middle ear or tympanic bulla. Total ear canal ablation in dogs is a procedure veterinarians use to treat ruptured ear drums due to chronic ear infections, cancer, and congenital imperforate ear canals. This form of surgery is a delicate procedure as the ears have a number of close facial nerves, which is why an experienced and licensed veterinary surgeon is required to perform a total ear canal ablation for your dog. 

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Total Ear Canal Ablation Procedure in Dogs

Before a total ear canal ablation procedure can be performed, the veterinarian will need to collect a blood sample to run a chemistry profile. A chemistry profile will tell the veterinarian how the internal organs are functioning, which is important when a surgical procedure needs to be performed. If the dog is in good health, the surgical procedure will proceed with a pre-sedative drug to prepare the canine for the procedure. During the procedure, the canine will remain relaxed and comfortable with a gas anesthetic paired with oxygen infusion. The hair on and around the ears will be shaved, then prepped with an antiseptic solution. 

During the procedure, the distended ear canal will be removed entirely. The veterinarian will open up the middle ear, or bulla, to remove all infected tissue from inside the ear. This portion of the total ear canal ablation procedure is called bulla osteotomy. Drains will be inserted into the surgical site if the veterinarian feels the infection is severe and the area needs to be allowed to drain before closing the surgical site. If a drain has been placed, an antiseptic solution will be injected into drains during the recovery process and the bandages will be changed twice daily for up to a week. The dog will remain in the hospital for the duration of the surgical day.  

Efficacy of Total Ear Canal Ablation in Dogs

Total ear canal ablation in dogs is an effective form of treatment for canines that suffer from chronic ear infections. If both the right and left ears of the dog have been surgically corrected, that dog’s ear infections will be permanently cured. The middle ear will be removed, therefore, there is no possible way for bacteria or yeast to enter the ear and cause an infection. Dog owners will save a considerable amount of money after the surgery, if their dog has suffered from ear infections for the duration of their life. Due to the fact that a dog will feel ill when affected by an inner ear problem, most dog owners report their dog having more energy and displaying a much happier attitude than ever before.  

Total Ear Canal Ablation Recovery in Dogs

Following surgery, the dog will remain in the hospital for the duration of the surgical day. If a drain has been placed, an antiseptic solution will be injected into drains during the recovery process and the bandages will be changed twice daily for up to a week. The dog will require at-home care including administration of medications and exercise restrictions. 

Cost of Total Ear Canal Ablation in Dogs

Total ear canal ablation in dogs can cost a dog owner $500 to $3,500. The total cost of the surgery depends on the severity of the dog’s condition. 

Dog Total Ear Canal Ablation Considerations

Total ear canal ablation in dogs will cause some degree of hearing loss. The physical appearance of the dog’s ear will be altered after an ear canal ablation.

Total Ear Canal Ablation Prevention in Dogs

Chronic ear infections can be prevented with proper ear cleanings. However, some dog breeds are prone to acquiring infections of the ears due to their natural formation. Dog breeds, such as the coon dog, are commonly affected with chronic ear infections. Talk to your veterinarian about the most effective way to prevent ear infections in your dog. 

Total Ear Canal Ablation Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Koch
Pit-Bull
7 Years
Serious condition
2 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Ear canal removal

Medication Used

injection, ear drops, antibiotics

My Pit-bull is 7 years old and suffers from ear infections. Its has got to the point where the tissue is outside of the ear and he now needs a full removal of both canals in each ear. The Philadelphia Animal Hospital referred me to UPenn or Vsec, (i'm not sure if thats the correct name). The visit itself will be expensive, and was told by my VET the surgery can be upwards or 5,000 each ear. He had a steroid shot and is now on antibiotics, which is not to cure but help him in the disomfort, as of now only surgery would correct the problem. I would like to know what his life span expectancy would be if I cannot get up 10,000+ dollars needed for the operation, meds, visits, etc.?

Broadheadsville Animal Clinic in PA did my dog's ear canal removal for much cheaper than anywhere else we looked at.

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Lee
Cocker Spaniel
Twelve Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Ear pain all the time

my cocker spaniel who is 12 has had chronic ear infections for years, we have spent thousands on vet bills flushes medicines shots you name it... finally I saw the surgeon he looked in his ears and said he needs the ear ablation, Its 3200$ its not the money its the fact my dog is in constant pain and its time to put him down no matter how much I love my dog I am selfish in allowing him to suffer with eye ear infections I was asked by my vet am I keeping him alive for me or him...

Awe poor baby. I hope your dog will get the surgery he needs. I would sit on the street corner and hold a sign explaining your situation. Ask for donations and someone with a heart for animals will see that you are doing everything in your power to save your dogs life. You're sure to receive the money if you have the courage to sit on the street and ask for help. It's hard but if I had no other option then to ask for help if my dogs life depended on it then I would most certainly do it in a heartbeat. You will raise the funds in a couple days of sitting on the road I promise you. Especially if you dont look homeless people will see that you're a regular person who cant afford an expensive surgery. This is the equivalent to someone in your family needing an expensive surgery for cancer or a tumor. Its serious! Please ask for help. People have incredible soft spots for animals when it comes down to their health and life. Be sure to have a picture of your dog or wben your dog there with you. It's okay to ask for help. Some of us need it sometimes.

wow if you know the ablation will make the pain go away - you still want to put him down?? then he's not family- would you do that to someone in your family?

