Dogs with ear Infections from too much ear hair-should it be pulled out?

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    I have a female miniature poodle who gets traumatized when the groomers pull her hair out of her ears. We’ve stopped having that done for a while but the inside of her ears are pretty hairy now.

    Her ears are starting to smell funny, I think an infection may be starting.

    What are the best preventative practices to prevent ear infection in a miniature poodle? Does the hair in the ear have to be pulled out?

    Also, if an infection appears to be developing, what should be done.



    Dr. Jeff Feinman

    Thanks for your great question Mike. No, her ear hair does not necessarily need to be pulled out. As you’ve already seen though, hairy ears [i]can[/i] predispose to secondary problems (ear “infections”).

    Proper ear hygiene can be very important. I say can be because some dogs, even Poodles, never need any attention to their ears (believe it or not). Others need daily cleaning.

    Ear hair can trap moisture and prevents air from circulating in the ear canal. This moist and stuffy environment can allow the bacteria that already live in the ear to multiply. Sometimes, especially if your dog is eating a processed dry food or already has other allergies, the bacteria (and fungus) overwhelm the local immune system in the ears.

    One simple fix is to feed a fresh food diet and supplement with high quality probiotics. Another preventative measure that can also be used for treatment is to promote air circulation in her ears by exposing her ear canals to fresh air. Many pups are OK with having something like a hair scrunchy around their ears to open them up.

    Also, rather than have periodic traumatic full ear hair pulling by the groomer, how about your doing a little at a time? It’s easy and should not be traumatic. Over the course of a week or two you should be able to get her ears nice and clean (and dry).

    Good luck and have a great evening.

    Dr. Jeff

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