Mid Michigan Veterinary Surgical Referral Center
Vertical Ear Canal Ablation (VECA)
Dogs have a very long, "L-shaped" ear canal. In some pets, this canal can become infected, severely inflamed, or develop growths.
If the ear canal is chronically inflamed, it becomes increasingly swollen, narrowed, and can even calcify. This makes the animal painful, limits hearing, and often results in a chronic infection with a bad odor.
The VECA procedure aims to minimize or eliminate your pet's pain by removing the vertical ear canal. The horizontal ear canal, middle ear, and inner ear are left intact. That means that, for most pets with a functioning inner ear, hearing will be improved following the surgery.
After the surgery, your pet will have a normal appearing pinna (cartilage flap) that may or may not experience a slight change in shape depending on if your pet has upright or hanging ears. The opening to the horizontal ear canal will appear as a circular opening on the side of your pet's head.
After surgery, your pet will go home with a large bandage around his or her head with openings to the ear canal. This will enable you to medicate the remaining ear canal. You will also be sent with pain medications and antibiotics.
Since the ear canal is not a sterile site, it is not uncommon for a small portion of the incision to dehisce, or to not heal. In most cases, this is minimal and does not require additional treatment. Some cases require a follow-up episode of anesthesia in order to replace additional stitches.
Our doctors will schedule your pet for a follow-up appointment 10-14 days after surgery in order to assess how your pet is healing.
Click here for an example sheet of postoperative care following a VECA