This is a breed where cropping the ears or leaving them natural is allowed in the AKC Standard.
North America is one of the few areas where cropping and docking is still the normal. There can be a few problems with natural ears that a dog experiences throughout life.
Ear Margin Vasculitis
– is a condition of ear(pinnae) margins, (tips, edges) where the tiny vessels on the edges of the ears suffer insult, and can lead to ischemia (blood starved) areas, which can lead to necrotic areas (tissue death) If this process is not interrupted with treatment, the ear edges can turn black, hard, and leathery. Once this stage has been reached, cracking and bleeding can occur, requiring immediate treatment. Some potential causes follow:
Cold can constrict the tiny blood vessels and result in this effect on the edges of natural and cropped ears. This can result with the development of necrotic areas on the ear leather.
Reactions to Rabies vaccinination is felt by some as a cause of this condition. There is a congestion of the small capillaries from this allergic reaction which decreases circulation to the ear margin area. This is seen more in natural ears but not limited to them. There are currently ongoing studies on this type vaccine reaction.
If your dog is a frequent violent head shaker, it is felt that the (natural) ears can strike against objects, collars, leashes, etc, or even the side of their heads, causing a similar condition.
Routinely note the edges of your German Pinscher ears for discolored, (red or bruised looking) areas, or areas that feel swollen or hard along the edges. This is an early sign of this chronic process. In this early stage, massaging with vasoline will help keep the tissue soft, and increase circulation in the tiny capillaries on the ear edge.
For more detail on Ear Margin Vasculitis, consult your vet for problems and advise/instruction for keeping the ears clean.
Information is provided here as a resource only and is not intended to replace professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about your dogs health and medical concerns.