Monday, July 23, 2018

Trooper's Droopy Ears

I took a picture of Trooper on Sunday and his ears were standing up like Boot Camp Marines. I woke up Thursday morning and his left ear was completely horizontal. My pup looked miserable and was shaking his head.

I was concerned, maybe borderline panicky. If Trooper's ears don't stand up, his show career is over before it even started! Several thoughts went through my head:
  • Was it an ear infection? I couldn't see anything, but it did feel warm. 
  • If he keeps shaking his head he might develop a hematoma. Even if drained early, a hematoma can ruin a dog's ear set.
  • Did Jedi hurt Trooper's ear while they were playing? Was I not monitoring them close enough?
  • Is Trooper just teething? I had heard that teething could drop ears temporarily.
  • Do I need to tape his ear? Sometimes a young ear is "set" (much like a bone) so that it stays in the right position until the cartilage firms up.
Things weren't any better Friday morning so I called the vet. Then I called RK (Jedi's breeder) and asked if she would tape Trooper's ear. I'd rather be accused of overreacting than to miss something that could be fixable.

The vet asked about the position of Trooper's ears before the droop. I broke out my phone and showed him pictures. (I've got quite a few!) The vet noticed that Trooper's right ear is not as perky as it was last week either.

The vet did a complete physical exam. The boy is healthy. His ear didn't seem to have any damage (so Jedi's off the hook for now). The ears were a little dirty, but no inflammation. I left with some ear cleaner and was told to hold off taping for now.

During the exam the vet noticed that all Trooper's baby canine teeth are missing as well as half the molars. Poor Trooper is teething big time. The discomfort is what's causing his ears to droop. Trooper is chewing everything he can fit into his mouth right now. We've given him a variety of approved chew things (as opposed to pot holders, leashes and the remote) to help relieve the pressure. His favorites seem to be a stuffed pumpkin and a bully stick.

So now we wait. I've been cleaning Trooper's ears daily (not easy) and checking his teeth (equally difficult). His ears aren't drooping as much, but they're still not where they need to be. I'll keep you posted! -- K

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