Bending ear-new experience for me

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bbroyles's picture
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Having issue! Leo came home from cropping with the e-collar.  One ear was laying across the top of his head. Could this have been caused by laying on it with the e-collar?  Is the cartilage broken/damaged?  When I questioned the vet, he replied not to worry about it, just get them healed, then approach the standing. We left them down until stitches were mostly out, then the vet taped, with the pop sickle sticks wide width, tongue depressors, I guess. After 5 days up, I took them down yesterday. They are both standing, but the one ear, especially when he tightens those muscles to pull them up, goes so far inward that it is almost laying down. 

I have decided to repost using what Alpha suggested with an ear shaped, foam 1/2 pipe cover. The cut looks okay, but I'd like to know what happened to cause this bending inward  It's his right ear at the top of photo.  Bending down now, sorry bad photo. But perhaps you can see if you understand what I'm trying to say.

I almost hate to post on this one. You need to post the ears and keep them posted. YOu may be developing a pocket in that ear and it needs to be posted provided the stitches are out and the edges healed. There are certain ways to wrap a ear if a pocket develops but without better pictures and what is happening it is hard to tell. Make sure when you do wrap that you are stretching the ear on the post.

It could be the way you had it wrapped that has caused the ear to flop the way you describe. I know that a lot of the vets now let the ear flap until stitches are removed. PLEASE DONT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY, but the vets really don't know a lot about wrapping or cropping the ears. I know we all like to fully trust our vets thinking that they are a vet and know everything but that is not the case. Earcropping is not taught in vet schools it is a ART that very few learn the proper way. Letting the ear flop this way justs sets you back in time as well as problems that can arise from doing so.

Here is a excellent utube clip that I think it was gunslinger on this list posted to another thread about ear posting. Take the time to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e39bE8ctNJc

 

Here is a very simalar way that I wrap my dogs ears this particular way you don't have to put the post deep in the bell the foam backer rod is put starting from the nub in the dogs ears to the tips of the ears. So the entire ear base and drum is able to breathe. It is harder to get the hang of but the KINDEST method of posting.

http://dpca.org/BreedEd/kb/index.php/articles/47-ear-caretaping/155-tapi...

Lady Kate's picture
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See D~~ That's one of the reasons we're so glad you're here!! thanks from many of us!

rgreen4's picture
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Yeah, it is a little hard to tell in the photo. Sometimes very early in the process, an ear will take a strange direction, but posting will correct that. My first cropping experience was with Hans, as Windy was 4 months old when I got her.

My vet at the time would tape the tips of the ears together over the top of the pups head. This sounds and looked strange. (I will see if I have any old photos I can scan in - it was 1984) But, no e-collar was necessary as he had a hard time getting to scratch them. After a week most of the stitiches came out and the first posting went in. Then after 5 days, the posts came out to let the ears breathe, and when he raised his ears they both would tilt inward. After several more weeks of posting, they came out fine, except he had one lazy ear.

A lazy ear is one that will relax to about a 45 degree angle outward until the dog alerts and then they go straight up. His left ear was lazy, and his right ear always stood straight up. I could have posted him a few more weeks and then both would have stood straight up, but as this was my first posting of ears, I didn't know better.

If you have not done so already, you may want to read through this thread:

http://www.gentledoberman.com/forums/doberman-pinscher-discussion/doberm...

Especially rnd's reply #5 with the link. This type of brace now that I can see the structure and understand the low brace, will solve a lot of problems. Of course the end result photos are a pair of the most perfect ears I have ever seen and on an almost perfect head as well. Beautiful animal.

I've heard of many long time breeders taping or gluing the freshly cut ear over the top of the head like you describe Rgreen. In fact someone that I deeply respected in the Doberman world swore by this method (until the stitches are out of course) I tried this with my little girl from the last litter and couldn't get them to stay. NOt sure what I was doing wrong. I noticed a huge difference in her ears. The edges were curled and totally different healing pattern than all the littermates whose ears were taped up on cups. I would not have even tried this with her but we had an issue that I had to do something different with her. I'm a firm believer after seeing the difference in getting the ear up and keeping it up after this experience. I would however consider the tape or glue over the head if I found a way to make it stay until stitches were removed. I know first hand that letting them hang until stitches are out puts you behind.

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When I had Ziva's ears cropped, my vet taped her ears using a simi-rigid piece of v- shaped plastic as a base support, inverted so the point was at the top of the ears, and taped her ears together at the tips.  This was just until the stitches came out, as the edges were fully exposed so that they would heal quickly.  When the stiches came out, he posted her ears using tongue depressors that were padded on the ends that went down into the bell of her ears and used a tape bridge across the top of her head for support to the ear base.  Her ears stood after 2 weeks of posting, and look very good, but she also has a 'lazy' right ear that wants to fold over only when she is super tired at the end of the day or early in the morning. This is an occasional thing---just every once in a while.  He told me that the ear cartiledge in her right ear wasn't quite as thick or as strong as in her left ear, and it possibly could get stronger as she ages, but might stay that way all her life.  No way to predict that sort of thing.  I sometimes use a Breathe-Rite stirp inside that ear to support it for a week at a time to help keep that ear from folding over. (not a sharp crease-type fold, just a forward bend over to her right ear) 

