Bravery Award August 2023

by | Sep 7, 2023

Charli, the 13-year-old Maltalier has been no stranger to the team at Berwick over the years with multiple health concerns.  Recently though, her owners noticed she had a very sore left ear that was exuding a large amount of pus and they brought her straight into the clinic.  After an examination with Dr. Michael, he confirmed the worst, that Charli’s ear drum was ruptured.  Though her ear was hard to visualize with an otoscope due to the large amount of discharge and because of how painful it was, Dr. Michael instilled a dye into her ear canal which exited through her nose, easily confirming a rupture of her tympanic membrane.  Not only were her ears causing her an issue, but her joints were aching, her heart murmur was severe, and she was also suffering from vestibular disease with a right sided head tilt.  Vestibular disease in dogs is a neurological disorder that affects the vestibular system which plays a crucial role in maintaining a dog’s balance and coordination by sending signals to the brain about the body’s position and movement.  It is common for dogs to suffer vestibular disease when they have inflammation or trauma to their ears.  In Charli’s case, her ruptured ear drum had caused a dysfunction to her vestibular nerve that connects her inner ear to her brain.  Her tympanic membrane had likely ruptured due to her severe case of otitis externa, a condition characterized by inflammation and infection of the external ear canal.

Ideally to properly treat and examine Charli’s ears, an ear flush under general anaesthesia would have been performed.  However, due to her multiple health concerns, especially her heart disease, Charli was a poor candidate to undergo surgery, and her owners opted to treat her with conservative management to avoid an anaesthetic.  Therefore, Charli was sent home with a host of medications, making her devoted owner’s work cut out for them over the subsequent weeks.  There was a high possibility that Charli’s concurrent neurological issues would be permanent, especially if her ear disease was unresolved.

We are so pleased to report that over the last few weeks, with the dedicated care of her family at home, Charli’s ear disease has improved significantly during each of her visits with Dr. Michael and has now fully resolved, along with her appetite and all neurological signs. We are hopeful that her ears (at the very least), won’t cause any more issues for her, and she can live many more comfortable twilight years with her loving family around her.  Great work Charli!

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