Dog breeds like Poodle, Shih Tzu, and Schnauzer grow hair inside their ears, which might need plucking. Aside from the process of removing the hair, you should also know how to soothe dog’s ears after plucking to prevent any irritation.
In this post, I will discuss more about ear plucking, how it’s done, and whether it’s a suitable procedure for your pet.
Why is ear plucking performed in dogs?
Ear plucking is the process of pulling out the hairs of canines from their ears. This is often done on non-shedding dog breeds like Poodles and Shih Tzus since their ear hair can become overgrown.
Also, there’s so much controversy surrounding ear plucking in canines. Some recognize its benefits while others are concerned about the potential harm ear plucking may bring.
Generally, ear plucking is done to remove overgrown hair that prevents air from circulating in and out of the canine’s ears. This is highly beneficial for dogs that are prone to chronic ear infections or already suffering from one.
Meanwhile, there are also those who are not in favor of the practice. They argue that the manner of plucking the hair will cause microscopic tears on a dog’s ear canal tissue.
Such tears can become the entryway of bacteria and other pathogens. Also, some believe that this will cause unnecessary pain to the canine.
Overall, it’s best to consult a professional dog groomer about ear plucking. Usually, experienced dog groomers will consider ear plucking as the last resort.
So when does ear plucking becomes beneficial to a dog? Here are some of the situations where it could actually help:
1. Easier ear medication application
When hair grows along your pet’s ear canal, it would be difficult to administer ear medications. The solution won’t be able to penetrate through the ear, making it inefficient in treating ear problems.
This is why some pet groomers will decide to pluck ear hairs. It’s because the narrow opening of the ears makes it impossible to use any trimming tool.
Also, it’s not safe to try to trim a dog’s ear hair with an electric device. Dogs have a very strong sense of hearing and putting the tool right into their ear will surely cause an untoward reaction.
2. Reducing the risk of ear infections
Ear plucking is also done to prevent the recurrence of ear infections. Dogs that suffer from chronic ear infections will specifically benefit from this procedure.
It’s because overgrown ear hair traps moisture, which allows bacteria and yeast to proliferate. It will also cause a bad odor until a full-blown ear infection occurs.
If not addressed, thick ear hair in dogs can result in ear infections that won’t go away. In rare cases, ungroomed ear hair can be a contributing factor to infection-related hearing loss in canines.
3. Keeping the ears dry
As mentioned earlier, ear plucking is done to prevent trapped moisture from lingering inside your dog’s ears. This is to avoid infections, bad odor, and other health problems.
When your dog takes a bath or soaks in a body of water, moisture will get into its ears. If there’s thick hair inside their ears, the moisture will not dry up properly.
Aside from moisture, dirt and dust can also accumulate inside the ears if there are too many hairs inside. This will make ear infections worse.
4. Reducing the risk of mites
Mites oftentimes live in your dog’s fur. If there’s too much hair inside its ears, the mites will also migrate inside and cause a severe case of itching.
This will lead to extreme discomfort in your dog together with incessant ear scratching. If not treated, mites will cause hair loss, scabs, inflammation, and other skin problems in canines.
How to soothe your dog’s ears after ear plucking
If your dog has undergone or is about to undergo ear plucking, here are some of the steps to help reduce the discomfort:
1. Avoid over-plucking
Take note that ear plucking is only intended to clear the ear canal opening. You’re not supposed to pull all the hair inside your dog’s ears.
Once the opening of the ear canal is visible, you can stop plucking. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s best to bring your canine to a professional groomer instead.
2. Use an ear solution
After ear plucking, you can administer a vet-approved ear cleaning solution to your dog. This will help flush out debris and soothe the inflamed skin where you pulled the hair.
Most ear cleaning solutions are medicated and can help curb the risk of infections after ear plucking. These products are also moisturizing, which will help soothe the skin inside your dog’s ears.
3. Ask the vet about pain relief medications
Another option is asking your dog’s vet about the use of pain relievers. This is especially useful if you have a large canine that required intense ear plucking.
Take note that you should only give your dog pain relievers after you’ve consulted with a veterinarian. Never self-medicate your pet and NEVER use pain relievers made for humans.
4. Consider antihistamines
Antihistamines are especially effective in easing itchiness in dogs. You can also consult your dog’s vet about this to provide it with immediate relief from the discomfort.
Take note that like any drug, antihistamines must be given to dogs in a proper dosage. Also, you should only do this after proper consultation and prescription from the vet.
5. Keep it clean
Lastly, always keep your dog’s ears clean after ear plucking. It’s important to clean your pet’s ears at least once a month, or more frequently if it’s spending a lot of time outdoors.
This way, there will be less dirt accumulating on your dog’s ear hair. Aside from that, you must bring your pooch to a professional groomer periodically to have its ear hair maintained.
Does it hurt a dog when you pluck its ears?
Technically, ear plucking causes discomfort to dogs. This is the reason why some pet owners are against this procedure.
However, there are cases when the discomfort is just a small price to pay compared to the benefits of ear plucking. This is especially true with dogs suffering from chronic ear infections where the hair prevents medications from getting into the ear canal.
Overall, ear plucking will be less uncomfortable if done by a professional vet or an experienced pet groomer.
Should the hair inside a dog’s ears be removed?
There might be a need to remove the hair inside a dog’s ears if it’s causing problems. For example, the overgrowth of ear hair will make it impossible for ear cleaning solutions to go through.
Trimming can also be done, but this is only possible in the outer areas of the ears around the earlobes. For the thick hairs along the ear canal, plucking might be necessary.
Of course, this is often done at the discretion of the groomer or veterinarian. As much as possible, avoid plucking your dog’s ear hair at home.
Can plucking a dog’s ears cause infection?
Ear plucking can cause ear infections in dogs if not done properly. It’s important to apply an ear cleaning solution after plucking to prevent pathogens from entering the microscopic tears on the ear tissues.
Also, veterinarians can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to soothe your dog’s ears after plucking. This will also prevent infections and other problems related to the grooming procedure.
Do vets pluck dogs’ ears?
It’s actually a common practice for veterinarians to pluck ear hair in dogs to administer medications. This is only necessary if your dog has to undergo an ear procedure where hair will impede the process.
Nevertheless, ear plucking is usually done for a purpose. If your dog is totally healthy and does not have ear issues, there’s no need to subject it to hair plucking.
Why is my dog shaking its ears after grooming?
It’s normal for dogs to shake their ears after grooming. This is their way of removing any debris, moisture, or irritant that got into their ear canal.
However, if your dog’s ear shaking is getting out of hand, you may need to bring it to the vet. In some cases, dogs may suffer from ear infections if the groomer wasn’t careful with ear cleaning.
Proper care is integral for dogs and it may require ear plucking in some cases. Knowing how to soothe dog’s ears after plucking is also necessary to save your pooch from discomfort.
Just take note that ear plucking must only be done by a professional groomer or veterinarian. I don’t recommend doing it at home if you’re not experienced because your pet may suffer from infections and unnecessary pain.
Dave Bryan is an experienced editor with a passion for animals and writing. With a degree in journalism and years of experience in the publishing industry, he has honed his skills in crafting engaging content that informs and entertains readers. As an editor at Petcosset, Dave brings his expertise to ensure that the content produced is accurate, informative, and compelling. He has a keen eye for detail and is committed to maintaining high editorial standards. Dave is also a dedicated pet owner and loves spending time with his furry companions.