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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. My puppy is just under 6 months old. Every so often, he has been going to a doggy daycare when I am unable to find a walker to come and take him out while I am gone. I was going to be gone for 7 hours yesterday, so I figured I would take him to daycare for the day. He has been at the facility before many times without any problems. The facility has great reviews and temperament tests all dogs before taking them in.

Well, yesterday, my puppy was bit very badly on the tip of the ear. He was bleeding profusely, and had a large slit/gash on his tip where the other dog had ripped open the skin.

We of course immediately took him to the vet, who stitched his ear up. The doctor mentioned there is cartilage damage, and there is a possibility that if the wound does not heal properly, that he can lose the tip of his ear. I was devastated, but am happy he is ok and something worse didn't happen. He is wearing a cone now, which he hates, in order to prevent him from messing with the stitches. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that his cone agony will be worth it in the end.

My pup's ears had just recently stood upright (he is a big boy, they took a little longer to stand than most other GSD pups.) If everything heals, is there still a chance his ear tip will droop? Yesterday, when we were at the vet, his entire ear was drooping, which the vet said was because of the pain. His whole ear, however, did stand on its own when he was alert at several different points of our visit.

I will of course love him no matter what, but I am devastated that this happened and overwhelmed with guilt for even taking him to the daycare in the first place. I thought I was being responsible by doing my research on different daycares, but it didn't make a difference. Anyway, I digress. Any help or insight is appreciated. Thank you.
 

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I'm sorry that happened to your puppy. :frown2:


It could stand, it could droop. Time will tell, imo. I know a shepherd with some cartilage deformation in her ear, it still stands but it leans inwards towards the other ear.
 

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Just a thought here - a good, non-invasive way to get the ear to stand is to put a Breathe-Right strip on the area. That will help strengthen it and keep it in the correct position until it heals.
 

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What ever will be will be. Don't beat yourself up, crap happens. Ears bleed like crazy and always seem to give the impression that something has been amputated! When my Dane got her ear bitten my whole living room looked like a b rate horror movie before we managed to grab her.

Bud tore the tip of his ear playing when he was about a year old, vet said it would probably not stand again. He was pretty relentless about tearing at it while it was healing and yet it came back up and stayed up just fine. One of my fosters took a minor bite that barely scratched the skin and the ear went all the way down and stayed down.

Genetics and overall health will play a role, if your pups ears where good before then there is a good chance all will be fine.
 

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Ear injuries can happen even at home with multi-dog households -- one of mine got one of those simply playing ball. Our totally non-aggressive female got his ear when she was diving for the ball, but he got there first and got in the way of her mouth. It was a total accident due to being revved up in ball drive.



I do want to warn that it took FOREVER to heal. The vet closed it nicely, but there's a tiny wrinkle in the ear (which still stands) that's visible if you look for it. It gives him character. HOWEVER, it was several MONTHS before it fully healed because he loves to shake his head and ears -- and every shake reopened the wound.


The vet finally constructed a bonnet of medical tape that pinned the ear to his head, and he had to wear it for a few weeks. It looked ridiculous, but it was the only way to stop the constant wound reopening. An e-collar didn't do anything to stop the head/ear shaking. Puppies do heal faster though, so you have that in your favor!
 

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Had your pup sustained the injury just prior to your arrival? If not, why didn't the facility take him to the vet? Either way, the Day Care should have paid for the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Had your pup sustained the injury just prior to your arrival? If not, why didn't the facility take him to the vet? Either way, the Day Care should have paid for the vet.
Yes, it happened just an hour before I got there. The whole situation was just handled poorly by the staff. They did not even call to let me know what happened. When I got there, one of the staff members came out from the back and said, “Just so you know, your dog got bit on the ear while playing too roughly with another dog and has some scratches on his ear. It’s bleeding and it looks 100x worse than it actually is. It’ll look way better in the morning.”

Needless to say, I asked for the manager/owner of the facility after seeing my puppy bleeding all over the place and seeing the slit in his ear from the bite. She told me he didn’t need to see a vet, that they likely wouldn’t put stitches in anyway, and that they’ll just give him some prescription to prevent infection.

I told her I insisted on seeing an emergency vet, then she told me she understood and would pay for the visit. When I saw the vet, the doctor immediately suggested sutures. They also had to put my puppy under anesthesia, so the entire visit with meds, cone, and ear wrap cost $600. I spoke to the owner of the daycare today and she said she would mail me a check. We’ll see if that actually happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ear injuries can happen even at home with multi-dog households -- one of mine got one of those simply playing ball. Our totally non-aggressive female got his ear when she was diving for the ball, but he got there first and got in the way of her mouth. It was a total accident due to being revved up in ball drive.



