Rocky’s eyes and ears!

Rocky was first referred to us in 2017, when he had been suffering from pneumonia and he was successfully treated by our Internal Medicine team. In 2022 now 11 years old and still going strong Rocky came back in to see our Dermatologists to review an ear disease called Bilateral otitis externa – but also to investigate a recent neurological problem causing his lower right eyelid to droop – a condition known as Horner’s Syndrome. This is a rare condition where the nerve supply from the brain to the face and eye, on one side of the body stop working.

Rocky was examined by the Neurology team to check for any other neurological changes apart from those affecting the right eye and underwent a CT scan to check his head, neck and chest for anything that might be interfering with the nerves to the eye area. No abnormalities were found on the scan, which was good news – and hopefully the condition will improve over time.

Rocky’s middle ear bullae were also normal on the scan but using a video otoscopy confirmed chronic inflammatory changes within his ear canals themselves. The CT image below shows the normal (black = air filled) bullae. The arrows show areas of calcification in the cartilages of the ear canals.

The video otoscope allowed the dermatologists to view a magnified image of his ear canals and to flush out the area carefully with a flush/suction catheter irrigation system. Images from the video otoscope below show the chronic inflammatory changes to the lining of the ear canals instead of the smooth lining we would expect to see in a normal ear.

Rocky is currently continuing with medication for his ear disease to try to make him more comfortable and stop him shaking his head so much.

Last month Rocky came in for a re-check by one of our dermatologists Hilary O’Dair. Rocky was bright and happy when Hilary saw him, with his ears so much better, and his coat looking shiny where it had been dry and scaling before. He still needs to have eye drops and his right lower eyelid is still intermittently droopy, but his eye was looking so much better!

His dedicated owners still need to keep an eye on him over the summer and clean his ears out every week, but it is great to see Rocky so much back to his normal happy self!