NO GOOIES, NO IRRITATION EAR TAPING
(Aftercare of the cropped
The way in which you care for a cropped ear
has a huge influence on whether or not that ear will ever stand properly.
There are many methods of aftercare. I don't care for those that enclose
the entire ear, creating a natural atmosphere for infection and the
dreaded, 'gooies'. The gooies is that gloppy gray gunk that you often find
when untaping an ear that has been up for a week or so. The following
method will prevent this and is very effective and comfortable for the
Ears should not be taped until most of the
scabs are healed after cropping surgery. If there are only 1 or 2 scabs
left, you can cover those with cotton and a little of the antibiotic
powder, and then tape over them.
You will need
1. 3/4" wide smooth plastic hair
rollers. Cut 2 strips from one roller, approximately 1/4" wide and
the length of the roller. Cut two other rollers as follows. Cut 1/4"
wide strips down the length of the roller to within 1" of the bottom.
With the hot knife, cut away the unused part of the roller after cutting
the strip/stay. (Figure 1).
2. Johnson & Johnson's "Zonas"
1" wide adhesive tape. You'll probably find this at your vets, or a
hospital supply although some drug stores carry it. I recently noticed
something called "Sports Tape" by Johnson & Johnson in the
drug store. It seems to be the same stuff. If you can't find 1" tape,
just rip the 1 1/2" lengthwise.
3. Benzoin compound (You might have to order
this from a pharmacy)
5. bandage scissors
6. Antibiotic powder, BFI powder or even Dr.
Scholls foot powder.
8. cotton balls
A. After you've cut the rollers, take the
'stay' strip and lay it and the roller/stay combo against the ear. Measure
from the 'bump' (Figure 2) to about 1/4" past the tip of the ear.
Attach the strip/stay to the roller/stay with adhesive tape. Wrap tightly
going a bit above and below the loose parts of the stay.
B. Now take the appliance you've just
created and a roll of tape. Start at the roller end. Apply tape to the
bottom of the roller where it will contact the ear and wrap the lower half
in tape. Cut and push the loose end into the inside of the roller. This
helps to protect the 'bump' from the plastic of the roller.
C. Now take a roll of tape and starting at
the cylindrical end of the appliance, wrap once around and then stop and
begin winding the tape so the sticky side is out. Continue this over the
entire appliance, going a little beyond the end of the stay that will be
at the tip of the ear. This gives a really strong hold. Set aside and
repeat with the other one.
D. Next, cut 4 pieces each of tape long
enough to wrap twice around the base of the ear. Approximately 9"
long. Cut 2 pieces each of tape, approximately 6" long and 2 pieces
3" in length.
E. PREPARE THE EARS. Clean the ears well
with alcohol and dry thoroughly. Next, using a couple Q-Tips, paint the
ear with the Benzoin compound. Paint the inside of the ear from the
"bump" (See Figure 3) to the tip. Paint the outside of the ear
to the tip and pay particular attention to the outside of the base.
Allow to dry until tacky, about 2-3 minutes.
F. Shake a small amount of the antibiotic
powder in the little fold at the base of the ear on top of the head.
(Figure 3). This will help prevent the "gooies" that usually
G. Next take one of the roller/stay
appliances and set it into the inside of the ear just resting on the
"bump". Smooth and apply pressure until stuck firmly (Figure 4).
G. Take the 9" long piece of tape and
wrap it around the base of the ear and curler as shown in Figure 4. It is
important to keep tension on the ear at this point. You want the base
pulled out from the head so you can tape it properly in order for it to
stand (Figure 5). Wrap in the direction of the small ear fold at base of
ear. Wrap snug but not too tight and angle the tape down into the base of
the ear where it meets the head (Figure 6).
H. Now take the 2nd 9" piece of tape
and wrap it around the ear and roller so that the top edge extends about
¼" above the top of the roller. Tuck the overelap down into the
roller after wrapping. The 6" piece goes around the ear in the middle
of the ear. Be sure to shape the tape to the ear, not the other way
around. The ear edge should remain flat. The 3" wraps the very tip
I. Repeat the procedure on the other ear.
[Note that the ear will be pulled tighter into the roller more than shown
in the illustration.] For the first couple tapings after cropping (that
is, after the incisions have healed, sutures are removed and the rack is
off) it's a good idea to brace the ears across the top of the head. Once
the puppy is holding his ears erect, the brace is no longer necessary.
J. BRACING THE TAPED EARS (Figure 7). Cut a
piece of "stay" material wide enough to span between the ears
without rubbing the ears themselves, usually about 3 to 4". Cut a
piece of tape long enough to reach from one ear to the other, circle the
ear, return to the first ear, circle it, and wrap about half way back to
the other ear. Ears should be held erect, and allowed to turn into a
naturally held position, usually slightly out from the side of the head.
You'll need a helper here to hold the ears while you tape. (You'll
probably need a helper throughout the entire procedure, for that matter!)
Start taping at the front of one ear, span to the other, circle it around
the back of this ear, to the front span then insert the stay and sandwich
it between the two pieces of tape. Continue the tape around the second ear
and back across the front. Be very careful not to twist or turn the ears
out of their natural resting position. Cut a short (about 2") piece
of 1" tape and wrap around the span between the ears a couple times
so the stay will remain in place. You're done! Leave ears taped about a
week, then take tape off and allow ears to rest for a day. Repeat until
the ears are standing.
If the ears constantly flop forward or hang
out to the side, you have not taped the bases close enough to the head.
You can try putting another wrap of tape around the base and see if that
works. If not, you'll have to retape the whole ear.
If, after a couple hours (or days or
whatever) you notice that the puppy is scratching a lot at the tapes, or
shaking his head and whining, something isn't right. Check the ear for
irritation or the appliance for slippage. It's best to untape and then
retape the entire ear rather than try a quick fix.
There is no set amount of time it takes
before the ears will stand. Average is probably about 3-4 months of
taping. Most pups have their ears up by the age of 6 months. However it
isn't unusual for some not to stand until they're a year old. Some just
have poor ear leather that won't stand or tips that curl inward. That's
one of my frequent problems. A poor ear crop can be the cause also.
EAR TAPING ILLUSTRATIONS