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Cropping a pitbull's ears

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  • #21
    my great dane with natural floppy ears never had a single ear infection or "stinky" problem and didn't need to be cleaned any more often than a dog with natural prick ears, same with all of my other floppy-eared dogs. Ear infections are more often a sign of a food allergy, nothing to do with whether the ears stand up or hang down.
    There is absolutely NO reason to crop a dog's ears nowadays except for cosmetic purposes, and it's a horribly painful thing for a puppy to go through, even if it's done by a vet. And after the procedure the poor puppy spends its formative months hindered by sore, taped-up ears. It's horrible and should be banned on animal abuse grounds here like it is in much of the world. If you want to own a dog whose ears stand up, please use breeding to select for dogs whose ears stand up, not surgery.

    Pit bull crops- where the ear is basically hacked off close to the head- are traditionally supposed to be done at age 2-3 days, the same age as when tails are docked. I don't think the puppy feels much at this age, or at least the tail-dock proponents claim they don't. Cropping the ears in a fighting pit bull does have a purpose- keeps the ears from being ripped up during a fight. It's possible many "breeders" of these dogs just routinely chop the ears off all of their puppies in hopes it makes them more marketable.

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    • #22
      Weird, my cropped dog ate the exact same over $50 a bag grain-free food as the stinky floppy eared dog. YMMV

      Bits: I bet the weimer had its tail banded instead of docked and that's how it got the "stump" end.
      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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      • #23
        Originally posted by wendy View Post
        And after the procedure the poor puppy spends its formative months hindered by sore, taped-up ears.
        Ok let's not get into this again! I've had 4 Dobermans and they do not spend months hindered by their ear tapes and they certainly are not sore. If they were I don't think they'd do the rough housing with other dogs that they do with not a peep nor would they practically sleep through the tape changes with their head on my lap. Too me that does not sound like a dog with "sore" or "hindered" ears.
        In fact both of my dogs loved having their ears pet and played with....I do it all the time...when they are laying next to me on the couch or sitting next to me....I love feeling their soft ears and they love me doing it. Does not sound like they were traumatized from their ear crops.

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        • #24
          Weird, my cropped dog ate the exact same over $50 a bag grain-free food as the stinky floppy eared dog. YMMV
          that means the stinky eared dog was allergic to something in the food and the other dog was not. Despite popular myths, most allergies in dogs are actually to meat proteins, like beef, than to grains. Dogs can be allergic to grain-free food. Dogs can be allergic to extremely expensive food.

          I've seen dobe puppies with taped-up ears brought to "puppy socialization class" have really nasty reactions to the other puppies accidentally bumping their ears during play. Your rationalizations are ridiculous- surgery hurts. Cutting pieces of tender ears off hurts. It takes time to heal, during which time it hurts. Dogs don't enjoy wearing weird apparatuses on their ears. And inflicting these things on dogs solely for cosmetic reasons is indefensible.

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          • #25
            Wendy: Just because you've seen poor crops or perhaps low grade infections that were not addressed, does not mean that crops are an awful experience for all dogs.

            I met Dex as a young pup and then again 2 weeks later. During that time he'd had his ears cropped. On the second visit I sat on his breeders living room floor with a cup of coffee and a snack and laughed for over a hour as the three boys wrestled, chased each other, ran around with toys, and acted like normal puppies. They were 5 days out from having their ears done if I remember correctly. Dexter came home a week later and by that time the stitches were gone and the edges were glued together to ensure the ear didn't set weird. The glue wore off over the next two weeks.
            It was far from a traumatic experience. Now if the breeder had done it at home a la cruddy backyard breeder, then I'm sure it would have been a very traumatic experience. The vet my breeder used for her crops has clients all over the south because she's that good. Cropping is both and art and a science and should never be attempted at home.

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            • #26
              Just read this thread for the first time, as I am considering a Great Dane for my next eventual dog and was wondering if there is any point to it. Glad to know there is none, and I'll look for breeders who don't crop. But I can't imagine doing something like that as a DIY job with kitchen scissors, even if it did have a valid purpose! Poor dogs!

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              • #27
                Bad crops completed by animal abusers are horrendous, and the people who complete them should have the same done to them. My Doberman came from the breeder cropped, and he was cropped by one of the best cropping vets in the country (she is flown all over to country to crop litters). I have pictures of him and his litter post crop with their cups on their heads, and they are happy, wild, playing, shiny, healthy puppies. There are no sores or suffering babies. When I picked Chase up from his breeder at 9 weeks, he and his siblings were a wild and happy cropped bunch. When I brought Chase home at 9 weeks, his ears did not bother him one bit. We posted for about 7 months, and he would just plop in my lap and relax for the process. Didn't bother him at all. He is now a darling and happy 2.5 year old dog with beautiful cropped ears. Many people do not agree with cropping, and that is fine and your opinion. But responsible breeders do it right, and the puppies do not suffer. I was iffy on the cropping process until I raised a properly cropped and docked dog.

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                • #28
                  It's possible that the weim with a bald tip also had a mom that licked the end of his tail after the docking. That's one thing breeders have to watch, just like watching that they don't "over lick" the umbilical cord stump either.

                  As far as docking and cropping...to be honest, compared to real neglect and abuse that happens to dogs that are unwanted or owned by total idiots - good breeders and owners who "put their dogs through" minor cosmetic procedures are really not my biggest issue for dog welfare. As I once read about show dogs -- "when asked if it's *fair* to make a dog get fluffed and groomed, and carted around from show to show....at least you know that show dogs are not infested with fleas and ticks, have untreated injuries and illnesses, or are left tied to a tree on a 6' leash." There are many worse scenarios for dogs than ear cropping and tail docking --- when done PROPERLY by a vet, with correct pre- and post-operative care and (if necessary) pain meds, etc.

