The Norman Transcript

Features

December 27, 2006

Do dogs' earflaps have a purpose?

Dear Dr. Fox: I have noticed on the ears of all the dogs we've had had a small flap near where the ear attaches to the head.

I have asked several veterinarians what this is called and what was, or is, the purpose of these earflaps. No one has been able to give me an answer. Can you help?

-- S.G., Lanham, Md.

Dear S.G.: Perhaps, like the human appendix, the tiny flaps, or vertical pockets, toward the base of the dog's ears are vestigial structures that once served some purpose.

I know of no studies of these flap-like pockets on the outer side of dogs' ears. They may contain distinctive scent glands. This we do know: They are a favorite hiding place for ticks, so it's always good to check the earflaps as well as between the toes during tick season.

Dear Dr. Fox: I'm writing to you in the hope that you will be able to help me find a treatment for my two collies. They are 2 years old, brother and sister, and they have been diagnosed with demodectic mange and are being treated with Mitaban dips.

They've been having these dips for two years. First, it was every week; then, every other week; then once a month. They seem to get better, but then it starts getting worse again.

They are now back to being dipped every other week. Our vet said there was something that would cure it, but it would kill collies.

I don't want to hurt them, so I'm hoping you know of something that might help them. They scratch all the time, and I know they are miserable.

-- C.B., Bryan, Texas

Dear C.B.: The type of mange that afflicts your dogs can be congenital in origin and develop when the pups' immune systems are impaired. Small, repeated oral doses of ivermectin can get rid of these burrowing skin mites, but the drug is, unfortunately, poisonous to collies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Norman volunteer recognized for work at Veterans Corner

    Each week, we recognize a volunteer who makes that extra effort to assure that a veteran or surviving spouse receives VA benefits. Shirley Clark-Cowdin has been with us four years. During that time, she and her crew of ladies have helped ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Here is how reverse mortgages operate nowadays

    Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get....

    April 15, 2014

  • Annual Norman Iris Show set at library

    A tradition of the Norman Area Iris Society and Norman Public Library returns this spring with the annual Norman Iris Show from 1 to 4 p.m. April 27 in the Lowry Room of the library, 225 N. Webster Ave....

    April 15, 2014

  • Allan Oehlschlager, family celebrating 100-year milestone

    From Kansas City to Norman with stops in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Yale, Oklahoma City and Edmond — looking back as he prepared to mark his 100th birthday today, Allan Oehlschlager termed it a “glorious ride.” Born April 13, 1914, in ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Single parents to be honored

    Five Oklahoma single parents and two adult children of single parents will be honored with awards at the Single Parent Support Network black tie fundraiser, “An Enchanted Evening,” on April 29 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports ...

    April 13, 2014

  • Dreams for the next 14 years

    On Monday I’ll be the proud aunt of a 14-year-old niece. For 14 years, I’ve had the chance to get used to her being 14 someday, and I’m still not there. Maybe in another 14 years, I’ll realize that she’s not a baby anymore....

    April 13, 2014

  • Midwest City reunions set

    Midwest City High School class reunions for 1970 to 1979 will be hosted in June at the Midwest City Community Center....

    April 13, 2014

  • Not typical boy behavior

    Q: My 18-year-old son and a slightly younger friend recently found some mice and decided to dispose of them. They drowned one and set the other one on fire. When I confronted my son for torturing animals, his response was “They’re just ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers respond to co-teaching issue

    We’ll say it again, we love our readers. Thanks to all of you who had comments about our column from the mom regarding her daughter in co-taught classes. We would like to remind you that our column is based solely on our experiences as ...

    April 11, 2014

  • Callery Pear is a beautiful invader

    You have probably noticed that trees are beginning to break bud and bloom with beautiful flowers. One of the earliest, and certainly one of the showiest, is the Callery Pear. One cultivated form of this tree is commonly called “Bradford ...

    April 11, 2014

Video
Facebook