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Total ear ablation needed for 3 year old English Bulldog


I'm the EXTREMELY proud and loving mommy of a 3 year old English Bulldog who has had chronic ear infections in his left ear since he was about 6 months old.  The vet told us and its was obvious that his left ear canal was anatomically very small and VERY narrow to begin with.  I have been very careful to wipe the inside of his ears faithfully each day and to keep them dry but to no avail, he kept getting ear infections.  I have been back and forth to the vet numerous times and each time, put him on a steroid to help with the itching and swelling and antibiotics - both oral and drops.  The infection clears up fine but always comes back after awhile.  He is on grain free dry food and a grain free diet with some of the raw diet mixed in to help with his coat and skin. He has been to an allergist and does wonderfully on this diet.  He is not overweight at all and is very healthy otherwise.  I was told by the vet this week that he needs a TOTAL EAR ABLATION because the chronic ear infections have damaged the ear canal.  Very worried and not familiar with anyone who had this MAJOR surgery!! Any advice would be appreciated!!!!!! Thank you in advance!!!!

Susan & the bullies:
hi there. so sorry to hear about your babies ears.  :(  by chance have you tried Zymox? it's done miraculous things for many bad ears. go to amazon and read the reviews.......zillions of miracle stories. Maybe it will help your little baby too!

I've cared for several foster bullies who have had total ear ablation surgeries.  And you're right , it is major surgery and I view it as a last resort when the best of vet expertise in dealing with ears says ..we're at the end of the line and there are no other options.  I would only embark on it with a board certified surgeon specialist such as those at a speciality vet clinic or vet school ...who has done a lot of them....not a general veterinarian as it is a very complicated procedure.  Many chronic ear problems are caused by underlying allergies, often inhalent.  You mentioned an allergist...was that person a board certified dermatologist?  Reason I'm asking is that sometimes allergy shots can help resolve the chronic ear infections.  It just depends on how advanced the case is. Allergy shots did help one of my bullies who had chronic ear problems and I never had to go the surgery route with her.
The ones we did ablations on were very advanced cases; ear canals totally blocked with polyps in them, almost a calcified appearance,  and no medications or treatments could open them up ...the dogs were in pain.  If you want to talk to me by phone so I can get a better idea of your situation, you can call the Buddies Thru Bullies Rescue number   305-666-8870 and I'll be glad to speak with you.  ( It's Carol) 

Thank you both for your responses and ideas! I have gotten a second opinion and was also told that a total ear ablation should be considered. I have a vet appointment again this week to see if the Prednisone was able to open up the ear canal enough to flush it and get an antibiotic down. I was told that his ear canal is calcified enough to warrant the surgery. I'm so afraid of complications during or after the surgery. He is the love of my life and it breaks my heart every time I look at him and give him medicine.  I of course want him pain free and back to his old playful self but the chronic ear infections have hindered that. I was told that medicines will only put a temporary bandaid on the problem but the ear infections will keep coming back. The calcification of the ear canal is already present and getting worse with each infection. They both said that this would make him pain free and ear infection free forever and would bring him back to his old playful self. I would definately have a board certified vet surgeon perform the surgery and have already gotten references for some in CT. The benefits would be great but I'm afriad of the surgery since it is so major. This is a very complicated and difficult decision! Thanks for the support!

I don't have any experience with this surgery but I'm sending good thoughts that things go well for you and your baby. 


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