Dealing with Glued Ears

by Pam Mandeville, Banner Wheatens

Something for puppy owners on dealing with glued ears

Welcome to ear-gluing! This all sounds much more problematic than it is. Our experience is that the puppies rapidly adapt to it … meaning they may scratch the first day (and some never even notice it) and then totally forget about it. Using common sense avoids problems.

In about 3 weeks, we’ll take them down. We’ll trim away the glued hair, clean out the ear and give him a bath. A week or two later, we’ll re-glue them, clean his ears, and give him a bath again. Three or four weeks later, we’ll take them down and that should be that.

Here are some things to remember:

  • If you have a vet visit, explain your puppy is a show dog and this is why it’s being done. Also tell him
    • We glued hair to hair – not skin.
    • The ears were fully cleaned in advance.
    • We used tincture of benzoin in addition to the glue. The tincture both helps it stick and also has some antiseptic properties; we got it from a pharmacist.
  • The most important thing is to keep your puppy’s head and ears dry. If moisture gets through any gaps, it can start an infection. Puppies with ears “up” who are kept dry do not experience infections.
    • Obviously, no baths. If his feet get dirty, use a wet washcloth and thoroughly dry them.
    • If it rains or snows, he only goes outside to make and is immediately dried off carefully; blow dry if you’re not sure.
      • One of our owner’s kids had a clever idea. She got one of the plastic bonnets that hairdressers give women to cover fancy hairdos and put that over their puppy’s head when he needed to go out. No, it didn’t affect his psyche!
      • If you can put papers in your garage, that’s a big help.
    • If the ground is wet or there’s snow, same thing.
    • If he goes swimming in his bowl, same thing.
    • If in the middle of housebreaking, he has an accident in his crate, same thing.
  • The second most important thing is to keep him from scratching or rubbing his ears.
    • If you see him start to scratch, stop him.
    • Keep the rear toenails well trimmed so if he does scratch, there’s less possibility of damage.
  • If he plays with other dogs, watch closely! Chewing on each other gets the ears wet and roughhousing can loosen the seal.
  • If you keep him dry and not scratching, you’re highly unlikely to have any problems. There are two things to watch for:
    • Odor? If the ear smells funny – and you’ll know it – call us immediately. (Note, the tincture of benzoine does have a sweet smell which is normal.)
    • The ear comes loose in a spot? If so, call us – we will either reglue right away or just take them down early.

Updated 06/27/2020