Ear Posting and Removal Information and Instructions
I have found that this method of ear posting is the most economical and easy to maintain.
The supplies you will need are listed below and should be enough to post 1 puppy with a medium/ pet cut until the ears stand.
1. Regular scissors (just be careful)
2. (3)packages of Frost King's 5/8 " Foam backer rod insulation (Lowes / Home Depot weather stripping isle)
3. (3-4) boxes of Johnson and Johnson ZONAS porous tape (12 rolls/box) Hockey stick tape is also an option and is alittle cheaper per roll and more yardage.
4. 2 rolls of duct tape
5. (2-3) bottles of Uni-Solve Adhesive Remover or Medi-Sol Adhesive Remover
6. Lanacane First Aid Spray for in between postings
What is Posting? - Posting is meant to train the ear cartilage to stand in an upwards position. This is done by taping the puppy's ear to a constructed support prop, which helps keep the ear tissue flat for days at a time.
Time frame - Posting totally depends on the length of the ear crop, thickness of the puppy's ear leather, gender of puppy, and diligence with maintenance by owner.
Gender - Males take longer to mature as their bodies are larger than females and develop slower. This also means that it can take alittle longer for ear crops on a male to stand. Females mature earlier as their bodies are smaller and results may be seen faster than boys.
Standard vs. Show Crop - The longer the ear, the more time it will take for ears to stand. This is due to the narrowness of the crop and overall length of the ear. Standard crops are not as long and have more tissue left during the crop. More tissue helps the ear to support itself during the training process
Bell vs. No Bell - The bell is the bottom portion of the ear that creates a tear-drop look to the ear. Some breeders prefer crops with little or no bell.
How often to post - When a puppy's ears are first cropped, they need some time to heal. Taping over the area that was removed restricts air from healing the procedure. Some vets/ croppers will use a styrofoam or paper cup to adhere their ears to while healing, where others simply tape the ears together until it is time to take out the sutures. I wait several days after removing the sutures to post the ears for the first time. Posting for 1 or 2 days and then remove them, checking the edges for infection and removing any scabs. Taking the scabs off help the ear to seal over faster. Once the ears have healed alittle more, I will extend the posting to every 3 days, then 4 days, and finally no longer than 5 days at a time.
Weekly posting - I do not recommend posting ears and leaving them in for more than 5 days. Remember that puppies are constantly growing. If the ears are restricted with tape for extended periods of time, it can cause problems with scar tissue developing, ear failure, and even infections.
Infections - Any time a puppy's ear posts come in contact with water... change them! Bacteria will thrive in wet conditions and inner ear infections create problems with the posting process and is very painful for the puppy. Infections that are not treated within the inner ear can lead to deafness. So, if you are at the beach, lake, creek, swimming pool, raining outside, or you give the puppy a bath. Just change them. Not worth putting the puppy through the discomfort and pain of an inner ear infection. Staph infections along the length of the ear are also problematic. This can be caused by the method use in post removal. Constantly ripping out hair while trying to remove the sticky tape, leaves opportunity for a staph infection to start. Using an adhesive neutralizer to take the posts OUT of the puppy's ears will help. Uni-Solve and Medi-Sol are 2 brands ( that are hospital grade ) that I use to help in post removal. Dont use Goo Gone.
Between postings - Provided you are not dealing with any sort of infection, do not leave the ears down at any time more than 30 minutes to 1 hour between posting. Clean the ears with mild soapy water, treat any areas that need attention, air dry for the 30 minutes to 1 hour, and then repost. Massaging the ears between postings will also help prevent adhesions from developing and will feel REALLY good to your puppy.
Testing to stand - When you puppy is between 6-8 months, you can start testing the ears to see if they stand on their own. Leave them out of posts for 1 day, then 2 days, etc. If they continue to stand, leave them out. If not, re-post and continue for several more weeks. If only 1 ear is causing the problem, just post that ear. You may see times where the puppy might be older and the ear starts to bend or show weakness. My suggestion is to post as long as necessary.
