Yogi is a 9-year old Cocker Spaniel. A few months back, he was presented to Miami Veterinary Specialists because he was excessively scratching at his ears. According to his owners, the scratching had worsened and they finally brought him in when he became lethargic. Also, he had not been hearing very well and he has a history of skin allergies that had improved with a hypoallergenic diet.
Yogi was seen by Dr. Sarah Evans, one of our board-certified surgeons. During his examination, he was diagnosed with chronic bilateral otitis. Chronic bilateral otitis is a common disease of the ear canal in dogs, especially those with allergies like Yogi. Otitis can be:
- Externa (of the outer ear canal alone)
- Media (involving the middle ear)
- Interna (involving inner ear and associated structures)
Dr. Evans decided to take a CT scan of Yogi’s skull to be able to closely analyze his ears. She also ran a series of blood work in order to rule out any other health complications. After going over Yogi’s results, Dr. Evans communicated to his owners that the right ear canal was very narrow and that there was a mass present on his left ear canal. Staged bilateral Total ear canal ablation with bulla osteotomy (TECA-BO) was recommended for Yogi. The left ear canal was more critical due to the presence of a mass in the canal even though the right ear had a worse infection.
After discussing the surgical and non-surgical options for Yogi with his owners, Yogi was scheduled for surgery on the left ear. Dr. Evans performed a successful total ear canal ablation and a bulla osteotomy (removed the ear canal cleaned out the bony bulla or base of the ear ). During the surgery, there was a small amount of purulent (pus) discharge within Yogi’s ear canal and bulla. Pieces of the mass were taken for histopathology to determine if it is malignant or benign, and for culture to determine what type of infection was present.
The culture came back positive for bacteria and Yogi was treated with oral antibiotics. The mass fortunately was benign, due to inflammation. Yogi had a rough recovery for the first few days after the surgery, but was happy to go home a few days after surgery when he began to eat and seemed comfortable.
Yogi returned for suture removal 2 weeks after surgery and his incision was completely healed and Yogi was feeling much better. One month after surgery, Yogi was ready to have his right ear canal removed because of the chronic/recurrent ear infections. A TECA-BO was performed on the right ear, and again the ear canal was submitted for culture and histopathology. Yogi recovered very well form the second side and went home 2 days after surgery with a good appetite. Chronic otitis was confirmed on histopathology (biopsy) and a resistant bacteria was cultured. Yogi will be on antibiotics to treat the infection for several weeks. He will return next week for suture removal.