Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Itchy Ears are a Common Problem - Massie and Canine Otitis Externa

Canine otitis externa is defined as inflammation of the ear canal. It is a painful problem and very frustrating for owners, vets, and pets when it persists despite treatment.

Otitis externa is marked by scratching, rubbing of the ear and head shaking. The ear is red and there is evidence of discharge that may have a foul smell. If initial medical management is unsuccessful video otoscopy under general anesthesia is a valuable tool. The following is a case example:

Maisie, a 9 year old bearded collie had otitis externa of the left ear for more than one month. Despite a sedated flush and appropriate medical management the problem persisted.

Under general anesthesia, a 2.7 rigid scope was passed down the canal.  A collection of mucus and debris was removed from the bottom of the canal to reveal a grass awn that had perforated the eardrum and was fixed in the drum. The grass awn was removed with a grasping forcep. This left a defect in the eardrum. A catheter was passed down the scope through the defect in the drum and into the middle ear.. The middle ear was lavaged with warm saline until the return was clear. Maisie was discharged the same day. Re exam is scheduled in 2 weeks. This is an example of the value of deep cleaning with the magnification and visualization of rigid endoscopy.

 Maisie (9 year old bearded collie)
(Image of the ear before the cleaning)

(The grass awn embedded in the ear drum)

(The grass awn that was removed.)

(Catheter inserted into the ear)

(Image inside the ear)

By: David K Saylor

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