If you have ever noticed a dog with ears that seem to stand up straight on their own, you might wonder how its done. This look is achieved by a process called cropping and has been done since ancient times. If you have a certain breed of dog, such as a Boxer, Pit Bull, Great Dane or Doberman Pinscher you might want to consider having its ears cropped. However, you should know a bit about the procedure before you decide if its right for your dog.
How Is Ear Cropping Done?
Ear cropping must be done under anesthesia. While your dog is under, the vet will scrub the ears to ensure that the area is clean. The vet will then make an incision from the base of the ear, up to the center and the out to the tip of the ear. This cuts away the most floppy portion of the ear and what remains is is a triangular piece of ear.
After this has been done, the ears are then posted to a hard surface in an upright position. The ears must stay posted like this for a few weeks in order for the crop to be successful and for the ears to remain upright after healing.
What is Recovery Like?
Your dog will most likely come home with its ears posted and a cone on to keep it from scratching at the ears. Your vet might not post the ears immediately, and might wait until the stitches are removed until he does so. If your dog comes home with exposed stitches, you should treat the area daily with aloe vera, cream provided from your vet or an over-the-counter cream like Neosporin.
If your dog's ears have been posted, it's your job to monitor the bandages. You need to ensure that they don't slip and that they stay dry. If possible, reduce your dog's activity during its time of healing to ensure that the bandages don't become loose or removed. You will most likely have to return to the vet weekly to have the bandages examined and possibly replaced by your vet. The bandages need to stay in place until your dog's ears are able to stand on their own.
Your dog might be in mild pain, and your vet will prescribe chewable pain pills for your dog. It's important to give these to your dog on the schedule recommended by the vet in order to ensure that recovery is as comfortable as possible for your dog.
What Are the Advantages of Cropping?
Although cropping is mostly done for cosmetic reasons, some people believe that cropping can reduce ear infections and the chance of other infections in dogs, although this hasn't been definitively proven. Cropping is most often done because it is the breed standard. It gives your dog the sleek look that you might have come to associate with certain breeds.
Should I Get My Dog's Ears Cropped?
Whether or not your should get your dog's ears cropped depends on your dog, as well as your personal preference. Not all dogs are good candidates for ear cropping. As such, it's important that you meet with your vet to have your dog evaluated before the cropping process.
If your vet deems your dog a good candidate for cropping, you then have to decide if you can properly care for your dog while it heals. If you cannot, you shouldn't get your dog's ears cropped.
Cropping your dog's ears takes a lot of care on your part to ensure that it recovers properly and doesn't have any complications. If you have a breed of dog whose ears are commonly cropped, you like the look, and you know that you will be able to care for your dog properly post-surgery, talk to a vet at a hospital like Animal Clinic of Bensonhurst about having your dog's ears cropped.