Objectives To report primary secretory otitis media in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Procedure Sixty-one episodes of primary secretory otitis media were diagnosed in 43 Cavalier King Charles spaniels over a 10-year period. Results Clinical signs were those of moderate to severe pain localized to the head or cervical area or neurological signs, or both. The tympanic membrane and middle ear were inspected with the aid of an operating microscope under general anesthesia. A bulging, but intact, tympanic membrane was found in most cases. Myringotomy yielded a highly viscous mucus plug filling the middle ear. Treatment consisted of removal of the mucus plug, flushing of the middle ear, and local and systemic medical therapy. This multifaceted treatment was repeated between 1 and 5 times. The prognosis was good in all cases. Author Conclusion Primary secretory otitis media is an important differential diagnosis in Cavalier King Charles spaniels with signs of pain involving the head and neck or neurological signs, or both. Inclusions One figure, 1 table, 15 references.
Neurology Secretory Otitis Media in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Background Head or neck pain in dogs may cause signs which involve spontaneous yelping or crying out. Causes include cervical disc disease, inflammatory disease, intracranial disease, external otitis, or secondary otitis media. Dogs with primary secretory otitis media can be presented with signs of head or neck pain. In most ears with primary secretory otitis media, otoscopic examination reveals a bulging, opaque but intact tympanic membrane and an accumulation of highly viscous mucus in the middle ear.
Editor Annotation This is the first large case series describing primary secretory otitis media. The number of affected Cavalier King Charles spaniels in this study suggests this is an important disease in this breed, although the authors mentions 3 other dogs were affected but not included in this study. Clinicians should consider this diagnosis in Cavaliers with vestibular dysfunction or signs of apparent neck pain. The diagnosis is easy to miss using a standard otoscope in an awake patient. Thorough otoscopy usually requires general anesthesia. Although the authors recommend an operating microscope, in my experience, a video-otoscope provides excellent visualization of the tympanic membrane and middle ear. Treatment entails removing the mucous plug from the middle ear, which usually requires myringotomy. Clinical signs
Advances resolve rapidly with treatment, although the client should be cautioned that relapse is possible and again requires removing the mucous plug. (WBT) Stern-Bertholtz W, Sjostrom L, Hakanson NW. Primary secretory otitis media in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel: a review of 61 cases. J Small Anim Pract 2003;44:253-256.