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Old 10-22-2010, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ear Posting Directions--A Photo Tutorial of My Method

I wasn't sure where to put this, so if a mod thinks it belongs elsewhere, feel free to move it!

I have been asked more times than I can count how I post my dogs' ears and what materials I use. There are always loads of questions in the puppy forum regarding posting, so I figured a photo tutorial of my particular method might be of some assistance. I am in no way claiming to be an expert by any means, nor do I think my method is best for everyone. Do what works for you and your puppy!

First, the materials I use:

Duct tape, Johnson & Johnson Zonas tape, 3M Vet Wrap or Coban Wrap (optional!), scissors, backer rod (available at Home Depot or Lowes in 3/8", 1/2", and 5/8" sizes), and Caldesene powder

Before posting the ears, I clean the inside and outside thoroughly, and allow them to dry completely.

Next, I cut two strips of backer rod that are long enough to rest in the bottom of the ear and still support the tips of the ear when in place. For these photos, I used pretty long pieces because a.) Liberty has a very long crop, and b.) I wanted a bit extra to hold for photos. I also cut a piece that is roughly 2" lengthwise to serve as "bumpers." They keep the ear from developing pockets near the base where it is wider. They are entirely optional, and many people post ears successfully without ever using them.


In the next step, I use duct tape to straighten and stiffen the backer rod, so it can adequately support the puppy's ears. Cut a piece that is approximately the same length as your two posts, and roll the rod across the tape lengthwise. Repeat this step once or twice more for additional support (I personally use three layers of duct tape to make the rod quite firm).


I usually allow a small portion of the foam to protrude from the bottom of the duct tape to avoid rubbing the base of the ear with the rough-edged tape. You can also tape a small piece of cotton or gauze on the end as an alternative. I placed a small piece of black tape on one end of the backer rod in this next photo to simply show you which end I am going to use as the top. It serves no additional purpose. The measuring tape is just present to give you a general idea of the size of the rods I made.

The next step requires two more pieces of duct tape to be cut that are roughly 3" in length. Take one of the "bumpers," and lie it across the tape horizontally.


Use the tape to secure the bumper to the rod roughly an inch from the base.


Before placing the posts in my puppy's ears, I use a cotton pad to apply powder to the inside of the ear. I tried it without the pad in the past, but the mess that resulted was quite a pain.


To tape the posts, I prefer to use Johnson & Johnson Zonas tape. Some people prefer coach tape and others prefer Kendall Curity tape. Again, use what works best for your puppy, but please do NOT do this step with duct tape. It could seriously injure the inside of the puppy's ears. As you can see in the following photo, the roll of Zonas tape is 2" in width. I prefer (and suggest that you use) the 1" width. Unfortunately, when I went on my last tape run to the store, the 1" variety was out of stock, and I now must cut the tape in half before preparing posts.

I start taping at the top of the post with the adhesive side facing the post. Once I have completely gone around the post one time, I flip the tape over on itself, so the sticky side faces out.


From there, I spiral the tape downward until the entire post is covered with tape (adhesive side out).


Next, I cut four pieces of tape. Two pieces are roughly 4" long, and the other two are 8-10" long. I prefer the long pieces to be too long rather than too short because I can easily trim the excess later.


I then cut a piece of vet wrap that is 7-8" long off of the roll. I cut it in half at a slight angle which creates two identical pieces of wrap that are slightly longer on one side than the other.


It's finally time to post those ears! Grab that wriggly puppy, and get situated within reach of those materials!

First, place the bottom of one of the posts securely at the base of the ear. Do not worry, because of the shape of the canine ear canal, you will not harm the puppy's ear (assuming you do jam something down there with all your might). Note that in the photo, the bumper on the post is not visible. It is facing the bell of the ear.


Next, stretch the puppy's ear up the post as far as it will comfortably go. Then, place one end of one of the shorter strips of tape against the post near the top. Proceed to drape it across the ear and around the post. Though it appears flush with the post in the photo, it was actually quite loose. Do not wrap the tape tightly! Once it is in place, gently squeeze the end of the ear and post with your hand to secure the tape in place.


