Pet Medical Articles

Lateral Ear Canal Resection (Zepp Surgery)

Chronic (long-term) infections of the ear canal are common medical problems encountered in dogs. Surgery is often performed in order to treat ear canal infections that are unresponsive to medical therapy.

Some dogs have small external ear canal openings, while other dogs have narrow ear canal diameters. Certain breeds have heavy ear flaps (cocker spaniels) that prevent adequate ventilation of the ear canal. Without proper ventilation, the humidity in the interior of the ear canal increases, making it favorable for bacterial growth. This bacterial growth is responsible for creating an inflammation in the lateral ear canal wall. The ear canal wall thickens causing inadequate ventilation and drainage.

Cocker spaniels have heavy ear flaps

The purpose of lateral ear canal resection is to provide drainage and exposure for the vertical and horizontal ear canal.

This surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Presurgical blood tests are sometimes required since the surgery is often performed on middle-and older-aged dogs.

After the surgery, the dog often goes home wearing an Elizabethan collar. This collar is used to protects the delicate surgery area from trauma. If the pet removes the collar, or if the surgical site looks unusual, the veterinary hospital should be called.

An appointment for a recheck, Elizabethan collar removal, and suture removal should be made.

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