Cropping Dogs’ Ears

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Ear cropping or ear trimming describes a surgical procedure which involves cutting the ear pinna of a dog and shaping it so that the ears stand erect. The pinna is the floppy part of the dog’s ear. This is a cosmetic surgical procedure done to get a particular appearance which goes with the image desired in specific dog breeds.

Skilled procedure

The ear cropping procedure is a skilled one and needs precision from the surgeon. The ears must appear to stand up after the part gets completely healed. The dog must be put under general anesthesia before undergoing this procedure. Puppies aged between eight weeks to 12 weeks are put under the scalpel. Post surgery, the ears get propped and bandaged, and they heal in an erect position. This is termed “posting”. A few veterinarians prefer to wait for the incisions to heal before they post the ears. The bandages are generally changed once every week. The ears continue to remain taped until they could stand by their own. This recovery process takes anytime between four weeks to eight weeks

Any breed of dog can be subjected to this procedure. A few dog breeds get the ear trimmed as per breed standards. The Doberman breed is one of the more popular breeds of dogs to get their ear cropped. Other breeds subjected to this procedure include Schnauzers, Pinschers, and Great Danes. These breed standards were developed on the basis of the historical use of such breeds. Canines with cropped ears were one time used only as working dogs. The ears were trimmed to prevent issues which could result from possessing a floppy ear and improve hearing. Only in rare cases did ear trimming were deemed necessary medical procedures due to health conditions. The breeder or the dog owner generally make the decision to cut ears.

Debate on the procedure

When it comes to whether you would crop your dogs’ ears or not, the subject remains a controversial one, and many think this action to be excessive if not cruel. Others regard the procedure as a harmless one. Most veterinarians will decline to do the procedure solely for aesthetic reasons. However, many medical professionals hold the view that ear cropping in certain select breeds could be an acceptable procedure to define the breed character and preserve it. Good health is also enhanced. It is to be remembered that dogs both with natural ears and cropped ones can participate in dog shows. Many European countries forbid ear cropping. Animal rights activists want the ear cropping procedure to deemed illegal in North America. Crop your dog’s ears only for medical reasons and not aesthetic. The ear cropping affects the dog’s quality of life too.

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