Tipped Ears on Crias

Occasionally, at the time of birth, the ears of llamas or alpacas may seem to be a little floppy or have the ends tipped over. Floppy ears are more commonly seen in crias born prematurely. Although the ears normally strengthen and stand up straight after a few days, you can give them some helpful support by taping them to assure that you get the desired result.

We generally keep the cardboard center from a toilet paper roll on hand and cut supports from it. It is just about the right length and also has the curve to it so it fits into the inside of the ear easily and comfortably. Cut it to the shape as seen in photo #2 making sure it is long enough to fit from
the bottom of the ear to the very tip or even a little longer - as in photo #3.  If it isn't long enough, the very tip of the ear may bend over it. And if it isn't supported clear to the bottom of the ear, the weight of the cardboard just at the end of the ear may cause the ear to flop over more.

Fit it into the inside of the ear and apply strips of masking tape around the ear to hold it in place. Be very careful that the tape is not so tight as to cut off blood circulation in the ear. Leave this support in the ears and check after about a week. If they still need a little help, you can insert the supports again for as long as necessary. This technique usually does the trick quickly and easily.

Floppy And Tipped Ears
On A Newborn Cria

Cut Light Cardboard To This Shape

Cardboard Support Should Go
To The End Of The Ear

Don't Tape Too Tightly!
Leave On As Long As Necessary


Return To Medical & Care Index


Return To Llama Management

Return To Home Page

All information on this website is provided as a public service, but we
cannot guarantee that this information is current or accurate. Readers
should consult with their veterinarian before acting on any treatments.

© 1996/2018 Shagbark Ridge Llamas

Thank you for visiting Shagbark Ridge Llamas/Hamilton Co. Llamas. If you have
questions or comments, please leave a message.