Dogs with cropped ears in the UK: A population-based study using electronic health records

Norris, Lucy J, Pinchbeck, Gina L ORCID: 0000-0002-5671-8623, Noble, Peter-John M and Radford, Alan D ORCID: 0000-0002-4590-1334
(2023) Dogs with cropped ears in the UK: A population-based study using electronic health records. VETERINARY RECORD, 192 (5). e2483-.

Access the full-text of this item by clicking on the Open Access link.


<h4>Background</h4>Ear cropping for cosmetic purposes was made illegal in the UK in 2006. Despite this, a lack of import regulations and celebrity and media influences mean cropped dogs are increasingly reported.<h4>Methods</h4>The demographics, temporal trends and patient-level associated factors for dogs with cropped ears were evaluated in a large sentinel population of dogs visiting UK veterinary practices.<h4>Results</h4>A total of 132 dogs with cropped ears were identified, with rates peaking in 2021. In 84 cases (63.6%), there was evidence of importation, most commonly from countries where cropping is also illegal, including Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia, Spain, Poland and Ireland. American Bulldogs, Dobermanns, Italian Mastiffs (Cane Corso), Bulldogs and Mastiffs were all significantly overrepresented. Affected dogs were more likely to be unneutered (odds ratio 11.04, 95% confidence interval 5.84-20.90).<h4>Limitations</h4>The study likely underestimates true levels of ear cropping. Identified cases are from a sentinel network of veterinary practices, and as such may not be representative of the wider UK population.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data suggest a need to educate owners and veterinary surgeons about the welfare and legal implications of ear cropping. The data presented can inform future targeted policies in veterinary practices and at a governmental level.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ear, Animals, Dogs, Dog Diseases, Hungary, Poland, Electronic Health Records, United Kingdom
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection, Veterinary and Ecological Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2023 10:14
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 10:57
DOI: 10.1002/vetr.2483
Open Access URL:
Related URLs: