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Ear infection led to Skull Infection

by JDM
(Oakland, Ca)

We adopted a 3 yr old JRT from the pound about a year ago, she is now 4. About 4-5 months ago she started exhibiting audible sounds of pain w/ whimpering and scratching her ear constantly. Took her to the vet immediately, long story short they pulled 5 foxtail burrs out of her ear and said the eardrum was ruptured. The vet estimated that these burrs had been in her ear for well over a year, long past the time we had first adopted her. The dog also has never bee let to run in tall grass, outside not on a leash, etc. so we know this didnt' happen during the time we've had her.

Now flash forward 4-5 months after that first visit. Dog started exhibiting same behaviour so we took her in again. Vet said we should hit whatever it is with a heavy dose of antibiotics for 30 days. So we did......2-3 weeks into those 30 days the dog was not getting any better so we took her in just a few days ago. This time, they went into the ear, re-ruptured the eardrum and found infection behind the ear canal. They did a head xray and sent the xrays to a specialist.

The specialist says we need to get a CTscan and most likely following that will be head surgery. We gave the doctors a few days to talk about the diagnosis more, when we took her in today to check the ruptured ear drum was healing okay they told us the following. The dog will 95% need the head surgery, they will have to go in thru the skull to clear out the infection which they think is hidden in 1 or possibly more pockets. The estimate on the cost is roughly $5,000. US.

So.....anyone have a similiar experience?

Any know of rescue operations that take in animals whose owners cannot afford the medical attention they need?


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Aug 24, 2013
by: Anonymous

Hi there, i to have a jack russel his abt 10.5 years old...theee most cleverest dog i have came across, i sometimes wonder if he is not perhaps a man trapped in a dogs body lol, he truly understands everything and the way he shows affection etc is just not doggy possible...he is very aggressive towards kids and certain people, he normally is aggresive towards men who looks abit dodgy if u no wat i mean, he is abit discriminating lol....but as i was reading ur story i came to abit of shock for i have and still suffer from a chronic disease in my ear and was so shocking to read as u told wat you experianced it was as if i was hearing my ENT explaing to me again in the best possible way for me to understand....i had my first op in 2004 where they cleaned the infection in my middle ear but by that time it already ate away through my foot one staple bone, well 6 years later i went back for they were to implant a prostheses foot and staple as by then i only could hear 25 percent in that ear, when waking up after surgery the following morning, i received news that my op was unsuccessful as the disease re-occurred and they had to remove it again and wait another year for healing before trying to improve the hearing i loss, i was told that it could be fatal as it eats away through bone therefore moving through the skull eventually reaching the brain....It was and still is traumatic for you don't hear about these thing everyday and reading your story i just had to share mine as i truly hope your jack will be ok and blessed.

May 14, 2012
by: Anonymous

You might want a second opinion, I would wonder if that all would even help, perhaps heavy doses of the right kind of anti-biotic, and perhaps a homeopathic vet? It may seem heartless to some, but surgery is not guarantee, is it? Perhaps you just being there for the dog and prayer until God calls is the best thing for your dog, rather than be in a shelter that maybe its last days in its life? Perhaps better with you than alone? Just some thoughts, either way we will pray with St. Francis of Assisi, he seamed to know a lot about such things with animals. Godspeed.

May 03, 2012
Skull infection
by: James

Yikes, your poor Jack. I can't imagine what she's gone through. Wow, 5000 is a lot. I really feel for your situation. Recently, a friend used a Facebook group page and paypal to collect donations for his dog's surgery, about 2000. I think you could probably find JRT Rescue Groups in your state, but then I believe you would have to surrender the dog.

Check out this page,
There are some good links on there to ideas such as starting a medical page for people to donate for care and using a veterinary school.
This page also looked interesting:

Please keep us updated as to what happened, I hope everything turns out ok!

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