Ear cropping is popular among the dog community, including the Pitbulls community. It is usually done to keep the standard appearance, reduce infections, improve hygiene, for safety reasons, and so on. This kind of surgery is better to be done at a dog hospital by a trained and licensed veterinarian. However, if you do not have enough money, you can also do it at home by yourself.
Before ear cropping the ears of your Pitbull, there are several things to consider. The first one is the age. You will have to make sure that the age of your pet is right. Do not take the pet through the procedure if they are under 7 weeks or not more than 12 weeks. The ones younger than 7 weeks have immature cartilage. As for those over 12 weeks, the tissue in the ears may have permanently formed so that it is kind of impossible to get the ears to stand upright.
The second one is the styles. There are several styles or ear cropping to choose from, including:
- Long crop: This one leaves more than half of the ear.
- Show crop: This one is relatively shorter compared to the long crop but is longer than short crop, which is much lower in length.
- Short crop: This one is shorter than long crop and show crop.
- Battle crop: This one is pretty much everything except a small piece of the ear.
You should choose the style for your dog depending on your purpose to do ear cropping, the skull shape of the dog, and the firmness of the ear. Please do some research first and check out the Pitbulls that have undergone the same thing.
Before the day of the ear cropping, you are encouraged to visit the dog hospital first. In fact, not all canines are able to handle anesthesia. You should test your dog if it can or not by doing a quick blood test. Once you have an approval from the doctor or a professional, you can start preparing everything.
There are a lot of things that you need to gather such as scalpel or a sharp kitchen knife, a numbing agent, sterilized scissors, antiseptic (Neosporin or peroxide), bandage, ear forceps, marker, porous tape, and large drinking straws.
After gathering all the materials, it is time for you to do the procedure by following these following steps:
- The first thing that you should do is to sterilize the equipment. You can put the cutting stuff like the scalpel and scissors in a pan with boiling water for a half hour. It is effective to eliminate microbes that could be transferred to the dog. For those who have bleach or isopropyl, it is better for you to use that instead and then rinse everything in boiling water before using them.
- After making sure that all the tools are sterilized, the next thing that you have to do is to give the dog the sedative. It is important to know the dose of sedative to inject on your dog. You can ask your vet about it. Please give it a few minutes after injecting it until the dog turns motionless on the table.
- You can use the marker to define the area that has to be ear cropped off. Feel free to draw as you want. You can use the scalpel or kitchen knife to trim the unwanted part of the ear. Do not forget to hold the ear with the forceps during the process.
- Once you get the result that you want, it is time for you to stitch your dog up and then bandage him.
- A week after the procedure, you will have to tape the ears to train them to be upright. Keep in mind that it is able to be done only after the wound has dried up. If you want to make a hard surface, you can wrap the porous tape over the large drinking straw a few times. More tap can be used to stick it into the ear and keep the ears vertical.
When the process of ear cropping is done, it is needed for you to take care of your dog to make sure that everything is smooth and the dog gets faster healing. Below are some aftercare tips to take note:
- You will have to keep the wounded or bandaged areas clean. You are recommended to clean them twice a day by using Neosporin and peroxide. Doing it is a must to prevent infections.
- You can use a cone around the next to avoid injuries. The E-collars can be used to prevent the dog from scratching and messing the cropped ears that may lead to stress.
- You have to eliminate the scabs when they show up as they can prevent the ears of your dog from standing after healing. In order to minimize the pain when taking everything off, you can soak the ears of the dog in the warm water before doing so.
- You will need to check your dog regularly and tell your vet if there is something strange. Even though a cone tape or rack is used on the ears of the dog, it is still possible for the dog to be uncomfortable and the dog may rub or hit the head against the objects, causing more pain. In this kind of case, reach out to the vet as soon as possible.
- You will have to follow the instructions given by the vet. As you are not an expert and your knowledge might be lessened compared to the vet, please listen to them and do everything that is recommended by them to you. Let them know if there is a complication like bleeding or discharge from the ears of the dog. You will also have to tell them if there are any signs of severe pain, gapping of the wounds, excessive chewing or licking of the ears, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, or any other things.