December 12, 2019

Why some ears struggle to...stay up.

Why some ears struggle to...stay up.
Dr. Chris Brown

There comes a time in every dog’s life when their ears grow up. And stay up. But for some dogs (like this one) that day never comes for both of them. The magic time when the ears stand up is usually at 4-6 months of age. Although some dogs can wait until 9 months before their ears finally reach their full potential.

The milestone moment comes from one simple action. The cartilage that provides the structure to their ears starts to thicken and harden as the body sends calcium there. However, one other important life event is also occurring at this time - puppies are teething.

The problem? Teething means calcium that should be going to strengthening the ears is ‘borrowed’ to help form the teeth. If there’s simply not enough calcium to go round, the ears lose out and either stay folded over or go from upright to flopped until there is.

So why do some ears never stand up?
Well, these ears have either never gained the thicker stronger cartilage they needed (from either genetics or a lack of calcium) or a small injury to the cartilage meant they had a point where gravity could win and they folded over.

But having ‘undecided ears’ shouldn’t be seen as a problem. In fact, I’ve always thought it makes our little mates look even more adorable and packed full of personality.

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