Veterinary Record 172:315 doi:10.1136/vr.101337
  • Research
  • Short Communications

Progression of otitis media with effusion in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel

  1. C. Rusbridge, BVMS, DipECVN, PhD, MRCVS2
  1. 1School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Stone Lion Veterinary Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Iowa State University, USA
  1. Email for correspondence: E.Friend{at}

Hyperintense material is often detected within the tympanic bullae on T2-weighted MRI scans during screening schemes for Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia (CMSM). This is frequently regarded as an incidental finding and is sometimes associated with hearing loss (Lu and others 2003, Owen and others 2004, Harcourt-Brown and others 2011).

This may be analogous to otitis media with effusion (OME) in humans, which is informally referred to as ‘glue ear’. OME in humans is characterised by the presence of a middle ear effusion for three months or more, and the general absence of gross signs of infection (Kubba and others 2000). This is distinct from suppurative otitis media, which is associated with acute clinical signs. Previously, the term ‘Primary secretory otitis media’ (PSOM) has been used to describe an effusion present in the tympanic bullae of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) (Stern-Bertholtz and others 2003). All these cases were associated with moderate to severe pain and/or neurological signs. As no cases in our study had associated pain, and due to the chronicity of the condition, the authors have classified the condition described in this study as OME.

It has recently been shown that the prevalence of OME in dogs is significantly associated with brachycephalic conformation, and that bilateral OME was associated with CKCS with more extreme nasopharyngeal conformation, than unaffected …

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