Kenny: Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA)

Despite chronic ear infection and a foreleg crushed by a forklift, Kenny is such a dear boy. Today, his entire diseased ear canal is removed by Dr Simon Quek @ Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Clementi) in a procedure called TECALBO. A very rewarding surgery that offers Kenny a pain-free and better quality of life! Thank you Noah’s Ark CARES for watching over him.

IMG_6849

Chronic ear diseases can be very painful and extremely challenging to manage. When the condition is recurring or has become difficult for topical medication to be administered, surgery is recommended to remove the ear canal entirely.

What is a Total Ear Canal Ablation?

Total Ear Canal Ablation or TECA involves the removal of an infected ear canal when other treatment methods have failed. The full name for the procedure is Total Ear Canal Ablation with Lateral Bulla Osteotomy (TECA + LBO). 

figure-1-normal-ear-canal-internal-anatomy-mb

The moist and warm environment within the ear canal provides an ideal environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. Cocker Spaniels, with their long pendulous ear flaps, are very prone to ear infections. Image ref: willows.uk.net

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF EAR INFECTION?
  • Ear scratching
  • Shaking of head
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Thickened ear canals
  • Foul odour from ear
  • Discharge from ear canal
  • Head in tilted position

If you notice these signs, have your vet examine your pet’s ears before the disease becomes chronic and irreversible.

WHEN DOES MY DOG REQUIRE TECA?

  • Severe or recurrent infection/inflammation of the ear canal (otitis externa) or  middle ear (otitis media) which is non-responsive to medical treatment
  • Narrowing of ear canals due to chronic ear disease (certain breeds like the Shar Pei and Bulldog tend to have narrow ear canals, predisposing them to ear infections)
  • Difficulty in administering ear medication (due to dog’s behaviour or owner’s time constraint)
  • Tumours in the ear canal
IMG_6950

As infection and inflammation progress, the walls of Kenny’s ear canal thicken, ossify (turn into bone) and become irreversibly narrowed. Topical medications can no longer reach the diseased portions. His middle ear chamber is filled with infected material.

figure-2-shows-a-model-of-ear-suffering-from-otisis-externa-mb

Contact or food allergens, parasites and foreign objects can cause inflammation of the external ear canal (otitis externa) which may lead to secondary infection of the middle ear cavity (otitis media). Image ref: willows.uk.net

IMG_6875

Robert and Cheryl prepare Kenny for TECA procedure

IMG_6951

Dr Simon Quek carefully dissects the soft tissues close to the ear canal, avoiding trauma to important structures such as the facial nerve. The entire diseased ear canal is then surgically removed.

FullSizeRender

After removal of the ear canal, the tympanic bulla (middle ear chamber) is exposed by removing part of the bony wall. Any remnants of infected tissue attached to the bulla is removed. After surgery is completed, there will be no opening into the ear canal.

FullSizeRender

The incision is flushed with sterile saline before closure and the area protected with a light bandage. Kenny will be hospitalised for a few days with antibiotics and pain relief medication.

can my dog still hear after the procedure?

Most dogs undergoing TECA already have reduced hearing due to severe changes in the ear canal so owners do not notice a significant difference in the dog’s hearing after surgery.

What we often do notice is a positive change in the dog’s behaviour and energy level after the infected ear canal is removed. No longer living with chronic pain, your dog will have a more active and  better quality of life.

** Kenny currently stays at an industrial area. Please contact noahsarkcares@gmail.com if you can give this sweet and undemanding boy a foster or forever home. Read Kenny’s rescue story

Advertisements