Friday, December 16, 2011

774. Friday Dec 16, 2011. Ear canal resection in an old Cocker Spaniel

Dec 16, 2011
A young man who had completed his A levels started first day as intern till his National Service in May 2012. He surprised me by turning up at 9 am today as I told him I had an ear operation on a dog and he would be welcome to see how it is done.

"This ear canal resection surgery is seldom performed as most Singapore owners don't want to do it," I told this young man. "So, a vet undergraduate who studies 5 or 6 years may not have seen such an operation performed in real life. It costs money and that is why many Singapore dog owners don't want to do it."

Since he appeared keen by being present so early, unlike most of my interns who would be clock-watching, I shared with him some tips. He recorded the following for me:

Dear Dr Sing

Sorry to have to send you an email at such a time as I only got home by 10 p.m.. I have attached a report for 16 December 2011. The following is the timeline of the dog ear electrosurgery operation.

Dog Ear Operation (Electrosurgery)
Age: 10 Years Old Weight: 9.5kg Temperature: 38.5 Degree Celsius
10.15am: Clean flush the ear
11.13am: Sedation of the dog ( D and K)
11.23am: Isoflurance
11.35am: Electro incision
11.37am: 1% isoflurance
11.46sm: Stitching Right Ear
11.47am: 1% isoflurance
11.50am: 1% isoflurance
11.55am: 1% isoflurance
12.00pm: 1% isoflurance, 30 rr per minute
12.05pm: 1% isoflurance, 24 rr per minute
12.08pm: Finish Suture
12.10pm: Weat Exercise
12.11pm: Eye Blinking
12.11pm: increase to 4% isoflurance
12.11pm: Two clamps on the left ear
12.13pm: 1% isoflurance
12.15pm: electro incision
12.17pm: 2.5% isoflurance
12.19pm: 1% isoflurance
12.20pm: First Stitch on the left ear
12.22pm: 24 rr, per minute
12.25pm: 1% isoflurance
12.30pm: 0.5% isoflurance
12.34pm: 0.25% isoflurance
12.35pm: 0% isoflurance, remove electrode
12.39pm: End of stitch, End Of Operation

I did not edit his email report. rr=respiratory rate. isoflurance = isoflurane + O2 gas. D=domitor IV K=ketamine IV

From the above, it could be seen that two-ear canal resection surgery in an old dog with skin disease started from 11.35am and ends 12.39 pm. Total is around 1 hour just for the surgery.

I will record my surgery for the benefit of others. The vet surgery textbook can only give the theory but the practice of vet surgery is so much different in old dogs with generalised skin diseases.

Cocker Spaniel, 9.5 kg
Generalised skin diseases for many years. Scratching whole body, neck. Dandruff. Oily skin. The busy owner would send to the vet for treatment but the skin disease re-appears again after a few months. I believe that no vets had suggested ear canal resection to him. This was the cause of the skin disease, in my opinion. Ear infection --- painful, itchy. Dog scratches ears and neck, bites flanks - skin trauma, bacterial infections, more body itchiness, more scratching --- whole body skin inflamed. Finally, left ear had a big ear wart. Dog bites. Nobody at home cleaned the ear canals. Pus, bacterial, dampness as ear flap floppy covers ear canal --- no ventilation -- dampness inside ear canals -- bacteria grows ---pain and irritation --- dog scratches ear neck and bites flank. Uses back paws to scratch flank and chest --- oily infected red skin all over the body including forehead. Will post some images later.

Dog with serious skin diseases was warded for over 2 weeks for treatment and fed proper food to gain weight. Monitored. Good appetite. Skin condition less dandruff but still oily. No yeast inside ear canal (ear canal smear). Owner gave permission for ear surgery. On day of op, dog bites esp. when left ear is touched. So my assistant only bathed him.

1.1 Sedate with Domitor and Ketamine at 50% of calculated dose IV. Very weak. Sedated within 2 minutes.
1.2 Put dog on table and flush, irrigate ear canals vigorously.
1.3 I washed his outer ear skin area thoroughly with cloth and antiseptic myself.
The oily skin was scrubbed well. I did not permit my assistant Min to do it in this bad skin diseased case as I must be sure that the area is cleaned.
1.4 Dog went to surgery room. Mask with isoflurane and O2 for <2 minutes. Intubated with size 8.5 endotracheal tube. This size fitted tightly so no leakage of gas during surgery.

1.5 Ensure set up of electrosurgery machine, big towel, moist saline on swab for indifferent plate, cotton bud, marker pen and surgical equipment and suture. "Check isoflurane level inside the machine," I said to Min after checking oxygen amount. He had to top up the isoflurane liquid.

1. Full power setting for electro-incision. I fitted the electrode into the handle.
2. Towel covers steel operating table to prevent electric shocks to staff and vet
3. Marker pen defined lowest level of vertical canal.
4. 2 forceps clamp either vertical side of canal.
5. Electro-incision of skin
6. Skin flap elevated and cut.
7. Arterioles shoot out blood into me. Clamped arterioles. Venous bleeding controlled by clamp.

Described in detail in, goto DOGS, goto EARS. 3/0 nylon 2 packets used in this surgery for 2 ears.

How long it takes to do the surgery? Should be around 1 hour for both ears. More experience and planning carefully, less than 1 hour in younger dogs with no skin diseases. Good assistant to monitor vital signs and the vet is to keep proper anaesthetic record

Tolfedine 1 ml + Baytril 1 ml SC
Wash ear bleeding thoroughly at end of op and not wait.
Post-op medication.

Dog OK. Woke up with no need for Antisedan reversal. Will check on Day 2 (Saturday 9.44 am as I write this report). This surgery ought to be done for dogs with recurring ear infections and floppy ears, when the dog was much younger, e.g. 3 years old but most Singapore owners will not do it. Breeds commonly affected are Cocker Spaniels and Miniature Schnauzers with hairy ears. Some Shih Tzus. Other breeds seldom have chronic otitis externa that can't be cured.

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