Horrific ear cropping story

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jerial13's picture
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My poor Shelbi.  We attempted to have her ears cropped via laser it was suppose to be less tramatic for the dog and faster healing.  The vet botched it one was left too long one was left too short.  I had to take her to my regular vet and he stretched one and trimmed one off.  She had to be re-wrapped.  It was horrible the first vet cut the ear so short that it laid cross ways on top of her head.  My vet said that she had a 5 % possibility of getting that ear to stand because it was so short there was nerve damage.  He did stretch it and it will lean a little toward the middle of her head, but does not fold all the way over.  She can also get a little lazy and when she wants it up she can pull it up, but when she is tired it will lean a little more than normal.

Lady Kate's picture
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I am just so saddened to hear yet another cropping horror story.. there seems to be too many of them recently.

I have hesitated to post my opinion re; cropping as I am torn between loving the standard look that it brings to our noble doberkids (especially those stunning showgirls...) and the heartbreak I've seen on this forum.

The fact that the U.K. has outlawed the crop is indication that the issue needs to be studied. RnD has posted some wonderful guidelines as well as Glengate and Rgreen and how I wish more people would read and follow their suggestions before ending up with a sad, and irreversible outcome.

Sofia came to us cropped and docked..and a fortunately a well done job. We love her looks, we are so lucky to have gotten this incredible golden girl who fills our lives and hearts with joy. She has been inspiration for many a newspaper column and a book in the works ( with apologies to John Grogan) But... ( see.... there's always a but..) had she not been cropped and we got her as a pup.. I would not have had it done.

I know there are a lot of folks out there who have read this forum before purchasing a Doberman.. Please please, do your homework, do your research. Be diligent and if you must crop, find a specialist. You owe it to your dobe..

rgreen4's picture
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One thing you can count on is that Shelbi does not care. No dog cares what they look like, they never spend time in the mirror checking out their features. The length of their ears do not affect their character or their love for us. Looking at the picture at 16 weeks, it is hard to tell who is spoiling who, for I think she is spoiling you as much as you are spoiling her.

My 7 1/2 year old red male, Red, has an ear that developed a crease and I did not catch it in time, so it does not stand. His right ear does stand, so it make him look a little lopsided. I have yet to have anyone comment on anything except his size (30" and 100 pound - try that in your lap), his temprament - friendly and outgoing and his affection - his tongue is the only weapon he uses. Four years ago when I had to make an emergency trip to the hospital in the middle of the night, a very good friend came out to the house to get Red and my Schnauzers. They were in crates on the front pourch, and Red was in the fenced in back yard. The handlers from the vet's office came with Jim, but all the dogs rode in his Explorer, the Schnauzers behind the back seat, Red in the back seat licking Jim the whole way. Strangely, Red had never seen Jim before. But he knew the handlers from the vets office, who greet him by name when I board him (when I am out of town over a weekend).

Shelbi's crop reminds me of the short crop that was in vogue in the early days of the Doberman. It was not cosmetic, nor was the tail dock cosmetic. The dog was bred for protection, and with the dock and the short crop there is nothing to grab a hold of. What is now called a medium length crop 50 years ago was considered a long crop.

Hold her and love her, she looks like she is a very good dog, and enjoys the attention she gets.

Lady Kate's picture
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I love your comments Richard... and you're so right, the dog doesn't care, all they want is our love and leadership.. BUT.. ( there, my but is getting in the way again) Dogs, and Dobes in particular are so attuned to their owner's attitude and expressions, and from what I've read in many a post, it's " Oh my poor baby"

" Look what happened on the way to the cropper" etc.

The poor little guys can not help but feel the disappointment, and react to it.

You love your dobes, no matter what! Most of our constant contributors do as well, however I cannot help but think that so many 'crops gone bad' are going to end up in Doberman rescue facilities due to the expectations of some of the owners who: Quote... I've always wanted a Doberman, their forboding look and fierce appearance is just what I need to keep us safe. Un quote.

I'm all for the flop.. I know I know.. the crop helps them hear better, keeps the ears clean, is the standard look for the perfect Doberman and yes, I agree with all of it... my opinion is that.. mine, and I hurt for the sadness and obvious disappointment when the owners crop for the wrong reason and do not do their homework.. the correct procedures are out there.. all it takes is diligence and care. Ask for pictures, talk to the croppees.. see for yourself how it turned out..

