I see many discussions online about ear cropping, many times these discussions get quite heated. People seem to have VERY strong opinions on the topic of ear cropping. If you have a puppy, and are debating on whether to crop, or not, please read on.
First, if you feel you want to crop, please do NOT be dissuaded by those who will insist that this is a cruel surgery. Please ask yourself would breeders or people who obviously love their dogs do something intentionally cruel? It IS a cosmetic surgery, but a veterinarian does this, while the puppy is asleep. Please note that at this time, AKC requires cropping if you choose to show your dog. If the dog is not cropped, it is counted as a deviation from the standard and is judged to the extent of the deviation.
This IS a cosmetic surgery and is not necessary to do if you simply have a boxer as a pet. It is personal preference. If a knowledgeable vet does cropping, the healing process is usually swift.
Some things to be prepared for IF you choose to crop are as follows:
When the surgery is over, your pup will return to normal usually by the same evening. Mainly, you must watch to make sure that the pup does not scratch at his stitches. (And possibly pull one!)
During the first week, you must keep the sutures clean and free of scabbing. This is not necessarily hard to do, and Neosporin can be used to soften any scabs. Persistence is the main issue! Pups don’t like to hold still for anything!
There are many methods of ear taping, and different vets prefer different methods! Its best to take the advice of vet and try the methods they suggest. If it doesn’t seem to work for you, there are other methods available to try with many tutorials online.
Actual ear taping can last anywhere from a month after surgery up to when the pup is 8+ months old. It depends on the crop, the quality of the dog’s ear leather, and your persistence in keeping the ear taped!
Do be prepared to have maintenance… cropping is NOT an instant gratification. It takes lots of patience and persistence, and tape to get these ears to stand properly. If you don’t feel you can deal with frequent taping, it would be advised to not crop.
Many people will debate that a cropped ear is cleaner and easier to maintain, while others will argue the opposite. Whether you choose to crop, or not, you still need to maintain your dogs ear health by cleaning and checking for debris.
Cropping is not cruel, or a mutilation. It IS a cosmetic surgery, but a veterinarian performs it under sterile and clean environments. Of course, as with any surgery, there are risks…. any time you put your dog under there are risks of problems. Just be sure you inform your vet NOT to use Acepromazine, which is a common drug used to put dogs to sleep before surgery. It has been known to cause death in Boxers.
Whatever you decide, be comfortable with your decision… neither argument is “right” or “wrong”. If you want to crop, and are prepared for the aftercare, then by all means, ask your breeder to refer you to an experienced vet and be persistent! If you choose to keep those floppy ears, enjoy them as well! Whichever you choose, just be sure and practice regular ear cleaning, and maintenance!!
Read the warning about Acepromazine!