Ever hear of ear cropping and wonder what or why it’s done?
Ear cropping involves removing the ear pinna, the external floppy part of the ear. This is generally performed on certain breeds of dogs, such as Dobermans and Great Danes. Ear cropping was first performed in certain working dogs because it was thought to reduce certain medical conditions from occurring, such as ear infections and hematomas. Other reasons included removing an easy target for wolves or poachers in dogs that were defending livestock, or later in dog fighting for the same reason. Now ear cropping is performed mostly for "aesthetic" reasons, because the people think the dog should look a certain way. In some cases, ear cropping is even accepted as part of a breed standard (the official description of what a dog should look like), such as the miniature schnauzer.
Now, we know that ear cropping does not prevent infections as even dogs with ears that naturally stand up can get ear infections (Most ear infections are caused by allergies). Ear hematomas are caused by violent head shaking that causes blood vessels to rupture within the ear, usually the result of an ear infection causing itching and pain. Ear cropping is also not required for showing dogs anymore, and generally is considered to be an unnecessary surgery. Many vets will not perform them unless medically necessary, such as a tumor growing on the ear pinna. Sometimes ear cropping is performed by lay people on very young puppies. This is not recommended and can lead to infection, scarring and permanent disfiguration.
- Ear cropping is a historic practice that is falling out of favor.
- It is not recommended unless medically necessary
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