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I have been doing alot of puppy reading lately and am a bit confused?
I am hoping someone can explain it to me? I am reading about puppy food & it says that too much calcium is bad for a puppy's growth. So, do not feed puppy food. Feeding extra calcium to have stand up ears? Isn't that bad? I also don't understand about teething & ears standing? How does that go hand in hand? I am getting my mix puppy on Saturday & was told his ears will stand.
 

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Here's what I know about diet and ears. You are right about the calcium, it's not good for a puppy to get too much because it causes bone growth issues (I think maybe makes them grow too fast??) I've heard though that gelatin added to the diet can help the ears to go up.

Chewing strengthens the facial muscles which helps the ears to stand. Chewing a knuckle bone which has cartilage (what the gelatin is providing) helps a lot.

I think also genetics and early nutrition play a part. If mom was not well nourished during her pregnancy, or if the puppy had infestations of worms she had to battle, the ears may never go up. Some lines have softer ears than others too. They may go up a little and flop over at the tips, or not go up at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow! Thanx for the quick reply. :)
 

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ears up!!!

I just wanted to post my experience with my dog Kaisers' ears. I purchased him at 5 months old. He had 1 ear up and 1 down. Was told by breeder the ear that was up had been taped recently to get the ear to stand. She assured me nothing to worry about until he was finished teething. He finished teething at 6+ months. I lived on internet researching the ear deal with some dogs. When I got him home, I kept his ear taped for so many days and then off, for it to stand so long and I would have to re-tape. He was raised on Eukanuba large breed puppy. I understand large breed food cuts the calcium for these fast growing dogs since to much is bad for there joints! But then I read the dogs need calcium for the ears!! Sooo confusing.:confused: Took him to the vet when I got him with 1 ear taped. Vet said cartilage already formed so that ear probably wouldn't stand. Didn't believe that with all my research though. Perfectly healthy dog, so that wasn't the problem. Read some people give knox gelatin and calcium or plain yogurt for the calcium. Then you read all these people warning not to as its bad on there joints!!! Again, very confusing!! :confused: Well, here I am now, Kaiser being 7 months old (12/20/10) still dealing with ears. By the way, his ears are soft as jello. ugh!:( they flop from tip to base. Wiggle Wiggle, Flop ,flop!!! Even when they're up. He's 70 lbs and very large boned. One has been up for weeks now, had no more trouble out of it. Weird thing, its the ear that was down when I got him. Been dealing with the ear that was up for weeks when I got him to later go down and be a headache. Anyway, I decided to try the knox gelatin. Still scared to use calcium as people say there food has the balance amount of nutrients. Plus bad for joints! A week later still soft. So I decided to try the yogurt too.(a heaping Tlb) Its been 3 days and I see progress after all this time. His ears have firmed up a good bit. When he walks they don't hardly wiggle, if at all. I was shocked and happy:) to say the least. They still wiggled when he jumped around or ran some though just not as bad, but happy for improvement. I just wonder if I had tried that to start with, would I have had to keep him in tape so long. LOL My daughter could really tell the difference to, so it wasn't just me. I'm going to continue for a few more weeks and hope its not to late to firm them up even more. I'm going to work with his ears until a year old if I have to. At that point I will except what is to be and love him anyway. I paid $800.00 for him, so that makes it harder to deal with this problem. You just want him to look like the breed he is. I really don't know if he had weak ears to start with or him on the large breed puppy food and being so big needed more calcium, I really just don't know. i just know soon as i give him more calcium I see a major difference. Hope this helps someone. I worried sick about his ears at first. I'm just going to keep up a few more weeks and hope its not to late at his age. I don't think its JUST genetics though with my dog or I wouldn't have seen a difference with the calcium. Not saying some lines don't have weak ears either. No known weak ears with this line. so again, I don't know all the answers. Some of it so confusing!!!:confused::confused::confused: I will re-post in a couple of weeks to let you know if they get any better.
 

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Many times you just have to wait it out. I never would supplement with Calcium. But we have given chews to strengthen the muscles that help the ears to stand. Gelatin usually won't hurt. We also give our pups Vitamin C to help with joints. Also seems to me that the bigger the dog...the longer it takes for the ears to go up. Sometimes I think it takes awhile for the head to grow enough to support the ears that some of our dogs have. I also feel like in every litter I've ever seen, the females have ears up first.

My understanding of the relationship is that most of the calcium and other tissue forming nutrients in the body are going into all the new adult teeth, sapping some from the ears which causes them to lose strength for awhile, but that when teething is complete the body equalizes and the ears will come back up.

And some dog's ears will not go up-regardless of how much you try. Sometimes there is a crease or injury created in the ear that prevents it. Sometimes it's just genetics.
 

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Well, I haven't supplemented anything for Nuhkia besides only feeding a premium kibble. I got Nuhkia just after she turned 3 months old, and both ears were down or doing the whole "flying nun" look. Then I gave her a bone to chew on as well as a bully twist to help on the teething, however I'm not sure if she is teething yet and she's almost 4 months however I don't look in her mouth.

Anyways, after about a week of chewing on the bone and bully twist the one ear popped up! I was definately excited, however I seen nothing out of the other ear. Then I about a week or so ago I decided to get her a Kong and put a little peanut butter in the inside and freeze it. Well after a few hours I gave her the Kong and she went to town on it for about 2 hours trying to lick the peanut butter out. I walked by her and she looked up at me and BOOM both ears were up. I busted out laughing because even though they were up they were out to the side. After a few more days on playing with her Kong the other ear has been up every since.

I think it must have to do with her using her tongue like crazy on the Kong, because she doesn't really chew on it much. Evidently that tongue trickered the muscle needed to help it stand. However I await for the day I wake her up in the morning to find one or both ears down from the teething. ALthough at the moment they are both up and alert on top of the head with no creasing and perfectly round!!!

Here is a before and after picture about 3 wks apart.
 

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