Pitbull ear cropping is a practice that started long ago, it is a painful process and is considered to be cruel. This process involves cutting the pinna to a certain length and bandaging the ear, it is only done when the dog is under complete anesthesia.
People cut pitbulls’ ears for it is believed that it helps in preventing ear infections, improve hearing, and minimize ear injuries during fights. It is also done to meet the standard breed requirement and to be accepted in shows.
In this article I have outlined the reasons why people cut pitbull ears and why they shouldn’t, and the history and process of ear cropping.
Why Do People Cut Pitbull Ears?
1. Minimize ear injuries during fights
During dog fights, the ears were most likely to be targeted if they were not cut. This made their owners cut them to reduce the chances of ear injuries. Dog fights are banned in many countries but ear cropping is still an issue that is yet to be fully dealt with.
2. Prevent Ear Infections
It was believed that dogs with droopy ears were highly prone to ear infections, it was argued that the ears retained moisture leading to ear infections. A study has shown that the shape of the ears has no effect when it comes to ear infections.
3. Improve Hearing
There was also a misconception that dogs with cropped ears would hear faster compared to droopy-eared dogs. They argued that the droopy ears prevented sound waves from entering the ears directly, this helped mostly in working Pitbulls. There has been no scientific evidence to support this argument.
4. To meet standard breed requirements
Unluckily, ear cropping is a requirement for a Pitbull to be a standard breed. This makes many people believe that Pitbull ears should be cropped without considering the side effects it has on them.
5. it’s a requirement for some dog shows
Ear cropping is a requirement for some dog shows for specific breeds. If their ears are not cropped, the chances of winning or getting accepted in the shows are low. Fortunately, this habit is changing though it is yet to be completely wiped out.
History of pitbull ear cropping
Pitbulls were initially bred to help in ‘bull baiting’. When the practice was outlawed, people turned to make them fighting dogs. It is during this time that ear cropping was started, this was to help reduce the chances of the dog nursing ear injuries after fights. It was also done to make them look more fierce and aggressive. Though dogfighting has been banned in many parts of the world, ear cropping continues to date.
The process of ear cropping
This process is carried out when the dog is young (around 7-12weeks) when the pinna is still soft. Performing this process when the dog is above 12weeks of age can lead to health complications and lower the chances of the ears being erect in the future.
Though ear cropping is not taught in veterinary schools, a licensed vet should be hired to do the job. The dog should be fully under anesthesia and the process takes around forty minutes. After the process, the ears become very painful and sensitive, medicines are administered to reduce the pain. The ears are bandaged and it takes weeks to months for a dog to be completely healed.
Advantages of ear cropping
With the bullfighting competitions being outlawed and no scientific evidence to prove ear cropping aiding in any way, the only reason and excuse left for cropping is meeting the Pitbull dog standard.
Ear cropping is for cosmetic purposes only. It is not beneficial to dogs but to the human who will be happy that their dog meets the breed standard and can compete in shows.
Why People Should not Cut Pitbull Ears
There Are No fully qualified professionals for ear cropping
Veterinary schools do not offer ear cropping training, this means that the vets performing the procedure are not fully informed about it. This increases the chances of complications during the surgery which can lead to future problems.
Can cause trauma
Ear cropping can cause trauma to the dog as it is very painful and it takes time to heal. This traumatic experience can make your dog deal with it by becoming aggressive or timid.
Increase the chances of ear infections
In contradiction to the belief that cropping aids in reducing ear infections, the period between the cropping procedure and healing, the dog is prone to many ear infections.
It’s Very Painful
The ear cropping process is very painful, the dog has to be under medication to reduce the pain. The cartilage is sensitive and it becomes worse after cropping. In some dogs, the cropping pains never go away completely making the dog uncomfortable when touched.
Worsens the already bad reputation
Dogs with cropped ears look fierce and aggressive, this does nothing to clean Pitbulls’ image. This makes people think of Pitbulls as unfriendly dogs and therefore don’t want to get near them.
People cut pitbull ears for cosmetic reasons only without considering the disadvantages that accompany the process. It is not fair to worsen their already bad image.
The process has lots of cons with no pros to the dog. Many countries are banning ear cropping but some people are yet to drop this cruel act. Now that you are informed, help spread the word.