The adventures of SD Juno and SDIT Kaline (and their human, Colt).

08 August 2013

The Ear Saga of Woe

The Ear of Woe. Spot the injury—if you can!
Holy crap. Most exhausting, stressful week in quite some time.

After Kaline got the sutures in his ear, he had to be in a bandage, snood, and cone for three days. On day two, I noticed the snood's mesh starting to cut into the exposed underside of his ear, so back we went to have that off. The bandage and cone remained. Kaline, on sedatives, stayed mostly quiet and actually had a fairly good appetite. We got the poor little invalid some baby food to tempt his palate. Mom has been especially solicitous, even to the point of telling off her “girlfriend” Juno for barking at Kaline!

Sunday was day three, and we took Kaline back to the e-vet to have the bandage completely off. He was in the back an interminably long time. I heard the ominous sound of him being allowed to do a whole body shake. A long while after that, a vet (not the last one we had) came out to talk to us.

He had, indeed, busted his ear yet again. They'd glued it and were bandaging him again. I was extremely frustrated that they had allowed him to shake off as hard as he wanted right after the bandage came off. I was frustrated that they only wanted to leave the bandage on three days. (The reasoning for that—limiting the risk of other problems arising due to moisture in the ear—was explained to me by one of the excellent techs.) The vet just said we needed to be patient. Which was also frustrating, because I for one would've been happy to leave the bandage on for a week! (Before learning that that would be bad.)

Then came the kicker. The vet goes: “Well, he is a Doberman. You could always crop his ears.” Were I a cartoon character at that moment, my face would've turned bright red, smoke would've come out my ears, and my eyes would have zoomed about a foot out from my face. Kaline's cut is measured in millimeters. And somehow a solution to that would be cutting off most of his ears? Also, HELLO, you don't crop the ears of a fifteen-month-old dog. Twelve weeks old is considered late to do it. I was just furious and way overwhelmed with anxiety and worry. And I'd been stupid and left Juno home with Mom.

When Kaline finally came out, with a bandage that looked like a diaper on his head in addition to his cone, I immediately went to hug him because I was just so relieved to see him. Despite being sedated and probably in some pain or at least discomfort, Kaline immediately started deep pressure into my chest. I almost started sobbing right there. I couldn't believe he was trying to take care of me when he was the one all the bad things were happening to.

Diaper bandage and cone.
Everything just looked disastrous—we might have to cut off a piece of his ear (again, explained by the tech as to why that could be helpful/necessary—the techs are unfailingly excellent over there), the entire trip to Michigan could be off, Kaline was back in the cone and clearly not a happy camper.

Three more days of tense waiting commenced. The appetite stayed fairly good, amazingly, and somehow my family were all able to work our schedules so Kaline was almost never by himself. The sedatives were a really big help, because it stopped him wanting to shake so often and also meant that the 20-30 minutes of exercise he was allowed per day were enough. I shudder to think of an un-sedated Kaline forced to endure days with that little exercise!
Poor little invalid.
Yesterday, we headed to our regular vet to have the bandage off. I formulated a plan, we followed it exactly, and it worked!

When we went in, Noel carefully slid the cone off and cut the bandage off Kaline's head. He had a ring of adhesive residue around his neck and some irritation from the bandage on the front of his neck, but the ear looked pretty good. I kept a good hold on his collar, preventing him from shaking, and gently held his bad ear in a piece of gauze. Dr. Mihalek came in with the little plastic vials of glue and applied that while I held Kaline and his ear. Once it was dry, we let him go but I still didn't let him shake. Brilliant.
Yay, Real Kaline™ is back!
We got home, and I gathered my supplies bought earlier in the day: wound cream, wound powder to stop bleeding, and liquid bandaid. All we needed was liquid bandaid. I applied it liberally to his ear and since then, it has held up beautifully! I've been watching Kay carefully, and he's always either on leash or on an e-collar so we can nip any shake in the bud. Nonetheless he's managed about three full-body shakes (mostly in the car) since yesterday afternoon, and his ear is still intact! Liquid bandaid, you are my hero. The trip to Michigan is back on, and boy, is it ever wonderful to see my puppy's beautiful face framed by his marvelous, silky ears again. I feel like I worked really hard to get those ears! I don't want anything bad to happen to them. Kaline is clearly so much happier out of the cone (shocking, I'm sure). I'm still a little on edge and checking his ear obsessively anytime he gets a good shake in, but I feel loads better.

In case they're reading: Big, big thanks to all my friends who supported me through all the stress and offered excellent advice. Especially everyone who said, “Just GLUE IT already!” Should've listened to you much earlier. And extra super special gratitude to Maura, Kaline's breeder, leader of the Glue It Already group, who is always there with super helpful advice and encouragement. 


  1. Oh....oh my. I would not be happy with that e-vet at all. "You could always just crop him" indeed! Sure, crop him and then immediately require implants, because that would never stand and is ignorant and irresponsible to toss off like that.

    Kaline is an amazing boy, trying to help you like that.

    1. He certainly is my very good boy! E-vets are kinda luck of the draw. The vet who sutured his ear was really lovely. The crop-happy one: UGH!!

    2. He certainly is my very good boy! E-vets are kinda luck of the draw. The vet who sutured his ear was really lovely. The crop-happy one: UGH!!

  2. I'm so glad everything is working out. Deep Breath!! You'll be Michigan bound very soon!! ;)