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

otis
Puggle
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

yeast in ears
smelly
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
1488 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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max
German Shepherd cross
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Itchy eye
Head Tilt

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
1488 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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