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Ear Cysts (Cholesteatoma) in Dogs



Surgery is usually the best treatment for cholesteatomas. During surgery, your dog’s ear canal will be removed along with the cholesteatoma. This will not affect the external appearance of your dog’s ear once it has healed after surgery. However, your dog’s hearing may be decreased on the side that was operated on. Many dogs, however, can hear as well after surgery as they could before. One of the possible complications of surgery is injury to the nerves that control the facial movements. This is not always permanent and usually heals with time.


Living and Management


After surgery, your dog will be on antibiotics and may need to wear a bandage on its head for a period of time. It is important for you to return to your veterinarian for bandage changes if necessary. It is also very important for you to dispense all of the antibiotics that you are given for your dog, even if it seems that your dog has fully recovered. You will need to monitor the surgery area once or twice daily to check for any extra swelling or discharge at the surgery site and report back to your veterinarian if the site does not appear to be healing as it should. Your veterinarian will schedule follow up visits to monitor the progress of the healing, but once your dog has fully recovered from surgery, it will be able to return to a normal life.




It is important to treat any ear infections that your dog gets as soon as you notice symptoms. Make sure to give all of the medication that your veterinarian gives you for your dog to treat the infection, even if your dog seems to be feeling better.


If your dog has physical characteristics that may predispose it to ear infections, make sure that you are familiar with ways by which you can avoid problems. For example, if your dog has excessively hairy ears, as poodles tend to, you can make sure that the ears are regularly groomed and cleaned out before dirt and objects have a chance to get caught in them. A word of caution: cotton swabs ought never be used inside of a dog’s ear canals. A soft cotton tissue is sufficient for removing dirt and excess skin from the exterior of the ear canal.



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