by Jennifer Broome
0:31 Announcer:GundogsOnline.com helping you get the most from your hunting dogs.
0:41 Today we're going to talk about a common injury that occurs with our hunting dogs, whether it's in the upland field or the waterfowl hunting area. And that is a torn ear.
I'm certainly not a veterinarian, but I've taken many lessons from my veterinarian on how to do some quick fixes in the field to help get my gun dog through their injury, prior to having to go to the vet, or if it's a minor injury how to do a quick fix for them in the field.
1:06 So a torn ear is a fairly common injury. It can occur with their ear just scraping by a briar, a barbed wire fence or another dog. And with a dog that has ears that flap down like this, their blood vessels are very close to the edge of their ears, to the outside of their skin. So a simple graze with a briar can cause a pretty quick bleed on the ear and can cause incessant droplets of blood to drip from the ear.
What are some signs that I look for that I kind of figure out my dog has a torn ear? I might see them from a distance shaking their head or titling their head in the field. Certainly I will see dry blood around their shoulder area, on their collar, or driplets of blood on the ground. That's a sure sign to me to stop hunting and check out their ear and find out what's going wrong.
1:59 Usually, upon examining their ear, you will find a slit. It's such a tiny slit, but they do bleed nonstop. So a great way to help stop the bleeding would be to take some gauze and I always keep a first aid kit in my truck. So we're going to take some fresh gauze and the first thing I'm going to do is, I'm going to grasp the ear and I'm going to apply direct pressure to the wound on the ear to stop that bleeding. Again, they don't tend to bleed a lot, but they really do drip incessantly and if you don't do something about it, not only can it cause a mess, but I certainly do worry about my dog's ear bleeding if they're going to continue to hunt. And I like to stop the hunt after my dogs do cut their ear like this.
2:40 So using my gauze I will apply some direct pressure. I'll flip the ear up to the top of the head. So by elevating it, it's going to also help to stop some of the bleeding. Now I'm going to take some vet wrap. And they do, they shake their head a lot like this. It becomes a little difficult. Because my dog is sitting here so nicely, you can see that she has been well socialized, well conditioned, and well desensitized as a youngster. That means that I can touch her ears and touch her all over and she's going to accept it. And that's a great reason to go back and to watch our puppy training video on how to properly desensitize your go so that you can do quick fixes in the field like this.
3:20 So again, we're going to stop that bleeding, going to wrap the ear up to the top of the head. We're going to take our vet wrap. This stuff is great to work with; it sticks together pretty much. And almost like she's going to look like she has a toothache, we're going to wrap her ear up to the top of her head. Now because I'm going to be going underneath her throat area, it's very important that I don't go too tight around the throat area.
It helps to have more hands when you're doing this. But if you're doing this by yourself, you certainly can. So we're going to rotate, I lost the ear, we'll put the ear back up there again to stop the bleeding, and we're going to wrap this ear, up to the top of their head. And I'm going to wrap around and around, again being careful not to go too tight around their throat.
4:14 So the goal is to elevate the ear and to stop the bleeding. After that, I like to put the dog up in a crate so that they can lay down, relax, that wound, the blood can coagulate and if the wound is deep enough, they're going to go right to the vet. If it's a fairly superficial wound, then I may change this dressing and have them wear this headband like this for a day or two until the wound heals.
So, a torn ear, really common injury with our upland dogs. And this is a great fix to stop that bleeding. You're a good girl, Sassy.
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