If you’re reading this, you’ve probably got a dog with chronic ear inflammation. I did, too, a long time ago, before I knew the truth about this problem. Once I figured it out, I resolved my dog’s ear issues forever and wrote a blog article and a booklet about how I did that, to try and help others.
What is TECA?
The reason I’m revisiting this topic now is an email I received yesterday from a distraught dog owner whose 8-year-old Cocker Spaniel was recently diagnosed with “end stage ears”. Her vet recommended a procedure called “TECA”, which stands for Total Ear Canal Ablation. Astoundingly, to me at least, it seems vets are so stymied by this medical-treatment “resistant” problem that they are now opting to just remove the ear canal and stitch up the opening. Although that doesn’t really describe the procedure accurately, it’s close enough because regardless of how much of the structure of the ear is removed, it always results in permanent near-deafness for the dog.
Here’s how TECA is described in the opening paragraph of this article on Petmed.com:
“When chronic ear infections are severe enough, the best choice is usually to remove their ear canals entirely. Sad as it sounds, this is how we handle things when they get out of control in this hard-to-reach area. While most owners rebel against this kind of dramatic surgical option (called a TECA, short for total ear canal ablation), it’s always better than the chronic pus, pain, and everything else that comes with it.”
And so you’ll know for sure that I’m not making any of this up, here’s another excerpt from an article written by someone calling himself “DrGoodVet”:
“Hershey, a 6 year old cocker spaniel, had been in and out of the veterinarian for ear infections for nearly all of his life. He was treated with just about every oral antibiotic, and every sort of ear drugs known to mankind; regrettably, with little to no success. Tablets, capsules, lotions, potions— nothing worked long term. The ear diseases merely kept coming back. As he became increasingly more uneasy, Hershey came to be head-self-conscious and sometimes even competitive when his defenders attempted to administer ear drugs. Eventually, the odor due to the disease had invaded every room of the house. Something had to change.”
You’d never know from reading these articles that there actually ARE other options for a dog with chronic ear problems besides amputation of the ear canal! Typically, dogs who have this kind of inflammation so frequently that scar tissue develops already have some degree of impaired hearing. But having the ear canal stitched together certainly isn’t going to improve their hearing. To say nothing of the pain and stress involved for the dog, and the financial and emotional strain for owners.
TECA is a completely crazy and cruel response to chronic ear inflammation, particularly when there ARE other options. Why not try and understand what really causes ear inflammation so that we can remove the causes? If it was true what vets say about ear inflammation causation, no dog would ever be able to recover from it with simple dietary improvement. Yet that happens predictably when people start feeding properly, just as it happened to my dog. And I don’t mean switching to another brand of vet-approved commercial food, and yes, even the raw ones are bad. I mean proper feeding, as taught to us by the wild model, our only objective source of information on the subject.
Treatment without removal of cause guarantees repeat business for vets
As noted in the first excerpt, vets bemoan that when a dog has already suffered so much inflammation that the ear canal is indurated or thickened with scar tissue, the area becomes “unreachable”. This makes it difficult to clean and apply medicines to the affected area. However, if applying medicines was the answer to this problem, there would be no such thing as recurring ear inflammation, at least in the dogs who are seen by vets. I can tell you from personal experience that seeing a vet for this problem all but guarantees recurrence. Even the vets realize it, as you can see from the second excerpt!
What are the real causes of ear inflammation?
It’s not an ideal situation to have these tissues hardened by the scarring that comes from chronic inflammation. They are supposed to remain delicate and sensitive in order to function properly. But it’s not necessary to REACH them at all, and it is definitely not necessary to remove them. This procedure reminds me of how routine it used to be (and perhaps still is, for all I know) to remove tonsils in humans. Tonsils are not expendable spare parts, they are part of the lymphatic system and as such are responsible for removing wastes from the body. When they are inflamed, it means they are doing their job but are being overburdened by the amount of waste they are being asked to deal with. The ear canals are similar, only their primary function is not to remove wastes from the body. The body is sacrificing the tissues inside the ear canal in its efforts to eliminate wastes in any vicarious way it can. Its only other choice is to allow the wastes to be retained internally where VITAL organs will be compromised. In its immense wisdom, the body weighs the costs of each option and proceeds with the one that involves the least cost.
Does it make sense to simply close off one of its options, or might it be better to decrease the waste production in the body so that the ear canal doesn’t have to be used to eliminate the excess?
Address the CAUSE
Removing body parts or applying medicines does not address the real causes of ear inflammation. Only changing the diet can do that. FOOD is the cause of ALL ear inflammation, short-term, long-term, acute or chronic. Or, to be more precise, the parts of the food that are not digestible. Yeasts and bacteria are NOT the cause of ear inflammation, they are the microscopic organisms that happen to subsist on the morbid matter than comes out of a dog’s ears when s/he is misfed. They are there to clean up the mess! They are nature’s clean-up crew. That’s why they are guaranteed to be found at the site of inflammation. Their presence there does not indicate causation, however, even if the whole medically-brainwashed world believes otherwise.
Something is wrong here!
When I needed a science credit for my degree in college, I picked the least ‘scientific’ class I could find that would pass that threshold: Symbolic Logic. If a recovering science-phobe like me can figure out this problem and resolve it permanently, what does that say about the competence of the self-professed “scientific” veterinary profession? Can there be any doubt in anybody’s mind that the vet industry has gone astray somewhere when they would consider removing a dog’s ear canals in response to a simple problem like chronic inflammation?
What would your dog choose, if s/he had a vote?
If you are the owner of a dog with this problem, I urge you to think critically about what you’re being told by your vet, particularly if TECA has been recommended. Almost anything would be a more appealing option than this disfiguring barbarism, both to you and your dog. That there is an answer that will not only be cheaper for you, involve no pain and stress for your dog, be permanent and practically guaranteed to work should make it a no-brainer to at least try it first. If you want to learn how to properly feed your dog, consider ordering the $20 quick start guide I sell here. If you can’t afford it, please contact me and I will send it to you for free. I wouldn’t want to think that I had any part in $20 getting in the way of a dog avoiding this incredibly misguided procedure.