Keep in mind that this step is optional. I prefer to use the wrap because it keeps everything secure and tidy, and it adds a splash of color to the otherwise completely silly-looking posts. Place the straight (not slightly slanted) edge of the wrap against the post, and wrap it around the ear beginning at the front edge. This allows the natural fold in the ear to remain undisturbed. Absolutely do not, under any circumstances, stretch or tug on the Vet/Coban wrap. It should simply be placed around the ear.


After the wrap has been placed around the entire ear, run a finger along the overlapping edge, and it will stay in place. Please, please, please do not stretch the wrap when applying it to the ear, or you run the risk of cutting off circulation. Vet wrap tends to constrict a bit over time, so it might be beneficial to check it occasionally to make sure it does not feel too snug.


Finally, I use the long piece of tape to secure the bottom edge of the ear. Apply it in the same manner as the first, shorter piece of tape used on the tip. Press one end against the post, and drape the rest around the ear once or twice. Cut off excess tape if necessary. It helps to hold the ear out at the 10 or 2 o'clock position when doing this step.

Scrunch the base of the ear with your hand to secure everything.

The end result:



Also! Do not forget the most important step! Provide tasty treats and LOADS of lovin' to your furry participant once the chore is complete!

I hope this helps, and if anyone has any further questions, feel free to PM me! Liberty is open to questions as well.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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that is the prettiest, neatest posting job I have ever seen!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Great post, this should be a Sticky!!

Gorgeous photos Courtney!
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Very very nice!! Makes me want to rush out and find a puppy to post!

Do you think it would help to describe what the finished ear should look like--something like "ears parallel or pointing outwards at 10 and 2, bottoms of posts firmly in ear, tip of ear covered by tape and not flopping around loosely" and so on. Or list the things which mean you must repost--wet, post out of ear, swelling or irritated redness--whatever. I'm trying to think of other things the newbie needs to know that would be convenient for them to have right with these instructions.

The vet wrap sure makes the posting look like a fashion accessory rather than the result of a hospital triage!
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Old 10-22-2010, 06:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Love the bumper idea:-) The color is very nice change as well lol
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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LoL Good posting montage but even better model
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Old 10-22-2010, 07:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Your posts are the best looking I've ever seen. I love the Vetrap as fashion statement. Having never posted ears myself, how does your method get the ears to stand at the correct angle. Just looking at posts not knowing anything, it seems like they would need a center bar to keep the ears vertical enough, yet not allow them to flop into each other too much. Or is the backer rod just firm enough to keep them in the right place?

I think this post should be stickied too. I hope I never have to advise anyone on ear posting, but I know where I would be going to look if I did. Love that pretty red girl!!!
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think Liberty is the cutest ear posting model I have ever seen! Good job Liberty!
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Liberty is growing into one fine looking dobergirl! I hope I will be able to put this tutorial to good use some day!!!!
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Great job with these photos and instructions!!!! Definitely a STICKY!!!

The only suggestion I have to make is to add a photo after the current #11 photo and just before the photo showing the first piece of tape around the top of the ear. The additional photo would show the back side of the ear and would illustrate how far the post is sticking up beyond the ear (hopefully just a tiny bit). Also, I would add a big WARNING: Don't try to cut off any excess post AFTER you have wrapped tape on the ear!! This is very dangerous and it is easy to cut off tips of ears when you can't see the ear because it is covered with tape!! I have seen puppies brought in to our vet clinic with tips of ears cut off!

Again - thanks for doing this!!
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Awesome job- I want to try it out!
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Old 10-23-2010, 06:13 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Great job. Beautiful model! I have learned a new step, the duct tape, definitely a firmer tape to use. I will remember to review this thread when I get my next dober puppy!!!

Thank you.
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thank-you very much for sharing!! I will go out and get this stuff. Beautiful model too!
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Old 10-25-2010, 11:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Yes, the vet wrap is very pretty but as you mentioned - it is optional and has to be used very carefully. One can just put the tape on the top and bottom without the vet wrap. Other people use tape on the entire ear.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing this! This is exactly what I was looking for. I will be sure to let the rest of the archive team know - we are trying to compile ear posting links on the site. I keep forgetting, but mean to do one with the tampon method.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Awesome tutorial! Thanks for posting it in such detail. I have one question. Do you think it's necessary to put tape at the base going horizontal attaching the posts together? It's the tape that goes across the bottom of their head connecting the 2 ears. It's hard to explain, but Liberty has it in your signature picture. Thanks!
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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What a great post and technique....

