Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to Tape (or Brace) Puppy Ears

Our new corgi puppy, Luke, has one ear with a crease in it. His ears are not up yet, so this one flops back a bit, rather than over the front. To correct this, the breeder's vet recommended that we use Breathe-Right (TM) strips. I tried this, but one good shake of his head sent the strips flying. I have modified this method and it seems to be working really well. Luke is almost 7 weeks old. This method may not work as well with an older puppy or one with ears that have thicker skin or really dense, heavy fur. I used a generic drugstore brand of the nose strips and the thin tape that you use to attach gauze to a wound. Don't use the heavy, super-sticky stuff. This will weight the ear down too much, causing it to sag down, and will pull off fur more when the tape is removed. Pull one nose strip off and place it over another so that you have a single strip of double thickness. Trim the strips down so that they fit inside the ear as pictured above, but don't go down into the ear canal and irritate the ear. Place the strip INSIDE the ear. Pull of two strips of tape that are about 4 inches long. Wrap them around the ear, front and back taking care not to bend or distort the ear, and to secure the nose-strip. Leave the ear braces in place for a week, but replace them if the ears appear to be set oddly or the tape becomes tattered or is falling off excessively. If the ears are still not corrected inside a week, contact your vet, groomer, or breeder for some help. The puppy will be irritated with the tape initially, so distract him with some play time or a good chew toy. Luke got used to them in about a half hour. Happy taping.

Edited to add: Because the floppy ear was not standing up enough, I used a couple of inches of tape to attach it front and back to the other ear. I left about 2.5 inches of space between the two ears. This forces both ears to stand up a bit more. After just one day, both ears are now consistently up. This has not corrected the crease however.

No comments: