The Problem with Ear Plucking

Ear plucking is a controversial subject in the grooming world. Some breeds, such as Poodles and Schnauzers, grow hair in their ear canal. For quite some time it was normal for groomers or veterinarians to pull this hair from the canal, believing that it is blocking air into the ear.

What has been determined in recent years is that ripping this hair out can cause microscopic tears in the ear canal. If bacteria are present it’s possible for it to cause an ear infection in an injured ear. There are veterinarians who no longer recommend every dog that grows hair in the ear canal have it plucked out.

At Gordon’s Grooming, we have two thoughts on this.

First, ripping this hair out of the ear HURTS the dog. Most will fight, wiggle and try to get the person pulling the hair to stop. Some will scream and try to bite.

You, as the pet owner, probably don’t want your groomer to inflict pain on your dog, you want your dog to be happy to go to their groomer!

If you or your veterinarian really want your dog’s ears plucked, we recommend that you ask your veterinarian to pluck the ears.

Second, since we’ve stopped plucking ears, the salon hasn’t received a single phone call telling us that their dog got an ear infection right after grooming so we must have “got water in their ears.” This is because those ear infections were never caused by getting water into a dog’s ears, but from yanking the hair out of the ear canal.

The hair in a dog’s ear serves a purpose, it blocks debris from getting into the ear canal. Ear growing in the ear canal is seen in many breeds of dogs who do jobs such as digging and burrowing in holes where dirt is flung around, such as terrier breeds.

At Gordon’s Grooming, we will trim the hair in the ear canal rather than pull it out.

Here is another article that explains more about this subject.


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