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Let’s fix your pet’s ear infections

Ear infections hurt. A lot. Your pet shouldn’t have to put up with pain.

If your pet is suffering from recurrent ear infections, you need to act now. If left untreated, the ears will be irreversibly damaged, requiring complicated surgery. We have successfully treated many pets with severe ear infections, without the need for surgery.

Our treatment involves:

  • A thorough consultation to explore the history of your pet’s ear infections and identify any other skin problems
  • Ear sampling to identify infections
  • Cleaning the ear with a video-otoscope
  • Assessing the ear canal and the eardrum under high magnification
  • A simple stress-free treatment plan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ear scope procedure?

An ear scope procedure involves inserting a special camera (called a video-otoscope) into your pet’s ears. This allows us to visualise the inside of your pet’s entire ear canals and eardrums, to thoroughly clean the ears, and to remove any impacted material within the ears. We can also perform myringotomies, remove ear polyps, take endoscopic biopsies and perform CO2 laser with the video-otoscope.

Why does my pet need an ear scope? How is this different to my own vet’s treatment?

We understand that your pet may have been suffering from ear disease for a long time, and it may appear to be incurable. The good news is that almost all these pets can be successfully treated. The most common reason we encounter for failure of previous treatment is the accumulation of solid wax and discharge at the bottom of the ear canal. A dog’s ear canal is very long and narrow, and easily lends itself to this problem. Another problem we regularly encounter are Pseudomonas infections (see below). Polyps, ear mites and allergies are the most common causes of ear problems in cats.

The day of the ear scope procedure

Please ensure that your pet has been fasting from 10pm the night before the procedure. We will not be able to perform the procedure if your pet is not fasting. You will have a consultation with our dermatologist in the morning, after which your pet will be admitted. Your pet will be ready to go home from 2-4pm.

Why does my pet need a general anaesthetic?

Ear scopes are always performed under general anaesthesia, for 3 reasons:
1.      To ensure that the patient does not feel any pain during the scope procedure.
2.      To ensure that they are completely still during the scope procedure.
3.      To protect their airway if the eardrum is perforated.

How long does the procedure last?

The ear scope procedure typically takes 15-20 minutes per ear, with the entire procedure lasting 40-60 minutes. 

My pet only has a problem with one ear. Will you check the other ear too?

Yes, we always examine both ears during an ear scope procedure.

My pet has a Pseudomonas ear infection, is it curable?

Many pets come to us for treatment of Pseudomonas ear infections. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacteria that normally lives in soil, water and vegetation. It can cause serious infections in animals and people. Pseudomonas infections are challenging to treat for the following 4 reasons:
1.      They are very painful for the pet.
2.      They cause severe inflammation and bleeding inside the ear, and frequently rupture the eardrum.
3.      The Pseudomonas bacteria are surrounded by a biofilm (a slimy protective coating), which results in a vast amount of horrible ear discharge and makes treatment difficult.
4.      Pseudomonas bacteria are resistant to many antibiotics.
The first step of successful treatment is an ear scope procedure to clean the ear canal and assess the eardrum. The pet is discharged home on ear drops, ear cleaner, and tablet medication. Pseudomonas infections take 6-12 weeks to treat. We will typically re-check your pet 4 weeks after their ear scope to assess their progress. Some pets with Pseudomonas otitis will require multiple ear scope procedures. We can cure 90% of Pseudomonas ear infections. Sadly, a small number of infections are too aggressive and do not respond to treatment. In that situation, we will refer the pet to a specialist surgeon for TECA surgery to remove the infected ear canal.

Will my pet need another ear scope in the future?

A small number of pets require a repeat ear scope procedure. The following are situations where this may be required:
·        If the camera could not be inserted as far as the eardrum at the first ear scope procedure due to an abnormally swollen ear canal.
·        If an ear continues to produce lots of discharge, e.g. with Pseudomonas otitis.
·        To check the healing of a perforated eardrum.
·        To clean the ears if the eardrum is permanently perforated.

After the procedure: ear treatment at home

We use long-acting ear drops where possible, so you do not have to apply ear drops to your pet’s ears at home. Long-acting ear drops are not suitable for pets with ruptured eardrums or Pseudomonas ear infections, and daily ear drops and regular at-home ear cleaning are usually required for these patients.

After the procedure: ear maintenance plan

Pets who are prone to ear disease, will always be prone to ear disease. Additionally, pets who have had repeated ear infections will have scarring of their ear canals, leaving them even more prone to ear disease. We will advise you on a long-term ear maintenance plan for your pet after their ear disease is resolved in order to prevent future infections. It is vital that you do not deviate from your pet’s ear maintenance plan or their ear infections will recur.

What is the underlying cause of my pet’s ear problems and will the problem come back?

It is extremely important that we identify the cause of your pet’s problems in order to prevent recurrence. We will start this process at your first consultation where we will discuss your pet’s history of skin and ear disease in detail. This will give us important clues as to the cause of your pet’s ear disease. We will then examine your pet’s skin and ears in detail, and perform other tests as required. Regardless of the underlying cause, pets who are prone to ear disease will always be prone to ear disease. Additionally, pets who have had repeated ear infections will have scarring of their ear canals, leaving them even more prone to ear disease. We will advise you on a long-term ear maintenance plan for your pet after their ear disease is resolved in order to prevent future infections. It is vital that you do not deviate from your pet’s ear maintenance plan or their ear infections will recur.

My pet also has skin problems, will this be treated also?

Many pets suffer from concurrent skin and ear problems. We will review your pet’s history of skin disease during the initial consultation. If required, we will sample affected areas of skin and implement treatment. Please note that the cost of additional skin treatment is not included in the estimate below.  

How much does an ear scope cost?

An ear scope costs roughly €700-900. The exact cost will depend on your pet’s age, weight, concurrent skin disease, and other individual requirements.


Below is a video of a pet’s ear being cleaned with our video-otoscope. We video every procedure so we can show you what is happening inside their ears.

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