On Saturday April 28 I had let the pups out as usual to do their business and play for a bit. They started barking so I opened the door to let them in, first in was Thalia. I gave her some treats and lifted her into her crate, that’s when I noticed blood on her face. WHAAAT!! I start looking around to see where its coming from, I found a cut about an inch long on the inside of her ear flap. So thinking I have it solved and injury not too bad, I then notice I have blood all over me, she in fact has much more on her than I originally found, in fact it is dripping from her ear. On further investigation she not only has a cut on the inside flap but has split the tip of her ear flap open about a half inch. I swear by time I was done going over her, looking at myself, her shaking her head slinging blood everywhere, it looked like a murder scene!
If you have ever dealt with this type of ear injury, you know it is one of the most difficult to heal. The ear is very vascular so every time they shake their head it reopens the wound and you start all over.
Of course it’s the weekend and my vet office is closed so, off to the emergency vet we go. I knew she probably needed antibiotics and maybe some pain meds. If the whole area had been split open I would have had to have her stitched but I have found with this type of injury it is usually best to let it heal on its own. A lot of times sutures make it worse because if they shake their head to much it rips them out and then you are dealing with more damage.
So, when we arrived home from the vets this is what my poor little girl looked like. Grandma Riva had to give her the once over, I think she was reassuring her as Riva has had her fair share of ear problems.
The cone lasted for about 24 hours and then I gave up on it. Seemed like it was causing more problems than helping. She couldn’t wear it in the crate because it was just too big and when outside it acted like a big scoop. I was afraid too much dirt and debris would get on her ear so I finally just left it off and diligently kept her from shaking her head. Over the next two weeks I walked her outside on a leash to take care of business, kept her crate confined more than normal just to make sure we had her ear well on the mend. This is five days after the injury…
You can see it is starting to heal pretty nicely, the half inch from the edge is where the ear is completely split.
It was at this point I noticed the outer flap was not getting enough air. With the ear wrapped to her head it can cause it to become too moist. I changed the bandage regularly and inspected the injury but we still ended up with her ear getting to moist on the outer flap which caused a bit of a problem with scabby areas and hair loss. It looks wet here because I had cleaned it off and put some triple antibiotic ointment on it. But you can see the loss of hair where I cleaned off the scabby areas.
So, I tried using less vet wrap and using a knee high stocking with the foot cut off and one whole for the good ear to keep the ear up. After a day or so I could see that was not working either so I finally just used the stocking.
Healing progressed nicely over the next couple of weeks and I could see improvement each day as I inspected it. This is May 12 post injury, you can see in the first photo there is a small notch which I figured would be the best it would get, but I could live with that compared to what is looked like originally. The last photo shows how much hair she lost on the outer flap. At this point I had been leaving all wraps off for about a week so the ear could get lots of air.
Over the next week it continued to heal nicely, this is May 17, still a very small notch but all scabbing is gone.
And this is this past Sunday…sorry a bit fuzzy, she was not having anymore of the injury photos. But you can see even the small notch is almost gone and the hair is coming back in nicely on her outer flap.
I am so thankful it has healed so nice, especially since we have our National Show Specialty coming up in about 6 weeks.
Now for how this happened, I can only speculate. Once we came home from the er vet I inspected the backyard and discovered they had pushed the part of the fence next to the garage away enough that I think she stuck her head through and caught it on a nail. There was blood spatter all over the side of the garage and the trash can that sits there. My brother and I fixed this right away and reinforced it so they couldn’t push it away again. I still haven’t let her and Zelena out to play together in the yard, I want to make sure it is healed really well because if it were to reopen now I’m sure it would be a big mess and not heal so well a second time.
So that’s been our drama the past month! We hope y’all have a great holiday weekend!!
Tina & the Brown Dogs