It is obvious from the looks of the pictures of your dog that the crop was a VERY bad one. It looks as if it is almost a home job. Not saying you did that it just looks like someone took a pair of scissors and cut them off.

I know that the laser crops are supposed to be easier on the dog for recovery but obviously this vet hadn't a fricken clue as to how to crop and your poor dog was the guinea pig. This is why most Reputable breeders crop the dogs ears before leaving. Your dog was from a backyard breeder who hadn't a clue. No one lets puppies go at 5 weeks. Some on this list can sugar coat it all they want but bottom line is that is a big no no to anyone that knows ANYTHING about raising puppies. It doesn't matter if the puppy was weaned previous to this. It is equally as important to leave littermates together for a period of time. Google it and you will find the answers and the problems associated with early separation.

People please for the sake of your poor puppy do your homework! Research vets that do cropping don't just ask the average Joe blow on the street who crops. Go to the DPCA (Doberman Pinscher Club of America) they have a website look for breeders or members in and around your area including the state you live in. Ask them for referrals to reputable vets who do a decent job. Ask for pictures, talk to the actual vet about how they crop, procedures after cropping. The more you know the better off you and your puppy will be.

rgreen4's picture
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While we can commiserate, the fact is that Shelbi does not care. She has a loving family that is taking care of her and she is returning the love. I have yet to see a dog that primps in the mirror. We have all seen the stories on TV about injured dogs who have lost a limb and still go on. They do not feel sorry for themselves, they just go on with their lives.

When I was an under graduate we had two campus dogs. One actually belonged to the school president and he was a Bulldog named Ranger. We all called him Rudder after his owner, General Earl Rudder of Army Ranger fame and Pointe Du Hoc during the Normandy invasion. Rudder spent most of his time with the over 8,000 students caging pets. The other dog was called Tripod and no one knew his real name or even if anyone really "owned" him. Of course with the vet school there, if he had any problems we would just carry him over there. In the Corps dorms there was a rule that if Tripod chose your bed for the night, you slept on the floor.

Those of us with top bunks were always safe. He got a lot of loving care from the students, and even though he had a hitch in his get along, he was usually going from dawn to to dark. I had to take Red to the vet on Friday to get an eye that was inflamed looked at. When I was waiting to pick him up, I was glancing through Dog Fancy. There was an Alaskan Malamute who as a puppy had been attacked by a Bobcat, and for a few minutes was the subject of a tug of war between the Bobcat and his mother. The breeder managed to chase of the Bobcat, but the pup was grievously injured.

The breeder took him to a vet to have him put down. But a technician asked if she could have him if they could save him. They did, but he lost both rear legs and a few toes on one front paw. They have a canine wheelchair for him and he uses his front legs to propel himself. To him, thats normal.

My point is, a first time Dobie owner by nature will trust the vet. When I had Han's ears cropped, I trusted the vet and she did a good job. Most of us are not disappointed when we trust a medical professional to do a professional job, but some are. It is obvious that Jerial13 feels bad about what the mistake that the vet made, and was up front with us.

My point is that Jerial13 loves Shelbi and except for the short ears, Shelbi looks like she's been well cared for and it is obvious from the posts that she is given love and attention.

Maybe if the DPCA (and other breed clubs) and Professional Show Breeders made a more concerted effort to work with the vet schools on this for the Doberman, Great Dane and Boxer the graduating vet students would know more about this. I beleive there are only 28 vet schools in the U.S., one for each state.

Or even if the DPCA had a vet listing for ear cropping. Enter "ear cropping" in the search box on the DPCA main page and it returns 0 items found. Enter "vet referral" and it returns 0 items found. How is a new Doberman owner to find info if the DPCA website is not user friendly? No wonder new Dobie owners find information so difficult to come by.

Situations like this are exactly why Western Europe, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and a few other countries now ban ear cropping as a "cosmetic" procedure. Of course if all the vets charged like some of the prices posted for the western U.S., it will die out because of the outrageous fees.

