Wagstars Dog Grooming Blog

Ear Plucking

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 Some longhaired breeds of dogs grow hair inside their ear canal. For many years, one of the most controversial topics among veterinarians and pet groomers, is the topic of plucking this hair from a dog’s ears. New research suggest plucking the ear hair from a dog is both painful and unnecessary to keep away ear infections.

     While traditional vets say that, a dog’s ear should be plucked and cleaned on a regular basis to keep the ear healthy. Veterinarians who specialize in dermatological conditions like Dr. Paul B. Bloom -DVM would disagree, arguing that plucking ear hair causes trauma to the ear. This trauma causes inflammation and tiny wounds, which excrete a serum; an inflamed, moist ear is prime breeding ground for bacteria. However, both agree that routine cleaning is essential for preventing an ear infection.

     The most common cause of ear infection is inflammation from food allergies the second is moisture in the ear canal. Remember a dark, moist, warm cavity is prime breeding grounds for bacteria and bacteria overgrowth causes ear infections. Moisture can come from trauma from plucking and from getting water in the ear due to swimming or bathing.

If your dog has hairy ears, what should you do to prevent ear infections?
     Many vets and groomers are just now starting to come to the conclusion that instead of plucking ears completely clean, the ear canal hair should be trimmed with blunt tipped scissors or clippers. Other alternatives are plucking just a few hairs a day and cleaning weekly. Previously it was believed that ears filled with ear hair could not circulate air and thus would cause infection. Now, reasoning has evolved that if the hairy ear remains clean and dry, as long as there are no underlying conditions, the ear will not become infected. Does this mean your dog can’t enjoy the pool or be bathed? No, it only means that to prevent ear infections a drying ear cleaner needs to be applied every time your dog gets his ears wet.

Tips to Prevent Ear Infections
1. Keep ear hair trimmed short or-
2. Pluck only what comes out easily with your fingers.
3. Apply drying ear cleaner after every bath or swim.
4. Never use q-tips to clean inside the ear.
5. Wipe ear clean with gauze pads moistened with ear cleaner.

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