Ear Crops

Although we no long endorse this procedure I know many people still do,
therefore, the reason for me having this subject as part of my web site and telling/showing how I did things.

We stopped cropping our puppies ears after loosing two of babies during this procedure; and yes, we had their blood workup done prior to surgery and neither puppy was related to the other so it was not genetic. This happened 9 months apart and still devastated me more than I can describe.  It's just not worth loosing a beloved family member purely for cosmetic reasons.  You can "wish" you'd never done it but that will not change what has already happened.  When a puppy dies during an ear crop there is no do over, no take backs, no changing your mind.... the puppy is dead... forever and always.  Their lives mean too much to me to ever take that kind of risk with one of my pets ever again.  I've had people tell me, "Well, if one dies just go out and buy another one."   That's the problem, my Danes mean more to me than their just being a dog.  They are my 4-legged children.  When someone says that to me that's like telling someone if their child dies, just go adopt one. 

There are other reasons for not cropping: some puppies have an allergic reaction to the adhesive on the tape, due to genetics some ears just won't stand correctly or in some cases they won't stand at all.  There is a tremendous amount of aftercare to make sure the ears do stand.... sometimes it can take up to 6 months of bracing!  If you are not going to be totally committed to the aftercare, then do not crop the puppy's ears.  Remember, the effort you put into the aftercare determines how your puppy will look for the rest of it's life.

A vet tech has a good explanation for not cropping as well.  The following link shows an actual ear cropping I found on YouTube.  It is graphic and should only be viewed by someone with a strong stomach and that is an adult.  If you are under 18 years old you are NOT to watch this unless you have permission from your parents!     for the cropping,    trimming the cropped ears and    for the stitching.

One must take into account that not all vets are created equal.  Interview various vets and ask to see pictures of GREAT DANES that they have cropped the ears on.  Do not let a vet snowball you by showing you pictures of Dobermans or Pit Bulls or any other breed of dog they may have cropped the ears on because the Great Dane has it's own style of look for cropped ears. 

We initially use the Quick Brace System right after the cropping so the ears will heal quickly. We then sometimes use it to re-brace the ears or brace them with pipe insulation foam as seen below. There are companies selling "ear bracing foam" for as much as $45 for a "5 week supply," however, we buy a 6 foot piece of pipe insulation for $3 at the local hardware store! 

Also, some companies show putting the  bonding cement directly on the foam and then the foam to the puppy's ear.  As shown in my video we ALWAYS wrap the foam with tape, and for a good reason!  The first time I did it as one of these companies suggested (foam directly on the ear) and my puppy got horrible sores (heat burns) in her ears!  Foam gets hot as it will absorb the body heat from the ear and the heat builds up!  Don't believe me?  Then tape one piece of foam and one piece of foam wrapped in tape (as shown in my video below) to your arm  and wear them for the day.... see which piece feels/gets HOTTER as the day progresses!

 


If you want to use the bonding cement you can order it here:  



Posting Ears -- video links below

Lay out supplies on a clean surface.

Measure puppy's ear length starting at base of ear just inside the canal to tip.

Gently wipe inside area of puppy's ears with cotton dipped in alcohol (to dry up any body oils).

Cut pipe foam to proper length, then cut in half length wise, then cut both ends to a point.

Wrap foam (both pieces) with 2 inch tape.

If you want to use bonding cement you would now lightly coat the tape you just wrapped around the foam,

then wrap the foam again with tape this time with
STICKY side OUT!
To watch me prepare for bracing with FOAM:   

Get puppy in a down position.
 

Insert foam brace in one ear being sure to pull it upwards tautly, wrap 2 inch tape around the base of ear and the brace starting at back of ear around to "outside" front of ear and then back around between ears making sure inside "fold" of ear is bent backwards. (explained on video)

Then apply a strip of 1 inch tape from inside bottom of ear up, over and down outside part of ear.

Then wrap ear with more 2 inch tape. Repeat for other ear.

Cut piece of foam for middle support brace and tape between ears.

