DOG GROOMING & CARE
About half of all purebred dogs have healthy, handsome, utilitarian cropped ears or docked tails, cropping and docking is not just a fashion fad.
POSTING EARS AFTER CROPPING
Sherry L. Shivley, Journalist Award Winner
The continuing controversy of crop/don’t crop has led many Veterinarians to discontinue the practice but I want my dogs to look like Boxers. Could you guess this dog’s breed or even if he is a purebred dog?
So many of us breeders travel long distances to have the ear cropping done by a Veterinarian that has experience-because there is nothing worse than a bad ear crop.
Ear crops are done between the ages of 7-12 weeks when the ear leather is soft, and there is no crease set in the ear. If you bought the puppy before ear cropping, when you take your puppy to the Veterinarian, you should bring a picture of the length and shape of the ear crop you want.
There are several after-crop-postings from the cup, to Vet Wrap, to foam. Wire inserts have gone out of style because the pups shake their heads so much and scratch.
I like foam, which is pliable yet firm enough to hold the ear. When I post my pups ears, here are the items I use:
2” foam pipe insulation cut into fourths, measured from the inner ear to the tip of the ear. Taper one end to a rounded point to fit more comfortably into the ear.
Assemble what you need to make ear-taping or ear-posting quick and easy:
* 1” paper surgical tape - great for tender, just cropped ears!
* 1-2” Sports Tape. This stuff wears like iron! You can place over the paper tape for added protection.
* Coban/Vet Wrap for newly cropped ears, keeps tape from sticking to the wound or stitches.
* Rubbing alcohol * Gauze pads for cleaning ears (never use tape remover as it softens the ear leather!) * Scissors * An assistant or grooming table * Treats for being a Good Dog
Clean the ear inside and out with rubbing alcohol every other day. Some people leave them up for 5 days in a row but I had stinky ears and two pups that chewed each other’s ears so I opted for posting more often.
Have your posts made up beforehand. Using sports tape STICKY SIDE OUT, begin a spiral from top to bottom to cover the foam post.
When done, cut more tape in desired lengths and place in a reachable place. Puppies do not have patience, so being prepared makes life easier for both of you!
Tapered end down, place the post into the ear. If ears are newly cropped, starting at the base, lift up to stretch gently, and wrap with Coban. Make sure it is not too tight as it will contract a bit and you don’t want to cut off circulation.
Add Sports tape on top, covering all of the ear from base to tip. Be sure you cupped the ear forward around the post to prevent wrinkles.
Now, repeat with the other ear. Once done, using a long piece of sports tape, create a “bridge” from one ear tip to the other.
If you have a scratcher, shaker or more than one dog and they want to chew on those newly cropped ears, you can take a man’s white sport sock, split up the ankle and fit it over the ears, tying under the chin to form extra protection for their ears. I do not recommend running tape under the chin as it can cut into delicate baby skin.
Once the stitches are out and the incision has healed, you can leave the ears up longer. Also leave them down from the posts for extended periods (1-2 hours) if they are starting to stand. It should not take more than 6 weeks to see results.
With time and effort your puppy can have beautiful upright ears that remove the risk of hematomas and great reduce the chance of ear infections. Not only does this increase their ability to hear (they are after all, an alert watch-dog that uses ears as much as eyes) but your puppy will grow into a recognizable, handsome example of his breed.
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Watch Cropping/Docking videos on why the simple procedure is necessary to the preservation of breed type and/or function. You will also see that tail docking (done before pain receptors are fully developed) and ear cropping (done under general anesthesia) are neither painful nor cruel.