Have you ever taken a close look at your dog's ears and noticed a tuft of furr growing inside? Some dog breeds, like Shih Tzus and Poodles, have a natural tendency to develop hair inside their ears. In recent years, I've noticed that even as our Corgi has grown older, it has thicker fur sprouting within her ear than she did previously - I refer to this as "grandpa ear hair," after my grandfather.
Hair in the ear may make it increasingly challenging for your dog's immune to keep yeast and bacteria levels under control. It can also obstruct the passage of air that maintains the ear canal dry and trap dirt, extra ear wax, and other debris inside. As a result, if you discover that your dog's inner ears are becoming a little enlarged, what should you do?
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To Pluck or To not Remove Your Dog's Ears? That is the Question.
It is a contentious issue in the field of dog grooming whether or not to pluck hair from ear canal. Some dog groomers believe that dogs who have their ears plucked on a regular basis are more likely to get ear infections, while others believe the converse is true. The answer to the question of whether or not one must pluck your dog's ears is, like many things in life, it depends.
If your dog suffers from severe ear infections, pluck inside the ears can assist to improve air circulation, which in turn can help to keep moisture from building up in the ear. Giving ear medication is also made easier and much more effective when the ear is plucked since the medication is able to reach all the way into ear canal.
However, if your pup doesn't really suffer from recurrent ear infections, there really is no serious reason to remove their ear as far as the hair is kept very well brushed out and is not allowed to mat or obstruct the access to their ear canals. For those concerned about the bit of hair developing in their dog's ears, consult with their veterinarian to determine which choice is best for the dog.
"I'd say it relies on the dog & their previous ear issue history," Dr. Jason Nicholas responded when I asked him what he thought about ear plucking. If your dog has a bunch of ear hair, I wouldn't recommend it for every dog, though. However, for people who experience chronic wax build-up, discomfort, or infections, I would recommend having the hair removed as soon as possible. Having the thyroid function evaluated as well as working with their veterinarian to rule out any food and environmental allergies would also be recommended. Chronic ear problems can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which are listed above."
How to Pluck the Ears of Your Dog
Whenever a dog is groomed by a professional, it is common practice to pluck his or her hair. If you choose not to have the dog's ears plucked, simply advise your groomer prior to their scheduled appointment time. If you are not confident in your ability to pluck the dog's ears at house, you can ask the groomer to demonstrate how it is done.
What You'll Need to Get Started:
Ear Powder – Using this will make it easier to grasp the hair as you pluck it. While applying the product, be mindful not to get anything in the dog's eyes or allow him to sniff it in when applying it. Those who inhale such powders may experience substantial discomfort and damage to their eyes, as well as aggravation to their lungs.
Hair Removal Hemostats – Although you can pluck hair with just your fingertips, using a hair removal hemostat can make holding the more difficult-to-reach hairs a little simpler. Use human tweezers instead of dog tweezers since they usually possess sharp edges that might damage your dog's ear or cause so much worse injuries if your dog shakes or moves their head when you're plucking.
How to Pluck the Ears of Your Dog:
To remove hair from your dog's ear canal, dab some ear powder on the fingers and firmly hold a little piece of hair at the opening of the canal.
If you're having trouble getting a good grip just on fur, add more powder and use a hair instrument.
Using a swift and careful stroke, pluck the hair out of the way. No one wants a firm, consistent pull on their hair or a harsh jerk on their hair. Hopefully, it will come out fairly easily (when it does not, don't pluck it).
It is not necessary to pluck more hair than is necessary to open up the dog's ear canal; there is no need to excessively pluck!
Clean the dog's ears after plucking to ensure that any powder residue is flushed from the ears.
Examine your dog's ears on a regular basis.
Whether you pluck the pup's ears or ignore this idea, it's crucial to keep an eye on their ear health since infections can start and worsen very quickly in the ears. You should check the dog's ears once a week for any signs of irritation and disease (this can be done easily and fast while sitting on the sofa watching TV, and it only takes a few minutes). You should look for the following:
Examine their ears to see if there is any redness or discharge.
Check their ears for any strong odors (if they're getting an ear infection, their ears may smell yeasty, similar to corn chips).
Make a note of whether or not they exhibit some sensitivity to the handling of their ears, as this could indicate the development of an infection.
If you see any of the symptoms listed above, schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to ensure that there isn't an ear infection or even other problem present. Before cleaning the dog's ears yourself, make sure that none of these signs are present. Clearing an infected ear could result in more damage to your dog's ears. More information on when To not clean the dog's ears may be found here.
It is recommended that you clean and dry your dog's ears after he or she has been plucked, bathed, or gone swimming. If your dog has a history of ear problems or if they have dietary or environmental allergens that make them more susceptible to infection, you should schedule more frequent ear cleanings for your dog. It's simple to learn how to clean the dog's ears at home, but if you're not comfortable doing it yourself, your groomer or veterinarian can assist you.
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