With upright ears there is good evaporation of the moisture. But floppy ears close off the ear canal and don't allow good evaporation. You then get a dark, warm, moist environment which make a great breeding ground for microorganisms.
Most commonly, ear infections can be treated with a professional cleaning followed by medication given at home. Your veterinarian may prescribe topical and/or oral medicine. It is not uncommon for some dogs to have recurrent ear infections.
If chronic ear infections are untreated they will lead to permanent damage to the ear canal. Over time this worsens, leading to hardening of the cartilage of the ear and disruption in the normal function of the canal lining. When an ear gets to this point it is impossible to completely resolve the infection, and the only solution is to surgically remove the ear canal (total ear canal ablation, or TECA).
Chronic or recurrent ear infections are very frustrating to deal with as a pet owner and can cause significant discomfort .
Ear surgeries have improved from those performed twenty or thirty years ago. Ear Cropping involves the reshaping, sculpturing, and contouring of the outer ear flap (pinna) to complete an erect standing ear, properly balanced and proportioned to the pet's conformation.
This involves placing the puppy under general anesthesia which with all surgeries including sterilizations, creates risk. The surgery is ideally performed between 7-20 weeks of age, depending on breed of dog (see ideal age chart).
While most dog owners choose to have this surgery for aesthetic reasons, the patient luckily benefits from the resultant health benefits long after the surgery.
Most veterinarians would agree that the incidence of ear infections in breeds with erect standing ears is far less than those in breeds with droopy, pendulous ears.
An experienced practitioner involved in many medical and surgical cases of the ear, would undeniably support this claim. That is why we support our veterinarians and our cropped breeds!
More than just looks but a part of Preservation and Protection in some purebred breeds Preservation:
Perhaps to the average pet owner breed standards do not mean much, and this is okay. The pet owner has the amenity of enjoying the success of a breeder's labor by getting that longed for breed of choice.
A good breeder however is more of a curator for a living museum. The breeder preserves and protects the breed as its original architect designed it to be. The breeder breeds the best specimens who meet the standard of perfection in order to pass along its purpose and history for future generations to enjoy. The educated breeder understands that purebreds did not come easily into our lives and once gone will never come back to us as we know them today. Right now we are not so lucky to be in Canada where we used to have the freedom to enjoy our purebreds where veterinarian and client work together for the betterment of the dog and not cower to radical beliefs. Often radical beliefs are designed to instill fear to the public in order to build support for eliminating purebred dogs. Other countries have not been as lucky and have had the docking and cropping bans for years unlike Canada who still has a fighting chance. We continue to fight for our breeds and traditions.
In countries where beneficial procedures such as cropping and docking have been eliminated the working breeds as we know are all but disappearing. We must understand that today, every cropped or docked breed is a representation of its glorious history. It is an ambassador for the breed and its fight to stay alive.
Many years of veterinarian studies, show that one of the most frequented aliments that occur in dogs is ear infections. Cropping the ears helps preclude these things from happening and offers the owners and breeder assurance for years to come. Torn ears, hematomas and infections are all preventable and the cropping of ears on traditionally cropped breeds helps owners have an advantage on some of the most agonizing occurrences with dogs. Infections and hematomas are usually caused by the owner’s lack of awareness to maintenance for a dropped eared pet. When you purchase a purebred cropped breed from a registered breeder they have insured them themselves and the owners that their puppy will have the most excellent possible start in life. Possibly their new family addition will live an elongated and comfortable life not only looking and functioning as the breed they were bred to be, but also offering future protection against some of the most common ailments to dogs. According to Dr. Al Stinson DVM, former director of the state of Michigan canine legislative affairs, co-founder of Michigan State University Purebred Dog Endowment fund and professor emeritus, "Fluid levels in the ear canals of a dog with erect ears are lower due to air flow. Lower levels of fluid not only prevent infection but create a better environment for hearing.
Most of all it ear cropping should remain a choice between breeders, owners and veterinarian.
Some Purebreds with naturally standing ears may also require taping or bonding. When the posterior auricular muscles in the ear are weak, they can not hold the weight of the pinna, resulting in ears that will not stand correctly. Taping the ears in the correct upright position, reduces the pull on the muscles, possibly resulting in upright ears.
The hematoma can be treated by draining off the blood and the application of a special ear support. But most hematomas treated in this way will reoccur.
The best treatment of hematomas requires surgery. The surgery involves incising the hematoma, draining it, and inserting special stitches. A hematoma in any breed with erect ears will likely result in some breaking of the ear. The affected ear may never be able to stand again correctly.
surgery after care involves suture removal. Once healed, support tapings or bonding. Not all breeds that have ear cropping performed need to be posted or supported. The length of crop and breed will determine the type posting. Posting is necessary for some, while the muscles and cartilage of the ear develop the strength necessary to allow the ears to stand erect.
Corrective otoplasties and Ear Cropping are medical and cosmetic surgical procedures of the ear.
Ear cropping surgeries are typically performed on over 20 different CKC/AKC registered breeds. Breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, Great Danes, Beaucerons, and Schnauzers. Genetics have dictated which breeds’ ears can be successfully cropped to stand erect. nature provided strong ear muscles - but man bred for weak ears in the hounds to produce a drooping ear.
One of the biggest reasons for ear infections is simple anatomy. Dogs with floppy ears are more prone than dogs with upright ears because there is less air flow and moisture can't evaporate easily. If water gets in the ear and stays there it causes irritation which can lead to an infection.
Any dog can develop an ear hematoma. The problem develops easier in dogs with more pendulous ears, because heavy ear flaps easily slap against the side of the head during head shaking.
Ear hematoma is a collection of blood under the cartilage of the ear flap (pinna). A hematoma may result from excessive scratching of the ear, or shaking of the head, due to an underlying ear infection or allergy. It may also be caused through trauma or after a bite wound from another pet.