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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I'm new to the doberman forum. This is our second pup and we just had his ears cropped. The veterinarian was recommended by the breeder, but I'm not so sure he was the best choice now.
We had the ears done this past Tuesday. They kept him overnight but we were notified that he bled more than usual. (The breeder said the dam was vwd carrier but the sire was clear, by the way). When I picked him up the next day, they showed me how to wrap the ears and start posting. I was instructed to rewrap every 3 days and could bring him back after 14 to have stitches removed. We removed the bandages on day 2 because he was pretty smelly and I thought it would be better to air them out.... but the tips of his ears are very raw, don't have any sutures, and still bleeding. We rewrapped and left them alone until Saturday (today) hoping they would scab over. They are still bleeding and still very smelly.

We had one doberman prior to this who we took to a different vet. He came home with dissolvable stitches and ears down. We had no problems. I don't recall the ears being so raw.

We're currently at our local vet for a booster and we're having them look at the ears to see if maybe he needs antibiotics or can do something to stop the bleeding. They don't deal with ear crops though, so I'm not sure how much success we'll have. I was trying to avoid taking him back to where we had them done, as it's 3 hours away.

I've been reading through the posts on this site and there seems to be lots of info. I'm wondering if you lovely people could please offer advice on the best way to let the ears heal. I got the impression that they shouldn't be wrapped and need to breathe, but we're having a hard time immobilizing the ears so he doesn't start bleeding everytime he shakes his head.

We were using the athletic fabric tape but it is just useless. I also don't know if I should post the ear to immobilize or try to tape over his head... not really sure of my best option here. Like I said, last time we just let them flop...and they were 100% fine.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Do not put any tape over the cut edge or anywhere that is still open, bleeding or even scabbed over. Never, ever.

He may or may not have an infection (any vet should be able to tell you that, not just cropping vets), but keeping a cut wrapped up will keep the scab soft and the ears more likely to bleed, especially if the scabbing is ripped off when you remove the tape. I would just let his ears flop. You could tape them over the top of his head tip to tip, avoiding taping over any open wound or scab (basically just one strip of tape from tip to tip on the top, one on the bottom of the ears, with the tape stuck together where the strips overlap, but it sounds like that may not be a good idea if the tips of his ears are messed up.

With that genetic parentage, he should not have vWD—it would be impossible for him to have more than one vWD gene if one parent is clear—and traits do not have problems with bleeding because of vWD (there are other reasons a dog may bleed more than usual, however.) Did you actually see the genetic test results for both parents?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We just got him back from the vet. He's been prescribed pain meds and antibiotics. He's also rewrapped.

I'm wondering if we should leave bandages on for a few days while he takes the antibiotics? Maybe the swelling and infection will go down and the tips of his ears will heal enough that we can attempt the styrofoam cup method? I am extremely hesitant to just let him flop... he shakes his head violently and reopens any wound...
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Hi Shire. Welcome from the Pacific NW. Cute pup!

You nee to follow Melbrod's advice. Get those bandages off his ears now. Covering the recently sutured edges can lead to an infection, It will also slow healing time . His ears need to left alone and exposed to air. Do not attempt to clean or apply ointment to the raw edges. The antibiotics should take care of any infection issues. If I were you, I would simply let his ears flop freely at this point. He may attempt worry them a bit, but as itching stops, he will ignore them. Do NOT pick at the scabs, let them dry up and fall off by themselves.

The ears must be completely healed before you begin to post. When that time comes, you will find everything that you need to know in the forum section here on DT. Here is a good place to start:

How to: Posting Show Cropped Ears Using Backer Rod

Hope this helps

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR

Edit to say: Why don't you go the "New Member Introductions" in the Forum section and Introduce yourself and your new baby! We are a friendly bunch, and you are sure to get a warm welcome.
 

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I can see that ear tip is bleeding still--there is blood on the tape.

If this were my puppy and my cropper (who I wouldn't have been using anyway--I know all of the good croppers and if I were interviewing an unknown quantity I'd have a whole list of questions to ask but I've been having pups cropped since 1959 so come equipped with kind of a lot more information than a lot of people.) the first thing I'd have told him was that I did not want the pup posted immediately after surgery.

But we'll just skip that part. Since you can't really let his ears just flop because of the constant head shaking I would tape them across the top of his head. I wouldn't tape them tip to tip--the bleeding tip needs to left open to air but you can tape up the side opposite the raw cropped edge and tape the ear to the top of the head almost to the tip of the ear. Make sure all the areas where the tape will touch are clean and perfectly dry so the tape sticks. Then do the same with the other ear making sure you aren't overlapping the ears so that the bleeding tip is covered. You want that open to the air so it will form a scab and dry out. Follow John's ^ instructions about not using ointment, not picking scabs etc. If one of the ear's comes loose--use fresh adhesive tape and fasten it down again.

