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.
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.
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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.