According to the studies made by American Veterinarian, about 14% of Frenchies have ear infections. But does this have anything to do with your French Bulldog’s ears curling?
If your pet’s ears are floppy and curling backwards, is that something that you really need to worry about? Is that a symptom of a health problem?
One of the cutest features of French Bulldogs is their ‘bat ears’. Seeing your puppy’s ears go up is, indeed, an interesting and exciting milestone.
But as a new Frenchie owner, you might be concerned about your pup’s ears curling instead of erecting, and he is already a few months old. Should you take him to a vet then?
Why Do French Bulldogs’ Ears Curl?
Did you know that Frenchies aren’t actually born with pointy ears? Yes, that’s right. You won’t see this endearing feature immediately after birth. In fact, your puppy’s ears will seem to be funny for the first few weeks of his life. They could be floppy and curled. One ear may also be standing up while the other is loosely hanging. They could be really strange!
The bottom line is, this should not cause you to panic. Those weird ‘ear behaviors’ are perfectly fine. They have something to do with the teething process.
In general, French Bulldogs go through this particular process from the time they are around 2-weeks old up to 8 months. So within this period, you can expect to see your pet’s ears to seem like they have a life of their own. But then again, there is nothing that you need to worry about.
Teething and Ear Curling
Try this: While you are chewing, watch and feel what happens to the temple regions. They are also moving, right? The same pulsating movements occur when your French Bulldog bites down. The muscles in the area are working, and may cause strain to the muscles of the ears. This is why they tend to lose their shape as well as their strength to erect. But they will definitely come back up once your Frenchie is done teething.
Furthermore, when a puppy is teething, his calcium requirements increase too as this is needed by the different parts of his body to develop. Sometimes, this essential mineral is not evenly distributed. This is another reason why his ears may droop or fold back.
Aside from floppy or droopy ears, other signs that your pet is going through the process of teething include excessive chewing (he will try to chew on just about anything around him), loose milk teeth, blood spots, drooling, inflamed gums, and mild fever.
At What Age Should a Frenchie’s Ears Stay Upright?
The timeline for the teething process in French Bulldogs may vary from one puppy to another. Some may go through these changes in just a short period of time, while others may take a few months to complete it.
So there is really no hard rule for this. The same is true when it comes to the age when you should expect your pet’s ears to stop curling and erect instead.
Generally speaking, though, Frenchie’s ears can be expected to stand up anytime from when they are already 5 to 15 weeks old. You just have to give it some time.
How to Make French Bulldog’s Ears Stand Up
If you think that it is taking a long time for your French Bulldog’s ears to hold up like they should be, there are things that you can do. One of the most popular methods used by breeders is taping.
Here are the steps:
· Get a masking tape (1.5-inch).
· Hold your Frenchie’s right ear’s base and make sure that it’s upright.
· Wrap the masking tape around the base of the right ear, but keep it loose.
· Repeat the steps above with the left ear.
· Once both ears are properly erected and leveled, use another piece of masking tape to create a bridge in between. This time, make it firmer.
· Leave the tape for about 5 days.
· Gently remove.
After removing the tape, observe if your French Bulldog’s ears are now standing up by themselves. Otherwise, you can repeat the same process for another 5 days.
Take note that the results of taping may differ from one dog to another. For some, this technique only needs to be done once to take effect while others require repeating the process. There are also some Frenchies that may not respond to this strategy.
If you don’t get the bat ear fashion that you are aiming for after taping twice, then you should leave it alone and give your puppy’s ears quite some time to rise up on their own.
Are There Food Items That Can Help the Ears To Stay Upright?
We mentioned earlier that teething and the supply of calcium have something to do with your puppy’s ears being floppy, curling, or drooping. So you might be wondering at this point if there are certain food items that can help the ears to erect by themselves.
Some forums may suggest that giving your Frenchie things, like yogurt and cheese, which are rich in calcium, can help with this matter.
But the truth is, this is not backed by science. It may or may not assist. And if you decide to increase your pet’s calcium intake, you have to be very cautious because this could lead to problems with digestion. It could make your Frenchie’s tummy upset.
4 Ways To Assist Your Teething Frenchie
As your pup goes through the teething stage, which may last for a few weeks or even months, he could experience pain and discomfort. You can expect him to do just about anything that would help relieve the pain, and one natural response is to chew on everything that he can get into. And, of course, you don’t want him to ruin the things that you value the most.
So what’s the best thing to do? You can help your teething Frenchie by doing the following:
Give Some Toys
To keep your Frenchie’s mouth preoccupied, you need to get him some toys that were specifically designed for teething dogs. You can get a rope toy, teething stick, balls, roller, as well as a puppy flyer.
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Keep Your Valuables
To ensure that your dog won’t get into items that belong to you, then you really need to be organized. Keep those things away and store them in a place where your pet is off limits.
Serve Frozen Treats
Frozen food items, like carrots, can also help divert your dog’s attention. Instead of him chewing on your chair’s leg, he can just go ahead and indulge himself in cool snacks. The coldness will also provide some kind of relief to his sore gums.
Work Him Out
Exercising is also an excellent way to entertain your puppy. This should keep him busy and would make it a lot easier for him to get a good night’s sleep.
3 Ways To Keep Your Dog’s Ears Healthy
French Bulldogs may suffer from ear infections, especially if this part of their body is neglected. Keep in mind that prevention is always better than cure, so make sure that you keep your dog’s ears healthy as well while waiting for the time for them to erect on their own.
Here are some tips on how you can take good care of your puppy’s ears:
Watch Out for a Weird Smell
You, as the owner, should know how your Frenchie’s ears smell like. If you notice an odd odor, then it is most likely that an infection is starting. With this, you have to seek the assistance of a vet, particularly if there is a dark-colored discharge.
Look for Other Signs
Aside from a stinky smell, ear problems may also show other signs, such as frequent scratching, redness or swelling, hard skin inside or around the ears, and hair loss in that particular region. If you see any of these signs, then be sure to make a trip to the vet.
Clean Your Puppy’s Ears
Just like you, make it a habit to clean your dog’s ears, especially after giving him a shower. When doing so, though, do not be too harsh. You can make use of a gentle solution that can help make this task easier.
If you are unsure of what kind of cleaning solution and tools to use, it would be best to ask your vet.
Curled ears in French Bulldogs, and any other breed of canine, is something that is natural as they go through the teething process. This should not alarm you. You can try taping them, but usually, they will rise on their own once your pet has gone through the teething stage.
As you wait for your Frenchie to achieve those bat ears, focus on helping him instead to relieve the discomfort due to teething. You also have to make sure that his ears are healthy.
⁴ Photo by Abhi Bakshi on Unsplash