How Much Does Doberman Ear Cropping Cost?
Doberman ear cropping is an aesthetic procedure where the thin outer tissue of the dog’s ears is clipped so the thicker membrane can be trained to stand.
Historically, this practice was meant to increase the guard dog’s sound localization and to inhibit an attacker from clutching onto its ears. Dobermans have naturally long floppy ears; but breeders prefer to create a certain identity of this breed.
However, ear cropping sparked a controversy when certain groups, especially the animal rights groups, complained about it on the grounds that it is inhumane to subject dogs to a painful procedure that are unnecessary. Some countries even ban ear cropping.
How much does it cost?
- On average, most people pay anywhere from $175 to $500 for the entire procedure of getting their doberman’s ears cropped. However, depending on the type of procedure that is done, the costs can easily reach the $1,000 mark.
- According to a forum thread at Dobermantalk.com, prices can range from $175 to $505 while Gentle Doberman says the price could be between $400 and $1,500.
- Ear cropping through the laser procedure may cost $1,000 or more, but it does not cause much pain, bleeding, or swelling on the part of the dog.
- Longer crops are more expensive than shorter crops.
What are to be included?
- Prior to surgery, your Doberman will have to undergo pre-operative tests to determine its exact age and general health condition.
- The pre-operative examinations usually include a thorough blood count and pre-surgical chemistry panel. In some cases, a clotting test may also be performed.
- A general anesthesia will be administered to the puppy to induce unconsciousness, reduce pain, and to relax its muscles. This also makes the procedures much easier for the vet to perform.
- Ear cropping procedure is performed only when the puppy is around 7 to 12 weeks old. If you wait longer than that, most vets will advise against it and will many times not perform the procedure even if you want it.
- Most experienced veterinarians refuse to perform the surgery on an older puppy because its ear cartilage has already formed to a flat shape, making it less pliant and less likely to develop erect ears.
- The ear cropping procedure may be done traditionally or by laser technology. The latter is more expensive because it is less invasive.
What are the extra costs?
- The cost of ear cropping largely depends on your geographical location, the type of surgery you want for your Doberman, recovery time, and the response of your dog to the procedure. Some Dobermans may develop complications during surgery, and so they might need sufficient time to recover, incurring additional fees in the process.
- You might also need post-surgery visit(s) to your veterinarian to ensure that your dog fares well after the surgery.
Factors that influence the price:
- Location. The city where your veterinarian’s office is located has something to do with the pricing system, including the cost of veterinary services. A veterinarian’s office in a high-end community or shopping district may charge more than offices in other surrounding areas.
- Type of surgery. The traditional ear cropping procedure costs considerably less than the laser type. Although, you may have to spend extra for follow up consultations or post-operative visits to the veterinarian to ensure that your dog heals well after the surgery.
Tips to know:
- Since every dog has its distinct ear characteristics and ability to respond, the surgery may not come up to your expectations. Some dogs may not completely develop erect ears.
- Around two-thirds of the ear is removed in cropping. The remaining membrane is tightly taped into a vertical position.
- Although ear cropping is legal in some countries, only few veterinarians actually practice the procedure, and it is not taught in many veterinary schools.
- It is rather advisable that you go to a veterinarian who has ample experience in ear cropping to guarantee proper procedure.
- Although there are risks from general anesthesia as well as risks of bleeding, post-operative infection, and wound failure over the cut, these risks are very low and a high percentage of dobermans do perfectly fine with this procedure.
- Cropping the ears may result in scarred or bent ears.
- Rate of complication is low, except only when there is a need for additional surgery or loss of one or both ears.
- The dog’s hearing is not affected in the procedure.
Questions to ask:
- Why is it that my dog’s ears do not stand erect?
- Do I need to submit my dog for ear cropping?
- Is it necessary to have post-operative visits to the veterinarian?
How can I save money?
- Opt for the laser type of surgery. It may sound expensive if you just look at the figures without considering the post-operative care. However, this procedure seldom needs post-operative maintenance and can therefore actually save you some money.
- Choose an experienced veterinarian who can crop well to reduce complications and post-surgery care. Remember that not all veterinarians are skilled in this practice.
- Check your breeder directory and inquire from show breeders for the best ear cropping veterinarians to visit and do your dog’s cropping.