SoldierRN's picture
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@rnddoberman: OMG, I cannot believe such rude statement(s);

"It is obvious from the looks of the pictures of your dog that the crop was a VERY bad one. It looks as if it is almost a home job. Not saying you did that it just looks like someone took a pair of scissors and cut them off.  ...Your dog was from a backyard breeder who hadn't a clue."

It is you that is stating the obvious, which did NOT need to be posted. It is true Shelbi will never have the Dobe, ridiculously long, "Bugs Bunny" ears. So what! BTW, it is obvious Paris has the "long" crop cut. So, I must admit I was wrong & you were most definitely correct regards to my Sage has in fact the Medium crop cut. Thank God!!!

IMHO, Shelbi has the "Guard" crop cut, no matter if that was the original intent, or not. Nothing else needs to be said about should have, would have, or could have. Shelbi has a great home, PERIOD!

 

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@rgreen4:

Sir, most excellent post!

 

Although, again I'd like to consider Shelbi's crop the "Guard" crop cut, and is not a true indicator of whether, or not she has been given great care.

rgreen4's picture
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True. My point was in looking at everything about her other than the length of the crop indicates love and care.

As I pointed out in a previous post, her crop is actually very close to the original crop which you properly call the Guard Dog crop. Here are two historical images from Wikipedia. The crops are similar to a photo I have in a book showing a Doberman in the late 1890's going through some training exercises:

The original cut was to keep someone from grabbing the ears. The cuts have gotten longer for cosmetic purposes. Personally I prefer what used to be the "show cut" 50 years ago, but now is considered the medium "pet crop". They are far easier to get to stand properly.

jerial13's picture
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rgreen and soldier

Thank you for defending my Shelbi.  We now have exactly the ear cut that we wanted.  We wanted the guard cut because we live in the country.  First reason what most people do not know is that a raccoon can drowned a dog in a very short period of time using their ears as handles.  I have seen many a coon dog lose its life to a little water and a coon.  She is not allowed to roam, but all it takes is for her to catch the scent of any animal and she is curious.  I know that no one would like to think so, but Doberman's are just a step away from a black and tan coon dog.  Second reason (my personal opinion only) is that I think the "bat wing cut" looks ridiculous, I just do not like the look. 

I agree with you two, that rnddoberman was extraordinarily crude given the comfortable nature of this forum, but opinions are like something else we all have they are all different and everybody's got one.

I would like to point out that my vet fixed Shelbi's ears it was the horrible effect that we were left with from the laser surgery performed by another vet.

We acquired Shelbi at 5 weeks because the mother was not well and the puppies had been taken from her already.  She was from a litter of 2 and this was the mothers first and only litter.  She was already eating solid food and her sister was leaving the next week.  This way she had my 3 kids and us to keep her company.  I realize a little different, but as you can tell by her pictures she is not suffering from this early seperation.

For those that are interested I posted a new picture that was taken two weeks ago when she was 30 weeks.  The website cut me off I am holding a "Kong" at upper to mid thigh.  I am 5'9", I was trying to show her size in this photo, but with me being cut out it didn't work so well.  Let me know what you think.

jerial13's picture
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I added another picture of her after the laser surgery before we took her to my vet feel free to look at it and enlarge it.  Then look at the more recent pictures and tell me that my vet didn't "SAVE THE DAY" (LOVE MY VET).  Just to give you all an idea of what I am talking about.  Thanks again for all your support it is nice to communicate with people who have the same breed with most of the same quirks.

By the way I must be computer challenged rnddobermans I can not find any photos of your dogs.  Can you help me locate them I would love to see what the picture perfect doberman looks like.

rgreen4's picture
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Rnddobermans has left the forum and taken her photos and most posts with her. That is unfortunate, but her choice.

I had not thought of the Racoons, but you are absolutely right, many a dog has been drowned by a racoon. They probably kill more dogs than big cats and bears do out west.

My late sister had a habit of grabbing one or another of her Schnauzers by the beard when they acted up and getting in their face. She wanted to do it to one of my Dobies on one of her visits and she commentd "there's nothing to grab". I pointed out that it was the whole idea.

