This 5-month-old labradoodle has hairy and infected ear canals. Ear hair plucking and cleaning of the ears must be done weekly by the owner or groomer. However, the puppy objected to ear cleaning and hair plucking by the groomer. The inside of the ears become ulcerated and infected, leading to very smelly ears. The owner sought veterinary treatment at Toa Payoh Vets Singapore.
There are 3 methods of treatment depending on the professional judgment of vets consulted.
METHOD 1. MEDICATED EAR DROPS. One inexpensive method by many vets is to prescribe medicated ear drops and the owner applies the drops at home regularly. I find this method, in this case of very smelly hairy ears, ineffective.
METHOD 2. EAR IRRIGATION. In Toa Payoh Vets, in such cases, the ear canals are irrigated to flush out the blood clots, bacteria and debri, after ear hair plucking.
This dog is sedated for this process. There is always the anaesthestic risk which deter many owners from accepting the second method. In healthy puppies and dogs, the risk is very low, but many owners do not want anaesthesia. So, the otitis externa get worse and become chronic.
METHOD 3. EAR SURGERY. A lateral ear canal resection surgery which opens up the vertical ear canal by removing the side wall. After surgery, the ear is well ventilated and able to drain any water owing to bathing of the dog. This leads to no more head shaking and smelly ears and no need to go for the dreaded (by the dog) painful ear hair plucking every 2-3 months by the groomer.
In this dog, the owner prefers METHOD 2. She maintains the ears and 7 months since the ear irrigation, as at Nov 25, 2015, I have not seen the dog again.