Objective: To assess clinical findings and long-term outcome of dogs treated for recurrent middle ear infection that developed after total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy.
Design: Retrospective case series.
Animals: Of 94 dogs (142 ears) treated by means of total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy for end-stage otitis, 9 developed recurrent middle ear infection.
Procedure: Information regarding treatment and outcome were retrieved from the medical records.
Results: Antibiotic treatment was attempted in 8 dogs, but failed to cure recurrent otitis media in 7 of 8 dogs. Seven dogs were treated by means of exploratory surgery, which consisted of ventral bulla osteotomy and tympanic curettage. One dog was cured, 1 developed another infection and was euthanatized, and the 5 remaining dogs developed another middle ear infection after the first exploratory surgery. Infection resolved after retained epithelium was removed from the tympanic cavity during a second exploratory surgery of the bulla in these 5 dogs.
Clinical implications: Antibiotic treatment rarely is effective for resolving recurrent middle ear infection that develops after total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy. Ventral bulla osteotomy and curettage can be a successful method of treatment, provided retained epithelium and debris are completely removed from the ear canal and tympanic cavity.