Surgical Treatment of Chronic Otitis Externa
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2005
A. Lavrencic; J. Koren; I. Princes
Vipava Veterinary Ambulance, Vipava, Slovenia

Otitis externa is usually caused by combination of various combined etiological casual factors(1): primary causes (ear parasites, objects in ear and allergy), contributing factors (overproduction of ear wax, strong hairing of auditory canal, stenosis obstructions and lesions) and assisting factors (bacteria, germs). Medicamental treatment often cause irreversible pathological changes. The aim of the surgical therapy is to remove the chronically infected tissue to access drainage and to ventilate the auditory canal and change the humidity and temperature (2). The surgery is only a part of therapeutical plan for this systemic illness(3).

Altogether 18 surgical treatments on ears with lateral resection of auditory canal were performed using Zipp method in Veterinary ambulance Vipava on 18 dogs (8 cocker spaniels, 3 golden retrievers, 3 mixed dogs, 2 istrian hunters, 1 poodle and 1 bobtail) of different ages. The method was used instead of the antibiotic treatment and cleaning of ears, because otitis externa was chronical and manifestation was repeating. The skin, subcutis and cartilage were resected from the tragus to a level below the horizontal portion of the ear canal, a ventral flap of the cartilage was attached distally and the skin was sutured to the epithelium of the lateral wall to permanently expose the external ear canal(2). Parenteral (enrofloxacin) and local (gentamicin) therapy were applied ten days after the operation. The wound was not protected after the operation only in six cases. The protection collar was used to prevent scratching. Sutures were taken out after ten days.

Wounds healed well in all cases. Pain stopped in third or fourth week of the rehabilitation. The toilette of auditory canal with cleaners and antibiotics every third week was advised for period of six months or till recovery. The therapy was not successful only in two cases, when the total ablation of the auditory canal was advised.

When otitis externa is diagnosed in early stages and an appropriate medicamental treatment with topical medicaments is applied, the prognosis is favourable, especially if etiological agents are eliminated and the ventilation of the ear is enabled. However, when otitis externa turns to be chronic and medicamental therapy is not successful, the surgical treatment is advisable.


1.  Pavlin D. et al. Otitis media. Zbornik referatov XV. Simpozija o aktualnih boleznih malih živali. SZVMŽ, Poljče, 2002: 64-4.

2.  Harari J. Small Animal Surgery. Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins, 1996: 193-4.

3.  Popović N, Lazarević M. Bolesti kože malih životinja. Beograd: Fakultet veterinarske medicine, 1999: 239-5.

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A. Lavrencic

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