Cooper's Ear Crop
Cropped by Dr. William Martin, DVM in Flat Rock, NC

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After a lot of research, calling different vets, asking fellow Dane owners, Club members, going on forums etc. I finally chose my Vet. I chose Dr. Martin up in Flat Rock, NC. He comes HIGHLY recommended with a slew of show Dane's ears on his "resume". Nothing but high compliments follow this guy! He's extrememly reasonably priced and is well worth the drive for the experience and knowledge he brings to the table! This is his site, you can see some of his work there... I HIGHLY recommend him!

So I did it. After MUCH deliberation, guilt, thought, and anxiety... I finally decided to have Cooper's ears show cropped. Since we knew we'd be showing this boy and we knew how hard it was to show a natural, we decided to have it done. I personally prefer the look of a cropped Dane, but I also prefer someone else having to go through the whole ordeal! ;-) I was blessed when I rescued Duke, his ears were already cropped. It gives him a very distinguished and intimidating look. I've battled the decision to crop or not to crop EVERY time I bought a new Dane Puppy, and every time I chickened out. And honestly, almost did again... even AFTER driving the 3 1/2 hours out there! Now as I've always tried to be 100% honest, I'm going to tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. As well as, of course, post pics! ;-)

There's great risk put to a puppy when you go to crop their ears, they could, in fact, even die under anesthesia! (Many a breeder can tell you about puppies they've lost or their buyers have lost... through no fault of the vet or breeder! Bloodwork done,  just shows you anything can happen!) There is pain involved in an ear crop. I mean think about it, they are cutting a lot of that pup's ear off! (Shockingly enough pain medication is OPTIONAL! Well obviously not for Cooper! I made SURE they knew every chance I talked to them that he WAS to get the pain meds! lol) Puppy is then left for 10-12 Days with stitches. Now there are many ways to keep the ears during this time... I was offered to put his up on a cup or to have them glued flat on top of his head. Dr. Martin had a good point... since the ears are healing and stitches are in, and we have 2 older dogs that play with Coop, it would be best not to make a "toy" out of his ears. So we opt'd to glue them down. He will still need to go through the whole taping procedure after stitches are removed, this just prevents any irritation or accidental chewing on by Hemi and Ike. ;-)

Here's what Glued ears look like:

Not bad, huh? Keep in mind this is SAME day of surgery! And after some play sessions with his brothers! ;-) I was worried when I went in to the clinic because I was talking with Dr. Martin and was able to watch him finish up a crop on another puppy's ear. (Whoa, this is when I was REALLY beginning to think of breaking Coop free!) But Dr. Martin must've sensed my fear and took me to see a Pit he had just done, as well as another Dane pup from the same litter as the one he was finishing up! (Two more waiting) That pup was already awake and wagging his tail!

He then showed me a book of all the ear jobs he'd done (VERY impressive! Always good to see work of the guy you are trusting your baby's life and look with!) I was ready to allow him to make Cooper look that great. Alright, honestly I was still hating things and left tearing up at the thought... but shoot, I'm an emotional wreck when it comes to my kids! lol But they called me a few hours later, Cooper came out fine, he was already awake and was ready to go home! We were thrilled! We got there and they said we had to keep his blanket over his ears because if you removed it he immediately started shaking his head! lol They showed us what they were talking about and we wrapped him up! ;-)

I couldn't figure out why he'd be doing that, so on the ride home while he was sleeping I'd test him... he'd only shake his head when air hit his ears! lol He wasn't used to the air in his ear canal! ;-) So I slowly started pulling the blanket off little by little and before we even got home he was back to being blanket free! (Well just off his head, he still requires blankey and panda for nap time!) 

After about 2 1/2 hours in the car he started stirring so we decided to see if he needed to pee... he did. 5 times in fact! lol I guess this poor guy had been holding it the whole day! Not wanting to go in his crate! (Luckily I made him pee right when we dropped him off!)

As upset as I've been over this... and as painful as I believe it is. I can say he bounces right back! When he got home he wanted to wrestle and play with his brothers, sleep in all his favorite spots, play with his toys, and EAT!!! ;-) The worst his ears ever got to looking was after playing rough with Ike... but Cooper didn't seem to care... I just think it looks rough. ;-) He gets two antibiotic pills a day and we put creme on his stiches every night.  The flash makes his ears look worse than they really do. They aren't bleeding or raw... just when he was playing with his brothers they got knocked around a bit.

 I will say I thought I'd be in for some crying, and howling... a depressed and slow moving dog. I really thought he'd be in more pain. But he doesn't seem to notice at all. Now when he hits it, or if Ike bumps into his ear or Hemi smacks his head with his paw he'll give a quick "yip". But then he'll turn right back around and pounce on them playing and growling! ;-)

I'm not looking forward to the whole taping aspect. I'm sure that's going to be a learning ordeal in and of itself! I'll be sure to post pics and what I end up doing with it. I cannot say 100% that I think this was all worth it yet. I'll let you know after all the taping is done... if I can get his ears to stand, and how much is involved with that! But as of now, I can only look positively to the future as saying he's doing GREAT! He was back to his playful, hungry self within hours... so I'm feeling OK about my decision and hope it pays off not only in the ring, but also in his looks and stature! Gotta love this boy! ;-)

And of course a HUGE thank you to Dr. Martin and all the wonderful women at Animals R Us! Thank you for taking such good care of our baby! You all were wonderful! I'd highly recommend you all!