Depending on the severity of the dog's ear infection, ear ablation may have to be considered. Dogs that have a long history of ear infections may develop irreversible damage to the ear canal
Long eared dogs seem more prone to serious ear infections and although Natural remedies for dog ear mites and regular grooming are good, effective ways of treating and preventing some ear infections, chronic and recurrent ear infections that do not respond to treatment could need a more radical approach. This could involve ear ablation.
Total Ear Canal Ablation results in the removal of the dog's vertical and horizontal ear canal, the ear drum and part of the middle ear.
This process removes the infected ear and allows fluid to be drained from the middle ear. It involves removing the complete hearing capabilities of the dog so if this surgery is performed on both ears, the dog becomes deaf, so it is the last resort treatment when nothing else has worked.
The vertical ear canal in a dog takes a 90 degree horizontal turn and finishes up at the ear drum so any fluid that gets trapped in a dog's ear cannot drain out easily. This also makes it difficult for any medication to reach the ear drum.
Any retained fluid and external parasites like dog ear mites can cause infection. This infection can cause excess production of wax and other fluids which in turn can create ideal conditions for ear mites and yeast. This inflammation causes thickening of the skin that lines the external ear creating further problems.
Chronic ear infections often damage the middle ear cavity and can thicken the ear canal so it becomes more like bone. Tumors can grow and the dog should be operated on by a vet to have these removed as soon as possible.
When dog ear ablation is performed by an experienced vet, the results are very good and most dogs make a full recovery. The dog may take some time to be back to his normal self depending on how much his hearing has been affected.
With good grooming and propper health care, many dog ear infections can be caught and treated early before the onset of serious complications and ear ablition does not need to become a consideration.