Introduction: Ear Protector for Dog

Our Cocker Spaniel has Cushing's disease, which (among other things) means that he's very susceptible to infections and illness. He currently has a nasty ear infection. He's shaking his head, throwing it back and forth, flapping his ears and actually doing damage to them.

I took a T-shirt sleeve and made a cover for his head--we've been calling it a "wimple"--to keep his ears from flapping when he throws his head. Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in soon and he'll have relief, but in the meantime he gets to wear an interesting headband.

I got the idea for this from a post-surgical body sleeve he had once, but at the vet's yesterday I got a lot of comments and compliments on it. The vet and vet techs hadn't seen anything like it, but they admired how useful and practical it was for this problem. Therefore I am posting it here, in the hope that perhaps it might help someone else who has a similar problem.

I used an old T-shirt sleeve, scissors, sewing machine and thread.

Step 1: Sizing and Securing

I cut the sleeve off the T-shirt just past the seam. I slipped it over his head to see how it fit. I pinched it a bit to see how much I'd need to pull in. I turned it inside out and sewed next to the original sleeve seam. I ended up having to make it more of an even tube (the original sleeve flared toward the shoulder). I repeated this a couple of times until it was snug but not choking. I cut off the extra outside of the new seam.

Even though it was snug, it didn't want to stay in place. And of course, he didn't want to leave it alone; he rubbed his head on the floor and pawed at it. (He was rubbing against things anyway because his ear hurts him so much.)

I made a couple of tucks in front of and behind the ears. This made the whole thing puff outwards at the ears, and a little too tight in front/behind the ears to slip over them easily. I had to be very gentle putting it on, since the ear infection makes his ears tender, but once on it stayed pretty well. His ears don't flap when he shakes his head, he can't pull it off with his paws, and he can't pull it off by rubbing against the floor or the walls.

I made this in a hurry, since he was damaging himself, so I wasn't able to get photos of the process. Let me know if these are not clear enough, and I can get photos once his ear infection settles down enough to let me take the wimple off.