Zivas Dad this could very well be a pocket you are talking about.

bbroyles's picture
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The vet required him to spend the night. I'm thinking with the anesthesia, that maybe he was in one position for a long time during the night, and perhaps that did some damage. When mddoberman posted the word pocket, my ears went up!  It's like a golf ball (a bit smaller) would fit into, very near the base of the head, top side of ear leather... then it will tilt over the top of his head... it was like that for about 10 days while stitches were healing, before any posting. I chased him around for 10 days flipping the ear back to a more natural bend away from the top of head. Also, the e-collar was removed first day and never used.  He hasn't scratched at the ears and if he is out with other dogs, I'm with him.

bbroyles's picture
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I'm thinking the ear needs to be pushed out at the base.  Maybe I need to try a ball shaped posting, just at the base of the ear...?

DJ's Dad's picture
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bbroyles, I sure hope between you, your vet, and others that are familiar with this problem, that it gets straightened out.  My niece has a dobie that is 4 yrs old that had the same sort of 'pocket' at the base of his ear, and she never did anything about it.  It eventually straightened itself out somewhat, but his ears are not symmetrical-looking at all.

 

mddobermans, I dont thing that's what my Ziva has.  Her 'weak area' of her right ear is actually on the outer edge of that ear, and just sort of flops forward, not all the way down at the base of the ear next to her skull, but about halfway between the base and the tip.  And like I said, it only happens once in a while when she is extremely tired or has just woke up.  If I take my finger and flick it, it goes right back up as straight as can be.  I always used to tell her "get your ear up!" while I flicked at it, and now when I tell her "get your ear up" she will shake her head a few times rapidly and ~~boing~~up it goes!  No kidding. 

that makes sense Zivas dad. Now if I could train my show dogs ears up in the ring that would be great lol.  I've always had a hard time getting them to keep them up when they are doing a go around in the ring. The longer they are the harder that is lol.

Rgreen I shouldn't post things when I'm as tired as I was last night. I just reread my post and it comes across with a different meaning then intended. The little girl that I was trying to tape the ears over the top of her head I couldn't ever get it to stay. So then I was forced because of the different situation at hand to let them flop and that is what I was referring to as never letting happen again. It set me back quite a bit with the ears, even though I put antibiotic cream on them as well as the rest. Her edges were curled and it took quite a bit of stretching to get it undone.

Bbroyeles go ahead and send me the photos you are referring to. I'm not very good at explaining things in writing sorry to say so I will see if I can find a photo link for you to look at showing how to correct it. Do not worry about it, Pockets are fairly easy to fix it just takes persistence. Your puppy was just cropped not to long ago correct? So many things can be fixed with different wrapping methods and little tweaks so to speak. Basically with a pocket you want to press out that area, people use lots of different things to do it. Depending on what you are wrapping with you can try taping extra cotton in the area, or paper towel built up in the area, some use corks, some use the backer rod. The important thing is to fill the void it doesn't take much, just something that will push out the area. I hope that makes sense but before you start that send me the pictures will see if I can tell from looking at them. Glengate is a very experienced Dobe person and hopefully will comment as well.

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I know when Leo spent the night at the vet you were very worried about him... but your vet likely did this so he could just sleep uninterrupted.  The last vet I worked for did this routinely because he used an anesthetic that would make them loopy for hours and it would upset the owners to seem them unable to focus and just want to lay there and sleep.  I will tell you if you had my experience you would have been very upset.  When I picked up Steve he was LIMP in my arms from still being so deeply under anesthesia.  I was a little irritated that the vet would send a dog home who couldn't keep his feet underneath him - not a man I'd go back to, but in my area he was the nearest person to crop.  I had to sit in the back of the car with him for an hour and I kept checking his heart rate, his gums, and his breathing because he was still requiring this level of attention.  Trust me, having had him stay was probably the best and likely didn't do anything to the ears.

We had a crease develop in Steve's ears a few weeks into the process -- I used the cup method to brace his ears and put the one ear out at a little of an angle so gravity would help it work against the crease and I also taped a thick piece into the ear to bend the ear outwards to work against the crease.  A day later he worked himself out of the cup (as always) and behold!  The crease was gone.

The tech friend of mine that showed me a way to brace Steve's ears with tape told me that if you give them a break between postings, little problems like this will be caught and then you can correct them next go around.  You have time to fix it, so don't panic.  See what works to get the crease out and away you go!

bbroyles's picture
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Thanks everyone for all your insight to the problem.  I'm anxious to take a look today and see what we have done the last three days.  I'll try to get photos up soon.  Just a big rush for the next two days. 

Thanks for the support

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OMG, rnd, that dog in the tutorial you posted is gorgeous!!!!

what tutorial?

bbroyles's picture
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Ziva's Dad,

I had a good chuckle with the image of you and Ziva and the ear flicking "get em up"!

