The Case Against Dog Ear Cropping

Dog ear cropping is a surgery that involves removing a great part of the pet’s ears. This procedure is used only in a few breeds that may also require tail docking. These procedures are not necessary and are performed only for cosmetic purposes. The dog ear crop procedure has no medical benefits.

Why Canine Ear Cropping Is Performed

The dog ear cropping is performed for cosmetic reasons only; certain breeds (i.e. Dobermans) are considered more “standard” looking with their ears cropped.

Some people think that the cropping of ears may prevent ear infections, as the ear canal will not be covered by the ear flap and will allow the air to circulate. However, this theory hasn’t been proven.

Some dog owners opt for ear cropping if the dog has crooked or oversized ears.

Ear Cropping Dog Surgery

The dog’s ears are cropped using a scalpel and over 70% of the ear flap will be removed.

The ear cropping procedure can be painful; if performed early in the dog’s life (while the dog is 6 to 12 weeks old) the surgery may not be as painful.

Even if the dog is under anesthesia during the procedure, he will feel pain after the anesthetic wears off, as the ears contain a lot of nerve endings.

After the ears are cut, the vet will apply some stitches and the recovery time is between 10 to 15 days.

The dog will have to be under pain medication for 3 to 5 days after the surgery.

The Case against Dog Ear Cropping

Dogs don’t need ear cropping. There isn't a norm that dictates that certain breeds require ear cropping. Even if show dogs may score higher if they have cropped ears, the procedure is painful and it is not necessary.

The surgery may have complications such as bleeding or the vet may cut too deep into the ear and affect the ear canal. Also, the surgery site can get infected.

A second surgery will be needed if the first surgery is not successful.

The surgery may also have long term side effects such as ear sensitivity and may become very aggressive when the ear area is touched. Seizures may appear post surgery, but only in rare cases. These side effects may occur if the procedure is not performed properly, however none of these can happen if the procedure is not performed in the first place.

Phantom pain may occur after the surgery; the dog may feel pain in the ears, even if the ears are cropped.

Dogs also use their ears to communicate; if the ears are cropped, this can affect the way the dog communicates with other dogs.

There are a lot of vets that refuse to perform the ear cropping or tail docking. A lot of animal rights fighters consider the ear cropping inhumane. Dogs are born with ears and each breed has its uniqueness. The normal look of canines is with their full ears and tails.