Soft Ears! Help! - Page 1

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by vomschenck on 15 October 2003 - 19:10

I had purchased a show puppy from a breeder here in Wisconsin. The female puppy is now 10 mos. old and still has soft ears. One of them occasionally falls over. I have addressed the problem to this breeder and he is blaming me because I have crated my dogs when they are puppies. Do most REPUTABLE breeders stand behind ear problems?

by JanisNovak on 15 October 2003 - 23:10

Can't speak about "most" breeders, but I do. But I would also LIKE to be informed about a potential problem before it's possibly too late to help it. Standard advice I give ALL puppy buyers regarding ears is to let the dog have a LOT of chewing activity to build the muscles, to crate in a tall crate (preferably across from something interesting), to supplement with unflavored gelatine and to not let puppies run together unsupervised. At ten months, you could try the unflavored gelatine (2 tbsp per meal) and also a lightweight ear form glued into the ear. It's getting a bit late, but miracles can happen. There's a good "ear specialist" in Northern IL if you're close to the border at all. JDN - US

by JanisNovak on 15 October 2003 - 23:10

Skycrest Animal Clinic 847 634 3538. They're very nice there, if anyone can help at this point, it would be them, I would think. JDN - US

by JanisNovak on 16 October 2003 - 03:10

Dr. Radar is retired, but his staff is carrying on. JDN - US

by JanisNovak on 17 October 2003 - 00:10

The ear specialist that we've used on occasion is with a vet clinic that seems to specialize in Great Danes, Dobermans, Boxers, etc. Dogs who require surgery as puppies to fit the show ring standard. While no surgery is required for a German Shepherd Dog, sometimes, you know that there might be a question of "getting the ears up". In my case, I had two young females that I let play together too much as puppies. Their ears were going to be large (both mother and father had satellite dishes on their heads!) and heavy and my bad litter management caused the problem. I took them to the specialist at 4 months. He taped and formed the ears, we separated the pups. I feed gelatine, yogurt and cottage cheese and give plenty of chewing activity. After two weeks, we took the tape off and the ears were fine and have been ever since then. Maybe they would have come up on their own, but possibly not, and I panic. I have very lightweight, ventillated forms that I use during the teething stage if I think the puppy needs help. Normally if the bases are up and the ear is coming up well, you have no problems. But if the ear is going to be VERY heavy, you might just want to give some assistance. JDN - US

by JanisNovak on 17 October 2003 - 04:10

I believe that in some cases, soft ears ARE a genetic problem, and I would never knowingly use breeding stock that had that problem. But... is EVERY stud male owner going to be forthcoming about that? In my case, I've used it when it was MY poor litter management that caused the problem, all of the ears in the rest of the litter came up with no problems. Two weeks of taping will not help if it's a genetic weakness, I think. In the case of one male that wasn't out of my breeding, he needed six weeks of treatments. He was sold as a pet and neutered. After my experience with him, when I was looking to purchase a stud male, I was DEFINITELY more attracted to males that had smaller, neater ears! JDN - US

by JanisNovak on 17 October 2003 - 13:10

Oh yes, FunkMan, that's a GREAT remedy. Unfortunately, it only works with GERMAN celery. The genetically mutated American celery just doesn't have the nourisment we need. My husband is always in favor of the "copper wire" treatment. He feels we should just insert thin copper wire in the ear and then we could even pose the ear the way we want it! Alert pose means no double handling in conformation shows, ears flat back pose to look mean and aggressive, one floppy ear pose to look endearing.... All of the above is a JOKE, of course. JDN - US





 


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