Chronic Ear Infections: Tootsie’s Story

Tootsie is a happy little cuddle-bug Yorkie. Her family loves her dearly and her mom would do anything for her. There was an issue clouding their happiness, though.

Chronic Ear Infections: Tootsie's Story

Tootsie was suffering from chronic ear infections.

Tootsie’s skin and ears wouldn’t give her a break. Tootsie is haunted by allergies. And you know when a flare-up is coming from Tootsie’s ears–that’s where it always starts.

An inflamed ear and an infected ear look the same. Tootsie starts shaking her head, pawing at her ears. Irritation results in inflammation. Infection is often on its heels. With skin allergies, the ears often suffer the most because of the environment within the ear canal. Bacteria and yeast organisms love inflamed ears, causing even more inflammation adding to the vicious cycle.

With such chronic inflammation, the tissue in the ear swells up gradually narrowing the ear canal until it might close it off completely.

The narrower the ear canal opening, the less air makes it in.

A blocked ear canal traps in moisture, dirt, and debris. A dirty, waxy, or parasite filled ear is trouble in making. With allergies in the mix, Tootsie’s ear problems kept getting worse. Tootsie was struggling with allergies and ear problems of most of her 4 years.

By the time Tootsie’s parents got her allergies under control, one of her ears was close shut–one couldn’t even get any medicated drops down there anymore. The ear was inflamed and infected by no medication could make its way through.

Tootsie’s parents and veterinarian tried everything to get the ear infection under control.

In spite of all the efforts, Tootsie’s ear remained infected, angry, and painful. What else was there to do? Such chronic ear disease can be extremely painful.

Tootsie needed surgery to open her ear canal.

Surgical options include lateral wall resection (LWR,), vertical canal ablation (VCA), or total ear canal ablation (TECA). The goal is opening of the ear canal and/or removal of the diseased tissue.

As drastic of a solution as this might seem, it went a long way to relief Tootsie’s suffering. She is so much happier now with constant earaches.

Further reading:
Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) in Dogs
Lateral Ear Resection in Dogs
Vertical Ear Canal Ablation

Read Tootsie’s original story here.

Related articles:
Angry Vet on Ear Infections Part I
Angry Vet on Ear Infections Part II

Categories: Dog health advocacy

Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

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