February 10, 2006, Newsletter Issue #122: Q&A: Grooming a
Dogīs Ears

Tip of the Week

Q: What care must I take when grooming a dogīs ears to avoid dog infection?

A: I am not a veterinarian or dog groomer, so I am doing some online research to augment my own experience with dog care. We own Siberian Huskies, a natural breed. A groomer would seldom if ever remove hair from the inside of a Siberianīs ear because that hair naturally protects the ear and keeps it warm.

I donīt know what breeds you are grooming, and if hair removal is typically done for those breeds. Perhaps you are talking about poodles, terriers and other small dogs. But I think you may be right, that this hair removal is irritating the ear or introducing germs while you are working. Also, are you taking care to dry the dogīs ears? Moist conditions can promote infections. Here are some additional online resources for you:

Here is a thorough article on grooming a dogīs ears. Note the specific recommendation on a groomerīs limitations on hair removal -- and what should be handled by a veterinarian.

This article suggests use of cotton to keep water out of the ear, and notes that one reason for infections in lop-earred dogs is the failure to get the dogīs ears dry. The moist conditions promote infections.

Here is advice on grooming including ear care. Note the advice to avoid probing very deep into the ear!

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