Back to News

By Dr. Lind
Published: September 03, 2014

Ear Cropping Services

Hello, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Dr. Laura Lind. I graduated from Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001. After working in general medicine for a number of years, I studied ear cropping under the tutelage of Dr. Randolph Valentine, starting in 2004 and began full time surgery in 2005. I am skilled in cropping many breeds, including: Boxers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, American Staffordshire Terriers, Great Danes, Schnauzers, Miniature Pinschers, Cane Corsos, Dogo Argentinos, and other breeds.

Getting Started
The process starts with a phone call to receive an estimate and schedule an appointment for surgery. A deposit of $100 is required to place your puppy on the surgery schedule and will go towards the cost of surgery, provided that the surgery is performed. The deposit is non-refundable unless 48 hours' notice is given for cancellation.

On the morning of surgery, Dr. Lind will evaluate your puppy and determine if it is a good candidate for surgery and discuss the style of crop you are looking for. Your puppy will spend the night with us in order for a compression bandage to be placed after surgery. The ears will be posted the following morning.

All our surgical cases receive an IV catheter with intravenous fluids and inhalant anesthesia. We have monitoring during anesthesia including heart rate, blood pressure and pulse oximetry provided by licensed and trained Veterinary Technicians. Your puppy will be sedated prior to the ears being posted the following day and will be sent home with oral antibiotics and pain medications, as well as a safety collar to protect the ears. Discharge is from noon until 6pm.

We provide all aftercare here at the hospital in order to maximize the chances your puppy’s ears will stand. Initially the puppy will be sent home in taped ears. Your only job is to monitor the ears to make sure there is no discharge, smell, or excess head shaking, and that the “rolls” stay in the ears.

In two weeks' time we ask that you return to the hospital for the sutures to be removed and to replace the rolls if needed. At this time, some breeds are completed (Pit Bulls, Schnauzers) with the aftercare and do not need to continue. If your puppy’s ears are rerolled, then those rolls stay in for approximately 2 ½ weeks, at which time you will remove the rolls yourself at home. We wait for 2-3 days and then the puppy comes back for evaluation and rerolling if needed. This process repeats every 3 weeks until we are satisfied that the ears are standing. The duration of aftercare varies depending on cartilage quality, breed and length of ear.

Additional Services
We require vaccines to be current at the time of surgery, including the Bordetella vaccine. We can provide vaccines in the event that your puppy is not current at the time of surgery. Additionally we can remove dewclaws, dock tails, repair scarred dewclaws and tail, as well as spay or neuter. We also occasionally correct ear crops, performed elsewhere, that you may find unsatisfactory.

When should I crop my puppy?
There is a window of opportunity in which your puppy’s ears are moldable. If we exceed this window, no amount of taping will force an ear to stand. We recommend that most breeds be cropped at approximately 12 weeks of age. Great Danes are cropped at 10 weeks and Pit Bulls can occasionally be done later if the ear cartilage is adequate. If your puppy is over the recommended age, we require a consultation with Dr. Lind to determine if your puppy is still a good candidate for surgery. If it is determined that your puppy is not a good candidate, then there will be an exam fee.

Why should I crop my puppy?
The most obvious reason that people crop their puppy is “breed recognition”. Most people come to expect a breed to look a certain way when it is fully grown. In fact, many people assume that the breed is born with erect ears. A Doberman puppy may be cute as a puppy, but often will not be recognized as a Doberman at maturity with uncropped ears. 

The second reason for cropping is often overlooked, but dogs with erect ears have fewer ear infections compared to breeds like Cocker Spaniels with heavy, floppy ears. A point of interest, wild animals do not have ears that hang down and cover the ear canal.

We do not provide any guarantee that your puppy’s ears will ultimately look a certain way or stand a certain way. Dr. Lind always tries to crop the ears in the style that you request. Ultimately, however, every puppy is different and every ear is different. Our goal is for your puppy’s ears to stand, so we have recommendations for age, as well as length of crop based on cartilage quality. If your puppy exceeds the recommended age, has poor cartilage quality or the aftercare is not properly performed, your chances for success in a standing ear are diminished. We also suggest that pictures be brought in or identified from our album to help determine the look of crop you are after. However, it is important to note that a cropped ear is 3 dimensional and a photo is 2 dimensional, so depending on how the dog is holding the ears or the degree to which the ear is erect in the photo may change the perspective of the ear.

For more information, please call us at (253) 531-0454 or Click here to submit an online appointment request.