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  • Helly question for you!

    Is there a written study on the effects of ear plucking anywhere? The reason I ask is that I have been telling my customers that it is showing that earplucking does more damage than good. Most of them want me to pluck anyways, and another customer said she told her vet and he said that was nonsense!! (made me feel like a real dumbass!) Anyway, I was hoping you would know where I could go to get proof of this that I could post in my shop.
    SheilaB from SC

  • #2
    I had asked

    At the time she could not locate any. Just personal experiences. I totally believe that strongly pulling hair out of dogs ears causes little "injuries" and create problems where there was none. My customers seem fine with my sharing of experience. She had suggested to call local Vets and get one or two who agree, then use their expertise to back one up. I haven't gotten around tuit yet, but should.

    I even think the ear hair might be a protectent of foreign objects. Might even keep water from going way down in.

    I sure would love to know the history of who thought even to do such a thing. Logically it seems about as silly as smoking, at least in my opinion. Like who ever thought to breath in filthy dirty smoke for pleasure. Yeah I know the natives and the enhanced weeds, but still, what were people thinking when they decided it would be good to light a stick and breath in smoke. Yes I know it's "cool" looking and I know about the addiction properties. Oh, guess I got a bit off topic.
    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

    Comment


    • #3
      well, let me see what I can find on-line.

      Try this one, scroll down to Pathogenisis Otitis Externa: Predisposing Factors #4.

      http://www.dcavm.org/05techapr.html

      And an article by Rebecca Prescott:

      http://www.allpetsradio.com/articlepc.php?id=70

      Some vets in practice are out of touch with what's being recommended by veterinary dermatologists these days. And what's being recommended is don't pluck in most cases.

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      • #4
        I did run down another one, but the link wouldn't post. And if you look, you'll find others. Try Googling "dog ear plucking iotrogenic infection"

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        • #5
          Starting to wonder...

          if the hair has anything to do with ear infections at all. I would love to see a study on the relation to ALLERGY prone dogs and ear problems.

          Experientially speaking, they seem to go hand in hand.
          Has anyone else noticed that?

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          • #6
            I've never heard that it caused more bad than good. I was always under the impression that it allowed the ears to breathe and dry out a bit. That the hair and wax build-up kept the ears wet and yucky.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BeyondBlessed View Post
              if the hair has anything to do with ear infections at all. I would love to see a study on the relation to ALLERGY prone dogs and ear problems.

              Experientially speaking, they seem to go hand in hand.
              Has anyone else noticed that?
              The first link I posted speaks quite extensively on the corrolation between allergy and ear/skin infections.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RevWind View Post
                I've never heard that it caused more bad than good. I was always under the impression that it allowed the ears to breathe and dry out a bit. That the hair and wax build-up kept the ears wet and yucky.
                Ear hair is just like hair everywhere else on the dogs body. Some of it is ready to shed and come out, most of it is not, at any given time. When you pluck, you're removing hair that isn't ready to come out yet. This causes trauma to the skin inside the ear, which is thinner and much more sensitive that skin on the outside of the dog.

                Trauma leads to oozing of serum, which is a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms like yeast and bacteria. Especially yeast. Trauma also creates microscopic breaks in the skin, which the yeast and bacteria enter. BAM! You have an ear infection.

                Since I have quite plucking on a regular basis, I've noticed that shed hair will accumulate at the opening of the ear canal, where you can safely pluck it with your fingers. I no longer grasp hair in a hemostate and forcefully remove everything that's in there. Then I shave the rest of the hair as close as I can get it. And I've witnessed a dramatic decrease in dogs with ear infections.