                  Obviously - as with everything - you will find a nutter in the bunch that gives a bad name to the others. I'm sure there are show dogs that are neglected, infested with fleas, or whatever...if you look hard enough. But as a rule, I would be the least humane treatment of ear cropping/tail docking is NOT done by reputable breeders.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by wendy View Post
                    my great dane with natural floppy ears never had a single ear infection or "stinky" problem and didn't need to be cleaned any more often than a dog with natural prick ears, same with all of my other floppy-eared dogs. Ear infections are more often a sign of a food allergy, nothing to do with whether the ears stand up or hang down.
                    There is absolutely NO reason to crop a dog's ears nowadays except for cosmetic purposes, and it's a horribly painful thing for a puppy to go through, even if it's done by a vet. And after the procedure the poor puppy spends its formative months hindered by sore, taped-up ears. It's horrible and should be banned on animal abuse grounds here like it is in much of the world. If you want to own a dog whose ears stand up, please use breeding to select for dogs whose ears stand up, not surgery.
                    So much real animal abuse isn't even prosecuted that I can't imagine adding ear cropping done by a vet to the list.

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                    • #30
                      Interesting insights about the stubby nubbin on the weim, thanks all. I hadn't considered those to be possibilities!

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                      • #31
                        After having a few Pit Bulls that had literally had their ears cropped with scissors by BYBs.... I would not crop any Pitties ears- they are adorable with their ears. It is VERY easy to tell a bad crop job (ie one done with scissors) and MOST of the crop jobs on Pitties will be done via scissors by people who have no clue what they are doing.

                        I rescued one severely emaciated Pittie who still had the crusty scabs on his ears from a recent scissor crop job... he was the SWEETEST dog anyone could ever ask for - he was friendly with all other animals, happy as could be, loved people, goofy personality... Just a wonderful dog who just needed FOOD and TLC. His transformation was drastic from starving, mangy, infected ears dog to a gorgeous, fat, happy, confident dog was amazing.

                        I love Pitties and am always advocating on their behalf. I only have 1 right now but would not hesitate to get another. Oh, and I have a 3 yr old daughter and a cat... still wouldn't hesitate to get another if something ever happens to my current one.

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                        • #32
                          Breeders who show their dogs have to conform to what the judges will pin.
                          We watch Westminster Kennel Club when we see it is on and I noticed all the Boxers in their groups had stand up ears. Not one natural.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Burbank View Post
                            ear cropping should be done by a vet under anesthesia
                            Not.
                            Ear cropping should not be done at all.
                            It is a ridiculous procedure with absolutely no rationale.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                            • #34
                              As for cropped dogs having fewer ear infections than floop eared dogs: not a relationship.
                              I've seen plenty of erect-eared breeds with ear infections.
                              "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                              ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

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                              • #35
                                I have two pit rescues with both natural ears. I just re homed another pit that was in horrendous condition but with no cropped ears. She left me with a ton of weight gained, worm free, and in healthy condition.

                                I look through the shelter lists on what dog to foster and I see so many pics of pit mixes, because it is almost impossible to find one near breed standard and not a ghetto bred, with horrendous ear crops. Looks like someone took a dull butter knife to the side of their head. Uck. What the hell are people smoking that would encourage them to do something of the sort.

                                I understand a professional crop, well not really but breed standard and what some consider attractive, but leave the hack saw in the drawer. Its a poor puppy not a slab of dough. Its hard enough to find pits homes, cropped ears don't help.
                                I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by bits619 View Post
                                  I also wish people knew what they were doing with tail cropping. The weimaraner we have has an ugly bald end to his nub, like the person grabbed and pulled the tail away from the body, taking any excess skin that would cover the stub away with it. Not handsome (not that the dog is very handsome or dignified to begin with... he's a walking comedy/freak show, but still)
                                  Actually, the breeder probably docked the tail by just cutting it off. No harm done.

                                  If you don't want a bald spot at the end of a docked tail, then a flap of skin needs to be left at the top of the tail which is then pulled down and stitched to cover the end of the tail. One or two stitches does the trick. Usually a vet does the procedure, which is an added cost to the puppy if it is eventually going to be for sale.

                                  Many breeders don't trust vets to cut the tail at the right length. Unless the breeder is right on top of the vet, they prefer to do the tail docking themselves. On a long-haired dog, the bald spot can be cleverly disguised with careful use of scissors.
                                  Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

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                                  • #37
                                    Around here the Mexican guys crop Pits with pruning sheers and a curling iron.

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by fourmares View Post
                                      Around here the Mexican guys crop Pits with pruning sheers and a curling iron.
                                      What do they do with the curling iron?
                                      My blog: Crackerdog Farm

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                                      • #39
                                        ^ cauterize

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                                        • #40
                                          I have seen so many complications from tail docking and ear cropping while working in a clinic (not done at our clinic, done elsewhere, ended up with us for the problems) that I would never do it to any critter of mine.

                                          Same with declawing cats. I've seen more than a few cases where people just took nail trimmer and clipped tails or claws often crushing bone in the process rather than getting in between the bones and what a mess!

                                          I wish I had found our poodle pup's breeder BEFORE she had the tails docked, I would've insisted that he be left alone.

                                          Luckily for us, Roger's tail was done correctly and gives him no trouble.

                                          But at any rate...back to the OP--unfortunately, a lot of PB type dogs are bred and owned by people who don't even bother with veterinary care of any kind. So a lot of the jobs are DIY and they're done very poorly.

                                          We love our PB (my family's) but they are not the kind of dog that should be in the hands of nefarious or clueless people.
                                          A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                          Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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