Don't even think about trying to put a styofoam cup on him. They work better than anything but the are put on puppies when they are still recovering from anesthesia--trying to do it with a wide awake wiggly puppy is the next thing to impossible. And they are glued to the cup not just taped and if you haven't had any experience with putting ears on a cup you don't want to start trying to learn at this point. Settle for the across the top of the head tape job.

And if that ear tip still doesn't stop bleeding I'd be talking to my regular vet and see if they could maybe use a cautery tool to seal that tip.

As you've already heard with the genetic status of the sire and dam the cause for the bleeding wouldn't be from the puppy being vWD affected but there are other things that can and will create bleeding problems. However it doesn't sound like he's bleeding at the sutures and the other ear didn't seem to keep bleeding.

Good luck--makes me want to pull my hair out for you. I hate it when cropping vet bundle a puppy up with a ton of bandages which should never be done and croppers never used to do it so I don't get why we are how hearing about lots of puppies being wrapped like Christmas presents with their ears still raw.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you so much for the advice! I can't tell you how much it's appreciated. New territory over here. I can't wait to get past the healing stage and into the posting stage.

We will try taping to his head and see how that goes. I'll keep you updated.. my main concern was the ear tips. They are extremely raw and bloody. We tried to let him flop them earlier today before we took him to the vet for his booster (which he didn't get because of the infection), but he shook his head and reopened them, shook blood all over the kitchen.

Thanks so much!
 

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Update: we've unwrapped the ears to let them breathe. They looked alot better for awhile (he napped most of the morning, so they got some much needed rest).
Now we're running into a new problem. The cone of shame is aggravating the ears when he shakes his head. But when we remove it, he attempts to rub his ears on anything he can. He's bleeding again, but from the stitches this time. Any advice for this new problem? I just want them to heal! Seems like he's 100% determined to work against us.
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Hi,
Sorry to see this with your pup. I'll share something that helped us tremendously when our pup was scratching her ears, we picked our pup 2 weeks back when she turned about 7. She had the sutures already removed and ears were healed but were taped to a cup and fully wrapped. One of the thing that our breeder gave us when we took the possession was this spray called Wound-Kote (available on amazon). She advised us to spray it on ears if puppy messes them and we see any blood. Our pup did scratch both her ears badly first night and we had to remove the wrap, used this spray many times for next few days and it really helped with healing. Just need to make sure you cover puppy's eyes well.
Outside of that, you would need to watch the puppy like a hawk and not let him scratch it or shake it too hard.

Hope your pup gets better soon!
 

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OK Shirerat, what you've done to kind of stabilize the ears and not have them wrapped and posted is pretty much what I suggested and I'd go for buying some Wound-Kote that Dobie1pup says is carried by Amazon and use it as she describes.

Some puppies are worse that others for pestering their ears. And they itch when the edge is starting to heal--as you pups is. Once you get the Wound-Kote and can spray it on the ears I'd ditch the cone--I've seen people have more problems with the cone than without.

And boy do you have my sympathy--my fawn dog (already a champion thank heavens) split the tip of one ear--doing heavens only knows what--the split was only at most 3/8 of an inch but it bothered him and periodically he would shake his head--which opened the healing end and sprayed blood everywhere. I'm still finding spots on the walls of the bedroom (and this is at least 9 years ago--it happened when he was around 6 years, lived to 14 and I lost him in November of last year),

In the meantime I'll keep my fingers crossed for you--it looks like the edges are starting to heal. There are some normal looking scabs. I'm not real thrilled with the sutures your cropper put in--I think the individual sutures are part of what is causing some of the irritation. Most of the vets I've used for cropping use a kind of running suture along the pinna (the upper ear flap)--kind of more like a basting stitch. Much easier to remove and I think are better for keeping skin and cartilage connected while the crop is healing.

If I can think of anything else to try I'll post it here but thank you for putting up the pictures--makes it a lot easier to make suggestions that may be helpful. Frankly at this point I'd be asking the vet for some pain killers (which I don't usually use past the first day or possibly 2 days.) but I think they'd help keep the puppy from bugging his ears.

Sorry, don't know what happened but suddenly I couldn't type anymore I'll stop here and send it again.

dobebug
 

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OK Shirerat, what you've done to kind of stabilize the ears and not have them wrapped and posted is pretty much what I suggested and I'd go for buying some Wound-Kote that Dobie1pup says is carried by Amazon and use it as she describes.

Some puppies are worse that others for pestering their ears. And they itch when the edge is starting to heal--as you pups is. Once you get the Wound-Kote and can spray it on the ears I'd ditch the cone--I've seen people have more problems with the cone than without.

