When I first got Fiona we really enjoyed her floppy ears which then made me question why do so many pit bulls have cropped ears? Obviously these dogs are not born with cropped ears from birth, and what I found out shocked me.
Why do they cut pit bull’s ears? We still do this century old dangerous practice in modern times and it is just for looks. In the past, they did this to protect the dog from harm in fights and prevent ear infections. Today we know that ear cropping provides no benefits to the dog and is a dangerous procedure that can hurt the dog for life.
So if you are as confused as I am then you might say, why does anyone ever crop the ears of a dog? The answer is less simple and more complex than you might imagine, but it’s built on false narratives.
Where pit bull ear cropping began
Pit bull ear cropping is a century old method used by many to make their pit bulls look more dangerous and masculine. The idea behind this is that anyone who wanted to fit a pit bull would crop or cut their ears back to make them less resistant to other animals harming them in dogfights.
You might think this is a monstrous process, and it is considering that modern medicine tells us that ear cropping provides no benefits other than looks. It’s essentially like giving your dog plastic surgery.
Researching more I came across another method of thinking that I think fits more in line with what caused cropped ears to explode in the past.
Floppy dog ears lead to more infections in the animals because of bacteria and other debris that get stuck in the dog’s ear canal. When ear cropping exploded was during a time when dogs were used for work rather than play so they would constantly be in danger of getting bit by other animals in the ears which could lead to infection and kill the animal.
This means that people who feel for this quickly decided that they could save their dog from ear infections and most likely keep the dog healthier. And so the ear cropping became a part of the pit bulls looks which some people today still prefer over floppy ears.
How dangerous is ear cropping?
The biggest drawback to ear cropping is the number of complications that can happen during the surgery itself. Part of the issue is the anesthesia and infections which can kill the dog out right.
The next thing that you should consider is the fact that you can damage the ear itself, which can lead to a permanent scarring of the ear and lifelong problems.
Ear cropping is never done on adult dogs and always done on puppies because of the amount of recovery time that is involved. Typically, dogs that are under 12 months old have their ears cropped to keep the downtime to a minimum.
How much does ear cropping cost?
The ear cropping itself cost around $150 to $600 dollars, depending on the vet that will crop your dog’s ears. You will need to present them with an idea of the type of ear cropping you want done as they have four different types:
- Battle crop
- Short crop
- Show crop
- Long crop
Make sure that you check if your area has any laws that stop you from cropping before you commit, otherwise you might find yourself in legal trouble.
Another thing to note is that while some dogs with floppy ears may develop ear infections, there’s nothing that can guarantee that cropped ears will fix this problem.
How long is the recovery time for ear cropping?
After the procedure, which is roughly 3 to 4 hours, the dog will spend at least two nights at the vet to make sure no infections set in. After which the vet will send you home with instructions on how to care for your animal.
Keep the dog’s ears cleaned. Tend to the wounds and make sure that the scabs are coming off and inform the vet of any complications from the process.
Pain medicine will be given for the pain and healing time can range from 4 to 8 weeks depending on the wounds and how fast they heal.
How to clean a pit bull’s ears
Cleaning your puppy pal’s ears is more simple than you might imagine. Pit bulls because of their floppy ears will gather more wax dirt and debris than other dogs.
Cleaning them usually involves taking a cotton ball after you have used some solution that you can buy from your vet, we get ours for Fiona off amazon and it works well.
Once you pour the solution in your dog’s ears (this is the one we use) you want to follow the instructions which will tell you to massage the solution in the ear canal. Warning this may take two people if you have a scared dog and their instinct is to shake the solution out of their ears.
Once the solution has sat for about 30 seconds to a minute, you allow the dog to shake their head and remove the water. Warning you might want to hold up a towel because the stuff that comes out can be gross.
Then I take a cotton bull and rub the ball inside of the dog’s ears, removing any other moisture or solution that’s still left over.
Depending on your dog, you may have to do this a few times a month, once again check with your vet. Fiona’s ears were at first very black and brown wax came out. After cleaning them over and over, I am happy to report her ears now stay clean.
Health conditions associated with floppy ears
Depending on your dog, you might find that they develop some ear conditions based upon things like how often they are cleaned. Chronic ear infections which can damage a dog’s hearing can happen with a dog that gets these infections.
They can also develop ear mites which get in the dog’s ear canal and carry a ton of different diseases. Good news is that most vets can fix this problem with a single dose. Be warned, they are highly contagious among dogs.
My area doesn’t allow cropping. Should I just take my dog somewhere else? You can, however, keep in mind that people are nosier now that they ever have been. If your area does not allow you to crop and you do it and someone reports you, that’s animal cruelty which can be a big fine if not jail time. Besides that, you should just enjoy your dog’s ears the way they are.
Why are you so against cropping? Besides the fact that they are not born with it. I can’t imagine someone taking a human being and reducing our ears because they want us to look a certain way. If you really think about it, it’s a barbaric procedure. With that said, if you have a medical reason you have to have it done, you won’t hear judgement from me.
What’s the best crop? If you had to pick one. I would think the show would be the best because it doesn’t look as painful as some of the others, which completely reduces the dog’s ears to nothing or makes them look different.
I hope this article has given you something to think about. I also hope that you consider some of the consequences of cropping a dog’s ears before you ever go through with the procedure. However, if you still do the choice is yours and maybe you have a good reason for doing it.
I hope this article has been helpful to you and if you want more pit bull articles check out our website for more information on pit bulls.