Dog Ear Cropping Aftercare

Ear cropping is a process done in certain breeds of dog to transform their natural, floppy ears into erect and pointed ears. This should be done only by a licensed and skilled veterinarian, and only if the owner is absolutely dedicated to the aftercare of their pet post-op.

Ear Cropping Surgery

During the surgery, the vet will make an incision into each ear and cut, starting from the top and working their way down. This gives the ears a pointed appearance. However, this alone is not enough to make the ears stand up on their own and in fact, that part of cropping depends entirely on the owner.

After the vet has made the cuts, a type of rack, usually made out of aluminum, is used to stretch the ears and hold them erect. The ears are taped securely after being sutured and the dog will spend a night or two with the vet to ensure no serious complications arise.

First Week After Surgery

This is a crucial time for your puppy. Because cropping is done between 8 and 12 weeks of age, your dog is likely to be more prone to being distressed by the entire procedure. You may need an e-collar to keep on him so that he does not scratch at his ears, pull out the sutures, or yank off the tape. The rack holding his ears up is not comfortable, and he may try a number of things to try and get it off, including hitting or rubbing his head against things. Frequent monitoring is necessary during this time.

During this week, bleeding will occur rather frequently, but it is important to try not to change the bandages more than is necessary.

However the most important part of the first week, is that you take your dog back exactly when your veterinarian tells you to in order for the stitches in his ear to be removed. Waiting even a day or two could result in permanent scarring of your dog's ears.

After the First Week

Ear cropping is something that requires care long after the first week. Once the rack is able to come off, your dog's ears will still remained wrapped in cotton and tape. Appointments with your vet for status check-ups will be about 10 to 14 days apart, and you'll need to unwrap their ears two hours prior to the appointment. This allows the ears to relax, and lets your vet see how they are doing standing on their own and if any areas of the ear are drooping and need to be compensated for.

If the Ears Come Unwrapped

In the event the ears come unwrapped at home, you cannot wait more than an hour or two before fixing them. Don't wait until the next day to take your dog back into the vet. Instead, have your vet show you how to do a temporary wrap and fix to hold the dog over until you can get into the vet.

Ear wrapping at home can be tricky, and you have to ensure you are not wrapping too tightly. This could cut off circulation and cause some serious damage to your dog's ears.