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Hello

My 5 year old choco lab has been having ongoing ear problems for a few years, itchiness and occasional infections. He's become so sensitive with his ears that the vets now have to sedate him to clean them.

Yesterday they cleaned them as they had been irritating him alot. They told me that his ear canals were very eroded due to ongoing inflammation (the word eroded panicked me).

They've suggested he have a lateral ear canal resection. They showed me images of the procedure and it looks so drastic and terrifying.

If anyone could give me their own experiences on this, or what works for them. I have no idea if this is the only option for 'eroded' and itchy ears. I don't want to put him through that if there are other avenues. I just want him to feel comfortable now.

Thank you in advance.
 

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The ear is a very interesting piece of engineering, and correctly constructed is self cleaning, wax and detritus is actually fed out of the ear automatically. But occasionally in both humans and dogs there will be the occasional smaller than usual ear canal where the wax gets caught up and cannot escape. There are plenty of people who need their ears syringed out at regular intervals because of this, my mother was one such. One option sometimes used for dogs is to open out (resection) the ear canal, (lateral ear canal resection)

I have no doubt it would work, although I have no first hand experience of it. My first Labrador, Mandy, had continual ear problems and nothing seemed to help, until one day a vet at the practise I use have me some cleaner he'd mixed up. What was in it I don't know but I remember (it was 50+ years ago) I had to mix it 1 to 10 parts water. AND I WORKED! Not a permanent cure, there isn't a non surgical one, but by syringing a little into her ear every 3 to 4 weeks I never had another problem and that one little bottle lasted her for life! I could leave it in Mandy's paws and she would tell me when her ears needed doing by rubbing her ear on my hand. Now Chloe needs the occasional ear clean, but like Mandy, she is easy and stands there for me to do it. (I use VetUK's own ear cleaner.) Below is my Anna having her ears done.

Regards, John
 

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It has been suggested by specialists for my 11 year old. My oldie has recurring ear infections but still tolerates having her ears cleaned. She doesn't scratch or shake her head though. The problem is apparently caused by allergies which have narrowed the ear canal meaning infections take hold and cleaning is not easy.

I don't want the surgery for her and my own vet is in agreement. For an 11 year old it's major surgery and we've decided to try to manage the symptoms.

For a younger dog I would consider it, but only if all other options had been exhausted.
 

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I had a Springer/Collie cross several years ago who had this op on one ear. It worked well and she never had another infection in that ear again. The op its self was pretty horrendous with loads and loads of stitches but she healed well with no complications and never looked back.

Gyp had suffered several years of recurring ear infections, perforated ear drums, and periods of deafness so it really was a last resort.
 
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