Help deciding on a Vet for cropping

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xFIREDOGx's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-16

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Hello All,

 

Again I am new to the dobie community. I picked up my beautiful red/tan Alix last weekend at 10 weeks of age. I am decided on getting her ears cropped, because I think it completes the look of the doberman. The only thing is I do not know how to choose the right vet to do it. I called a few places around town and some people don't do it and some do. Mostly the going rate for the vets are around 275-400 dollars. I called the breader back and asked her if she could recommend anyone in my area to do it. She gave me the name of a vet in a smaller town close to me. I called them today and they said it would only be 185?! (also wanted her to have her 12 week shot and be 12-15 weeks of age). I am not sure if this applies here, but I learned you get what you pay for the majority of the time. I just need some help. I am not sure what questions to ask the vet and what signs will tell me they are right for the job. I have been trying to locate dobie owners in my area to see where they had theres done, but the only luck I found was a lady at petsmart who told me not to use the vet she did. I appreciate you guys help; this community is a great assest to us newbies!

Lady Kate's picture
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Joined: 2009-10-28

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Wow... That has been one of the biggest concerns and arguments on this and other forums.. Cropping.

I BEG you to do your homework on this one.. Talk to each and every vet who says he does cropping.. ask for pictures and names and phone numbers of the cropees..Call the owners, talk to them, go see the pup..and the work that has been done.. there's a link on this forum that gives sound advice.

Good luck with Alix, and stay in touch

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

Responsible breeders take care of this for you so that you don't wind up in this position.  You shouldn't have to flounder around wondering where to go, never mind the fact that you'll also have to muddle through the aftercare.  Again, the breeder should take care of this for their owners and their puppies. 

Ears should be cropped between 8-12 weeks at the latest, IMO, to ensure that they will stand and for the least amount of stress to the puppy.  You don't have a lot of time.  Skilled cropping vets are few and far between.  Some breeders fly them in to crop their entire litter.   I would suggest contacting the closest Doberman club or great Dane club or boxer club and ask them who they recommend for ears.  It might be helpful if you'd let us know your general area so that we can maybe tell you what club to try contacting. 

xFIREDOGx's picture
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I live in Jacksonville, Alabama-Calhoun County. I am pretty close to the major cities in Georgia as well as my own states. I have a friend whos father in law is a veterinarian. He told me he did not crop ears, but he would find out who is the best around. He gave me the name of a vet yesterday. They want to do a preop tomorrow to see how her ears look.

Lady Kate's picture
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Have you asked that vet for names and phone numbers of other dobes he's cropped? Have you talked to the owners to get their opinion?? It's not something that can be undone. As Glengate said, You don't have alot of time, but there certainly is time for a few phone calls..

xFIREDOGx's picture
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Well I have already changed my mind. I met a lady and her husband who both have dovermans. She showed me pictures of them and referred me to an animal hospital in a town close by. She took her dobie to a different vet and they did an awful job. Her husband took his to the one she is referring me to and they look great. She told me that they specialize in cropping doberman ears. Just got off the phone with them and everything was confirmed. I will still ask for more information when I get there, but I appreciate all of the guidance from everyone. I will have to post pictures whenever she is healed up.

Lady Kate's picture
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Bueno!!

rgreen4's picture
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One thing to watch is how he examines the ears. He will be feeling the thickness of the ear and how the catilage had developed. In the Valdosta, Ga area I can highly recommend Northside Animal Hospital and Dr. Janney. He has done my Dobies for 16 years (7 in all) and except for Red whom he did not get to see until 14 weeks, all turned out well. Red's cartilage had started to stiffen up too much and he developed a crease. (I love him anyway, and he doesn't care since he doesn't look in the mirror).

But, we are over 300 miles and 5 hours from you. It appears you have a good one nearby. Also ask about the post op posting. They should not post the ears immediately, but should use a support that allows the ears to be held upright with no tape at all on the cut edges. Some use wire frames, Dr. Janney now used a styrofoam cup (I called Princess my little "Cone Head" for the week she was wearing hers. Some use mole foam cut to shape and glued inside the ear with surgical glue. This is almost ideal because the dog comes home with ears standing and few if any bandages. The cut edges normally have a spiral stitching but no covering. The stiches must be removed within 10 days lest they actually grow into to skin. So ask about follow up. If he uses mole foam, it will probably fall off in about two weeks and depending on the ears (all are different) you would then probably have to post for a short period of time.

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

In Georgia, the renowned cropping vet is Dr. Patty Edwards in Lilburn.  She's a Doberman breeder herself.  If I were anywhere near Georgia, it's the only place I'd go.  Her website is http://www.earcropvet.com

I've been to one of her seminars on posting ears at the DPCA national. 

xFIREDOGx's picture
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I went to the vet that was recommended to me today. The Dr has done over 2000 doberman crops. There was actually a guy there that had his dobermans done and they looked awsome. He explained the cartilage to me and what all needed to be done. He thought she would be best to get them done next week. He is also going to give me some calcium pills to help the ears out. I am not sure how much a 11 week old female dobie is supposed to weigh, but he said she was huge to only be 11 weeks. She weighed in at 26 pounds. I will put some pictures up tonight of her.

glengate's picture
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Joined: 2009-07-22

If you're feeding a quality kibble, calcium supplementation should not be necessary.  Most quality dog foods contain more than enough calcium even for large breeds. In fact, a lot of breeders advise to switch large breeds to adult food at 4-6 months to avoid bone growth problems.  The ratio of protein and fat in the diet affects the need for calcium and phosphorus, and some puppy foods *may be* improperly balanced for certain breeds.  Supplementing can actually cause problems, especially in puppies where the bones grow faster but with less density than required making them weak and fragile.  Beyond that, calcium needs to be balanced with phosporus and vitamin D - you can't just go giving one without the others. 

*If* extra calcium were needed, it's usually recommended to add some yogurt or cottage cheese to the diet, or a soft boiled egg with the shell or cod liver oil. 

What did this vet do to determine that extra calcium is required?  According to the book The Holistic Guide For a Healthy Dog:  "Calcium levels must be monitored, as too much will create the same symptoms as too little.  The correct amount of calcium in the diet makes the difference between good and poor bone growth, and is necessary for correct tooth and jaw formation.  Mistakes made during this time are generally not able to be fixed at a later date."

Deciding to add calcium to the diet should not be taken lightly.  Why would he even be worried about helping her ears out before they're even done and you don't even know if you're going to have problems?  If the ears are cropped well, cared for properly and posted properly and you stick with it, there should be no problems.  Calcium should not be necessary.

xFIREDOGx's picture
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He wanted her on the calcium to help her cartilage growth in her ears. He said her ears were a little large, but everything should work as it is supposed to. He also said her cartilage was not as strong as he wanted in her ears, so the calcium supplements should help. He asked what type of food she was on and he said the kind I had her on was good for her.

Lady Kate's picture
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Glad you found someone you trust with your precious baby. Keep us informed.. Good luck to you and Alix..

xFIREDOGx's picture
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Thanks Lady Kate! I will be sure to give details next week.

xFIREDOGx's picture
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Well she got her crown taken off yesterday and the stiches are out. They were actually standing already, but not perfect yet. She has them taped now. I have to back next week for a check up.

rgreen4's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-26

xFiredogx - That is a different device but it does look like it does the job.

Glengate - wow those are some beautiful ear crops. I will have to keep that reference. Although the Atlanta area is some 4 hours north of me, and I do really live in Georgia (30 miles above the Floriday line).