Patulous Eustachian tube and palatine defect in a Dachshund with chronic unilateral otitis externa and otitis media

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Background: Patulous Eustachian tube (pET) is a rare dysfunction of the Eustachian tube described in humans. It is characterized by failure of the ET to close, resulting in unrestricted passage of air, sound and material between the nasopharynx and the middle ear. Objective: To report a case of pET associated with otitis in a dog. Animal: A 6-year old-female spayed Dachshund dog. Methods and materials: Otoscopic examination, cytological evaluation, culture and susceptibility, computerized tomography (CT), video-otoscopic flushing and surgery. Results: Left ear otoscopic examination revealed erythema, purulent frothy discharge, ceruminous gland hyperplasia, stenosis and a partial tear of the tympanum. Cytological evaluation from the left external canal showed neutrophils, macrophages, rods and cocci. Aerobic culture showed predominantly multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The CT findings of the left ear included chronic changes in the external canal, marked lysis of the tympanic bulla and marked dilation of the ET. During video-otoscope flushing, saline drained through the mouth. Bilateral incomplete hypoplasia of the soft palate was noted. Total ear canal ablation and bulla osteotomy with ET dissection were curative. Histopathological findings were compatible with chronic otitis externa (OE) and media. Conclusion and clinical importance: To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first case of pET described in animals. The ET dysfunction and palatine defect were likely the cause of the otitis in this dog. Clinicians should investigate pET in animals with signs of OE characterized by frothy liquid and food fragments in the ear canal in addition to sneezing after drinking water.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-e53
JournalVeterinary Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Lynette Cole for providing initial advice on this case and Daniel Cronk for technical assistance with the images.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Case Reports


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