That having been said, what follows is an account of what happened in our case and what we found to be helpful. Before I even begin, I will say that a continually crying puppy that cannot be comforted is a candidate for veterinary attention. This is for acute (sudden) extreme reactions that appear to pass quickly and happen around the 2-3 week old age range - VERY IMPORTANT please remember that developmental periods can vary by days or weeks:
It started on Sunday night when the puppies were 14 days old. That was also the first time we noted the puppies’ first startle response, so presumably their ears opened for the first time that day. Toward the evening, Violet suddenly screamed bloody murder. Really, blood curdling scream that sent the whole house, dogs and people, running. I was sitting and watching them at the time, and I saw that her littermates were sort of walking over her and they had just eaten so I thought, well, maybe she has a little gas and someone jabbed her in the belly. She seemed to recover right away so I did not think too much of it.
But the screaming continued intermittently, waking us up several times that night and escalating through Monday. Each time, we would pick her up and hold her close to us and stroke her and she would settle, but we noticed that she seemed to be almost gasping or yawning during each incident, which looked to me like she had some kind of pain or discomfort in the ear/jaw area.
One of our friends who is a super experienced Bull Terrier breeder felt it might be a pinched nerve in her neck and they suggested gentle traction. Based on the reports in this group, I would lean more towards some kind of ear pain BUT, either way, the traction was a brilliant suggestion. Proponents of chiropractic care are big on adjustments for ear pain and certainly if the top vertebrae are bunched up in any way, that could put pressure on the eustachian tubes. Even if there were no pinched nerve, gently opening up the area with traction could help relieve pressure.
Attached is a video of our puppy traction session. This particular puppy just loved it and immediately sank into my hands when I started. Her peak, intermittent, screaming happened in a 12 hour period, with intermittent yelps for about 12 hours on either side of that – so about 36 hours total, with a few hours of dramatic, intermittent screams. And then it was gone just like that. Interestingly, she now does not settle so easily nor enjoy traction so much, so I have to think that at that time that we did it (which was during her peak screaming period) it really gave her relief.