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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Got a Pikachu? Make Like a Taco!

I posted a version of this to Anatolian-L recently. I'm not editing it much just to expedite this posting for those who want to help their puppy's ear set.

This addresses puppies with floppy (pendant) ears and how to help them along if the ear set needs a little help.

Merlin and his toy ice bottle.

And here's the modified post

I had a nine week Anatolian pup that was teething and sometimes when he was kissy, he would press his ears back (a friendly submissive look) so frequently, that it started to affect his ear set.

First one ear did a lot of flipping so I used superglue gel as a layer, to stiffen the wider part of the flap (no moleskin needed) so the ear was heavy enough to drop correctly. After two days, that ear was fixed, but suddenly the other ear was starting to flip.

So basically he looked like moody Pikachu on one side of his head, with one pointy ear flipped back and sometimes folded awkwardly forward.

Ear sets are best fixed before teething period is complete.

Teething is a period of time when a lot of growing is taking place. Nutrients are going all around to build bigger bones, strong teeth, reinforce cartilage, make healthy organs and so forth. Well since ear cartilage is not as important to the body, sometimes an occasional pup may get flippy ears after weaning, if not addressed it will cause an Anatolian to have pointy ears that fold like the Flying Nun's wimple, or flip back into a rose shape (like a greyhound) or fly up in creative ways.

 What do these ear sets usually look like?

The cream colored pup on the right in this photo, shows an ear set that can become permanent if the ear set is not addressed.

BTW, you can buy this Anatolian book at the Anatolian Shepherd Dogs International web site.

Visit the page!

For those not familiar with the tricks to fix ear sets in puppies, there are several approaches.

In my opinion, the Taco method seems to be simplest and allows the inner ear to breathe while it forces the far corner of the triangular ear to resist folding incorrectly.

In Turkey, flock guarding dogs often have cropped ears. Over the past couple of decades, while I've rarely had problems with ear set, I've noted that uncropped ears can have higher or lower ear sets, a variety of ear weights and ear sizes. Ears are just not standardized and you can't really tell which ears may need a little help. I think a lot has to do with the puppy's personality and expression.

But to the rescue!  I have some links to share which talk basically about building a taco. :)

If you have an older dog and want to see if this will help, realize that as the dog matures, cartilage becomes set. But people might have some success with older dogs if they also incorporate frequent gentle massage. See the boxer link below for details.

This video is fun and funny to watch.
It shows a Bullmastiff pup getting an ear turned into a taco and being a very generous handful. ;)

Other helpful links:
It does help to see some step by step html if you have video playing problems.

This Boxer page shows both the taco method and using massage (the link for massage is at the very bottom of the page).

Here's one that just shows the taping with the taco method

And finally...

Here is a composite image showing Merlin's wayward ear setting up properly after only two days of taping.

I used regular duct tape, cut it about one inch wide and 3.5 inches long. Folded the 'taco' and taped it. Trimmed off the extra.

The weight of puppy's ear seemed to cause him not to notice the little bit of tape. Another pup volunteered to remove the tape, but the puppy told him, let's play another game. So there were no problems involving the tape.

You can see the tape coming loose in picture C which is the second day. In picture D, the third day, the tape has fallen off.
Both ears are beautiful now.

If Pikachu ear happens again as puppy grows, we'll just tape again. It's so simple and fast!

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 10/08/2013 08:48:00 PM | Permanent link | (0) Comments

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