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                • #9
                  I asked my vet

                  She told me the "don't pluck" side, is based on a study by one vet several years back that said that plucking
                  causes foliculitis(sp?), or the inflamation of the hair folical.
                  She said that is true, as you are pulling the hair out.
                  However, her opinions is, it is very short lived, if you clean the ear anyhow, and it is far better to have surface irritation, than a closed off ear, that can't get much air.
                  She reccomends pucking the hair.
                  I asked her after seeing a toy poodle in school that I could not BELIEVE!.
                  I don't think you could have pulled any hair out it was that tight in there.
                  I had neve seen anything like it.
                  That and the Cockers that come in that have not been groomed, seem to
                  have a lot, and infections with it.

                  My poodles ears are very thick with hair, and I just do him a little at a time.

                  Our school however did NOT like the powders. They think its hard to get it all out, and does more harm than good.
                  I think it does help to use it on some dogs, but if I can, I don't use any, and clean the ear afterwards.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Helly! I will print off a copy from the second link and post it in my shop. The first link, while very informative is a bit heavier reading than my average client would indulge in...lol
                    SheilaB from SC

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                    • #11
                      There are many general practice vets who'll tell you it's ok to pluck. But veterinary dermatologists are against it.

                      Like I said, you can pluck the loose hair out with your fingers. It comes out easily. Then clip the rest. And the most ear infections I see now are in cockers, and that's a whole 'nother set of problems not related to hair at all.

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, but after seeing so many PACKED or just hairy AND infected ears on first time clients, I pluck. Granted, I won't pluck ears completely bald or to obvious irritation, but do pluck and none of my clients have reported having a dog develop an infection from it afterwards (yet). I think it's important to note that there are no wild Schnauzers, Bichons, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos or Shih Tzus, etc... and if there were, can you imagine the poor shape their ears would be in? We're not talking about normal care of natural breeds here.

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                        • #13
                          I wonder if those little nose hair trimmers would work for getting more hair out of the ears. You know the little electric ones that they show on commercials constantly around Christmas? Just a thought.
                          SheilaB from SC

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by pamperedpups View Post
                            Sorry, but after seeing so many PACKED or just hairy AND infected ears on first time clients, I pluck. Granted, I won't pluck ears completely bald or to obvious irritation, but do pluck and none of my clients have reported having a dog develop an infection from it afterwards (yet). I think it's important to note that there are no wild Schnauzers, Bichons, Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Lhasa Apsos or Shih Tzus, etc... and if there were, can you imagine the poor shape their ears would be in? We're not talking about normal care of natural breeds here.
                            But this first came to my attention with two standard poodles that I groom. They had constant ear infections, until the owner took them to a veterinary dermatologist who said to knock off plucking their ears.

                            These two dogs look like they have carpets growing down there. The hair is dense, and packed in pretty tight. Now when they come in I dip my fingers in ear powder and gently remove any hair that is lose and has come to the surface. I leave the rest alone, and the rest is a LOT. But they haven't had an ear infection since I stopped plucking.

                            I have never plucked a cocker; I've never seen one with hair growing inside the ear canal...only outside, where it can be shaved off. And it doesn't make any difference, the vast majority of them have ear infections anyway.

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                            • #15
                              Thinking back, I've run into the exact opposite with a Standard and a Schnauzer. These particular dogs' ears were never plucked, only cleaned, and almost always infected until most of their ear hair was plucked so their ears could finally breathe. On the other hand, I did do a Standard for a while who was done as you describe by request and did fine. My own Toy Poodle's ears have to be plucked or, well... YUCK.

                              Although I haven't had personal experience with it, I'm sure there are some dogs who's ears will get infected after plucking. I know that I have personally seen plenty of dogs who had ear infections without plucking. With that in mind, I really don't believe there is a right or a wrong here. As I said, I do not pluck and pluck and dig and pluck to get every ear hair out. As you said, you minimally pluck only the ear hairs that are ready. I know that I will do as you do for a dog ear's if it's by request and I'll bet if you had a request for a dog's ears to be done as I do, you'd probably do it, too. Both ways seem to be working for our clients, respectively, and I'm sure we both have our clients' dogs' best interests at heart.

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