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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any experience with what might work for this? My German Pinscher puppy has had 2 rounds of having to be knocked out to remove a grass seed from an ear. He had some trouble early on with an ear infection so the first time was outside without his ears posted, but the second time the ears were posted, which I thought would make it impossible, but it didn't - although the seed removed was smaller, which of course makes no difference at all in the danger.

Since then he's never been outside without a snood except on trips to more civilized settings.

However, the posted ears kept the snood in place. Without posts, he shakes his head a couple of times and the snood slips back off his forehead and his ears pop up, and if it weren't for that problem, I'd be leaving his ears unposted to see if they're done right now.

I have about an acre fenced around my house, the ground is too rough to mow every square foot, and here in Colorado every weed seems to have a seed head. I don't want to have to keep him on a leash every time he goes out and constantly stop him and pull the snood up. He likes to putter and zip out there, and it's good for him, but I have to find a way to protect those ears.

A post somewhere in the forum mentioned tracking with a Dobe. How do people protect ears from this kind of thing when tracking?
 

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Leo, Lily, and Simon
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I have a friend who uses OutFox masks on her Vizslak and Doberman. https://outfoxfordogs.com/ You could use it while training tracking, unless you use baited tracks, then you wouldn't be able to, since they can't eat through it. I'm not sure it would be allowed in a test, though.
 
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Live and learn--that is very interesting, Rosemary. I have never heard of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hmm. I'll check those out but give it a couple of days to see what other ideas may crop (;)) up before deciding what to try first. The tracking training I've done was with baited tracks.

My breeder suggested ballerina warm ups, but I don't see how those wouldn't slip back too. Probably I should try them. What I'd really like is something that would let his ears stay up. After all this time getting them to stand, I hate the idea of squishing them flat every time he goes out.
 

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Geeze, that's a new one on me. I spent the better part of every Wednesday for nearly 5 years with a tracking group in Oregon (generally around the Salem area) we tracked in everything from orchards to grass fields (except when the grass in those fields was growing until the seeds were harvested). I was tracking with two Dobermans and an Australian Shepherd.

I've never had a grass seed in any dogs ear (and have a long, long history of Dobermans) and knock on wood I've never had a foxtail up the nose (but that was only luck).

I haven't any suggestions for you--hope you find something that works though.

dobebug
 

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The only other thing I can think of would be horse ear bonnets, but unless you could find a really small pony sized one, I don't see how it would work. Ear Bonnets | Dover Saddlery
 
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I've never had a grass seed in any dogs ear (and have a long, long history of Dobermans) and knock on wood I've never had a foxtail up the nose (but that was only luck).

dobebug
Yeah "luck" is right. We have a serious problem with Foxtail grass here in Portland. Here is a blurb that was posted in the Green Dog news letter. Green Dog is the pet supply store down Fremont St. from your clinic. Foxtail grass grows up and down NE Fremont in the Beaumont/Wilshire neighborhood. I really have to be careful with McCoy, as "sniffing" is his primary reason d'être for extended walks:

It's Foxtail Season - Watch your pets.
I had no idea how dangerous foxtails are for pets until our dog had to have an expensive surgery to remove them last summer. With the weather being so dry they are everywhere. We have tried to avoid them during on our nightly walks or in our garden, but they are so easily embedded into fur/skin that it is almost impossible. Sure enough, our little guy started licking his paws last week to no end and we just took him to the vet today after a week of trying to locate and remove them ourselves. He is miserable. Their paws get very swollen at the entry point and it is painful. It won't go away on its own. The vet said they have treated over 10 pets this week for foxtail removal (cats and dogs)- one had traveled to an ear canal and one was stuck in an eye! We are doing all we can to keep our grass trimmed and remove any foxtails in our yard. I would hate for this to happen to anyone else's pet, so just wanted to create some awareness and share information.
Foxtails: Why They're Dangerous for Dogs

John L.
Portland OR
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know environments are different. I grew up in NJ and never heard of things like foxtails or cheatgrass. My Akitas never had problems here in Colorado - from goatshead thorns and sandburrs in paws but never anything in ears. When I think back, their erect ears had at least some hair at the opening, but Gibbs' don't. Also, he likes to grub around in the weeds in ways no other dog I've had did. My vet said they take about 10 a week out of dogs here in season.

Thanks again, Rosemary, my first thought was something like the horse ear nets we used long ago, but he's not going to leave something like that on longer than a couple of head shakes. I've ordered 2 of the Outfox hoods figuring one to wear right now and one for me to mess with seeing if I can modify it to free his mouth and let his ears stand.
 

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Yeah John, the entire west coast is a hot bed of foxtails--I learned about them initially when I lived In Sacramento--I swear everyone's Burmuda grass lawn (Burmuda grass is a common grass allergy) was edged in a tall perennial grass of some variety whose seeds were foxtail types.

We used to get several dogs a week in with foxtails stuck in them in various spots all summer long (in my semi-retirement I don't see incoming patients--but I used to cringe when I went out to reception and there would be a big miserable dog pawing at his eye because there was an awn or foxtail stuck under his third eyelid.)

dobebug
 
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