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I've been reading a number of articles on how to clean a poodle's ears. I'd love to hear from the poodle parents.

Do you pluck or trim hair?

If you pluck, do you use powder or a hemostat? How do you soften the skin so it's less painful?

What's your preferred ear care solution?

Do you use cotton balls, gauze, or a clean towel?

How often do you clean the ears?

When bathing, how do you keep water from getting in their ears? If water gets in there, what's the best way to drain it?
 

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I pluck, using powder and hemostats. I did a little every day at first, and the more I did, the looser the hair got, and the easier it was for plucking. Now I can do the whole ear in one sitting without pain. I put ear cleaner on a cotton ball and swab that way. During a bath, I put cotton balls in the ears. If some water manages to get in, I use a drying powder.
 

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I pull the hair from the ears when I do her face. I use ear powder and only pull what I can reach with my fingers - no hemostats - never needed them. The amount of ear hair varies from one dog to another. My last standard had lots, my current mini has very little.

If you use ear powder and pull very small amounts of hair it should not hurt.

I put cotton balls in her ears at bath time, but she almost always shakes them out. I do have some stuff the vet gave me to put in her ears after a bath to dry the ear canal. It's a liquid - I fill the ear with it and then let Zoe shake.

Ears should never smell bad. If there is a smell, it's time for a trip to the vet.
 

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This can be a very individual to the dog thing.


Lily has a softer coat and does not grow a lots of hair in her ears. I can pluck by hand if I think I need to but rarely do so.


Javelin has a very dense coarse coat and grows ear hair like an old man. Also any kind of food sensitivity for him shows in his ears in the form of excess wax, so anytime he eats something that is unusual (like somebody snuck him something) I can tell by looking at his ears. He needs routine plucking or else he builds up wax in the hair even from normal ear wax production. I use powder and use my fingers. I try to do just a bit at a time.


To clean if needed (rarely for Lily, regularly for Javelin) I use either a solution (homemade) of gentian violet, boric acid and isopropyl alcohol. I put it in a small squirt bottle and tilt the head to point the ear to be cleaned up and fill the ear canal with the solution. I gently rub that around (generally with my fingers (wear gloves or you will have purple hands) then a take a wad of gauze and put it over the ear canal and tilt the head so that ear is down and I rub the gauze around to pick up the cleaner and dissolved wax. I will repeat that if needed. If not that solution then I use Zymox.


For baths I don't generally put cotton in their ears since they are more likely to start shaking their heads then and therefore I think more likely to get water in their ears as a result. They are both very cooperative in the bath tub and I am very careful with the water.
 

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I prefer to trim. Both my minipoo and my previous tpoo don’t have much hair growing in the ear canal. I don’t like plucking because I’m afraid it might hurt.

I don’t put anything in her ears when washing. I am careful not to direct water up and into the ear canal. After her bath, I put cotton balls in her external ear canal before I put her snood on while I blow her dry. Then I clean out her ears. I clean her ears every two weeks.
 

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Do you pluck or trim hair? I don't pluck, but I do clip out as much hair as possible

What's your preferred ear care solution? I don't clean ears

When bathing, how do you keep water from getting in their ears? If water gets in there, what's the best way to drain it?
I don't worry much about getting a bit of water in the ears. I don't aim the water right in there, cause dogs don't like the feeling and they're more likely to shake which gets me wet and I don't like being wet

11+years as a pro groomer. If the ears ain't broke, I don't fix
 

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I trim using ball point scissors - Asta really doesn't seem to mind that so much.
 

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Very amateur owner and home - groomer: I just leave it alone. I trim a little on the ear leather and use cotton and ear cleaning solution every month or so. I did a lot of research and decided that I was going to go with her flora-flow. My MIL had a pocket Maltese that constantly had ear infections, almost always post grooming after his were plucked. So I just leave it and will continue to unless it’s not working for her.
 

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I trim - with the clippers and then with small ball-end scissors when grooming, about every six weeks. If there still seems to be a lot of hair I do a little plucking with fingers, a few hairs at a time. I don't plug Poppy's ears when bathing her, but nor do I pour water into her ears. She is 9 and a half and - touch wood - has never had any ear problems.
 

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Do you pluck or trim hair? I don't pluck, but I do clip out as much hair as possible

What's your preferred ear care solution? I don't clean ears

When bathing, how do you keep water from getting in their ears? If water gets in there, what's the best way to drain it?
I don't worry much about getting a bit of water in the ears. I don't aim the water right in there, cause dogs don't like the feeling and they're more likely to shake which gets me wet and I don't like being wet

11+years as a pro groomer. If the ears ain't broke, I don't fix
You pretty much stole the words right off my key board.:silly: Their ear anatomy is such that water isn't likely to get down deep in the ears. The hair dryer, without aiming directly toward the ears (never do that) dries the ear canal fine. I pull the hair out straight and cut a little excess off with the blunt tip scissors and tell them to hold still. Their ears don't get dirty because of the hair filtering as it does. Excess wax seems to get on the hairs that get snipped off.

Additionally, I think as long as the hair doesn't get excessive and all balled up, blocking their hearing, making a mat, some hair is good for keeping debris out.
 
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