As to the Black and Tan coonhound and a Doberman, they do look a like, probably because of the coloration, and if the Dobie had long ears and an undocked tail the resemblance would be heightend. The major difference is in the mouth area, with the Coonhound they have a "wet" mouth and the Doberman has a "dry" mouth. In the wet mouth, the upper lip hangs down over the outside of the lower jaw. In a dry mouth the upper lip meets the lower lip.

Some of us who have Dobies also call them trough mouth, for when they finish a long drink of water from the bowl, they come into the living room leaving a trail of water over the floor.

jerial13's picture
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rgreen

Did you get a chance to look at the new pictures I posted so you could see the challenge that was left for my vet to fix.

I am sorry that rnddoberman has left the forum, however, maybe it would be best I have read some of her other posts and find that she may be discouraging to other new owners like myself. 

I know that I do the very best I can for all my animals (horses, Shelbi, & guineas).  As you can tell by the photos her health is just fine and she is a very happy and loved puppy.  We are finding that we are having to really work with the kids on how they play with her as it could prove to be inappropriate when she reaches her full grown age.

soldier

I wanted to make sure tha tyou understood that I was not putting your puppies ears down.  That is my own personal opinion about the cut, however, I am a firm believer in to each their own.  If you like it and you love your dog that is all that matters no matter what cut or any cut at all.

I would have probably left Shelbi floppy if I had my say, but my husband was the one that wanted the ears done, he brought the racoon issue to my attention and said that she has to look like a Doberman not a black and tan coon dog.

My point is I wasn't trying to be offensive and I apologize if you took it that way.

rgreen4's picture
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I did look at the photos and your vet did a good job with what he was left. I am tempted to say "Poor Shelbi", but knowing animals and especially Dobermans as I do, they only reflect our emotions and as I said do not spend time primping in front of the mirror.

She is loved and cared for and that is what is important. I had not considered the Racoons, as although I live out in the country here in S. Georgia, the area is former farm land with just a few spots of wood (my 4 acres is about 60% woods) but they are prevalent over in the Okefenokee Swamp about an hour east of here, and have become like pests to those visiting. 

Domestic dogs in the Southeast U.S. only have two natural dangers - Gators and Racoons. It is a real concern if your dog is out and about in semi-wild or wild areas.

bbroyles's picture
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Okay, everyone here, please accept my apologies for another stupid mistake I've made today! I thought I had read this forum topic a few days ago..

Sometimes I read so much on the internet that I forget where I picked up a particular piece of information. Anyway, sorry for asking what is obviously already posted!  

Since, I'm back again..

and am sure that I read the ear cropping comments.  I found most of them very helpful and sincere.  Mistakes happen, let me share my resume, Ha! (ladykatie and sophie know where i'm coming from)!

Your Shelbie is a good looking dog!  The first thing I saw in her was deliberate eyes, facial expression and a strong head.  My son was hearing impaired.  He just had surgery for the cochlear implant in March '10 and I assure you that if he could have heard all the sounds he missed during the last 16 years, he could have Dumbo's ears and I could care less what they look like.  I know you have the love for your Shelbie that dog lovers do, despite the imperfections.  We've all got a handful of those.

Keep on keeping on and I admire you for the expense and time it took to try and correct the mistake that you and your dog had nothing to do with...

Applause...Loudly!  You Go Girls!

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Oops, Katie, please don't tell the Diva.. Sophia, that I misspelled her name.  She might not allow you to talk to me again..

oooh, hope she's not reading over your shoulder!!!

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My bad, Miss Diva!

Lady Kate's picture
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No problemo mi amiga

La Reina Sofia de Espana

cf33's picture
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I have 2 danes(uncropped) but in my area I have seen many botch jobs of ears!I have seen many have a heck of a time dealing with infections,posting,taping,etc.I am trying to learn as nuch as possible about cropping so when i get my 1st dobe I am prepared and will know what to do.From what I have seen read learned so far I like a long show crop.I am hoping to find a breeder who can work with me and my pup on this and this is 1 thing that we can discuss and I can feel a bit more comfortable with.I know with my breed it can take up to a year to get the ears set right.I am currently and this winter will be finding out all kinds of info on the dobe breed and ear cropping and setting them correctly to achieve my desired look I have in my mind.

