I think it depends on the dog. Swizzle has gorilla hair in his ears. He never has had an ear infection but his ears were getting gunky so I had his ears plucked. Since then his ears have stayed clean and they continue to get plucked. If your dog's ears are not too hairy and do not have problems I would leave them alone.
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I was taught to always pluck the hair. A lot of times I just use the ear powder and my fingers unless there are hairs that are too stubborn or I can't reach that i need hemostats for. I've had one customer who requested I not pluck her spoo's ears because he seemed to get more infections when they were plucked. I know vets differ on what they recommend, so I'd see what works best for you and do that. I do prefer a clean, hair free ear though.
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I only pluck with my fingers, I'm too afraid to catch ear skin with the hemostats ): I only do ear hair once a season, and I NEVER clean after, always before and wait a few hours for the ear to be completely dry. Cleaning after puts alcohol or whatever cleaner straight into the open pores - ouch! Vegas always throws a fit after (perfect boy during) and always has to be coned for a day after because he'll scratch his ears raw.
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I wasn't aware of plucking until my groomer brought to my attention that Teddy had an ear infection. I took him to the vet and he told me to pluck and gave a solution for his ear infection. At first Teddy hated it and would cry. I found that while on car rides hes already relaxed so its way easier to pluck.
I don't use a powder, though i've heard about it. I just use my fingers sometimes clean the earwax with my fingers as well. On rare occasions when hes really really calm I use a q-tip only on the surface of the ear but be very careful. If your diligent with your cleaning you won't need the q-tip. I also use this solution my vet gave me but find I don't need it as much, if I pluck and keep the ears hair free.
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I tried using some blunt-end scissors to trim but it seemed way too easy to cut him, so I have just been trimming what I can with the clippers. So far, no infections, so I wont change if there arent problems.
I do clean out the ears with epi-otic ear cleaner. My vet told me to avoid the brands with alcohol and epi-otic is the only one I have found without it. I got it from Amazon.
__________________ "I cant talk now, I have to get home and groom my poodle."
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I pluck my girl's ears and have never had an issue. I have heard some people say they plucked and the the dog got an infection, but in many of those cases the ear was completely full of hair and wax and when large amounts are pulled at once, the ear canal will get irritated, the dog will scratch at the ears and shake their head and cause issues. I do all my own grooming, used to groom professionally at one time, now just do my own spoos. I use powder for grip and do a combination of hand plucking and hemostats (curved only). Once the hair is out, I do the outside of the leather with the cleaning solution and then take a cotton ball soaked in the solution to go down into the canal a bit. Once that is done I take a dry cotton ball and wipe the inside of the canal. I do ear cleaning/plucking on a routine basis so there is never a big buildup of hair/wax in the canal. If you are used to using hemostats that is fine, but if not, I would caution you to be careful with how far you go into the canal, how much you pull at once, etc.
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I pluck a few hairs at a time, using ear powder and my fingers. Chagall will be 4 in May and has never had an ear infection. His breeder showed me how to pluck his ears when he was 9 weeks old and I've been doing it periodically ever since. This is the advice offer on the Versatility in Poodles website.
Some dogs seem to have very little ear canal hair, while others seem to have a lot. Plucking of ear hair is a matter of preference. There are people who don’t pluck ear hair and people who do, and both can be quite passionate that “their way” is the best way. You may not want to pluck ear hair at all unless there is a lot of it. You may choose to pluck just a little in order to thin it out, or you can pluck until every hair is gone. If you are not currently showing your Poodle in conformation, another option to open up the ear to allow for better air flow may be to simply trim all excess hair from the inside ear leather, or even the outside leather. You can also trim the hair inside the canal very carefully.