Canine Perichondritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Perichondritis is inflammation of the perichondrium, located in the pinna. There are several causes that can trigger perichondritis in the dog. Some are as common as allergies or ear infections.

Let’s see in depth which are the main causes of this condition and how we should treat it, always remembering that it is essential that a vet diagnose it.

Index of contents

  • 1 Canine ear anatomy
  • 2 What is canine perichondritis?
  • 3 Symptoms of perichondritis in dogs
  • 4 External otitis as a cause of perichondritis
  • 5 Otohematoma caused by perichondritis
  • 6 Bite wounds
  • 7 Allergies that lead to perichondritis
  • 8 What is the treatment for perichondritis?

Canine ear anatomy

The pinna, also called pinna, It is a sheet of cartilage that is covered on both sides by a layer of skin and hair.. Cartilage is a tissue made up of collagen and elastic fibers.

It confers some protection to the organ in which it is located. It acts as a support, shaping it, while allowing its movement. The perichondrium is responsible for the irrigation of the cartilage, since it lacks blood vessels. When the perichondrium becomes inflamed, for different reasons, we speak of perichondritis.

What is canine perichondritis?

Perichondritis it is one of the problems that can affect the dog’s ear. The ear can be damaged by injury, being a vulnerable part of the dog. It is very easy to get hurt, for example, by a bite in a fight with another dog or by scratches from a cat.

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But also it is affected by infections inside the ear or by systemic processes such as skin diseases of allergic or autoimmune origin. Perichondritis is defined as the inflammation of the perichondrium, which is the membrane that covers the cartilage, in this case of the ear.

Symptoms of perichondritis in dogs

When the perichondrium becomes inflamed we will notice an alteration in the pinna of the ear that arises suddenly. This will be visible as a kind of abscess-like bag containing pus and is very painful for the dog.

If the dog is suffering from an ear infection, has a more or less serious wound in the ear or scratches excessively, we must be vigilant because it is at risk of perichondritis.

External otitis as a cause of perichondritis

Keep in mind the possibility of perichondritis in dogs that are suffering from external otitis, that is, an infection in the most superficial part of the ear canal. In this disease it is common for the dog, due to the discomfort it feels, to scratch its ear or shake its head.

This table is the one that could lead to an otohematoma and a subsequent perichondritis. That is why it is important that, at any sign of an ear problem, we take the dog to the vet.

Otohematoma caused by perichondritis

Perichondritis can appear as a complication of an otohematoma or aural hematoma. East is a pool of blood in the pinna, specifically between the cartilage and the perichondrium. It usually forms when the dog shakes his head violently or scratches himself vigorously. These signs usually occur when there is an otitis.

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Otohematoma treatment involves draining the blood. Treating is important because otherwise the ear may become deformed. Attempts are made to prevent perichondritis from complicating the condition by draining the bruise. following strict asepsis regulations and antibiotic guidelines as a preventive.

Of course, these measurements have to be done by the vet. In mild cases, cleaning can only be done with a needle and syringe. But in the most serious cases, it is necessary to resort to surgical intervention.

Bite wounds

After a fight, it is easy to find a wound in the dog’s pinna. Although it seems to us a superficial injury, it is important that we disinfect it thoroughly. If the wound is deep, very extensive or bleeding excessively, it is better to go to the vet.

These tips are because, if the wound has been bitten by another animal, it is very easy for it to become infected and accumulate pus due to the amount of bacteria present in the mouth of dogs or cats. So we must monitor them closely to avoid complicating perichondritis.

Allergies that lead to perichondritis

Allergies are becoming more common in dogs. When these suffer from atopic dermatitis or food allergies, the ear will also be affected. Specifically, the dog is going to feel itchy in the ear and, by scratching continuously, injuries will occur. We will see wounds, scabs and hair will fall out of the area.

The condition can be complicated by perichondritis. Other times it is we ourselves who trigger this process. For example, if we think that our dog has an ear infection and we medicate it on our own. Some drugs can trigger allergic contact dermatitis.

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Also, a dermatitis can originate after the bite of flies or horseflies. These types of situations require veterinary intervention. It is not only necessary to treat the ear locally, but to look for the triggering disease and control it.

What is the treatment for perichondritis?

This condition requires veterinary assistance. First, you have to look for the cause behind the inflammation. If we do not solve it, we can treat the symptoms but the picture will repeat itself and even complicate it.

To resolve perichondritis antibiotics are given orally or by injection. Depending on the severity of each case, it may be necessary to drain the pus and disinfect the area well.