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Total Ear Canal Ablation and Temporary Bulla Fenestration for Treatment of Otitis Media in a Chinchilla (Chinchilla Laniger)

Rockwell, Kelly, Wells, Amy, Dearmin, Michael
Journal of exotic pet medicine 2019 v.29 pp. 173-177
Chinchilla (Chinchillidae), antibiotics, computed tomography, ears, image analysis, males, nerve tissue, opacity, otitis externa, otitis media, patients, signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
A 6-year old neutered male chinchilla (Chinchilla laniger) presented for surgical consultation for chronic left-sided otitis externa. A computed tomography scan showed diffuse soft tissue opacity of the left external canal and tympanic bulla consistent with otitis media associated with concurrent otitis externa. A modified total ear canal ablation and temporary fenestration of the caudodorsal and rostroventral chambers of the bulla was performed. The patient required a temporary tarsorrhaphy due to post-operative facial nerve palsy, but otherwise recovered without any complications. The temporary fenestration windows remained open for approximately 5 weeks which allowed for routine flushing and medicating with topical antibiotics (based on culture and susceptibility results). Recheck computed tomography scan showed reoccurrence of soft tissue opacity within the bulla. Despite diagnostic imaging results, the patient has shown no return of clinical signs to date. Therefore, this procedure is considered a success and the first published report of this technique being used for this disease in a chinchilla. Chinchillas present a unique surgical challenge due in part to the anatomy of their tympanic bulla.