Lexi will be 12 weeks on Monday 2/4 and one of her ears is almost perfectly erect while the other does not show any sign of perkiness. At what point should I seek assistance for the ear. Is there a "missed the boat" time?
Nope, you haven't missed the boat. Give her two more weeks. If her ears aren't up at 14 weeks, you'll want to tape them. I'm throwing in a link to a web page to show you the correct position with instructions on how to tape. I know a lot of people use toillet paper rolls cut in half and a "softer" tape instead of the moleskin/duct tape shown on this website.
I expect other forum members who had to tape can give you some tips too on their own method.
No offense taken! : ) I think the link shows a good photo for correct ear alignment, but you make a good point about duct tape not breathing. They are wrapping the ears with moleskin, which is soft and non-adhesive before putting on the duct tape which would be way too harsh if put directly on the ear. I was hoping for members with taping experience to provide some alternatives. Thanks! : )
Here's a link to a shot of Simon when he had his ears taped. My breeder showed me how to do this.
What you do is, get some of that cloth medical tape -- it usually comes in a little metal tin at a drug store, it's perforated to let skin breathe, and it isn't too sticky, and you tape several layers of it together to make a thick square shaped piece that is several layers thick, and then you cut it into the shape of sort of an oval or a pear so it lays against the inner surface of the Corgi ear. Does that make sense? You're basically creating a thick little wall or pad of tape, and cutting it to approx the same shape as the inner wall of the Corgi ear, then stick it in there against the wall of the ear to add a support wall/lining to the ear. Next, take a longer single piece of tape and wrap it around the base of the ear in a little tube, kind of loose - not too tight - as in the picture, and that holds the ear in place and holds the other piece of tape in place that is stuck to the inside wall of the ear. Hopefully the picture of Simon helps you see what I'm talking about. If not, I can take a few example photos and send them to you. But that's all you need to do. Leave the tape on there for a day or so, then change the tape so it's clean and repeat for about a week.
Now, one thing I'd like to show you is what not to do. Please don't do this:
That article is ridiculous in my opinion. It's way too much. It's uncomfortable for the Corgi and he's likely to pick at it relentlessly. And the main problem is that duct tape that person used is way too sticky so it's hard to remove, and it isn't perforated so the skin/ears underneath it can't breathe and the skin can get itchy and irritated. So please don't do that. Cloth medical tape for humans is designed to let skin breathe.
Does anyone else have any suggestions or better yet, photos. Bryan's advise is great, maybe with a few more pictures, poor Simon looks like a billy-goat in the photo. Dash the space dog is so brief that I can't really see how the breeder taped and I still am searching for the toilet paper roll remedy - can't find photos or suggestions on that one.
LOL! :-) Billy goat...that's a good one. :-) Well, the toilet paper roll is just a twist on what I explained -- you add the "tape wall/liner" to the inside wall of the outer ear, and then you slide the TP tube over the ear and secure it in place with some cloth tape to stand the ear up inside the tube, and the result is that you have two cardboard TP tubes sticking up on top of your Corgi's head. The thing is, it's hard to make those tubes stay in place when the Corgi starts flopping around and frapping. They're really not necessary. Just go with the cloth/medical tape approach as I suggested and you'll be fine. :-) My breeder was an expert with many successful show dogs (including Eli, who was best in breed at the Westminster show for several years), and she used the "billy goat" approach on all the floppy ears she encountered. :-)
You probably don't need the toilet paper rolls, since Pembroke ears have a bit softer, thinner leather than Cardigans. The people who did use toilet rolls put them on the inside of the ears after cutting them down to a shape similar to the ear, then taping.
Of the three Corgi breeders I know from other Corgi forums, two use the mole skin with duct tape. One of them uses mole skin with a lighter masking tape. She says the masking tape comes off every two or three days and she has to redo it, but prefers it because it doesn't leave a really sticky residue like duct tape. All three of them use the "hat" method with the tape in between to get the ears in the proper upright position. Bryan's dog did well and has proper ears with the "billy goat" method. LOL at "billy goat"...you invented a new term for the taping method!
This site shows a photo and instructions using a masking tape "hat". This breeder is not using mole skin, just four pieces of masking tape:
I have always had the best luck using masking tape. The process is a simple one but you may need another person for help. Lay the pup down so the ear is standing in the normal position. Start taping as close to the base of the skull. Be careful not to have any folds in the ear. Continue taping upwards until the ear is standing. Leave the tape on for up to a week. Remove and see if it is standing. If not reapply. Masking tape comes off quite easy and is not painful to the dog. This process is easy for most anyone to accomplish. Rather than feeding big amounts of calcium we recommend that you supplement with cottage cheese or yogurt a few times a week. One theory is that when pups are teething the extra calcium is used up there. A dogs body is really designed to handle this and extra calcium probably wont help much. Chances are that this pup has heavy ear leather or the cartilage may have been broken down a bit with interactions with another pup. The masking tape usually works like a charm.