Sue Paterson , Veterinary Dermatology Service, Rutland House Veterinary Hospital
54 Cowley Hill Lane, St. Helens, Mersyside, UK
Polyvinyl acetate (PVA) ear wicks are soft highly absorbent sponges that can be inserted in the human ear canal to deliver and maintain antibiotics. This paper describes the use of ear wicks in 100 cases of canine otitis externa. The wicks were well tolerated even when the ear canal was ulcerated. Non fenestrated wicks were used as a means of delivering medication into the ears of animals with otitis externa that were difficult to medicate by their owners with licensed ear drops. All dogs were admitted and anaesthetized. Samples were taken from the ears for cytology and culture and sensitivity. Their ears were flushed with 2% acetic acid / 2% boric acid (MalAcetic otic, DermaPet). Non hydrated wicks were placed into the cleaned ears and hydrated with antibiotic solutions.
In cases of Pseudomonas otits, the wicks were soaked in combination of fluorinated solutions. The wicks were soaked in a combination of fluorinated quinolones and EDTA tris or Ticarcillin, and EDTA tris. Wicks were left in place for 3-5 days before the animal was re-examined under anesthetic for removal and where appropriate replacement with a new wick and soaking solution. This was repeated until cytology showed no abiative surgery such as polyp removal. They were also used to concentrate steroids in the non-infected ear canal to reduce hyperplasia. The procedure for placement and assessment was identical to that for fenestrated wicks.