Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dog Ear Infections: what do they look like inside the ear?

Dog Ear Infections vary form mild to severe and have many causes.  To your average owner, these all look the same, but your vet has the skills, experience and equipment to locate the cause and assess the severity of the problem.

Morris Animal Hospital has a great web page showing just what infected, dirty, hairy and blocked ears look like inside.
Very interesting stuff.

Dog Vet

Dermatology and Diseases of the Ear 
Otoscope Case Examples

A normal canine eardrum.  The eardrum is located 3 inches deep in the canal in large dogs.  Note the eardrum (green) and the small amount of wax adhered to the normal tuft of hair that frequently grows next to the eardrum (red).
 
Excessive amounts of hair can be normal in breeds such as the Poodle and Bichon Frise.  Sometimes the hair causes moisture and wax to be retained in the canal causing an ear infection.
 
This large wax plug located deep in the ear canal of a cat caused a good deal of discomfort.  It was removed under anesthesia with the video otoscope.
 
This Labrador Retriever had severe bilateral otitis and was in excruciating pain.  Note the copious amounts of discharge and wax which was subsequently cleansed from the canal with the video otoscope.
 
Polyps are sometimes the cause of chronic ear infections. Note how this large polyp is completely obstructing the canal.  Polyps cannot be diagnosed and adequately treated until the canal has been thoroughly cleaned.
 
This older cocker spaniel has likely had ongoing infections for years.  Note the hemorrhage and inflammation.  This photo was taken after a tremendous amount of wax and debris were removed. Her ear drum is ruptured but she has taken her first step toward full recovery.
 
A young female German Shepard named "Heidi" with a diseased canal lining and ruptured ear drum.  She later had surgery to reroute her ear canal which helped prevent future infections & relieved her pain. A springer spaniel with complete ear drum rupture & otitis media (middle ear infection).  Beyond the hair where the ear drum should be, the interior of the middle ear can be seen.  This dog needed antibiotics for 6 weeks to resolve her middle ear infection. After extensive flushing and removal of debris, a normal ear drum is finally visualized in the depths of this ear canal.  The catheter being used in this photo is only 1.5 mm in diameter.  It is impossible to clean ear canals to this extent without the use of the video ototscope.

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