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Thread: How to Repair Ear Damage in Dogs

  1. #1
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    How to Repair Ear Damage in Dogs

    My dog was recently bitten by a stray. As she jumped back, the incisors or canines from the other dog sheared the top of her ear down a straight line out. It's now stitched up, but the outer 1/4 inch portion apparently has no blood supply or vascularization, so I doubt it will ever regenerate back together. Any suggestions?

    According to Wiki: "Outer ear trauma: The auricle can be easily damaged because it is skin-covered cartilage, with only a thin padding of connective tissue (the auricular cartilage). That entire cartilage framework is fed by a thin covering membrane called the perichondrium (meaning literally: around the cartilage).... If portions of the cartilage starve and die, the ear never heals back into its normal shape."

    The situation is even worse in canines because they have much thinner ears.

  2. #2
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    Is a missing quarter inch of ear a big problem for you, Valich? She will still love you, you will still love her, and it isn't worth trying to restore the ear for purely cosmetic reasons.

  3. #3
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    Oh, I'll still definitely love her. There's no question about that. But in a sense I feel a bit responsible and would like to do what I can to restore her ear as it was before. She really does have beautiful ears.

  4. #4
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    I've seen three vets so far about her ear and only one seems to know how to deal with it. She tells me that you have to suture the inside layer of the ear, as well as the outside layer. I don't understand this. What inside layer? What part of the inside tissue can be reattached by a suture? How can you overlap two or three internal layers of stitches like this? They're quoting me $250-$300.

  5. #5
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    The best thing you can do is nothing, do you want to put her though the trauma of a non-anaesthetised operation or even the danger of putting your pet on anaesthetic.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by valich View Post
    I've seen three vets so far about her ear and only one seems to know how to deal with it. She tells me that you have to suture the inside layer of the ear, as well as the outside layer. I don't understand this. What inside layer? What part of the inside tissue can be reattached by a suture? How can you overlap two or three internal layers of stitches like this? They're quoting me $250-$300.
    Feel your own ear. The "inside layer" is probably the cartilage and it's a bit stiffer than the skin but still flexible. The cartilage has to be fastened together and then the skin has to be fastened together. To have any chance at all of patching a small tear like that it will practically be microsurgery and they will have to use more expensive and time-consuming techniques. The trouble is that your dog doesn't have a big enough wound to close the usual way.

  7. #7
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    I've had a few vets give me their opinion. It can be corrected but she would have to be put under general anesthesia and then they would spread the cartilage apart and sew together each side. It would cost about $250 but that isn't really too much of a concern to me. She has about a half centimeter deep by a quarter centimeter wide narrow V notch on the tip. It'll probably take about a year for the fur to grow back and if it covers it up enough then I'm not going to bother with it. Thanks a lot for the reply.

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