Ear cropping is commonly seen around breeds of dogs with floppy ears.
While having the dog’s ears cropped may make them have a “big and bad” appearance like that of an aggressive guard dog, the dog is not born with the ears being cropped and is a long process before the dog is back to normal.
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t crop your dog’s ears.
Ear Cropping is Essentially Plastic Surgery for Dogs
Ear cropping is completely for cosmetic reasons. There is no medical reason as to why a dog’s ears should be cropped.
Ear cropping is a surgery that requires general anesthesia at 6 to 12 weeks of age. Even before dogs are spayed or neutered at 6 to 7 months of age.
The surgical procedure is known as “cosmetic otoplasty”, and involves the removal of a portion of the pinnae, the external flap of the ear.
This is placing a puppy under unnecessary anesthesia and placing them at the risk of anesthesia at a very young age, even at a younger age than when a puppy usually receives a Rabies vaccine.
Popular dog breeds seen with cropped ears are:
- Doberman pinschers
- Great Danes
- Pit Bulls
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Cane Corsos
The Procedure Requires a Long and Painful Recovery Process
Dog ear cropping procedures have a very long and painful recovery process for the dog.
Ear cropping does require a lot of aftercare. It requires external sutures and constant pulling, reshaping, taping, and bandaging of the ears once a week or more.
Some people even use tampons placed down in the ear canals to help shape the ears. Ears are extremely sensitive and the cropped edges can become infected, making the recovery process even longer.
The ones who do get the most infections are poodles and spaniels, dog breeds whose ears typically aren’t cropped anyway.
While being bandaged, taped, and shaped, it is also common for ear infections to happen in the ear canal themselves.
Once the ears have finally healed, which can take weeks, the sutures still need to be removed which can be difficult and future ear exams can be difficult to do as well as the dog will associate something bad and painful with their ears.
Thankfully, Ear Cropping is Banned in Many Places
Most veterinary hospitals will refuse to perform the surgery because ear cropping is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure. All AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospitals will not perform the surgery.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) policy is that they “oppose ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes.”
In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare Division released information about being opposed to ear cropping and it even becoming a welfare issue due to the procedure having no benefit to the dog whatsoever, being a cosmetic surgery with “potential negative outcomes for the dog.”
Although the American Kennel Club (AKC) supports cropping of the ears, show dogs with ear croppings will not be allowed to compete in any of the United Kingdom dog shows.
Thankfully, much of the world, including the UK, agrees – the UK Animal Welfare Act 2006 states that mutilation of an animal except “for the purpose of its medical treatment” is illegal.
Many people believe that ear cropping will help the dog in that the procedure will alleviate the chance of the dog having ear infections because of the increased airflow to the ear canals.
In fact, there is no way to eliminate the chance of any dog having an ear infection. And dogs recovering from an ear cropping procedure are at risk for ear infections.
A dog with cropped ears may have that tough and aggressive “bad dog” appearance that people want, but the process is not in favor of the dog.
It is painful through recovery and being placed under general anesthesia comes with risks of itself, the greatest being death.
Are you willing to put your dog’s health at risk just for unnecessary cosmetic surgery?
You can report, dog owners and breeders, you suspect of doing this to the RSPCA or police.