Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most popular pets in the world. But what makes these dogs stand out among all the rest? It isn’t their travel-friendly size or their lovable personality; it’s their ears!
Yorkies are born with the floppiest of ears, which grow with them. As the dog grows older, its ears become less droopy and eventually reach a point where they stand upright. But the journey to this point is filled with painful teething, many doctor’s visits, and quite a bit of tape.
If you’re confused, that’s okay. This article aims to arm you with all the information you’ll ever need. From ‘When do Yorkie ears stand up’ to ‘how to tape Yorkie ears,’ we’ve got you covered.
We’re starting this guide with a basic introduction to floppy Yorkie ears. This is where the puppies start, and so it’s where your journey to becoming an expert on the matter begins.
Yorkie puppies have floppy ears at birth because the muscles at the base of their ears are not strong enough to stand upright.
They maintain their floppiness for three months and then, start strengthening until eventually, they can stand by themselves. At times, one ear starts standing up before the other. With some late bloomers, the ears remain floppy for up to nine months.
Some Yorkie ears stand upright for a while and then turn floppy again. This happens with teething puppies. The process of growing teeth is excruciating and uses up a lot of energy; in response to this feeling, dogs flop around their ears. Once they make it through this struggle, Yorkies start strengthening their ears.
In some cases, the dogs never reach a point where their ears can stand upright at all. Furthermore, some kinds of Yorkies have large ears with a tough texture that remain floppy all through their life.
In most cases, though, Yorkie ears do eventually stand up. And in the instances that they don’t, you can take specific measures to nudge them in the right direction.
What Can I Do to Make a Yorkie’s Ears Stand Up?
There are several humane ways to make a Yorkie’s ears stand up. The goal for each is getting the puppy’s muscles at the lower end of its ear to become stronger, which helps it keep its ears upright.
A simple method to make your Yorkie’s ears stand up is massaging your dog’s ears. You can also shave some hair at the top part of its ears to reduce the weight pulling them down. Lastly, you can also give your dog food supplements.
Remember to consult your vet before committing to a serious lifestyle change such as food supplements.
What is Yorkie Ear Taping & Does it Work?
Taping Yorkie ears is another method that works in many cases, although it is not always 100% successful. Start by shaving the area near the ears and cleaning it with a Q-tip dipped in a canine cleaning solution. Be careful not to go too deep into the ear canal because that could result in damage.
After careful cleaning:
- Fold the ear gently in a vertical direction.
- Use some gauze to wrap around the ear’s base and use scotch tape or bandage tape to hold it firmly in its place.
- Repeat the same process on the other ear.
- When both ears are taped, use some more tape to keep them together in an aligned position.
Because it is important to get this right so that the ears are held together suitably tightly, you may have to redo it once or twice. If the ears are held too tightly, the circulation may be affected. On the other hand, if it is too loose, a little movement may cause the alignment to be affected, or the wrapping may fall altogether.
You will know that you have done the taping correctly when the ears are not flopping, but instead, they are both standing upright. Leave the tape on for three days. After three days, remove it so that the puppy’s ears can relax. It is important to clean the entire area and let it get some fresh air. Then repeat the process. A small break in between the taping will not affect the process, while it will enable your puppy to take a little break.
For some Yorkies, the first taping may be the only one you have to do. However, others may need several tapings, even up to three weeks. The basic factor that determines how soon your Yorkie’s ears respond to the taping is genetics. By using this method, you are simply pushing the process to make it faster. In case the effect does occur but temporarily only, just redo it on one or both ears as required.
In case there is no effect after a month of taping, it may be time to accept that your puppy is likely to keep its floppy ears or that it is a late bloomer.
Mites are tiny and nasty creatures. They live in dogs’ ears and may also move to other body parts. As they are very contagious, mites can transfer to other pets. They are also extremely uncomfortable for your Yorkie and are likely to make it feel quite disturbed and restless.
Infections and Health Concerns
Most infections and health concerns can be avoided when you take good care of your Yorkie. However, it may still catch infections for no apparent reason, which may be quite frustrating.
What Causes this?
There can be many different reasons why your dog may get an ear infection. For example, one reason may be a buildup of bacteria because its ears remained wet for long after a swim or a bath. Another cause can be the buildup of ear wax. It could even be a long untreated mite infection in the ears, deep cleaning, or a foreign object being stuck in the ear.
What are the Symptoms?
If you observe any unusual symptoms in your Yorkie that make you think it may be in pain or discomfort, take it to the veterinarian right away. Some of these include a liquid puss-like discharge, a terrible odor, or itchy ears. Your dog may also be suffering from infection if it rubs its ears against another surface or if it cries out when you touch its ear. If your dog’s infection is not treated promptly, it could feel dizzy or start vomiting.
The veterinarian will first examine your dog and carry out some tests, such as an ear inspection. Depending on the infection’s nature, the veterinarian may flush the ears to remove wax or other substances and carry out a professional cleaning procedure. He will also prescribe medication for you to apply to your Yorkie at home. If you give the medication properly and keep your dog’s ears clean, the infection is likely to clear up in approximately a week.
