Ear me out

Pets (Singapore) - - Ask The Expert -

Every time my Labradoo­dle gets his ears plucked, he will shake his head non-stop and once, he even got an ear in­fec­tion. Is this nor­mal? If so, how long will it take for him to stop shak­ing his head? Mean­while, do you have any sug­ges­tions to ease his dis­com­fort?

Labradoo­dles have ear hairs grow­ing from the in­sides of their ear canal. In or­der to pre­vent ear in­fec­tion, it is rec­om­mended that ex­ces­sive ear hair be re­moved to al­low for thor­ough clean­ing and ven­ti­la­tion.

Ear hair pluck­ing is one way of hair re­moval. When hairs are plucked, the fol­li­cles may be left ex­posed and raw. It could lead to ir­ri­ta­tion and in some cases, bac­te­rial in­fec­tions. For most dogs, right af­ter the pluck­ing and clean­ing, the skin inside the ears will be slightly red and sen­si­tive, which usu­ally eases within a few days. To ease this dis­com­fort, you can flush your pet’s ears with a ear cleaner made with sooth­ing in­gre­di­ents at least twice a week. Use a clean cot­ton pad to swab the ex­cess ear clean­ing so­lu­tion present in the ears af­ter flush­ing.

For dogs whose ears are highly ir­ri­tated or even infected af­ter the process, own­ers can opt to skip the pro­ce­dure and trim the ear hair with a pair of small round-tipped scis­sors in­stead. That way, the fol­li­cles in the ears won’t get trig­gered and ex­cess hair can still be re­moved to pro­mote ven­ti­la­tion and for easy clean­ing.

Ideally, ear main­te­nance should be a weekly af­fair. Paw-rents can first de­ter­mine if their dogs have hair grow­ing from inside the ear canals. If they do, it’s rec­om­mended that you con­sult your groomer on the most ideal pro­ce­dure of DIY ear hair re­moval as it could be a trau­matic process if not done prop­erly.

If the dog does not have ear hair grow­ing from the ear canal or al­ready had their ex­cess ear hair re­moved prior, clean­ing would help to main­tain ear health and hy­giene. Drip a few drops of ear clean­ing so­lu­tion along the side of the ear walls to al­low it to flow into the ear canal; it’s gen­tler as com­pared to putting it di­rectly into the ear canal, and re­sults in a less stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. Be­fore the dog shakes its head in re­sponse, mas­sage the base of the ear canals be­hind the ears to al­low wax to break down. Once the dog shakes its head, the dirt will be ex­pelled to the outer sides of the ears which can be cleaned away with cot­ton pads or buds.

EX­PERT: DES­MOND CHAN Low Stress Han­dling Cer­ti­fied Sil­ver SKC/DGA A Class Cer­ti­fied Dog Groomer Cer­ti­fied Fe­line Master Groomer Prin­ci­pal Pet Groomer of Bub­bly Petz

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