Ear cropping of your pitbull does not end at the surgery; owners must be prepared to put a lot of time and effort into getting those croped ears to heal and stand.
Once the crop is over and done with, there can be issues with infection, poor healing, and scarring. Some of these issues are the fault of the owner, and some issues cannot be prevented, even with the best ear care.
In this post, I will share the best method to take care of your pitbull ear cropping. Also, when and how to post your dog’s ear after cropping.
Let’s get started.
Pitbull Ear Cropping Aftercare
After the ear crop, some vets send dogs home the same day with prescribed pain medication. On the other hand, some vets prefer to keep the dog overnight.
There are also vets who attach a foam or supports to the dog’s ear before sending them home, while others tape them to a plastic rack. also, some vet advice to leave them to heal naturally
While following the vet instructions is important, so is your own awareness of the situation. Therefore, here are few things that you need to consider and take care of as a pet owner.
Recommended: Complete pitbull ear cropping procedure
You need to constantly watch your pitbull after the surgery to make sure he doesn’t dig at the stitches, bandages, or tapes.
The first night, your pitbull will probably be drowsy from the anesthetic, and possibly sore around the ears as well. The vet will give you information for pitbull ear cropping aftercare, so make sure you follow it.
If at any point you notice infection or other issues, call your vet ASAP, and see if it’s something you need to bring your pup in for.
More importantly, keep your pitbull puppy in a large crate for the first week or two. Doing this will prevent them from bumping their cropped ears into furniture. They’re supposed to take it easy after the surgery anyway.
Also, make playtime outside since there are fewer obstacles.
Bandages on Freshly Cropped Ear?
Do you need to keep any bandages after the ear cropping?
No, you do not need to keep any bandages after ear cropping because fresh crops need to breathe.
Well, some vets do insist on keeping the bandage on cropped ears. And it is done with good intentions. They claim that the bandage is to keep the ears in the right direction and help in the healing process.
It is good to provide support to the ear but covering the fresh stitches is not recommended by experienced vets. Therefore, bandages should not be kept on stitches. But it’s alright if the bandages cover the non-stitched part of the cropped ears.
Most owners choose not to bandage their pitbull’s cropped ear. This is considered the best option as pit bull cropped ears will heal faster when stitches are not bandaged or covered. Also, there are fewer chances of infection.
But if you decide to keep bandages on the ear, the best approach would be to keep an eye on the bandage from getting wet. In most cases when the ears are wrapped like that for too long, it leads to nasty infections.
Cone or No Cone
I would also recommend keeping the Pet Cone Collar on your pitbull whenever you are not directly supervising them. It only takes one time of them scratching their ear for them to pop a stitch and have to go back to get it fixed.
Even the prolonged use of e-collar is not good. Though it keeps them from scratching their ears, it pushes the cropped ears inward.
Using an e-collar for the first few days is enough to pass the itchy phase.
Dealing with Scab
A scab is a protective tissue covering that forms after the skin has been damaged. And you will see some scabs after the ear cropping procedure. So, how should you deal with the scab on cropped ears?
Here you have two options
- Leave the scab and let it fall naturally
- Peel the scab and speed up the healing process.
The one that works best is peeling the scab. It helps with the healthy process of getting new fresh blood to the cuts and makes it easier for stitch removal. Meaning the stitches wouldn’t stick or be hard to remove cause they grew into the ear.
Of course, peeling scabs sounds horrible but there are ways to make it less painful. Here is how you can remove the scab with little effort.
Take a rag and wet it under hot water. Let that rag soak on cropped ears. Once the scabs are soaked, you can peel them off.
By allowing scabs to form and build up, the ears will get stiff and stuck in one position. The scabs need to come off and the ears must be stretched.
Peroxide is Bad
Peroxide is a mild antiseptic used on the skin to prevent infection. It’s good to use on the very first cleaning, but typically it isn’t recommended to continue to use it. It basically dries the skin out so bad that it makes it take longer to heal.
Above all, the peroxide will kill the healthy tissue that is trying to grow back over. A one time cleaning with Peroxide is fine, but after that, it’s not recommended because it hinders the healthy tissue that is trying to heal up the wound
Have you noticed uneven crops after ear cropping of your pitbull?
Well, what looks to be an “uneven” crop is most likely what we call “pockets,” where the ear or ears are collapsing in on themselves. It may seem like the cropped ear is floppy and bends at the middle. This can usually be fixed through proper posting of the ears.
In case of pockets or uneven crop, post the ears asap. Otherwise, it’s going to be permanently set in that position. Then it’s not going to look so great.
Pro tip: Posting isn’t going to fix the cut edge of your dog’s ear, that is due to being cut unevenly or due to the suture material. Posting just makes the ear stand straight.
The ears should always be standing up straight. Yes, they can move their ears around to show expression and such, but they shouldn’t ever look like they’re “falling” onto his head.
You might want to give some pain medication to your dog, but is it really necessary? It’s better to consult your vet before offering any pain medication or antibiotic to your dog.
Follow your vet’s aftercare instructions!
Posting and Taping
If the cropped ears are standing, but not exactly satisfactory. And you see a sharp crease between the ear and the head or the ear is folded onto itself or the head. You need to post or tape the dog’s ears asap.
One caution: Never tape with stitches.
Once the stitches come out (usually 7 to 10 days after the procedure, depending on the vet), you can either take your pup to the vet to be posted, or you can do it yourself.
If you are unsure at any point whether or not you are doing it right, please go to the vet. If you tape the ears too tight, you can cut off blood supply and essentially kill a good part of their ear.
Remember: Sometimes they won’t need to be taped. Simple massaging and breaking up the cartilage can help them stand.
Depending on the crop style you get for example battle and short crop you don’t need “stands” really but for the rest, you do need them to make them look perfect. It also depends on who did the crop job for you.
Posts stay on for 3-5 days, then off for another 3-5 days to let the ears breathe. Re-post if necessary. The process can take between 3-6 months depending on the style. Shorter crops usually take lesser time to stand compared to other styles.
Quick Home Remedy to Treat Cropped Ears Fast
This homemade remedy heals cropped ears a lot faster. The normal healing time for cropped ears with medicine or ointment is three to four weeks. With this healing remedy, the cropped ears of your pitbull will heal in 7-10 days.
- Pinch of black pepper
- Boiled water
Mix all the ingredients until you get a nice and moist paste (add more water). It should not be a very dry or thick paste because once you put it on the dog’s ears, it’ll fall right off.
Note: turmeric is not dangerous for dogs to ingest.
How to apply:
Before applying, clean the ears with witch hazel. Grab a good punch of paste in your hand and apply it on the ear nice and thick. And it’s alright if they shake it off.
When you do this, wear gloves because turmeric and witch hazel can stain your fingers.
When to apply:
Apply the paste on the same day the ears get cropped but you can do it immediately after they get cropped since they’ll be asleep. It is recommended to apply twice a day
After application, they usually shake it off for the most part or you can clean it with witch hazel.