LOVES IT!!!!
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:47 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
Very very nice!! Makes me want to rush out and find a puppy to post!

Do you think it would help to describe what the finished ear should look like--something like "ears parallel or pointing outwards at 10 and 2, bottoms of posts firmly in ear, tip of ear covered by tape and not flopping around loosely" and so on. Or list the things which mean you must repost--wet, post out of ear, swelling or irritated redness--whatever. I'm trying to think of other things the newbie needs to know that would be convenient for them to have right with these instructions.

The vet wrap sure makes the posting look like a fashion accessory rather than the result of a hospital triage!
I would add this to my original post, but I can no longer edit it. Great idea though! For the people who actually read the entire thread, you absolutely need to remove or replace the posts and check your puppy's ears if:

the posts get wet
the posts cause your puppy to shake their head incessantly (a bit of shaking immediately following posting is normal)
the ears get really red or swollen
you smell anything foul or "off"

Quote:
Originally Posted by laikabear View Post
Your posts are the best looking I've ever seen. I love the Vetrap as fashion statement. Having never posted ears myself, how does your method get the ears to stand at the correct angle. Just looking at posts not knowing anything, it seems like they would need a center bar to keep the ears vertical enough, yet not allow them to flop into each other too much. Or is the backer rod just firm enough to keep them in the right place?

I think this post should be stickied too. I hope I never have to advise anyone on ear posting, but I know where I would be going to look if I did. Love that pretty red girl!!!
Because the bottom of the posts sit in the base of the ear, it isn't really possible for the ears to tip inward and touch each other. When the puppy isn't totally alert, they may stick out around the 10 and 2 or 11 and 1 o'clock positions. When they perk up, the ears should stick straight up and be parallel with each other. If they're tipping in, the post isn't down far enough in the ear, and your puppy may be developing pockets. The backer rod should be firm enough with a couple pieces of duct tape wrapped around it for support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by triciakoontz View Post
Great job with these photos and instructions!!!! Definitely a STICKY!!!

The only suggestion I have to make is to add a photo after the current #11 photo and just before the photo showing the first piece of tape around the top of the ear. The additional photo would show the back side of the ear and would illustrate how far the post is sticking up beyond the ear (hopefully just a tiny bit). Also, I would add a big WARNING: Don't try to cut off any excess post AFTER you have wrapped tape on the ear!! This is very dangerous and it is easy to cut off tips of ears when you can't see the ear because it is covered with tape!! I have seen puppies brought in to our vet clinic with tips of ears cut off!

Again - thanks for doing this!!
I'll try to remember to take another photo like that next time I do her ears. Thanks for the suggestion! It's definitely important not to trim the excess once the posts are in and the tips have been taped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bean View Post
Yes, the vet wrap is very pretty but as you mentioned - it is optional and has to be used very carefully. One can just put the tape on the top and bottom without the vet wrap. Other people use tape on the entire ear.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for doing this! This is exactly what I was looking for. I will be sure to let the rest of the archive team know - we are trying to compile ear posting links on the site. I keep forgetting, but mean to do one with the tampon method.
Definitely. I mentioned that it's optional, but I wish I would have put that tidbit in bold or a larger font. If a mod would like to edit that, it's probably a good idea.

