It's a red flag when you are screening breeders if they do not include ear cropping in the purchase of your pup, but if you already have your puppy, here are some do's and don'ts to follow when handling ear cropping yourself: Do:
go to an expert DOBERMAN ear crop veterinarian for the procedure. While they are generally few and far between, it is worth the extra drive to go to an expert. After all, you will be looking at the ears for the next 10+ years, and you don't want to later regret going to a lesser vet just because it saved you a few bucks.
You can find a list of doberman ear crop vets here https://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-crop...crop-ears.html
or by contacting your local DPCA chapter club for a recommendation The DPCA | Chapter Clubs
Remember, a good crop job is as much an art as it is a medical procedure. An ear crop done improperly, be it too wide, too much ear leather left towards the tips, or no cleaning up on the bases can give you problems later on when posting the ears and getting them to stand. A poorly done job can make keeping the ear posts in the ears difficult and it can also cause the ears not to stand fully upright when your doberman is an adult.
When you're considering a certain vet, the cost of a crop is not the only thing you should think about--cheaper isn't necessarily better. Ask your vet what kind of crop one does in terms of shape and length. Ask if one crops dobermans
often. Other breeds have different shapes and lengths of their crops in order to compliment their heads, so a vet may do a perfectly good crop for another breed but not one that is suited to the doberman's head. Bring in pictures of the kind of crop you like. Ask the vet if one has pictures of crops one's done.
Ask the vet what one does for after care--in particular, how one bandages the newly cropped ears. Take a look at the after-care standards below--a vet who doesn't use the proper techniques for taking care of your puppy's new crop may not be that good at doing the actual procedure either. The more you know about the vet and the more one knows about what you want, the better. Do:
Have the ears cropped when your puppy is 7-9 weeks. Waiting to have the procedure later than this increases the likelihood that the ears will not stand or you will have to post for much longer! Many of these ear crop expert vets are booked way ahead of time, so it's important to call and make an appointment as soon as possible. Don't:
When your puppy comes home after cropping there should be NO tape covering the cut edges of his or her ears. If there is tape over the cut edge of the ears it needs to be removed as soon as possible. The cut edge of the ears should be neatly stitched, free of tape, and the rest of the ears can be taped to a foam cup or left to hang. They can even be taped tip to tip over the top of his head, so long as there is no tape across the cut areas. This allows airflow and will prevent infection while healing. See below as an example:
The ears need to heal with the stitches in for about 7-10 days. Even though some may recommend it, it is not necessary to apply any ointment to the ears. After this time the stitches need to be removed by a veterinarian. Don't:
Put an Elizabethan collar (cone of shame) on your puppy after the ears are cropped. The cone will rub on the edges of the ears and irritate them, as well as lengthen healing time.
After the stitches are removed, the ears will need to heal for another 7-10 days before they can be posted. There should be no raw areas or scabs when the ears are posted for the first time. You'll have plenty of time to post his ears after they have healed. Don't rush the healing process.
Once the ears are fully healed, you may move on to posting the ears. Here are two tutorials that may be good guides for posting your own ears at home and one more for removing the posts. https://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-crop...acker-rod.html https://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-crop...my-method.html https://www.dobermantalk.com/ear-crop...ear-posts.html DO:
become familiar with the posting process yourself. While it's fine to have a competent veterinary staff or fellow doberman owner or breeder help you, it's good to know how to do on your own in case you have an ear posting "emergency" and can't get to someone for help in time.