- Medical tape– (flexible, breathable) #1 Recommended- Johnson & Johnson Zonas porous medical tape (order online)
- TORBOT medical glue (order online)
- self-adhesive vet wrap bandage
- Small scissors or surgical scissors
- Paper towel
- cotton balls
- Gauze (purchase in a roll)
- Hydrogen Peroxide (for disinfecting sutures after surgery) Helps skin heal nice and smoothly, helps prevent dryness and itching
- Rubbing alcohol ( for cleaning out ears and cleaning scissors)
- Anti-bacterial powder (for bottom inner ear to prevent yeast build up
- Anti-bacterial ointment (drip apply along the sutures from ear top to bottom –this helps keep ears soft from dry-scabbing which causes extreme itching, causing the pup tries to tear into more
- Most of the list is found at all drug stores, Wal-Mart or Amazon
Supplies for the different methods (along with the above supplies)
- Mole foam method – (younger pup) (fresh crops with sutures) found at craft stores or Wal-Mart crafts
- Zip-ties method- (younger pup) (fresh crops with sutures)
- Backer Rod method- (5/8 in), craft sticks (thinnest width) (younger pup) found at Lowes
- Tampon method– Cardboard tampons regular or slender size (older pup)
- Rolled gauze method– Large straws, Gauze (younger or older pup)
- Cup method– Styrofoam or wax coated paper cups- regular size (younger or older pup)
- Best for older pup who has a slightly hanging ear– QUICK BRACE (order online)(a little pricey)
Ear posting Methods
The ultimate best addition to any method that I highly recommend, is applying the medical glue called “TORBOT“. I purchase it online and the small can will last a decent amount of time. Apply it onto inner ear from bottom to top and even outer ear (if using cup method), then post and wrap them right after. Make sure to stretch ears out nice and tall without bends or pockets when posting. If you fail to do this every time you post, you will see permanent waves and bends when ears stand. The glue slowly starts fading out after 5-7 days and you can painlessly take the old posts off and start over again with the new posts. Re post every 5-7 days, 10 days max.
Best methods while sutures are fresh-right after surgery
*These methods work great for the first 2-3 weeks when sutures are still in and/or the ears are not healed and while pup is still smaller. These methods are easiest way to keep sutures exposed to heal. When using any of these methods no NOT cover the sutured area unless with medical gauze &/or vet cohesive bandage wrap (lightly covering)
- Medical Q-tips method– medical Q-tips, Medical tape, e.g., Zonas, TORBOT glue
- Backer Rod method- (with a medical Q-tip or craft sticks(narrowest size) inserted into each rod)
- Zip-tie method– Heavy duty zip ties (wrapped in self-adhesive bandage)
- Mole foam method– cut the shape of inner ear
- Cup method– (covered in self-adhesive bandage with a gauze bottom for crown of head & wrapped around the neck6 over ears and head(light layer) This helps prevent pup from ripping stitches open )
When pup still has fresh or scabbed ears- Do NOT wrap any tape around those parts. You can trim tape) in half lengthwise to narrow the width of tape to tape anywhere else but make sure to go around the unhealed parts. When ears start to heal and sutures are out but there are still some scabs, you can cheat by putting absorbable paper towel pieces around the semi-healed parts before continuing the posting. This will protect the unhealed parts from staying unhealed or getting infected by keeping them dry while continuing to heal.
Tips for ear care right after surgery:
- Using an inflatable E collar or a regular E collar; it keeps pup from scratching on ears and ripping sutures out. It also helps keep pup from getting staph infection from dirty nails ripping into open wounds. NOTE: Though they tend to bang into walls and such because they only have front view, tunnel vision, if a suture or more get torn off before removal time, the ears will still turn out fine.
- Though it can give you quite a scare, if ears get infected, the pup will be fine. He/she will need thorough ear cleaning and airing out and possible antibiotics, depending on severity of the infection. I do NOT recommend just throwing antibiotics out there over a minor infection. If you do decide to use them, please give pup some probiotics to replace the friendly bacteria the antibiotics have killed, leaving pups system very vulnerable to other infections and digestive issues. There are natural topical treatments to prevent infection and even to help them heal it.
- You can take all posts down if ears start to get infected and you don’t want there to be a concern until stitches come out. I don’t recommend this unless absolutely necessary because it delays standing and possibly creates a weak spot (especially a fold in the center that can prevent ears from standing permanently.
- Stitches will be taken off by a veterinarian 7- 12 days after surgery.
Best Methods after ears are healed and pup is larger
*These methods work best after ears have healed and when pups and their ears have grown larger. Older pups have longer and heavier ears and need a more solid posting that won’t bend and create a bend in the ear.
- Tampon method– cardboard tampons wrapped-regular or slender (with tape inside out-sticky side out)
- Rolled Gauze method–
- Cup method–
- *Breath-Right Strips method- Works great after ears are almost standing on their own but have a slight bend or droop. Apply some Torbot onto the ear first. Put 1-2 breath-right strips on the ear or ears that are still weak but kind of standing. If you need 2 then overlap slightly in the middle to create one long strip.
You will have to post for at least 2-3 months. Some pups up to 6 months or even more. Helpful hints to help ensure better standing ears:
- Enough calcium in the diet but not too much) adding some cottage cheese can assist
- Cartilage added into the diet
- Support supplements, i.e., Glucosamine, collagen
- Keep ear posts always on (unless right after a cleaning and drying out)
- All these suggestions will help ensure quicker and better standing ears
IMPORTANT!!!!! Surgical Care
- Always check for cuts scabs or moisture and make sure they don’t get wet or they can create a sore and infection. Once posts are wet they must be reposted after drying out.
- Periodically check posts for foul odor (infection), sores or wet bandages. If posts were wet, take off immediately, clean, dry and repost. Note: The ears will naturally have a doggy dirty light unpleasant odor, especially the first week after surgery (dried blood, fresh wound healing), but not foul.
- Gently applying hydrogen peroxide to stitched area then applying anti-bacterial ointment helps keep ears from getting infected and keeping wound soft. There is also salt wash that works well. Always be careful not to get the gauze bandage or cup wet.
- If scabs build up then dampen them with peroxide or salt wash and gently remove. (Do not pull scabs off. That can pull out a stitch, open the wound and make scarring.
- Always clean ears off inside with rubbing alcohol or witch hazel, using a paper towel and Q-tip, and then make sure they are thoroughly dried before reposting. Putting anti-bacterial powder in the ears helps to keep posts from getting soggy from ear wax, possibly infected, or growing yeast. (Arm & Hammer foot powder, Gold Bond, & Vagisil powders all work well).
- You can apply healthy oil like vitamin E after sutures are out and it will help minimize scaring and help ears heal nicely.
- When ears are completely healed, you can wrap tape completely around the ears but don’t over wrap (too many layers) or they will be too heavy, suffocate and can get infected.
- If there is a scab that is almost healed or a fresh small one and it needs to be taped over, then just put a same size paper towel piece on scab before wrapping over it.
- Do NOT leave posts off more than long enough to dry and air out before reposting or it will delay ears standing. (NO more than 2 hours max!!!!!!!!!) It delays standing and can affect ears from properly standing!!!!!!! I have seen an ear or both ears that failed to stand because of this, though they were standing perfectly before leaving my home.
- Remember– Time, dedication and consistency always give you the best outcome on anything!!And with those come patience and perseverance. J
There are a lot of ways to post, but I would definitely invest in the TORBOT glue because some pups will rip all types of postings off several times a day even!
*You can also view our videos for step by step visual guide. Ear posting instructions.docx
Best of wishes,
P.S. The following is a video we made showing one of most used methods of posting ears: