Ear Implants for Dogs

By Tess Thompson

Pets are a major responsibility and once you have decided to own a pet it is your responsibility to ensure that they are healthy and active. Though there are many issues, medical and otherwise, that you will have to reckon with, the hygiene and cleanliness of your pet is one aspect that you will need to maintain constantly.

Dog's ears are often neglected while giving your dog a bath or ensuring overall grooming. Your dog may be squeaky clean on the outside and may have an extremely shiny coat, but if you have not ensured that his ears are cleaned every week, there is a high probability that your dog is slowly becoming a breeding ground for ear mites and bacteria.

Dog ear mites are less common than cat ear mites . But they can get extremely frustrating if unattended since they can develop into larger and more complicated ailments. Dog ear mites can also cause behavioral changes in your pet that can lead him to be irritable and moody. And surely, the last thing that you would want to do is to have your pet put down due to some aggressive behaviors that occurs due to ear infections.

One of the main reasons for ear infections like dog ear mites is the fact that some dog breeds have ear flaps that cover the ear canal. The covered, humid and warm area of the outer ear canal causes the ear mites, bacteria and yeast to grow in large numbers. Even though conventional medications and home remedies for dog ear mites can help in such cases, the recurrence of ear infections can cause a fair amount of distress for both the pet and the owner. To avoid such complications, many owners decide to get ear implants procedures for their dogs.

The procedure of exposing the ear canal has undergone significant change over the past few years. The earlier method involved cutting away two-thirds of the ear flap and stitching the edges together. This procedure was generally performed on puppies to ensure that the canal received adequate amounts of air and therefore remained dry. Though the cropping procedure altered the shape of the ear to a large extent and therefore altered the appearance of the dog, it did not serve any functional purpose.

With the development of silicone ear implants, the solution for cropping up dog ears has undergone a dramatic change. Today ear implants address the problem of drooping or sagging ears without cutting off any part of the ear.

The ear implant procedure in dogs is fairly simple. An instrument shaped like a cylinder is used to cut into the ear. The lateral end is used to help in directing the cylinder in the right manner. A sheath is then slid into the area created by the cylinder, and the cylinder is withdrawn leaving an open ended tunnel in the ear. The ear implant is gently pushed into place, and it is therefore embedded in the duct. The duct closes the over the implant and is closed with a small suture.

The ear implant procedure is short surgery with minimal pain to the dog.  Despite this process being humane, some argue that altering the appearance of your dog to make ear hygiene easier is not justified.  On the other hand, those in favor of ear implants contend that it causes only minimal pain and that it should be done to avoid likely ear infections and other complications.

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