Poor little Snoopy: you may remember last year he had an aural ablation operation, which basically removes his inner ear canals. This means that Snoopy can no longer hear normally, more a muffled and distorted noise. We went down this route to stop the ear infections that occurred every few months or so. Well, it hasn’t! To put a long story short.
Since the operation, his right ear has been fine. Healed nice, no issues whatsoever. What we were expecting. The left ear has been quite troublesome. 3 months after the aural ablation surgery we noticed Snoopy wasn’t quite right. Tale-tale signs for Snoopy when he is poorly are: sleeping under the kitchen table, walking with his head tilted to one side, not wanting his food (he is a big foodie) and general tiredness. When you walked through the door he wasn’t there, wagging his tail waiting to give you a nice big hello. You could tell something was up.
It was his tilted head that made me think of his ears, as he used to do this with the infections. I couldn’t see any gunk in his ears, which was great and as to be expected considering he has no ear holes anymore. But I could feel a soft and squidgy lump in his neck under his left ear flap. After a vets trip and medication, I believe it took another 7 – 10 days, the soft lump got harder and harder. Until it resembled a golf ball in the side of his neck. It was just as hard too.
The vet said the only thing to do is cut it out. More surgery! The ball was forming because that’s how your body fights infections, it rounds it off and balls it off to protect it from the rest of the body. It’s really fascinating, but causing Snoopy a lot of pain. It’s not nice. Operation completed, we were told that should never happen again.
Until 2 weeks ago. Snoopy started acting as described above, I was worried it was his tummy again. But it wasn’t. I could feel the soft lump in the same place as before. 3 months after the last surgery. There seems to be a pattern here! Today he went in for his 4th surgery in the space of 9 months. Possibly not his last either. The vet scraped out a lot of his tissue to hopefully remove any cause of the infection. Apparently because the vet tried to get as much of the tissue out as possible, it was more invasive and the poor thing is in so much pain that he’s staying in the surgery over night.
It’s made me feel really sad. Our other dog, Rambo, is pacing around the house and it just isn’t the same without seeing the little soppy puppy eyes looking at me. Fingers crossed he makes a lot of progress over the next 24 hours and can come home tomorrow night.
Our next steps though are not quite so positive. If the ball comes back, he will have to undergo more surgery to completely remove the ear. Which means he will be completely deaf in his left ear. That has to remove the cause of infection surely! I can’t think what else they can get rid of otherwise.
We’ve also been told that he has the onset of Cataracts. Now for those that know us, you will know I call Snoopy Puppy! Purely because he looks like one still and I still think of him as one. So when the vet told me he is getting old, it hit me like a brick in the face. He is 8. Cockerspaniels live until around 12 ish. Apparently dogs adapt well to the cataracts as it doesn’t develop quickly. But in the near future my poor little baby will possibly be completely deaf and blind! It is just heart breaking.
Having pets and children, loving other beings, is just heart breaking sometimes!