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Your Shelbi is a gorgeous doberman, and I'm glad your vet fixed her ear crop as well as he did.  My nephew has a black dobie male, "Snoop", and he intentionally had his dog's ears cropped short...almost as short as what you see on a Pit Bull.  That's the way he always thought the ears looked best, and Snoop doesn't have any less personality because of the length of his ears at all.  The vet I go to has done ear croppings for over 30 years, and does a 'medium' crop on probably 90% of the doberman puppies that are brought to him. 

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Ziva's Dad,

What!  Another really cool name!  And another pretty girl:)

And I totally agree about Shelbi, the ears are short, but so is our time on earth!  

What inspired the name of Ziva?  

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What inspired the name?  Why, NCIS of course.    The character "Ziva" on that show is often described as .."a professional assassin that knows how to keep it under control at all times".  LOL  Not that my dog would ever be an assassin to anything other than an occasional grasshoper or a fly buzzing around her head.

You are SO right about Shelbi's ears not being a big deal.  She is the same dog as she would be, no matter what length her ears are.  I think she looks very cute.

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Ziva'a dad and bbroyles,

Shelbi thanks you guys for the compliments.  I think the ears look wonderful for what my vet was left to work with.  She still thinks she is a Diva nonetheless.  By the way Ziva is my favorite character also, I had to pick a name with my husband and we both love the Shelby GT 500 mustang.  We wanted the shorter cut anyways, but we of course would have preferred that the ears be done correctly the first time.

Thanks again...J

cf33's picture
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She is a beautiful girl!I like how you came up with her name, now you just have to get a shelbygt to drive your diva around in!!lol

jerial13's picture
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My husband and I are doing just that, however, Shelbi will not get to ride in that car.  She rides in the truck and the family car, but not the extremely expensive rebuilt hot rod.

rgreen4's picture
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Just a little enticement:

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rgreen thanks for the enticement, but I am having a hard time keeping him motivated on the Shelby.  I am laid off right now so he is doing as much mechanical side work as we can get to make up the difference.  When he does get a minute to work on our car he is usually just exhausted, and we watch a movie and go to bed early. 

I am keeping busy with the kids and all their sports.  By the way Shelbi is helping our son train for football.  He made a 52 yd touchdown, and he said the whole time he was running he was saying Shelbi Shelbi Shelbi.  We have her stand stay in the yard and he gets about a 20 ft head start then he tells her to come and runs from her she will take her front paws and grapple his legs until he falls down.  We call this conditioning so that he will learn to run faster.  I wish I could download a video because it really is absolutely hilarious.  She gets on him in no time then just jogs along until she sees her opening to take him down.

Lady Kate's picture
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My hubby wants to recrute BOTH of them up for his team next year..

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just wanna commen rgreen, Dakota has the worst trough mouth!!  It almost seems like she takes as big a sip as possible, and has to spread it all over the house lol

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Jerial 13 - Sorry for posting that then. I hope things get better for you soon. As you your son and running from Shelbi, that reminds me of when I was about 14 or 15 and there was a friend a year older living across the street. Next to him was a former Air Force MP, and then Houston Policeman, who had come back from Germany with his dog. (Back then when the hander left he either took the dog with him or it was put down). The dogs name was Fritz and he was (at least as I remember) a huge mostly black GSD. He was very intimidating but when you got to know him, a pussycat. (Remind us of another breed that way?)

My friend Jay and I would go over when the dogs owner was home, we never ever thought of going in that year when he was not home. We would play with Fritz by doing just what you described. We would start running from one end of the back yard to the other (about 100 feet) and Fritz would come up alongside and would reach out a paw and hit you leg coming down just as you were putting weight on it and down you would go. Then Fritz would sit on us. Of course we were laughing all the time. Fritz (and the others) had been trained to do that rather than leap and knock you down as they do now.

The owner liked it because it kept Fritz in "training". I walked to schoold the first year and when I would come home, Fritz would see me and get his forepaws up on the fence and bark at me, the high yipping bark we are familiar with when our dogs want something. I would would over and scratch him between the ears. He could come over that fence in a heartbeat, but never would, because he would not even come out the open gate. He would come to the gate and sit down. Then when the owner gave him an OK, he would come out.