Dr. Divine has emphasized ear disease for over 30 years. As a young veterinarian, Dr. Divine was treating his own Cocker Spaniel (Maggie) as he was taught. However, the treatments failed and Maggie became deaf while suffering for years with ineffective treatments.
Then tragedy struck: Dr. Divine had an emergency call and raced into the garage, got into his car and proceeded to back over Maggie who had been sleeping undetected behind the car. After this, Dr. Divine vowed to learn all he could about ear disease and find effective treatments. As a result thousands of pets have benefited from Maggie’s tribulations–so they were not in vain.
You probably are here because you have been treating an ear infection unsuccessfully, so let’s discuss some of the things involved with more aggressive diagnostics and treatments.
1. Ear drum identification and evaluation is critical to help differentiate outer and middle ear conditions. Usually this requires an endoscope. Anesthesia is required to view the ear in these instances, with few exceptions.
2. Hearing is not lost with ear drum perforation or even complete absence.
3. The injured perforated ear drum will regrow normally in 2-6 weeks, but occasionally takes longer.
4. Occasionally an intact eardrum will obscure a middle ear infection, and it may be necessary to perforate the ear drum with a needle to sample the middle ear contents.
5. The ear’s cleaning mechanisms have been damaged by long standing infection; therefore we need to clean the ears until normal function returns. This may be 2-30 weeks.
6. If the middle ear is involved, the inner ear is at risk. Infection, drugs and trauma can cause rare inner ear symptoms of loss of balance, and disorientation. If this occurs, stop all medications and call the clinic immediately.
7. It will be necessary on your part to clean and medicate the ears twice daily with rechecks every 2 weeks until ears are normal.
8. A full exam requires:
9. A quick and easy fix did not work previously and will be unlikely to work now.
10. Prepare yourself mentally for some inconvenience. Remember-your pet has been suffering and will be much happier and healthier after the ears are back to normal!