Being a watchdog, Cane Corso is a large, assertive, active, and intelligent dog. Its mighty look and vigorous nature make it a perfect choice for guarding fences and leading hunt parties. To give the dog a more influential look, owners prefer ear cropping, which, for some people, is cruel.
Cropping Cane Corso’s ear is common. However, the decision to give your Corso an ear-cropping is more of a personal choice. Most dog owners consider it a barbaric act. At the same time, others prefer ear-cropping because it provides the dog with an aesthetically appealing look while also bringing significant benefits.
Here you will find a detailed process of ear cropping from both perspectives (favor & against). We will weigh the pros and cons of this practice to help you decide whether or not you need to put your Cane Corso under the needles.
Here is a list of things we will be discussing in the article below:
Ear Cropping – A Quick Intro
Ear cropping is a non-invasive surgical process that aims to shorten the floppy ears of a Cane Corso. Long floppy ears that close the ear canal were never a part of Cane Corso’s natural appearance. However, cross-breeding with other species changed its ears’ shape over the years.
Ear cropping involves cutting down the loosely hanging part of a dog’s ears, known as Pinna. The edges of the ears are then stitched for a few weeks. A licensed veterinarian carries out the surgery under anesthesia. He will also monitor your pet’s condition during the entire procedure. After the recovery process, the dog will have short upright ears giving it a more fierce and alert impression.
Most dog owners prefer cropping the ears of their Cane Corso because it enhances the overall features of the breed. Cropped ears bring out the dog’s square head and muzzle. It particularly suits Cane Corso dogs that are used for hunting and guarding.
Different Styles Of Ear Cropping
Ear cropping usually involves four different styles depending on the breed and size of the dog. But since the aesthetic appeal is the primary reason behind ear cropping, it is more of a personal choice. The four different styles of ear cropping include the following:
- Battle Crop: Battle Crop is the shortest ear-cropping style. If you go for a battle crop style, less than 1/3 of the ear will be left after surgery. It will transform your cute, cuddly pup into an aggressive, unfriendly fellow. Battle crop style also has certain drawbacks, such as it leaves the dog’s ear open to air and insects. The dog may also develop bacterial infections during the aftercare process.
- Tall Crop: Tall crop is not a popular option among Cane Corso owners but is still a preferred choice by many. It’s the most extended crop style where ¾ of the ear is left. The ears look long and pointy at the end.
- Short Crop: Short crop is the most famous cropping style as it delivers the desired outcome without making your dog’s ear vulnerable to infections. The vet leaves ⅔ of the ear.
- Show Crop: Show crop is another popular choice of cropping style among Cane Corso owners. Show Crop style is similar to the Short Crop style in terms of size but gives the ears a sharp look.
Before you opt for a specific style, remember that dogs need their ears and tail for communication and tracking. A particular type of ear cropping, such as the Battle Crop style, leaves the ears useless. Consult your veterinarian and pick a style that best suits your Corso pup.
How Is Ear Cropping Carried Out?
Ear cropping is a quick procedure conducted within 15 minutes.
The vet sedates the dog before cropping and cutting the hanging floppier part of the ear. The vet uses clamps and modules to shape the ears of the puppy. Towards the end of the surgery, the vet stitches the dog’s ear into a splint or another hard surface. It allows the ears to stand upright after the healing cycle.
The bandage needs to be changed weekly. The dog owner must take care of the wound and bandages; if you notice your dog getting uneasy or any signs of infection, consult the vet immediately.
However, it would be best if you remember a few things before you take your Cane Corso for ear cropping, such as:
- Stop feeding your pup 10-12 hours before the cropping.
- Keep your pup only on water for 5-6 hours before surgery.
- Don’t feed your dog right after the procedure.
- Give it water after a few hours, and then offer it food after 5-6 hours.
- It is common for a dog to feel unstable immediately after ear cropping. However, if the uneasiness and instability last a couple of days, it’s best to consult the doctor.
- Make sure the stitches don’t crack open. Apply wound healing creams to speed up the healing process.
Is Ear Cropping A Complicated Procedure?
For a skilled vet, ear cropping is a simple procedure that is finished within minutes. However, some risks and complications associated with ear cropping make it controversial.
Ear cropping is an excruciatingly painful process. Before starting the surgery, the pup is given a pre-anesthetic-sedative drug. The drugs allow the muscles to relax. Once the dog is relaxed, anesthesia is given either intravenously or by gas through a breathing mask.
The use of anesthesia is what creates complications during the surgical procedure. Anesthesia can cause heart failure, allergies, or breathing problems in dogs. The cropping is more dangerous if your Cane Corso has a history of heart or lung diseases.
Excessive bleeding and wound breakdown during or after the surgery are other significant threats associated with ear cropping. Caring for the cropped ear is another major worry, as it may get infected if not cared for. Vets often prescribe painkillers to soothe the pain and keep the dogs relaxed for the next couple of weeks.
Ideal Time For Ear Cropping
The best time for cropping the ears in a Cane Corso is between eight and twelve weeks. According to veterinarians, the dog is strong enough to handle the process during this period. The cartilage is also youthful at this stage, allowing the ear to heal fast.