I do want to warn that it took FOREVER to heal. The vet closed it nicely, but there's a tiny wrinkle in the ear (which still stands) that's visible if you look for it. It gives him character. HOWEVER, it was several MONTHS before it fully healed because he loves to shake his head and ears -- and every shake reopened the wound.


The vet finally constructed a bonnet of medical tape that pinned the ear to his head, and he had to wear it for a few weeks. It looked ridiculous, but it was the only way to stop the constant wound reopening. An e-collar didn't do anything to stop the head/ear shaking. Puppies do heal faster though, so you have that in your favor!
My pup got sent home in one of those “No Flap Ear Wraps” that prevent the wound from getting worse from shaking. Since he was pawing at the wrap, he had to be put in an e-collar to prevent him from ripping the wrap off. He is pretty much miserable today and I feel so bad for him. He just doesn’t understand what’s going on.

I am hoping his wound heals nicely and the cartilage isn’t too damaged to the point where it will die. The vet said this was a possibility. A small chance, but still a chance nonetheless.

We went back to the vet to just check to make sure the sutures are holding up well. They are. Because my pup’s ear has been under the tight wrap all day, the ear is completely floppy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the ear will come back on it’s own once the stitches come out. I haven’t decided if I will use the Breathe Right strips like another user suggested. I guess time will tell. I’m just hoping for the best. I would hate for him to have a deformity in his beautiful ear from all of this. He looks so handsome with his traditional GSD ears. I will love him to death even if his ear doesn’t fix itself, but it will just always be a painful reminder of this situation. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What ever will be will be. Don't beat yourself up, crap happens. Ears bleed like crazy and always seem to give the impression that something has been amputated! When my Dane got her ear bitten my whole living room looked like a b rate horror movie before we managed to grab her.

Bud tore the tip of his ear playing when he was about a year old, vet said it would probably not stand again. He was pretty relentless about tearing at it while it was healing and yet it came back up and stayed up just fine. One of my fosters took a minor bite that barely scratched the skin and the ear went all the way down and stayed down.

Genetics and overall health will play a role, if your pups ears where good before then there is a good chance all will be fine.
Thank you. I hope you’re right. My boy’s ears were late bloomers, but they stood upright after he was done teething and have been up ever since (prior to this incident.) He has an impressive pedigree and I don’t think there are any soft-ear genetics in his blood line, but one can never be sure of these things. He’s six months old and already 63 lbs, so he’s a big boned guy. Not much fat on him. His ears are giant so I know that played a part in their ability to stand, but I’m hoping his cartilage will be strong enough to poke back up again.
 

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Yes, it happened just an hour before I got there. The whole situation was just handled poorly by the staff. They did not even call to let me know what happened. When I got there, one of the staff members came out from the back and said, “Just so you know, your dog got bit on the ear while playing too roughly with another dog and has some scratches on his ear. It’s bleeding and it looks 100x worse than it actually is. It’ll look way better in the morning.”

Needless to say, I asked for the manager/owner of the facility after seeing my puppy bleeding all over the place and seeing the slit in his ear from the bite. She told me he didn’t need to see a vet, that they likely wouldn’t put stitches in anyway, and that they’ll just give him some prescription to prevent infection.

I told her I insisted on seeing an emergency vet, then she told me she understood and would pay for the visit. When I saw the vet, the doctor immediately suggested sutures. They also had to put my puppy under anesthesia, so the entire visit with meds, cone, and ear wrap cost $600. I spoke to the owner of the daycare today and she said she would mail me a check. We’ll see if that actually happens.
Wow! That is horrible. I'm so sorry you and your pup were treated that way. I had a relative who left her dog in day care, while on vacation. Her dog sustained a bite during rough play. My relative was notified. The owner took the dog to the vet. Pictures were texted. It wasn't a bad wound, but the day care stepped up to the plate and did all of the right things.

I assume all day cares have insurance. Can't imagine they wouldn't. I do not understand why they would not have immediately contacted you. That's something, them playing vet - telling you your dog didn't need to see a vet and what a vet would or would not do. Mind boggling.

I'm betting your pups' ear will heal well and stand up just fine. Hugs to you!

