Dog’s Ear Canal May Be Blocked

Surgery removes dog's ear canal and hearing, too.

Q. What can I do for my 8-year-old German Shepherd Dog who has a severe ear infection, full of pus and very painful. It has not responded to peroxide, vinegar, or Neosporin. He seems to have this on regular basis.

A. Unfortunately, chronic ear infections scar the ear canal. Eventually the canal gets so small that it is very difficult to clear any infections. When an ear gets to that point, it is not of any benefit to the dog, and should be surgically removed.
This is a fairly radical surgery where the entire ear canal is removed and closed up. Cosmetically, you will not notice a big change, but all of the problems with infections, ear cleaners and medications will go away.
Hopefully your dog’s other ear is still healthy, but it is not unheard of for some dogs to have both ear canals surgically removed. Of course, they lose their ability to hear, but just as in people, they will compensate with their other senses.
Ask your veterinarian about ear canal ablation surgery. Some veterinarians have never done this procedure, so you may want to get a referral to a veterinary surgical specialist.

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Dogs · Health and Care