I have found that it's almost a requirement with Liberty and Nietzsche because the one time I didn't use it, Nietzsche's tooth got caught between the middle of her ear where it was not taped and the post. I was terrified that if it happend again it may rip her ear or do serious damage. That's just my personal experience with two nutballs though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vader66 View Post
Awesome tutorial! Thanks for posting it in such detail. I have one question. Do you think it's necessary to put tape at the base going horizontal attaching the posts together? It's the tape that goes across the bottom of their head connecting the 2 ears. It's hard to explain, but Liberty has it in your signature picture. Thanks!
I mentioned this in my PM, but I'll post it here in case others have the same questions. Personally, I just use the brace for the first 3-4 postings after transitioning from the cup used immediately after being cropped. It gives the ears a little bit of extra support when the muscles that haven't been used much are still strengthening. Not all puppies need a "bridge" or brace for long (if at all). They get to work the muscles that raise/lower/turn their ears a lot more when they just have the posts without the bridge.
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:15 PM   #19 (permalink)
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If this ends up in the educational archives, you and the mods should be able to edit it down (and clean up extraneous posts ) when you re-post it.
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:42 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Zephyr, have you or anyone else ever had problems with the bottom of the posts coming out of the ear (popping out) - this happens on occasion with me and I have to take the ear down and repost - its happened 3 times in the last 2 days with the same ear - dont know why but its driving me crazy! Any suggestions on what Im doing or how to fix??
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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My typical reasons the post pops out of ear:
1. Post not in deeply enough.
Pull up on the ear gently as you insert the post, twisting the post gently, and push it down in the ear as far as you can get it. You can taper the end of the post like a pencil point before using it to make it fit better.
2. Too large a post.
Depends on the age of the puppy--but if you use the backer rod method, it comes in a couple of diameters--you might want to experiment with sizes.
3. Not taped down far enough.
I start by sticking one end of the tape down as far on the post as I can get it, angling down into the ear. Then I run the tape upward so that the tape goes up and around the ear smoothly (top of head first, then around the back of the ear and underneath back to the post), making sure I run the tape as close to the head on the ear as I can get it. Then I stick the other end of the tape on the post, like the first end of the tape as deeply into the bottom of the ear as I can get it. The two ends of the tape form a sort of V shape on the post pointing down into the ear.

Maybe someone else can add some more advice. It is a pain to have to keep re-posting because the post keeps popping out--and I think the pupper's ear tend to get more irritated with all that fiddling around with the posting too.
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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That's pretty much what I was going to say. The posts can pop out relatively easily if the tape that you use isn't very sticky as well. That's generally how I know it's time to redo Liberty's ears. Enough dirt and ear wax (ew) will have worked it's way in there that the bottom portion of the posts aren't sticky at all, and they pop out when she plays with Nietzsche.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:07 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melbrod View Post
My typical reasons the post pops out of ear:
1. Post not in deeply enough.
Pull up on the ear gently as you insert the post, twisting the post gently, and push it down in the ear as far as you can get it. You can taper the end of the post like a pencil point before using it to make it fit better.
2. Too large a post.
Depends on the age of the puppy--but if you use the backer rod method, it comes in a couple of diameters--you might want to experiment with sizes.
3. Not taped down far enough.
I start by sticking one end of the tape down as far on the post as I can get it, angling down into the ear. Then I run the tape upward so that the tape goes up and around the ear smoothly (top of head first, then around the back of the ear and underneath back to the post), making sure I run the tape as close to the head on the ear as I can get it. Then I stick the other end of the tape on the post, like the first end of the tape as deeply into the bottom of the ear as I can get it. The two ends of the tape form a sort of V shape on the post pointing down into the ear.

Maybe someone else can add some more advice. It is a pain to have to keep re-posting because the post keeps popping out--and I think the pupper's ear tend to get more irritated with all that fiddling around with the posting too.
I do all the above - that's why its so annoying!! I went out today at lunch and bought some 5/8" backer rod, was using the plumbing tube stuff (dont ask we what its called its the same material as the backer rod but is in a big round tube. Im going to try this and see what happens. I posted one of Bella's ears this morning 2 times in half hour - kept popping out on the bottom. I pulled her ear up as I always do so I know it was down far enough, UGH ..I will see how the backer rod does. Thanks for your help!!
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #24 (permalink)
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One more suggestion to try for popping posts - when you get it all ready, put the post in the ear with the ear pulled out at 10/11:00 and 1/2:00 instead of straight up at 12:00.

Also, there were times when I thought I had pushed it deep enough, but I had just stretched the ear up rather than both stretching the ear up AND pushing the post down. I do find that a little bit of twisting helps to really get it down there. You do need to be sure the end of the post isn't too big. I personally never used a bumper, but I didn't get Silas until he was 6 months old - not sure if it makes a difference with a pupster.
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:09 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Looks great! I'm sure many will appreciate the time and effort you put into this. I guess it's the nurse in me, but I took pride on how good my posts looked, haha. I love the vet wrap- makes me want to get a puppy and post!
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