In this set of images, I cut the backer rod about 6 inches long, so that it is longer than the puppy's ear leather. It will be trimmed off later. Take the duct tape lengthwise and reinforce the backer rod for strength by rolling it around the foam, leaving about a 1/2 inch of foam showing at one end.
Do this 2x on each post. Once both posts are ready, trim off a bevel at the tip of the post where the foam is sticking out. This end will go into the puppy's ear.
The next step is to put a small piece of the Zonas tape and put it over the bevel to prevent the foam from rubbing in the puppy's ear. Then wind the Zonas tape around the post so that the adhesive is on the OUTSIDE of the post.
You can do this by starting the tape backwards at the beveled end and wrapping it around the post like the rings of a candy cane or barber lamp. Tape should overlap and stick to itself until you reach the end of the post.
Repeat on 2nd post. Sticky side of the adhesive should be on the outter side of each post. Take a tiny piece of tape to secure at the top.
Posting the ear
My girl, Helena, has graciously modeled this ear posting procedure.
In this set of images, the first thing that you will need to do is stretch the dogs ear upwards toward the ceiling. Then take the beveled end of one post and wiggle into the ear canal as far as it will go while continuing to stretch the ear.
After the post is seated in the ear pocket, take a roll of the Zonas tape and start at the top of the puppy's ear.(you can also start at the bottom and work your way to the top of the ear)
***Pay attention that when wrapping the ear that it is not wrapped too tightly as this will cut off blood circulation to the puppy's ear and can cause irreversible damage to the tissue. Be sure that TIP of ear is covered or it will curl.
Starting with the puppy's left ear (same side I am working on Helena), start the tape at the top on the inner side of the ear and work towards the pups nose.
We are working counter clockwise on the puppy's LEFT ear. Start wrapping the tape around towards the back and spiral down to the bell or bottom of the ear.
Leave the puppy's natural fold in the ear folded and simply wrap over it. Do NOT straighten out that fold.
Then be sure to wrap as closely to the bottom of the ear as possible for support around the BELL. This does not need to be neat. It is more important to not be too tight.
Start to work back up the ear and cut the tape. Snip off the top of the backer rod that is sticking up out of the ear, being careful not to cut the tip of the ear.
Now, we are going to do the same procedure on the puppy's RIGHT ear. Stretch the puppy's ear towards the ceiling and insert the 2nd post as far as it will go with the beveled end.
Continue to stretch the ear and grab the tape. On this ear, we are going CLOCKWISE with the tape. Again, leave the natural fold in the puppy's ear while taping. Go all the way down, spiraling to the bottom, supporting the base of the ear, and start back up towards the top.
Snip the tape and the top of the extra backer rod at the top of the ear. Always keep your finger on the top of the ear prior to cutting excess post off. This will help you from cutting the top of the ear.
Alien ears / TV Antennas
We are now going to finish up the ear with bracing them. This offers support so that the ears are trained straight up and down.
I advise my families to switch weekly the position of the ears every other week. One week post with the bridge across ( goal posts or reindeer ears - see photos below), the next leave the brace off (alien ears or tv antennas - see photo above).
With bracing, we are going to take the roll of tape and start wrapping one ear just above the head and stretch over the front to the other ear. Circle around that ear towards the back of the head until you are back where you started with the first ear. Be sure to go the entire way around to the back of the ear and MEET the tape that is across the front. This will help make sure that the ears do not tip inwards. Snip the tape and you are done.
When bridging with tape, be sure to go the entire way around the back of the ear to meet the front piece of tape.
"Goal posts / Reindeer ears"
Removing old posts
Take regular scissors (being careful) and slide them up under the tape and cut the bandages along the BACK OF THE EAR IN THE MIDDLE. Drizzle alittle extra Uni-Solve on the ear as you slowly pull the tape from the ears.
The Uni-Solve helps prevent the tape from causing bald spots on the ears (where staph infections can start) from the sticky adhesive pulling out the puppy's hair.
Wash the puppy's ear with the wash cloth and allow to dry before re-posting.Then, you are done! Change posts weekly or as needed.