While Yorkie’s health concerns do have effective treatments, as outlined above, sometimes they aren’t a permanent solution. In these cases, infections simply return once the medication stops. And these chronic diseases can cause long-term damage to a dog’s health.
But why does this happen? Many Yorkie ears get internal scars during an infection. It stays under control while medicated but leads to serious health problems as soon as the prescription ends. And these infections only get worse with time.
The only way to deal with such reoccurring problems is to carry out intensive testing and find the root cause of the issue.
Additionally, several steps need to be taken. First, a sample of the dog’s discharge needs to be examined by a vet. They will identify precisely what virus or bacteria has caused the scarring. Second, owners must wash their pet’s ears thoroughly and regularly. Lastly, the tests’ results should be used to find the best way forward; immediate action is necessary.
Common Yorkie antibiotics are quite effective. They successfully deal with several infections and eliminate all bacterial health concerns. However, there is one exception to this. A strain called Pseudomonas Aeruginosa stays strong in the face of most medicines and can cause serious health concerns for Yorkie ears if not dealt with properly.
So for dogs with reoccurring problems, ear discharge tests are a great idea. Not only do they shed light on the root cause of your dog’s illness, but they also tell you if you’re dealing with a pseudomonas infection and which medicine to use. Early identification is essential, and this examination helps you get it.
The worst-case scenario for a Yorkie with reoccurring problems is a failure to identify the cause of infections. This, paired with ineffective medication, leaves dog owners with only one option: surgery.
This last resort procedure is performed by a specialist who opens a Yorkie ears vertical canal and completely cleans it out. Since chronic ear infections target this area, the surgeon can permanently treat it.
However, if the scarring gets to the point where the canal is completely closed, a simple cleanse won’t solve the issue. In these severe cases, ablation is the final step. It is only done in the rarest of situations where there is no hope for the medicine or previously mentioned surgery to work.
In a fairly expensive procedure, a specialist removes the dog’s ear canal. Yorkies that go through this surgery heal quickly and never experience reoccurring ear infections again.
Prevention and Proper Home Care
Grooming Yorkie ears is essential to keeping them healthy. And if you stick to the following tips, you won’t ever have to worry about your pet becoming sick.
Remove extra hair
Excess hair is one of the biggest reasons for Yorkie ears not standing. But more importantly, it restricts airflow to your dog’s ear canal; you must remove it.
How? Take a bit of powder, apply it to the relevant area, and use a tweezer to pluck out the unwanted hair.
After hair removal, you have to flush and clean Yorkie ears. You can ask your vet for an acceptable solution or go to a pet store and buy one from there. Then use it to massage the top of your pet’s skull and apply it around their folds.
Not only does flushing clean your dog’s skull, but it also dries their canal and keeps their pH level balanced.
FAQ Regarding Yorkshire Terrier Ears
At What Age Do Yorkshire Terriers’ Ears Normally Stand Up?
The short answer is six months. But it isn’t always the right one. Yorkie ears not standing or standing depends on the strength of a dog’s ear muscles and how far along they’ve gotten in their teething process.
Therefore, this age differs from one dog to the next. Sometimes Yorkie ears don’t stand up until nine months, and other times they’ll start strengthening their muscles at five months.
Why Is It Better For a Yorkshire Terrier’s Ears to Prick?
The American Kennel Club decides what characteristics meet breed standards. And for Yorkies, they determined that pricked ears are better than floppy ears. These standards are only used by dog shows, though.
If you plan to show your Yorkshire Terrier, it is better if it has pricked ears. However, if you have other aspirations for your pet, having floppy ears isn’t an issue.
Still, I Would Like My Yorkie’s Ears to Stand Up. How Can I Accomplish This?
There are several humane ways to make Yorkie ears stand up; two stand out as the most effective. The first method is shaving them. Sometimes excess hair pulls down a dog’s ears and makes them flop around. Use scissors designed for dog grooming or go to a specialist.
The second method is using surgical tape. Wind it around your Yorkie’s ears without bending them and fix them in place.
How Do I Tape My Yorkie’s Ears?
Buy tape specifically designed for this purpose; most pet stores regularly stock up on it. Gently wind the Yorkie’s ears with it and fix them in place. Repeat the process every other day so they can sweat properly.
Make sure that you aren’t hurting your dog and that they’re comfortable throughout the experience.
What If Taping and Other Methods Don’t Work?
If taping and other methods aren’t working, don’t force your dog’s ears to prick. Some Yorkie ears will never stand up, and that’s okay. Whether or not your Yorkie has floppy ears does not impact its viability as a pet. Floppy-eared Yorkies will still love you and play with you.
Some people would even argue floppy ears are cuter than pricked ones.
Yorkshire Terrier Ears – Up or Down? Dropped or Floppy?
Yorkie ears may seem complicated. But when broken down, they aren’t all that complex. These dogs are filled with love, waiting to share it with someone. And since their ears are a big part of who they are, they are bound to open up their hearts to you if you can care for them.
People always ask about their pet’s ears standing up. And while that isn’t a box, Yorkies need to check to receive affection; it is something you can achieve through humane methods as outlined above.
Furthermore, Yorkie ears are prone to infection, so you should take great care of them.