Canine Perichondritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Canine Perichondritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Perichondritis is the inflammation of the perichondrium, Arden Grange Dog Food Puppy located in the auricular pavilion. Several causes can trigger perichondritis in the dog. Some areas are common as allergies or ear infections.
Let’s see in-depth what are the main causes of this condition and how we should treat it, always remembering that it is essential that it is a veterinarian who diagnoses it.

Anatomy of the canine ear



The pavilion of the ear, also called the pinna, is a sheet of cartilage that is covered on both sides by a layer of skin and hair. It confers some protection to the organ in which it is found. It acts as a support, shaping it while allowing its movement. The perichondrium is responsible for cartilage irrigation since it lacks blood vessels. When the perichondrium becomes inflamed, for different reasons, we speak of perichondritis.

What is canine perichondritis?

Perichondritis is one of the problems that can affect the dog’s auditory pavilion. The ear can be damaged by injuries, being a vulnerable part of the dog. It is very easy to be injured, for example, by a bite in a fight with another dog or by the scratches of a cat. But it is also affected by infections inside the ear or by systemic processes such as skin diseases of allergic or autoimmune origin. 

Symptoms of perichondritis in dogs

When the perichondrium becomes inflamed, we will notice an alteration in the pavilion of the ear that arises suddenly. This will be visible as a kind of abscess-type bag that contains 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.

Otitis externa as a cause of perichondritis

The possibility of perichondritis in dogs that are suffering from otitis externa must be taken into account, 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 he feels, scratches his ear or shakes his head.

This picture is what could trigger an otohematoma and subsequent perichondritis. That is why it is important that, before any sign of a problem in the ears, we take the dog to the veterinarian.

Otohematoma caused by perichondritis

Perichondritis may appear as a complication of an otohematoma or aural hematoma. This is a cluster of blood in the atrial pavilion, specifically between the cartilage and the perichondrium. It usually forms when the dog shakes its head violently or scratches with intensity. These signs usually occur when there is otitis.

Otohematoma treatment consists of draining the blood. It is important to try because, otherwise, the ear may become deformed. It is tried to avoid that the perichondritis complicates the picture draining the hematoma following strict norms of asepsis and guiding antibiotics as preventive.
Of course, these measures have to be done by the veterinarian. In mild cases, cleaning can only be done with a needle and syringe. But in the most serious you have to resort to surgery.

Bite wounds

After a fight, it is easy for us to find a wound in the dog’s pavilion. Although it seems like a superficial lesion, we must disinfect it thoroughly. If the wound is deep, very large or bleeds excessively, it is better to go to the vet.

These tips are because, if the wound has been caused by the bite of another animal, it is very easy to get infected and accumulate pus by the number of bacteria present in the mouth of dogs or cats. Therefore, we must monitor them closely to avoid complications with perichondritis.

Allergies that lead to perichondritis

Allergies are increasingly common in dogs. When they suffer from atopic dermatitis or food allergies, the ear will also be affected. Specifically, the dog will feel itchy in the ear and, when scratching continuously, injuries will occur. We will see wounds, scabs and hair will fall out of the area.

The picture can be complicated with perichondritis. Other times it is we who trigger this process. For example, if we think our dog has an ear infection and we medicate it on our own. 
Also, dermatitis can occur after the bite of flies or horseflies. These types of situations require veterinary intervention. Not only do you have to treat the ear locally, but 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 be repeated and even complicated. Antibiotics are administered orally or by injection to resolve perichondritis. Depending on the severity of each case, it is possible to drain the pus and disinfect the area well.
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