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2 October 2016
Scrappy is a 2 year old female Standard Poodle and her problem started at just 10 months old. She had been a very active dog up to this point, and loved attending her weekly agility classes! However, her owner became concerned when Scrappy developed head shaking and dark thick black discharge from her right ear.
Scrappy was taken along to her local vets, who diagnosed an ear infection and prescribed some drops for her. This seemed to improve things for a while, but the problem didn’t go away. The vets took a swab and prescribed different drops but the head shaking and discomfort continued. At times, Scrappy would scream even if the ear was touched and the head shaking was so bad during her agility classes, these had to be stopped. Scrappy was therefore sedated to examine and flush her ear, but being a Poodle, this was difficult due to the amounts of hair within her ear canal! As the problem was persisting, and as Scrappy’s vets couldn’t rule out a problem deeper within the ear, she was referred to Willows to see Dermatology Specialist Jon Hardy.
On examination, Scrappy was incredibly sore around her right ear, and screamed during the examination. Due to Scrappy’s history, Jon suspected a problem called otitis media, which is when infection has passed deeper within the ear canal and damaged the ear drum. To investigate, Scrappy was anaesthetised and a CT scan was performed of Scrappy’s head. Luckily, this did not reveal major or irreversible damage within the depths of the ear. A camera flushing device called a video-otoscope was then used to inspect the ear in detail. Lots of black waxy discharge was flushed out from the canal and once removed, a hole was found in Scrappy’s ear drum confirming Jon’s suspicions. The video-otoscope was then passed down through this hole to flush out the deeper parts of Scrappy’s ear and remove as much debris as possible. Following the procedure, Scrappy returned home with a number of specially formulated ear drops and an ear cleaning solution.
Scrappy returned to Willows on a number of occasions for follow-up, and her progress was really good. The infection in her right ear responded well to the medications and she quickly returned to agility training! We are pleased to report that 4 months on, she continues to do well!
For more information relating to ear disease, please our ear disease information sheet.