Romilly and her troubled ears – February Pet of the Month

5 Jun 2017 | Pet of the month

If you’ve ever treasured a pet that has suffered from chronic ear infections, you’ll know how they can suffer terribly with recurring itchy ears, obvious discomfort and often severe pain. After regular trips, over several years, to the vets with their much loved eight year old Bassett Hound, Romilly, and her frequent ear infections, Mr and Mrs Haycraft were increasingly concerned. They had managed her infections with medication on and off for years, administering regular ear cleaning, medication and authorising occasional flushing out of the ears under sedation at the Hospital. Mrs Haycraft explained “We absolutely adore Romilly. She is great fun and very affectionate but has always been an anxious and sensitive dog and going to the vet was quite traumatic for her. Although the staff at Quantocks were super, having to go regularly was hard on her.” Vet Kris that drastic ear surgery might be the best way forward for Romilly; and together with her owners they discussed TECA (Total ear canal ablation) surgery and it’s likely benefits.

Kris explained “TECA is a procedure that removes the vertical and horizontal ear canals down to the level of the middle ear. We often find – especially in some long eared dogs – a great deal of ‘debris’ including pus in this middle ear that medication simply can’t resolve. Although no surgery is without its risks, I felt confident that TECA could be the best chance to improve Romilly’s quality of life. And that of her caring owners.”

The Haycrafts agreed that they would like to go ahead with the surgery “We were very impressed at every visit by the staff and vets at Quantock. Kris was excellent and explained everything so well to us – we felt confident going down the surgical route he suggested. And although nervous, Romilly built up a wonderful raport with Kris and this helped”. Treatment involved a long antibiotic course and taking of x-rays and then in October 2016, TECA and Bulla osteotomy was carried out on Romilly’s left ear. After some recovery time she then underwent the same surgery on her right ear in January this year.

Mrs Haycraft said that they were thrilled with the result “It is amazing! Although we think her ability to hear is greatly reduced, considering all the problems she had suffered before, the outcome is tremendous – we’re very happy! And so is she – and not having to manage the regular medications, ear cleaning and trips to the vet is wonderful! Romilly being full of fun and mischief has always had selective hearing and nothing really has changed, unbelievably she can still recognise the word ‘Biscuits’! Thank you for awarding our gorgeous Bassett Pet of the Month – we think she deserves it!”