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Does anyone have a good method for holding back ears for aeration?

Picco had a buildup of gunk in his ear that threatened to cause an infection.  The vet reached in deep and pulled out a buildup of hair (ouch ouch) and recommended pulling back his ears so moisture won't build up.  I tried tying back with a scrunchie but he shakes it out.  I guess he isn't into the "man bun" look!  Has anyone tried this and been successful?

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Comment by DonMarie & Picco on October 29, 2017 at 9:36am

Thanks for your input Jan.  I should try my own plucking.  I do my own grooming but send him to the groomer for sanitary cut and ears once a year.  I do need to lighten up his ears by trimming them shorter/lighter, I have in the past. It makes him look more puppyish!    The hair the vet was in very deep, deeper than a groomer would get.  The vet used a long scope & hemostats.  Last time Picco's ears were done by the groomer he ended up with a staff infection but that's only happened once.  He's not prone to infections so I haven't been worried about plucking but I do keep his ears clean just not enough air flow. 

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on October 29, 2017 at 12:09am

I forget, do you groom Picco yourself or have a groomer?

Either way, you may want to get a pair of hemostats - traditionally used in medical practice as a clamp. I recommend a straight hemostat, as it is easier to control than the bent variety.  Hemostats can be used to pluck inner ear hair (it doesn't hurt them nearly as much as you would think - as long as you only grab small amounts of hair, and don't clamp onto the ear itself - use to pluck excess hair from down in the ear canal).

My Nessy has very hairy inner ears, which need regular plucking or she'll literally develop a matt in her ear.  Luckily, Lily doesn't have this problem, and never needs her ears plucked.  Every dog is different!

Another way to pluck inner ear hair - R7 powder and your fingers.  Shake the R7 into the ear, then grab a small amount of hair and pull out.  I find it difficult (fat fingers, long nails), so I use the hemostats very carefully so as to not grab the inner ear "wrinkles" (skin).  A little at a time.  Over multiple sessions as need be.

The hemostats - I bought them from Revival - https://www.revivalanimal.com/product/kelly-forceps?sku=22870-117

Definitely get the straight, not the curved version, in my opinion the best $4.99 I ever spent!

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on October 28, 2017 at 11:50pm

Tried to link to a picture I have in my pictures of Nessy, freshly groomed showing how much thinning I did on her ears (there is also one of Lily, but the angle of the shot is less than stellar).  Link didn't work, so just go to my images and look for the "after" photos.

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on October 28, 2017 at 11:45pm

By "Poodle ears" I mean hair on the ears cut blunt at the bottom, but not thinned to that point.  Thinning the hair makes the ear flap lighter, and I believe, gives better air flow.  That, and I think it gives a more doodle-y look. ;)

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on October 28, 2017 at 11:42pm

Not really, but when I groom them, I make sure to shave the hair from the ear down to the neck with a short (7FC) blade - approx 1/4 inch.  I also run the clippers over the ear hair itself (top & bottom).  For that, I use a longer blade (3 3/4 FC) and run that with the hair growth.  It lightens (thins the hair on) the ear, and so far it's worked well for us.  No "poodle ears" in my house!

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