Happy New Year!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are some updates. The ear seems to be healing but has scabs all over it. It looks much rounder than it was before (it was more pointy) but I think that might be because it’s still covered with thick scabs and the tip is dragging down a bit. Time will tell. The base of the ear seems to stand, but the tip is still a bit wonky and flops down. I don’t know if it’s because it’s still healing. Meanwhile, my pup is getting lots of love to help get him through this tough time.
 

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It looks good my aunt had dropped off her husky at a daycare and during play where it got to rowdy got the tip of his ear bitten off - a few inches- still he is very handsome. Your lucky he has his ear tip that was close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi everyone. His ear is still scabbed over and looks like it’s healing ok. We’ve been taking his wrap and cone off every day for a little while to give him a break, but his ear is incredibly itchy from the scabbing and he claws at it every chance he gets. Now I’m concerned because the wrap on his head seems to have flattened/weakened his ears. Both ears are completely floppy from being under he wrap.

He gets his sutures out on the 15th of this month. Do you think his ears (at least the one that didn’t get bitten) will build up their strength again once he doesn’t have to wear the wrap anymore? I hate having to keep it on him, but he can’t be trusted without it. He’ll certainly find a way to reopen the wound or rip the sutures out accidentally without it.
 

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Hi everyone. His ear is still scabbed over and looks like it’s healing ok. We’ve been taking his wrap and cone off every day for a little while to give him a break, but his ear is incredibly itchy from the scabbing and he claws at it every chance he gets. Now I’m concerned because the wrap on his head seems to have flattened/weakened his ears. Both ears are completely floppy from being under he wrap.

He gets his sutures out on the 15th of this month. Do you think his ears (at least the one that didn’t get bitten) will build up their strength again once he doesn’t have to wear the wrap anymore? I hate having to keep it on him, but he can’t be trusted without it. He’ll certainly find a way to reopen the wound or rip the sutures out accidentally without it.
I've never used one, but have you considered one of those inflatable collars? Something like this:

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi everyone. His ear is still scabbed over and looks like it’s healing ok. We’ve been taking his wrap and cone off every day for a little while to give him a break, but his ear is incredibly itchy from the scabbing and he claws at it every chance he gets. Now I’m concerned because the wrap on his head seems to have flattened/weakened his ears. Both ears are completely floppy from being under he wrap.

He gets his sutures out on the 15th of this month. Do you think his ears (at least the one that didn’t get bitten) will build up their strength again once he doesn’t have to wear the wrap anymore? I hate having to keep it on him, but he can’t be trusted without it. He’ll certainly find a way to reopen the wound or rip the sutures out accidentally without it.
I've never used one, but have you considered one of those inflatable collars? Something like this:

I’ve considered that one but I don’t think it will stop him from shaking the stitches out. He shakes his head quite a lot and I’m afraid it’ll reopen the wound.
 

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Those inflatable collars are worthless -- not only are they less restrictive than an e-collar, but in a multi-dog household, all it takes is a curious nibble from a housemate to investigate what that thing is that smells like a toy and it's toast. I don't think the one I bought even lasted a day.


For ear injuries, there really aren't good alternatives because of the shaking, unfortunately.
 

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You might check into Rover.com and see if you'd like a person to come walk your dog on an as-needed basis or even day board with an individual instead of doing daycare.
I had looked into "doggy daycare" for all of two hours, and that's when I found out they insisted on dogs being spayed or neutered in order to be accepted. My pup was only 6 months, so of course I wasn't going to neuter just to make him acceptable for daycare!

I've been very happy with the dog walker that comes over, and she was VERY responsive when a neighborhood dog attacked mine. She called me, she called the dog walking service and made a report, and she made a report to animal control after consulting with me.

It's one more option to add to daycare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You might check into Rover.com and see if you'd like a person to come walk your dog on an as-needed basis or even day board with an individual instead of doing daycare.
I had looked into "doggy daycare" for all of two hours, and that's when I found out they insisted on dogs being spayed or neutered in order to be accepted. My pup was only 6 months, so of course I wasn't going to neuter just to make him acceptable for daycare!

I've been very happy with the dog walker that comes over, and she was VERY responsive when a neighborhood dog attacked mine. She called me, she called the dog walking service and made a report, and she made a report to animal control after consulting with me.

It's one more option to add to daycare.
I usually do have a few different dog walkers that I use on a regular basis. Unfortunately none of them were available on that day and I thought the next best thing to do would be to send him to the daycare he’s been to several times before. Unfortunately, it was the wrong move. ? I don’t think I can trust a daycare again so I’ll have to look for more walkers to add to my arsenal. Thank you.
 
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