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How to Crop a Dogs Ears

| Updated August 11, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • An experienced veterinarian

  • Surgical instruments made specifically for ear cropping

  • After care


  • Have the procedure done between nine and twelve weeks Be sure this is what you want, cropped ears, without hesitation of doing the procedure


  • Follow after-care otherwise the ears might not stand in an upright position Watch for infection, report promptly to your veterinarian Keep the ears clean to avoid infection Have sutures removed within 7 days

Ear cropping isn't something to take lightly it's a cosmetic procedure that alters a dogs ears. Only an experienced veterinarian in ear cropping should do the procedure. The dog should be between nine and twelve weeks old and will be staying at least over night before going home. Pain control needs to be a priority and the ears are vascular and bleeding is a concern. The dog will wear an ear apparatus to keep the ears standing upward. The dog will need preparation for the surgery one of which is to fast for twelve hours before the ear cropping takes place. An empty stomach ensures that the dog will not vomit before the surgery.


After the dog is prepped for surgery and sedated the ears will be marked as to where they will be cut. The incision starts at the top of the ear and ends close to the head.


Suturing and disinfection takes place after the ears are cut. The use of an aluminum rack or an inverted paper cup is attached to the ears to help them stay in an standing position. There will be bleeding and pain after the procedure and medication will be given to curb the pain.


The rack will need to stay on the dogs ears for 21 days. The edges of the ears will need to be cleaned twice a day with a solution of diluted betadine. If the ears develop heavy scabs then use of an antibiotic ointment should be applied to the edges only and avoid taped areas.


Try to avoid re-wrapping the ears the less they are disturbed the better the outcome. Suture removal is done after 7 days to avoid scarring of the ears. A lot has to do with the owner's commitment to follow-up care which rides heavily on precise advice from your veterinarian. After care is detrimental to the management of the dogs ears being cropped or ending up a flop.