And boy do you have my sympathy--my fawn dog (already a champion thank heavens) split the tip of one ear--doing heavens only knows what--the split was only at most 3/8 of an inch but it bothered him and periodically he would shake his head--which opened the healing end and sprayed blood everywhere. I'm still finding spots on the walls of the bedroom (and this is at least 9 years ago--it happened when he was around 6 years, lived to 14 and I lost him in November of last year),

In the meantime I'll keep my fingers crossed for you--it looks like the edges are starting to heal. There are some normal looking scabs. I'm not real thrilled with the sutures your cropper put in--I think the individual sutures are part of what is causing some of the irritation. Most of the vets I've used for cropping use a kind of running suture along the pinna (the upper ear flap)--kind of more like a basting stitch. Much easier to remove and I think are better for keeping skin and cartilage connected while the crop is healing.

If I can think of anything else to try I'll post it here but thank you for putting up the pictures--makes it a lot easier to make suggestions that may be helpful. Frankly at this point I'd be asking the vet for some pain killers (which I don't usually use past the first day or possibly 2 days.) but I think they'd help keep the puppy from bugging his ears.

Sorry, don't know what happened but suddenly I couldn't type anymore I'll stop here and send it again.

dobebug
Thank you for the advice. I was actually in tears today because I just don't know how to help him. We have some stronger tape coming through amazon tomorrow that we're going to use to tack his ears down. The stinking athletic tape is less than useless and keeps coming off literally minutes after it's applied. I was worrying that we were doing more harm than good by trying to reapply everytime. We finally just took everything off and he's free flopping it for tonight. Hopefully he won't do too much damage.

He is currently on clavamox and carprofen. He had an infection from the wrappings being on. Our vet said we caught it early and we've aired the ears out since. They do look better so far.. so hopefully that covers our bases. He does have one spot that concerns me, it looks very inflamed. You can see it in the pictures I previously posted on his right ear towards the very bottom where the hair was shaved. It doesn't feel super warm to the touch, so I'm trying not to stress about it.

We've been spraying him with vetericyn plus per the ear crop vet. Never used it before, so not sure how well it works. Seems to have good reviews online? I'll look for that wound-kote you mentioned.

I was going to attempt to take sutures out myself, but now I'm rethinking that hahah.
 

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The vetricyn should help (I think the clinic where I work carries vetricyn plus (which is supposed to be even better at relieving pain, helping the healing process and preventing infection.) And I've been told that the trick with using it is to keep applying it regularly to the irritated areas. My guess is that the Wound-Kote does much the same thing--but I don't know anything about it.

About the sutures--if you've got or can borrow (or buy) a good pair of small suture scissors you can probably remove them yourself. (I had a cat who once removed all of his sutures from from his belly, post bladder surgery, his vet was horrified--the cat untied them.) They make it a lot easier to remove any kind of suture. Use tweezers to hold the side with the knot and lift and snip the opposite side to cut the suture. Then you can easily pull it out from the knot side. But don't remove them too early--that ear edge has gaps where scabs haven't yet formed.

The clavamox is a good wide spectrum antibiotic and the carprofen is Rimadyl's generic--an NSAID--pain reducer and swelling reducer--so he's on the right stuff.

About the athletic tape--just remember to use it when you do get to the point of posting. Using a more adhesive tape--some of 3M's paper tapes are used for this sort of thing--is appropriate where you have a situation where you are needing to attach things that are not wrapped the way ears are. For taping ears in post the athletic tapes like Zonas or Johnson & Johnson Athletic tape are what you should be using because they are low tack (not very adhesive and designed to be used in areas that are taped and retape frequently.

Keep us posted (that's a joke) on how this goes. You and the puppy will get through it--and the reward will be his standing ears.

dobebug
 

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Just wanted to share a quick update!! Samwise is doing MUCH better. I went to work and stressed ALL day about it. Husband kept reassuring me he was fine. Came home and I could've sworn he replaced our dog with another freshly cropped puppy. All the swelling had gone down. No more bleeding. Happy energetic puppy.

Crazy. Apparently the ears just needed to bleed enough that they formed multiple scab layers.
You guys were 100% correct about leaving the ears down. I think we over-fussed them trying to get the bleeding under control... and the infection certainly didn't help.

Just wanted to express my sincerest thanks to all of you for your help. I think we were mostly on track, but getting tips and pointers from all of you who have experience in this area was incredibly helpful. You all saved me from pulling my hair out. We will NOT be returning to this cropping vet in the future.

I may return for posting tips when the time comes. THANKS John for the link! We've posted before and our technique was very similar to what you instructed, albeit, we used vet-wrap (we were VERY careful not to wrap too tight).. We will forgo the vet-wrap this time around.
 
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