Myths about Dog Ear Cropping
I love my ears why can't you?
Recently, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) has considered the practice of ear cropping for cosmetic purposes only, medically unnecessary and therefore has opposed to its practice. While the battle has been going on for quite a while, the AVMA now is directly attempting to ask breed clubs within the AKC, to eliminate both ear cropping and tail docking practices from breed standards.
Also more and more veterinarians are recently refusing to crop ears. The reason why many veterinarians oppose to it is because they consider the practice unnecessary and painful. Not to mention the fact that not all ear croppings have a happy ending. In some cases, the ears may not ''stand'' as owners may like and therefore, this scenario creates frustrating situations for both veterinarians and owners.
The AKC still nowadays, seems to have trouble accepting that ear cropping is really only for cosmetic purposes. They claim the practice of ear cropping and tail docking '' “integral to defining and preserving breed character and /or enhancing good health''. Unfortunately, this is far from true. There are absolutely no real medical benefits when it comes to cropping ears.
Rather, in some cases, complications may arise from the ear cropping practice itself: ears may get infected, the pinna may not stay erect as wished, there may be bleeding, not to mention the risks associated with putting a puppy under general anesthesia.
Myths and Reasons Why Ear Cropping is Still Practiced
Myth number 1) It Prevents Ear Infections
Some breeders may claim that upright ears tend to develop less ear infections. While this may have some truth, cropping ears for this sole purpose would be an exaggerated preventive method. Because all tissues have the potential for infections, this would translate into cutting toes, appendages and tails for the simple fact of preventing infection. It is also not uncommon for dogs with cropped ears to develop ear infections because ear infections set in for a variety of reasons.
Myth number 2) It is a Standard of The Breed
Dogs are born with full length ears. This means that this is the actual breed standard. Standards are set by nature not by humans. If the breed has whole length ears it means that nature created them in this manner because it is inherited in the dog's genes.
Myth number 3) A Boxer (or other cropped ear breed) is not a Boxer with Full Length Ears
People and breeders really have grown accustomed to cropped ears. They associate them with the breed standard. They have been fixated on the idea that pinnas must be erect, and they believe that refraining from having them that way, makes their dogs look like half a dog. They fear changes, they feel their dog breed is stripped from its dignity and breed status.
Yet, humanity evolves, and often in better. Jets fly faster, we reach out to others with a click of a mouse, we talk from different countries. One day, may also come where dogs will be different from what they are now. We may look back and think of how naïve they looked without tails and without ear tips. We may actually laugh at our mistakes, just as the first cars developed make us smile.
Myth number 4) Ear Cropping is Like Getting Ears Pierced
Ear piercing is to ear cropping like an injection to an arm is to an arm amputation. There is really a lot of difference. Ear piercing requires no anesthesia, whereas ear cropping requires general anesthesia. Ear piercing consists of a little needle prick and the procedure is over. Ear cropping consists of general anesthesia and weeks of recovery and bandages. People would not get their ears pierced as often if they had to go through general anesthesia and getting almost more than half their ear chopped off!
Myth number 5) Ear Cropping is Like Spaying and Neutering
Many pro ear croppers when confronted with the unnecessary practice of ear cropping may state that if the practice is considered painful then people must not spay or neuter their pets. However, there is a big difference in this scenario, spaying and neutering is medically necessary, preventing many major diseases such as cancer and pyometra. It also prevents hundreds of dogs to be euthanized because of the pet over population problem.
Myth number 6) Owners Have a Right to Crop Ears
Ear cropping is banned in many countries nowadays. The right was taken away in these countries because the practice interferes with the dog's well being and is unnecessary. A person's rights stops when it takes away another person's rights. In this case the dog is taken away its right to keep its ears as nature intended.
Myth number 7) Ear Cropping is not Painful
There is proof that the procedure is not a walk in the park. Pain meds are often prescribed for recovery. Puppies may yelp as they hit their ears against furniture. They are obliged to wear ''cones'' for many weeks to allow the ears to stand up correctly. Owners and breeders often may say that their dogs act normally but dogs are very well known for their stoicism. And since dogs cannot talk it is unfair to presume that they are free of pain.
Myth number 8) There are More Important Factors to Consider
It is true, the Animal Welfare Organization may focus on bigger issues than ear cropping. But then why should owners spend so much money for dog cosmetic surgery when they can donate to shelters or other charities? There are so many more proficuous ways to spend money other than turning dogs into fashion accessories.
Ears have a function and there is a reason why dogs were born with a complete set of ears. Human intervention, has created a breed standard that does not abide with nature. Dogs need their ears to effectively communicate their feelings, keep debris and bugs away and last but not least as a statement of who they are and who they were meant to be. Not being able to accept dogs as nature intended them to be, is foolish and superficial. More and more dogs are showing their full length ears and long tails as owners and breeders are educated about the disadvantages and uneccessity of ear cropping.
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Article on About.com about Banfield banning ear crops
- Banfield Veterinary Group Bans Ear Cropping and Tail Docking
Banfield Veterinary Group Bans Ear Cropping and Tail Docking