What You Need to Know About Ear Cropping
Many people have questions about various aspects of ear cropping, and we hope this information will help. It explains the decisions you will need to make before your pet's upcoming surgery, and gives you some information about our practice in general.
Should I have my puppy's ears cropped?
This is a personal decision. Ear cropping is not right for every dog, and it is not right for every person who owns a dog. We recommend a consult appointment with our veterinarian if you are unsure about whether or not to crop. There is a tremendous amount of aftercare involved to make sure the ears stand properly, and an owner who is not committed to being diligent about the aftercare, should probably not crop their pet. A consult appointment will give you the opportunity to discuss the pros and cons of ear cropping with our doctor, and help you to make the best decision for your new puppy. In general, if a client has reservations about ear cropping, we recommend not cropping the puppy and leaving the ears natural.
At what age should I crop my puppy?
The answer to this question will depend very much on the breed of the dog. In general, however, with few exceptions, no puppy will ever be cropped at our office after 5 months of age. In general, Dobermans and Great Danes are cropped between 8 and 10 weeks of age. Boxers are cropped between 10 and 12 weeks. American Bullies, Pit bulls, and AmStaffs are done around 3 months of age. Smaller breeds like Miniature Pinschers and Miniature Schnauzers are cropped older -- around 3 or 4 months of age. For all other breeds, you will need to contact our office directly. These age estimations are based on the average size of the puppy and the average ear size for that breed at that age. Individuals can vary, and we prefer for pet owners to call us so we can help determine the optimum age for surgery for each individual puppy.
How soon after the surgery will I have to come back for a recheck?
The ears are secured to a cup after cropping -- until the edges are healed completely. You will need to come back to our office for suture and cup removal and the first ear posting 10-14 days after the surgery. We ask that clients call our office one week after surgery for a progress report and to schedule the suture and cup removal.
How long will it take for the ears to stand?
A perfect crop can be a flop if the aftercare is not handled correctly. Most Bullies, Pit Bulls, Amstaffs, Miniature Pinschers, and Miniature Schnauzers require only 3 or 4 ear taping appointments and the ears will stand. Other breeds like Dobermans, Danes, and Boxers may require 4-6 months of proper taping after surgery until the ears will stand. The length of the time for ear posting varies based on breed, ear crop length, and genetics (which can influence ear leather and shape on individual dogs.) We prefer that clients return to us for all the posting. It is important to us that the aftercare is handled properly -- so that the outcome of the cropping is successful.
I like the way my old dog was cropped -- can you do a "custom crop" to make it look the way I want?
If you are looking for a particular look, we would recommend an ear crop consultation appointment. Each crop is done to compliment an individual dog's look. We will not do a crop that we would consider unflattering to your dog, so if you ask us to do something that we don't like, the answer would be "no." Ear crops are designed based on an individual dog's head, ear length and quality, purpose of the pet (show or companion), and based on the breed specific standards.
What are the Hospital Hours?
Our office hours are always by appointment only. Our hours can vary from week to week, but in general, our hospital is open Monday thru Friday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. On some Saturdays, we are open from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm. The clinic is closed on Sunday.
Do I need to have an appointment to get my puppy's ears cropped?
Yes, office hours are by appointment only. Surgery appointments are made only on certain days of the week, and not typically scheduled on Saturday. We require a consult or office visit prior to scheduling the ear crop surgery -- this allows the Doctor to meet the client and their pet, and it also allows the client to ask any questions they may have.
When should I schedule an appointment?
To help ensure that you get an appointment, it is better to call our office early when you first purchase your puppy or when you are thinking about purchasing your puppy to get information about scheduling. Upon arrival at your home, we recommend that your pup should be taken immediately to your own local veterinarian for a checkup and fecal analysis. Have your vet review the vaccination records from the breeder to insure that the puppy is current on vaccines prior to your consult appointment. Try to schedule a consult with us as soon as possible after you see your regular veterinarian.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Cash, Check, MasterCard, Visa, and Amex.
Can I make partial payments?
We do not accept partial payments; full payment is required when your pet is ready to go home.
What are the pre-surgery requirements at Millstone Animal Hospital?
Prior to your scheduled appointment you should have a copy of your pet's "up-to-date" vaccination records, a copy of a negative fecal analysis from your vet (including coccidia and giardia), and a copy of all medical records on the puppy from your local vet. You will need to bring a PRINTED COPY of these records for your consult appointment. Your pet should be clear of any parasites or infections for a full two weeks prior to surgery. You will need to inform us -- when you schedule the appointment -- of any previous or current health problems in your pet. This policy of “health before surgery” is strictly enforced to ensure that your pet and future pets that come into our office are not exposed to anything that may compromise their health or well-being.
Do you board pets?Unfortunately, we do not have the facility to board multiple pets in our office. Ear crop patients will always go home the same day as surgery. The only pets that are kept here overnight are recovering from surgery or have an existing medical condition that requires medical boarding services. We refer our local clients to the Green Leaf Pet Resort and Hotel in Millstone Township, NJ for boarding services. In Northern Jersey, we refer our clients to the Green Dog Inn for boarding services.