Ear Infections in Dogs and Total Ear Canal Ablation

Ear Infections in Dogs and Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA)


When Sarah noticed her beloved dog, Max, constantly shaking his head and scratching at his ears, she knew something was wrong. Despite several trips to the vet and various treatments, Max’s ear infections persisted, leaving Sarah desperate for a solution. After consulting with a specialist, Sarah discovered the option of Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) to address Max’s chronic ear infections.

Chronic ear infections are prevalent in dogs. They usually occur when there is excessive moisture in the ears. This causes bacteria to grow and multiply rapidly and the susceptibility of bacteria cultured.

In humans, ear infections are common. However, in dogs, deep ear infections are much rarer. This is because dogs’ ears are designed differently than human ears.

Dogs’ ears are made up of three parts: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. The outer ear consists of two small holes called pinnae. The middle ear contains an air sac called the Eustachian tube. The inner ear contains the cochlea, which is responsible for hearing.

A secondary ear infection occurs when bacteria enter the dog’s ear canal. Bacteria cause inflammation and swelling inside the ear. As a result, pus builds up and blocks the eardrum.

Total Ear Canal Ablation Surgery

Total ear canal ablation, or TECA, is a surgical treatment to remove the entire ear canal. Removal of the ear canal is usually done when a chronic ear infection of the canal and ear drum causes chronic pain and discomfort.

This minimally invasive surgical technique involves creating a small opening in the skin over the elbow joint, removing the infected tissue from the ear canal, and replacing it with healthy skin. Then insert a needle into the joint capsule.

Once inside the joint capsule, the surgeon injects local anesthesia and corticosteroid medication into the joint space. This prevents further infections and allows the dog’s ears to drain correctly. Over 90% of dog owners claim to have noticed a notable improvement in their dogs’ quality of life after undergoing treatment by an experienced surgeon.

Total Ear Canal Ablation Surgery

Why Does My Dog Need TECA?

The most common reason for this surgery is to treat otitis externa, commonly known as “swimmer’s ear.” Otitis externa occurs when bacteria enter the ear canal by opening at the top of the ear. Swimmers’ ear is caused by swimming in chlorinated water, bathing in hot tubs, or playing in sandboxes where the dogs lick their paws.

Other reasons for performing total ear canal ablation include:

  • To prevent future bacterial infections
  • To improve hearing
  • To reduce noise sensitivity
  • To correct abnormal head positioning

Will My Dog Benefit From the TECA?

Will my dog benefit from the TECA?

Your primary care veterinarian can tell you whether your dog needs TECA surgery. If your dog needs this procedure, there are several ways to determine whether it will be a candidate. The most common method is to perform a physical examination and listen to the dog’s ears. If the dog has a foul odor coming from their ears or appears uncomfortable when you touch its head, it may not be a good candidate for the TECA procedure.

Another option is to use a diagnostic tool called the Weber Screening System. This device uses sound waves to measure the amount of wax buildup in the ear canal. If the results show that the dog has excessive wax buildup, it should undergo the TECA procedure.

What are the Potential Complications Following TECA?

Common complications associated with TECA include middle ear infection, abscess formation, pinna position and movement, and Horner’s Syndrome.

  • Infection/Abscess Formation

A very rare complication of TECA is an infection or abscess formation. This occurs because there is no natural barrier between the external environment and the internal space of the middle ear. Therefore, bacteria normally residing outside the body can enter the middle ear via the Eustachian tube. If left untreated, this could lead to severe consequences.

  • Pinna Position and Movement

Another complication of TECA is pinna position and movement. Patients often complain about hearing loss, tinnitus, and severe pain around the ears. This is due to damage caused by the drill during the procedure. This can happen in up to 10 to 20% of cases and is usually temporary.

  • Horner’s Syndrome

Horner’s syndrome is another complication of TECA. The symptoms of this condition include drooping eyelids, redness of the eyes, and dilated pupils. These symptoms occur because the sympathetic nervous system is activated during the surgery.

What is Post-Operative Care for Dogs?

Dogs who undergo this procedure typically recover completely within two weeks. However, they must wear a cone-shaped bandage around the affected ear for several months until the wound heals. This would help reduce the risk of complications. In addition, during recovery, the dog may lose hair around the area where the ear was removed.

Post-operative care for dogs includes monitoring their health after surgery and looking closely for any signs of complications. This means checking their temperature regularly, ensuring they’re eating well, and keeping them comfortable.

If your dog had ear infections, you’d need to monitor his recovery closely. After surgery, you should keep him out of drafts and away from any sources of ear diseases until he recovers fully.