Brace ears for 7 to 14 days and then unwrap.  If re-bracing is needed, leave unwrapped to air out for about 3 days then re-brace.
Sometimes all you need to re-brace is one ear as seen below with Micah.




IMPORTANT
Do NOT wrap/tape ears too tightly so as not to cut off circulation.
Check ears OFTEN!
If they "feel" warm to the touch or have a foul odor, take them down immediately (see instructions below).
Let them air out for a couple of days and if no sores, re-brace.  Do NOT leave ears wrapped for any longer than 10-14 days.
Your puppy is GROWING and his ears are too so, if you leave them wrapped too long, the tape WILL get tight and cut off circulation!!
 

To watch me brace a puppy's ears:  

For a version posted on YouTube by someone else:   



I use Goo-Gone (found @ Wal-Mart or Home Depot) to remove the bracing.
I buy the economy size and pour some into a smaller container
so I can "squirt" it onto the ears exactly where I need to.


To watch me remove the brace (Part I):  

Removing brace (Part II):  

Removing brace (Part III):  



REMOVING  BRACE

 

I unwrap as much as I can until I'm about to get to the skin/hair of the ear.  Then I squirt Goo-Gone onto the remaining tape being careful NOT to get any into the puppy's eyes.  Let it set for a minute and then slowly remove the tape squirting Goo-Gone as needed if tape is not coming off easily.  After removing all of the tape I then squirt Goo-Gone on a wash cloth and rub off any "sticky" adhesive remaining on the ear.

Should your puppy develop a sore from the bracing inside the ear you can ask your vet for some Neo-Predef Powder which is a medicated powder to help heal the sore.


Below are pups braced using the Quick Brace System and then a "re-brace" with the above "foam" method.
Occasionally you'll have a puppy that has one ear that's "lazy,"  not really flopped over enough to re-brace using the foam so I use Breathe Rite Strips in this case. 

Keep in mind that most pups are teething during the time frame for ear cropping and unfortunately this can prolong the bracing period.


 

Disclaimer: 
I/We are not licensed doctor(s) or  vet(s), nor am/are I/we trying to practice medicine without a license, nor are I/we advising you on how to take care,  treat, or work/handle your animals.  I/We're simply sharing with you procedures I/we do.   All advice on this website is for informational and entertainment purposes only.  If ever in doubt about the care or health of your animals see a licensed veterinarian immediately. 

The presence of a link to any website here does not of itself indicate an endorsement or recommendation for the products, service, information that may be offered on those websites, although recommendations may be given in some cases.  Should you choose to follow any of the advice, it is solely at your own risk.  This is not intended to substitute for obtaining advice from appropriate sources and/or professional counseling.  We recommend you consult an appropriate professional, counselor, and/or a trusted advisor before taking any action based on this advice.

We make no representations or guarantees regarding any information dispensed on this site.

 

Below are some of our end results.
Our dogs were the first Danes our vet had ever cropped,
and we do not like the show crop at all so,
that being said I don't think they are all that bad looking...
I've seen others much worse.
 

 

   

 


Blu with Quick Brace System after cropping.

Blu re-braced on  2-10-09
with pipe insulation.


Braced removed  2-16-09
Individual results may differ.
     
     
   

 

 
There may be times that one ear will stand and one will still need work.  In that instance you only need to tape the one ear.

Cut the pipe insulation to a point, then cut out a section on the front SPLIT side about an inch up so that only the point will fit down into the ear.  Then wrap tape around the ear as normal.  Sometimes it will stand on it's own (see below) if the ear was flopping downward.

     
However, if the ear was flopping over the top of the head you will need to tear a piece of tape about 2 ft long and place the center of it against the lower BACK SIDE of the ear, go under the neck, over top of head and back around LOWER part of ear only.  Be sure not to tape it too tight so puppy can swallow but, tight enough to slightly pull DOWN on ear base forcing it downwards slightly.

 

     
 

Some pup's ears will stand after only one or two support bracings, others take as many as six or so. 

Just be patient and persistent because YOU determine the outcome on how your Dane is going to look for the rest of it's life!


 

     
     

 

 

     
 




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