I think with enormous help from RnDoberman we are about to conquer the pocket! I was sort of on the right track thinking of the roundish posting..RnD suggested using cotton balls between the inner side of ear and the posting material, I'm using the foam backer rod.  It's working and I think in a few more days we'll be finished!

RnD,

THANKS for the cotton suggestion!  It's helping the pocket issue and Leo is on his way to a nice uniform pair of ears. I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me.  After all the sad cropping experiences I've read, I feel lucky to have things going in the right direction again.  

I've worked with my hands, eyes and emotions all my life in various mediums.  I'm curious to know how a vet could make some of these mistakes.  The dog is asleep when the cropping is done. Is there an involuntary jerk that sends the knife to the mishap?? What do the vets tell the owners?

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New puppy owners:

Zonas tape is easy to work with!  

I found a pharmacy that ordered it for me and got it in the next day!

Search it out, you'll be happy you did!

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bbroyles, glad this is working out for you!  Leo is so handsome.

RND, I was referring to the ear posting link you attached above - didn't know what to call it.  The final picture of the red dobie with his ears posted was gorgeous.

bbroyles's picture
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Thanks, Ginger's Mom! We have a dremel date tomorrow, right?  You nervous? I am, ugh!

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bbroyles, I just know that you have been corresponding with Kate offline - am I right?!!!  Time to fess up!   She actually asked me how late Home Depot is open tongiht!!!  No way; I'm having cocktails tonight and have to gear up for this!  

Tomorrow!?  OMG.  I got Cujo over here!  Are you really going to do it tomorrow?  Oh, the pressure!  I can see you guys, you know! 

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gingersmom,

Well, here is a list of my latest excuses:

serious leak in plumbing, had it fixed at $145 per hour! Thank God it only took an hour.. next day neighbor wants to know if i'm draining my pool, glancing around the corner of my house, she has a lake, pretty close to the spot in my line that was just fixed!!!!!! What has America become? All this chaos in the middle of a yard sale, painting inside of garage and going thru tools and a million other items in garage and house ...

looking for..

a dremel.

I did find it, unfortunately :(

.... but in the back of the mind area, I keep hearing Lady Kate's voice "piece of cake" and gingersmommy, "come on, bbroyles, we can do this!"  Tell you what, you do it first and let me know how your baby takes it! 

I'm going to see if I have any vanilla in the pantry!

Lady Kate's picture
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Honey, we're not laughing AT you, we're laughing with you and as a side note:

After Shave is a perfectly acceptable substitute for vanilla!!

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And mouthwash, too.  

:)  

bbroyles, it makes perfect sense to me how you couldn't get to Leo's nails! (Hope you got your plumbing problem solved, got your house decluttered and made a ton on the garage sale!) For me, Friday's is cocktail night, Saturday was antiquing, and Sunday we did go to Home Depot but the cheapest model they had was $69.95!  I figured I had tried and that was all the effort I could muster for the day.  I guess K-mart has a hand-held, two speed model for $39.95 so I will get there - one of these nights.  Stalling, who's stalling? 

I definitely am in - I will give it a try, but I am not looking forward to it.  I look at Ginger and wonder how such an angel one minute can turn into Cerberus the next! 

bbroyles, please don't feel you need to wait for me if you feel compelled to go ahead and try!  Of course, you have my full support!

How is Leo's ear?

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Hi Ziva's dad, I tried to put a breathe-rite strip in JJ's ear and it would not stick. How did you get it to stick? I bought the extra hold ones also.  Thanks, JJ's dad.

When I use the breathe rite strips, I first cover them with tape making them a tad padded where the ends are. The reason I do this is they are a bit sharp on the ends and can irritate the dogs ears. I use skin bond to glue them in the ear. You can get this from pharmacies. They will never stick with just using them straight from the package so you are going to have to find some type of medical glue to use. Another tip depending on what you are trying to correct is doubling the breathe rites. I've also used the straws that you get in your cocktails to stir them with. These are very light weight, cheap and easy to use. They to need to be covered with tape though for the sharp edges.

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So I've done every method known to man I think with Steve's ears and we are ALMOST there -- the final stage has been using cardboard applicator tampons with tape I got from the vet (my favorite because it is porous and the skin can breathe easily through the material) I think his bases are finally trained enough to keep them erect and the tampons ensure that there is no touching across the head.

Just thought I'd share.  I don't know if anyone else is familiar with this method.  My breeder swore by it and breath-rite strips (I thought I could easily find something better than tampons!) and as a last resort I used them.. and they seem to be the best thing I've tried.

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I just clean Ziva's ear on the inside w/ an alcohol wipe, let it dry thoroughly and apply the Breathe-Rite strip. It holds on it's own for 2-3 days, but if I want it to stay longer, I'll add tape to help hold it inside her ear.  The regular ones dont hold up as well, and "off brand" ones are just a waste of time, if you ask me.  Skin bond is hard to find sometimes, but someone told me that eyelash glue works well also to hold the strips inside the ear.  I just never have had a hard time making them stick when I clean the oils from her inner ear with an alcohol wipe.  Maybe she doesnt have a lot of natural oils in her ear, I dont know.