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
  • Just say no to 12-year-old’s Mohawk

    A mom recently asked me what I would say to my son if he was 12 years old and wanted a Mohawk haircut for the summer. I told her I’d say no. “But is it really that big a deal?” she said....

    August 1, 2014

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Jam set

    Norman residents will serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to the homeless from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at Andrew’s Park, 201 W. Daws St. A pop-up store also will distribute donations of new and gently used books, clothing, shoes, ...

    August 1, 2014

  • CCFI announces play therapy course

    Center for Children and Families will present the course Fundamentals of Non-Directive Play Therapy from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at Sarkeys Foundation, 520 E. Main St....

    August 1, 2014

  • Recent weather has been surprising

    Earlier this July, a dense cold front slipped into the central section of the Southwest — including Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and bordering states — dropping daytime temperature highs into the upper 60s and 70s, which I believe is an ...

    August 1, 2014

  • Are you a puppet or a prince?

    Names have power. This cautionary statement is frequently found in fantasy novels populated by magical beings. The implication being that you should choose your friends and enemies wisely....

    August 1, 2014

  • Crafter’s emporium planned Saturday

    Members of the Opal District Crafter’s Emporium, plus other local artists, will have an art show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E. Robinson St. in Norman. It will be hosted concurrently with the ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Williams book signing event set

    Jared Williams, a resident of Moore, will sign copies of his book “Cerebral” from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Hastings, 2300 W. Main St. Norman....

    July 31, 2014

  • Home dedication set Sunday

    Cleveland County Habitat for Humanity will host a dedication of the Ruvalcaba family home from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 618 E. Apache St. Those attending are asked to bring a pantry item to help the family begin life in their new home. ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Two territorial littermate cats are asserting social dominance

    Dear Dr. Fox: When we decided to get a cat 10 years ago, I thought getting a couple of littermates would work well. They got along during the first couple of years, often sleeping together and grooming each other. As they matured, though, ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Board welcomes new member

    In its June meeting, the members of the Mary Abbott Children’s House board of directors elected Barbara Henderson to serve the remaining term of Anne Ederington, who resigned from the board in May due to moving from Norman. Henderson and ...

    July 30, 2014