Ear Crop Surgeries
Ear Crop Surgeries are elective surgical procedures in which the outside portion of the external ear is removed. Their purpose is to produce ears that will stand erect when the dog is on alert. In our office we perform this procedure on puppies between 10-14 weeks of age. Older puppies are generally not done as the ears become less pliable and the cartilage starts to break down. The older the puppy, the greater potential for surgical failure and the greater the odds that the ears will not stand post surgery. Not all puppies are good candidates for surgery as they may be lacking the needed cartilage strength. We evaluate all puppies with a free pre-surgical exam and then consult with their owners prior to making surgical decisions.
Ear crop surgery is generally done to comply with the standards for various breeds. A variety of breeds either require or accept cropped ears in the show ring. Deciding whether or not to have your own dog’s ears done is a personal decision. The most common cropped ear breeds include Schnauzers, Miniature Pinschers, Boxers, Pit Bulls, Great Danes, and Dobermans.
In our office a pre-surgical bloodwork panel is done on every puppy prior to an ear crop. Testing typically includes an abbreviated serum chemistry panel and a blood coagulation screen. If any concerns arise, surgery will be postponed or canceled until the cause of the concern is resolved.
We typically utilize a pre-anesthetic sedative/pain control combination of drugs before the puppy is anesthetized. This drug combination lingers past the surgery so that the animal rests quietly and comfortably, and with minimal discomfort. A Complete Anesthesia state is utilized during the surgical process in which part of the ear is removed. Depending on the puppy, we use either Isoflurane or Sevoflurane as our Gas Anesthetics. The surgical procedure itself takes approximately 45-90 minutes to perform.
Post operatively, medication will be sent home to insure the relief of pain, prevent possible infection, and aid in sedation of your puppy if needed. Follow up home care consists of a daily adjustment of the puppy’s ear supports and weekly visits back to us for recheck evaluations. Our Ear Crop supports are typically left in the ears until they stand erect. This length of time generally takes between 3 and 6 weeks, depending on the breed, the length of crop, and the strength of the cartilage in the ears.
Unfortunately, not every puppy’s ears will always stand following surgery. Despite our efforts, sometimes ears just won’t stand. It is generally due to an animal’s genetics, cartilage strength, or poor follow up aftercare by an owner. Although we try to minimize failure with pre-surgical screenings, risk of failure must be accepted prior to the decision to have surgery.
Photo Gallery of Ear Crops