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Millie
French Bulldog
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itchy ear and odor

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral

Our dog Millie is 2 yrs old and she has polys (mass warts) all down her ear canal. The vet was only able to remove half way down and said I would have to see a specialist because he does not have the tools or the experience for this procedure. It is not yet determined the severity of her condition, but if we have to remove her eardrum it is said that it will be 10 thousand dollars. It was also suggest from a family member that we could try the veterinarian college students to preform the surgery, but my concern is that if it is a major surgery I don't know if I want trainees to do this procedure or would that be perfectly fine.

At a reputable teaching hospital it is a good way to get lower cost but excellent care unless money is no object.

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Scooby
Boxer
5 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Chronic abcess

Ear canal ear drum is gone due to misdiagnosed from veterinarian 3 years ago scooby has had 5 surgeries and just had catscan and more blood work. Osu telling me he has to have total ear canal removal and abcess removal in inner ear and jaw. Paid 1588.00 now they won't do surgery unless I have 3000.00 more I was told that veterinarian schools are less expensive however their not. And if my dog doesn't have surgery he can die. They will not take payments from me to save my dog life I'm heart broken no one will help after I spent thousands of dollars on my baby boy scooby and veterinarian just turn away.

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Bonnie
English Bulldog
7 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Chonic ear infection

Medication Used

Cefpodoxime
prednisone

Bonnie is an English Bulldog turned 7 in July 2019. All her life she had chronic ear infections. This time since September 4, 2019 been on Prednisone 20mg per day, Cefpodoxime 100mg per day, and cleaning her ears before mealtime twice a day with Phyto Vet Baytril Dex SP.
Yesterday follow up vet exam shows her ear canal still swollen that the ear drum cannot be seen.
The vet that followed Bonnie all her life suggested a Total Ear Canal Ablation. We cannot keep Bonnie on these medications forever. I am waiting to get a call back from the surgeon.
The problem at this time I don't have the money for this procedure. The choice would be to take care of my husband health procedures or Bonnie's. Just so you know Bonnie is my husband (girlfriend) best dog ever.
Is there an alternative?
Already sold everything to pay medical bills. It really hard to think that in this great Country you can work 40 to 50 years and you end up giving everything up for medical treatment. There is nothing left.

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otis
Puggle
8 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

smelly
yeast in ears
Loss of fur
pain in ear
puffy neck

Medication Used

Prednisone
Baytril, steriods
steroids
synotic

Ive had a dog I have spent over $5000 in three years on his ear flushes, medication, surgeries............He has some good days but very few. He is a happy 8 year old dog when not in ear pain which is rarly. After numerous flushes, steroids, ear medication and bloodwork the different vets cannot figure out a cure. Its his right one ear only and smells rotton and consistantly leaks large amounts of black yeast. There has been times his ear ruptured. He screams and yelps of pain at times and I cannot afford a surgery they suggested for 50/50 chance that could run me 3-4000 dollars. He has become defensive of his ear and about to have a baby in two weeks. SPCA wont take him and the vets have little hope he will get better. what can i do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

I can understand your frustration and is must be hell for Otis going through all of this over the past few years; I am sure that your Veterinarians have already tried, tested and treated all the usual suspects which would lead us to surgical correction of the ear or total ear canal ablation surgery to improve airflow to the ear canal and to allow drainage of any nasty products. Regular cleaning with ear cleaning products would help but I understand that Otis is in pain and it may be impossible to get close to the ear; I really do not know what else to suggest unfortunately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

PLEASE put the dog down! Never let an animal suffer.

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Tobi
Yorkshire Terrier
14 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Smell
Oozing
Ear infection

Medication Used

Clavamox antibiotic- oral

My Yorkshire Terrier is 14 years old and she has had a chronic ear infection for many years. Total ear canal ablation has been recommended by UPenn, and I am looking for a veterinary surgeon who could do the procedure in SW Florida (or within a 2 hour drive of Ft. Myers). Recommendations welcome.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
The links below are to the details of board certified Veterinary Surgeons in and around Fort Myers, FL who may be able to perform the surgery for you; I do not know any of the Surgeons or Centers in this area so I cannot give you any personal recommendation. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM http://find.vetspecialists.com/florida/fort-myers/veterinary-specialist/specialized-veterinary-services-3152 http://find.vetspecialists.com/united-states/fort-myers/veterinary-specialist/leonardo-baez-dvm-dacvs-sa http://find.vetspecialists.com/united-states/estero/veterinary-specialist/kimberly-goodrich-enderle-vmd-dacvs-sa http://find.vetspecialists.com/florida/estero/veterinary-specialist/specialists-in-veterinary-surgery

If you have not gone yet I love I the ft myers area and went to svs on Daniels right past 75

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max
German Shepherd cross
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Head Tilt
Itchy eye

My dog has a chronic ear problem an my vet has told me there is no cartlidge left in the ear canal that i should think about euthanasia as he be in a lot of pain is there anything that could be done to save him he a perfectly healthy dog otherwise

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

This would be something to discuss with your Veterinarian or to ask a second opinion from another Veterinarian as it is a subjective measure based on the severity of the condition. If there is a breakdown of cartilage in the ear, it can open up a whole range of other problems causing further pain and infections for a dog. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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