Cropping off the ears when the pup is only a few weeks old won’t produce the desired results. It is because a young dog’s cartilaginous tissues are soft and underdeveloped. Soft tissues won’t support the upright position of the ear.
Ear cropping an older dog (Cane Corso, who is over twelve weeks old) is also challenging. The cartilage has fully developed in older dogs. Cropping the thick cartilage is a real struggle. Moreover, older dogs don’t heal very fast, complicating the process.
So, specialists suggest dog owners go for ear cropping when the pup is 8-12 weeks old. Fourteen weeks is also considered “late,” as the dog will need more time to heal.
Reasons Supporting Ear Cropping
Although ear cropping remains a controversial practice, certain owners prefer their dogs to have cropped ears because of various compelling reasons.
To Improvise The Looks
The fundamental reason for snipping a dog’s ears is to give it a more threatening and authoritative look. Cane Corso dogs naturally have a square face, head, and muzzle. The dog’s ears significantly impact its overall appearance. The folded floppy ears give them a cuddly, friendly look. However, when the ears are cropped and straightened up, the dog looks like a gladiator ready to pounce.
To Improve Hearing
Although there is a bit of a conflict on this matter, some Cane Corso dog owners believe that chopping off a part of the ear will allow it to hear better. Flopped ears cover the ear canal completely, so it is assumed the sharp hearing instincts of the dog are compromised. And so people who intend to use the dog for hunting snip off the floppy side of the ear.
To Prevent Injuries
Working and hunting Cane Corso dogs are prone to get injured because of their ears. During a hunting trip, the big floppy ears will make the dog vulnerable. Other animals will hurt the dog by pulling its ears, causing bleeding. The dog will get distracted, and it will ruin your hunting excursion.
Cane Corso dogs are highly energetic. They like to play it rough. So, if you have more than one Cane Corso in the house, they are likely to pull and scrap each other through the loosely hanging ears.
Besides, ear wounds are messy. Even if the vet stitches up the torn ear, it will leave a nasty scar, and in a worst-case scenario, the dog may also lose it. So, dog owners crop the floppy part of the ear to protect the dog from injuries.
To Protect It From Infections
Another solid reason for cropping Cane Corso’s ears is to protect the animal from infections. The un-cropped floppy ears cover the entire ear canal, creating a warm environment. Thus, becoming a breeding ground for mites, ticks, and bacteria, leading to infections in the middle ear.
Chronic ear infections in an uncropped Cane Corso might go unnoticed and untreated. The condition can be pretty painful for the dog and may lead to potential hearing loss. However, if the ears are cropped, the infections won’t go overlooked. Short ears create a healthy, dry environment allowing the owner to inspect the ear canal at a glance. And so the chances of infections are decreased.
Why Is Ear Cropping Controversial?
Some countries have banned ear-cropping as cutting off a part of a healthy dog is deemed cruel. According to Animal Welfare Act 2006, ear cropping has been declared illegal in England and Wales. The practice is also illegal in Australia, Scandinavian, New Zealand, and Europe. All these countries do not support ear-cropping even if a skilled veterinarian performs the surgery.
Although the dog is under anesthesia, the animal will try to scratch its ears to remove the bandage once the anesthesia wears off. It may also cry and whine continuously to express the pain.
Another reason for not supporting the act is blood loss during and after surgery. The carotid artery supplying blood to the ear flap is cut off during the surgery. Moreover, there are dozens of tiny blood vessels surrounding the ear canal.
All these aspects have compelled people to oppose the ear-cropping procedure. On top of all this, the owner may also lose the dog’s trust. Your canine friend will also fear going to a vet for some time.
Healing And Recovery Time
The ear of your Cane Corso will require a good 14 days to heal completely. The vet will advise you to come back for a follow-up visit after seven days, but you need to change the bandages weekly. The vet may also prescribe you medicines, ointments, and antibiotics.
Once stitches are removed and the wound is clean, the owner needs to tape the ear. Ensure the ear is taped appropriately. Doing so will allow the ear to stay upright, giving your dog perfectly straight ears after recovery.
Cane Corso dog owners need to care for the cropped ears even after it has healed completely. Cane Corso needs a bath every four to seven weeks. You can clean the dog’s ears during the bath using the ear-cleaning solutions prescribed by your veterinarian.
Arrange treats for your dog around the bathtub. Drop the ear-cleaning solution into its ear cavity and smoothly massage your dog’s ears. Use a clean cloth or cotton bud to clean the ear.
Cane Corso Ear Cropping Pricing
The average cost of ear cropping ranges from $200-$600. Some vets may also charge $800 for a successful ear-cropping surgery. Usually, the price includes everything from the procedure to medications and the follow-up visit.
Whatever justifiable motives dog owners put forward for supporting ear-cropping, ear-cropping has no proven medical benefits. Ear cropping is carried out to improvise the Cane Corso’s look. It transforms the gentle friendly-looking Cane Corso into an aggressive stern looking creature. Ultimately, as a dog owner, the decision is yours to make.