After surgery, you may be able to give your dog some pain medication. But remember, this isn’t a cure; it helps relieve discomfort. Your vet will tell you when it’s okay to let your dog go home.

If you notice any symptoms, call your vet right away. These include fever, swelling, redness, drainage, or pus. First, your doctor should examine and take fluid samples from your ears. Then, he may prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections.

Frequently Asked Questions

A dog can get an ear Infection after total ear canal ablation. The reason why this happens is that there is no longer any protection from the external environment. This means bacteria can enter the inner ear through the open hole. They could become infected if you do not properly treat your dog’s ears.

It takes approximately three months for a dog to fully recover from Total Ear Canal Ablation Surgery. The procedure involves removing all cartilage inside the ear canal, which causes the eardrum to collapse and rupture.

The eardrum then heals itself, leaving behind scar tissue. This process usually takes three months. During this period, your pet should avoid any loud noises, such as thunderstorms, fireworks, gunshots, etc., because these could cause further damage to the eardrum. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice any infection after the operation.

Yes, a dog can have a permanent ear infection if it has a total ear canal ablation.

A dog can have a permanent postoperative ear infection even though there was no visible sign of inflammation before surgery. The surgical procedure removes the entire external auditory meatus (ear canal) and the tympanic membrane. However, the inner ear structures remain intact. Therefore, any foreign body introduced into the middle ear space could cause an inflammatory response.

The most common causes of this complication include retained cerumen (earwax), otitis externa (inflammation of the outer ear), trauma from barotrauma or bare cerebral syndrome, foreign bodies such as wood splinters, and iatrogenic injury during surgery.

In addition, a foreign body in the middle ear can lead to chronic inflammation and subsequent fibrosis of the mucosa lining the central ear cavity. This condition is called cholesteatoma. Cholesteatomas can grow and erode through the bony wall of the temporal bone, leading to severe complications, including facial nerve paralysis, hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, and meningitis.

You should take your dog to the vet immediately if your dog has an ear infection. If he doesn’t get treatment, his ears could become infected and cause serious problems. In addition, you might notice signs that your dog’s ear infection is worsening, such as increased pain, fever, redness, swelling, discharge from the ear canal, or excessive scratching at the affected area.

This condition is usually caused by poor hygiene. Bacteria from the environment entering through the external auditory meatus (the opening at the top of the ear) and infect the ears. Yeast is a fungus that grows naturally in warm moist environments such as the skin, hair, and mucous membranes. It feeds off sugar found in food and drinks, so if you provide your pet with foods containing sugars like corn syrup, honey, molasses, etc., this could lead to yeast growth in their ears.

If your dog eats dry kibble, treats, or table scraps, it may ingest too much sugar and develop yeast ear infections. Other factors contributing to yeast ear infections include food allergies, poor hygiene, and environmental conditions.

Bathe them frequently, especially after playing outside or spending time outdoors. Keep their nails trimmed short and remove any excess hair around their ears. Make sure they don’t eat anything sticky or sweet before going out, and drink plenty of water while outside.

If you think your dog has an ear infection, immediately take them to the vet. However, it would be best if you never tried to treat an ear infection yourself because it can lead to severe complications such as permanent damage to the eardrum.

Tympanic bulla is a small cyst that develops from the dog’s external auditory canal (EAC). It usually appears after ear infections and is caused by bacteria. The most common symptoms of tympanic bulla include itching, pain, swelling, redness, discharge, and loss of hearing. Left untreated, it can lead to severe complications such as deafness, facial paralysis, and even death.

The treatment of bulla depends on its size and location. Smaller ones can be treated with antibiotics and antihistamines. Larger ones require surgery. In some cases, they can be removed surgically without causing any damage to the surrounding tissue. However, if there is no improvement after two weeks, you should consult your veterinarian.

Your dog will likely experience a decrease in noise and infection headaches if they undergo total ear canal ablation. Most dogs will experience a reduction in noise and infection headaches if they undergo complete ear canal ablation. In addition, some individuals may experience mild to moderate side effects, typically short-term and usually minor.

Bulla osteotomy is a surgery performed on dogs to correct jaw alignment. The surgery is performed by making an osteotomy, or breaks, in the bone of the dog’s jaw. This surgery aims to move the jaw to be appropriately aligned and function more efficiently.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this veterinary website is intended for general educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a licensed veterinarian for any concerns or questions regarding the health and well-being of your pet. This website does not claim to cover every possible situation or provide exhaustive knowledge on the subjects presented. The owners and contributors of this website are not responsible for any harm or loss that may result from the use or misuse of the information provided herein.

Similar Posts