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jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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Well, we got the stitches out today on Steve's ears and it looks like the surgery healed nicely.  I have to say I'm a little frustrated with the vet because he wouldn't retape for us and I had to drive an hour home, them untaped, and then try and tape them myself.

Eli and I tried doing this together.. oh boy.. frustration was not the fun part of this.  Of course we get them all done (it took three tries, my poor Steve!!) and then Eli leaves for the day as I'm studying with the dogs.

Five minutes after he's left, Steve has shaken off the tape and foam.  

I just found myself very proud of this little puppy.  I know that his ears have to be bothering him and I gave him a pain pill.. but he patiently laid in my lap and let me tackle the taping on my own, unaided.  It's interesting to me how he will tolerate me to do things to him - like trim his nails - if I'm on my own but the minute someone is there trying to help he gets all squirmy.

I just needed to tell someone about this, haha.  Sorry!

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

Well, Steve is the exception. I just got through posting in another thread where you responded to Calli getting her ears cropped, that it is easier if you have someone hold the pup when you post the ear. Thanks, Steve.

It is because he is bonding to you and trusts you. Yeah, the first time really "sucks on ice" to use a phrase. Tape everywhere, several post attempts, a dog with tape all over his ears, ears at strange angles and you just have to take a deep breath and re-do it.

One key is to get a wrap of tape around the ear, just above his head. These wraps around the ear must be done with care, they need to be tight enough to hold the post in place, but not so tight as to cut off the blood supply. The one at the base of the ear is the most difficult as there is a natural fold of the ear that must be worked around, again, not getting to tight. I usually start with tape on the post and go around the back side curling the back end of the ear around the post and then coming around the backside of the ear and then folding the vertical fold and going around it in a way to hold it in it's natural position and then back around the post for another 1/2 wrap.

I then use a middle wrap in a similar way, except by now you are just above the vertical flap of the ear. At the top a short piece of tape from the inside of the ear up and over the tip of the ear and post and down a bit on the inside.

I learned from a breeder 20 years ago how to do a high brace. This comes up inside one ear on the inside (away from the post) across sticky side up to the other ear and down the inside. Then a second piece starts up the post, across the tip sticky side down on top of the previous tape and down the tip of the post on the other side. Then write today's date +5 days on the top of the tape going across.

On the second or third re-post I just use the high brace to hold the tip of the ear against the post.

The date? That's when the posts come out. Then I would let the ears rest for a minimum of 24 hours and if they are still sort of standing 48 hours before posting again. If the puppy looks like the flying nun with the ears straight out back up the go, and if they are trying to point down, up the go after 12 hours for only 24. You don't want to let the ears form a crease at the bottom of the ears.

Look in my photo gallery and you will see a creased ear (Red's left ear).

jeshykai's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-02

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Should I have let his ears rest after the sutures were out?  And when I let them rest, is it okay if the upper portions of the ear are flopping or in that case do I re-wrap immediately?

Thanks for the wonderful pointers!!  The breeder suggested using tampons but there was a good video someone had posted on using the pipe foam.. I used that technique to make the posts and they have held up to a little rough housing with the other dogs.  I didn't do the brace at the bottom but up one at the top like a bridge between the two ears.  He naturally holds them up at a point himself most of the time.  Does this work or is that going to create a problem?

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

I don't think the fact that when he goes on alert the ears come together will hurt. As for resting the ears, if they were on a cup, they would not have gotten all yucky as they will with the posts. You will find out when you remove the posts.

I'm surprised you have him in an e-collar once he is in posts. That is usually to keep him from getting the claws of his rear paw in the stitches and pulling out the stitches. Since they are out, he can't hurt the ears. Even if he manages to get a post out, it won't hurt.

The purpose of the lower wrap around the ear is to make it harder to get the post out. There are many choices and options. Just do what works best for you and Steve. He sure has grown, hasn't he?

jeshykai's picture
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I had him out of the e-collar as soon as the sutures were out and the posts went in.  I can see what you mean about them creating a little of a mess - I had to redo them this afternoon when I got home from school because he managed to get one free.  If he pops them out again I think I'll try the brace at the bottom.. I was having a hard time doing it by myself!

Thanks for the pointers.. I really appreciate them.

And yes my little baby is getting bigger and bigger.  It's like I close my eyes and open them and I have a bigger little man chasing me around!  He can now jump up on our window sills and peer out into the yard to see "whose there".  He couldn't have done that a week or so ago!