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Dalmatian puppy Nova after being treated for a rare ear abnormality at Blaise Veterinary Hospital.

Dalmatian puppy Nova after being treated for a rare ear abnormality at Blaise Veterinary Hospital.

Blaise Specialists Spot Extremely Rare Ear Abnormality In Dalmation Puppy Nova

2 months ago

26th February, 2024 11h25

IVC Evidensia UK & IE

A team at Blaise Veterinary Referral Hospital in Birmingham saved a dog from constant infections resulting from a rare congenital ear abnormality.

The team at IVC Evidensia’s new £10million hospital carried out a surgical procedure after five-month-old Nova’s ear canal was found to be abnormally developed.

The condition is called congenital aural atresia.

The Dalmatian puppy faced persistent serious problems from the congenital ear abnormality which could include infections and an abscess, seldom reported in veterinary literature.

But surgeon Lara Dempsey, Head of Soft Tissue Surgery, was able to remove the external ear canal, and open up the middle ear.

“Nova was initially taken to the primary vets after the owner noticed a lot of waxy discharge from the puppy’s left ear,” said Dr Dempsey, a European & RCVS Specialist in Small Animal Surgery.

“When they couldn’t see that the ear canal was continuous and there was a blind-ending pouch, they referred her to us for further investigation.”

Nova was the first referral patient at Blaise, which opened at the end of 2023 and is the first purpose-built multi-disciplinary hospital for IVC Evidensia.

It offers a wide range of specialist treatments including orthopaedic and soft tissue surgeries, cancer treatment, specialist cardiology procedures, neurology, internal medicine and specialist-led anaesthesia service.

It also has an emergency and critical care service offering ICU and out of hours care.

The state-of-the-art equipment at Blaise includes CT imaging scanners which were used as part of the investigations into Nova’s condition.

“Nova’s case was extremely rare,” said Dr Dempsey. “The ear canal was divided into two compartments by a septum and was severely narrowed at the level of this septum.

“Nova would have had chronic recurrent infections and could potentially develop para-aural abscessation where an infection ruptures through the ear canal to the surrounding soft tissue.

“We carried out a total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy which involved removing the external ear canal and making a window in the bulla.

“The canal and bulla were full of wax and debris which was removed and flushed out.

“The surgery took under two hours, everything went well and fortunately there were no complications. Nova should now have an improved quality of life without the distress of having persistent infections.”

Nova’s lovely spotty ear flap is still present, leaving her showing no obvious signs of the extensive surgery, and she has made a full recovery.

Owner Shilene Gulliver, from Dudley in the West Midlands, said, “I work as a dog groomer, so I’m used to cleaning dog’s ears.

“When I noticed the cankerous smell and then couldn’t see into Nova’s ear properly, I knew there was something wrong and got her to the vet the very next day.

“I’m so pleased with what Blaise were able to do for Nova. You wouldn’t know she can’t hear from that ear and it’s a relief that she won’t face all those nasty infections.”

In the coming months, due to the rarity of Nova’s condition, the specialist surgery and imaging teams will be submitting a case study for publication in one of the veterinary journals.

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