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Lateral Approach to Subtotal Bulla Osteotomy in Dogs

Pertinent Anatomy and Procedural Details*

Daniel D. Smeak, DVM, Diplomate ACVS
Nongnuch Inpanbutr, DVM, MS, PhD

The detail of this program is published in the:
Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian
Volume 27(5) May 2005
Pages 377-385


Lateral bulla osteotomy (LBO) is often performed with total ear canal ablation (TECA) to expose and debride tissue and exudate deep within the tympanic cavity. Since TECA permanently eliminates drainage from the middle ear through the external meatus, there is risk of intractable deep wound infection resulting from poor tympanic cavity debridement. Furthermore, the regional anatomy is complex and poorly exposed, and neurovascular damage during LBO can lead to acute life-threatening and/or long-standing complications. Current literature just briefly describes LBO technique, and only limited access to the tympanic cavity can be achieved as it is described. The goal of this article is to present new detailed anatomic and procedure descriptions to provide maximal tympanic cavity exposure, while avoiding complications during and after LBO in the dog.

* Funded by The Ohio State University, Veterinary Alumni Society