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I recently have been looking into the risks of hearing loss with HV dryers and the best way to protect our dogs from them. I had been stuffing cotton pads into Misha's ears when drying, but then I read that cotton is very bad at blocking noise. I tried it with my own ears and found that the cotton was really very ineffective. So I've been looking into other solutions. I personally have a hard time with ear plugs because my ears are sensitive to pressure. I had been thinking of trying moldable silicone earplugs because they don't actually go in the ear, just cover the outer area. I got some and found they worked quite well for me, and I wanted to see if I could use them with Misha. I put them in his ears basically the same way I did mine. You roll them in a ball and put them into the ear, but kind of flatten them so they form a seal in the ear. It seemed to work reasonably well and Misha didn't mind them at all. He seemed to tolerate the dryer better than he did using cotton in his ears, so I am hopeful that they were at least somewhat effective for him. I wanted to share in case others find this useful or have tips that they use. I know happy hoodies are used by many with HV dryers, but will not work when drying around the head which is my main issue.
 

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Sorry I’m late to reply but this is really helpful. I have some questions.
If I have a small dog should I/can I use half of the silicone plug?
Do I need to be concerned about the plug pulling out hair that grows from the ear canal?
Seriously, what a great idea you had. I’m definitely getting some for Lacey before her next bath.
 

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I recently have been looking into the risks of hearing loss with HV dryers and the best way to protect our dogs from them. I had been stuffing cotton pads into Misha's ears when drying, but then I read that cotton is very bad at blocking noise. I tried it with my own ears and found that the cotton was really very ineffective. So I've been looking into other solutions. I personally have a hard time with ear plugs because my ears are sensitive to pressure. I had been thinking of trying moldable silicone earplugs because they don't actually go in the ear, just cover the outer area. I got some and found they worked quite well for me, and I wanted to see if I could use them with Misha. I put them in his ears basically the same way I did mine. You roll them in a ball and put them into the ear, but kind of flatten them so they form a seal in the ear. It seemed to work reasonably well and Misha didn't mind them at all. He seemed to tolerate the dryer better than he did using cotton in his ears, so I am hopeful that they were at least somewhat effective for him. I wanted to share in case others find this useful or have tips that they use. I know happy hoodies are used by many with HV dryers, but will not work when drying around the head which is my main issue.
Since my are littles I merely plug their ears with my pinky and thumb when drying their heads, guess it doesn't hurt I have big hands
 

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I’ve thought about getting a happy hoodie but I never jumped on it. I thought maybe I’d just make my own. Then never did. ? Thank you for sharing the suggestion and product.
i like the idea of the silicone ear plugs to give continuous ear protection, and possibly protect ears from moisture in the bath. I’ve been doing what twyla does, but with difficulty as my girl is still getting used to the dryer and moves around as I get closer to the neck and topknot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry I’m late to reply but this is really helpful. I have some questions.
If I have a small dog should I/can I use half of the silicone plug?
Do I need to be concerned about the plug pulling out hair that grows from the ear canal?
Seriously, what a great idea you had. I’m definitely getting some for Lacey before her next bath.
I'm sure that you could cut them in half, though the whole thing might be fine too as dog ears tend to be larger than human ears. I keep Misha's ears pretty much free of hair so I don't worry about it, but my guess is that the hair is unlikely to stick to the silicone. It isn't really sticky, more just soft. So It would take a lot of molding it to get the hair actually stuck in there. Glad it was helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Since my are littles I merely plug their ears with my pinky and thumb when drying their heads, guess it doesn't hurt I have big hands
That is a good idea. It would probably work if Misha wasn't still pretty fidgety. I think having my fingers in his ears makes him tolerate the dryer less. But yeah, this would definitely be easiest.
 

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You mention concerns regarding hearing loss. I have puzzled over this a few times. Is hearing damage rate due to high decibels experienced differently by dogs than by humans? Teens listen to years of loud music but most humans don't seem to experience much hearing loss until their thirties, or later if they've had less noise exposure. Our dogs live 12-18 years. You would think environmental exposures would not have enough time to significantly impact hearing. Hearing loss related to genetic reasons being an entirely different matter, and perhaps the cause of the majority of cases of canine hearing issues?

Anyone have any research on major causes of hearing loss in dogs? I've had several dogs go quite deaf in their old age (an aussie, a cavalier, and a pug). None of these dogs experienced high vac driers more than three times in their lives, and the pug never. Edited to add that I live in a quiet house, living a pretty quiet life.

Not to say that protecting the ears is not a good thing, and may very well make the experience more comfortable for the dog. Just wondering about the impact on hearing loss.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You mention concerns regarding hearing loss. I have puzzled over this a few times. Is hearing damage rate due to high decibels experienced differently by dogs than by humans? Teens listen to years of loud music but most humans don't seem to experience much hearing loss until their thirties, or later if they've had less noise exposure. Our dogs live 12-18 years. You would think environmental exposures would not have enough time to significantly impact hearing. Hearing loss related to genetic reasons being an entirely different matter, and perhaps the cause of the majority of cases of canine hearing issues?

Anyone have any research on major causes of hearing loss in dogs? I've had several dogs go quite deaf in their old age (an aussie, a cavalier, and a pug). None of these dogs experienced high vac driers more than three times in their lives, and the pug never. Edited to add that I live in a quiet house, living a pretty quiet life.

Not to say that protecting the ears is not a good thing, and may very well make the experience more comfortable for the dog. Just wondering about the impact on hearing loss.
I am not aware of any good research, but I have looked at actual decibel measurements with HV dryers and they are high enough to be concerning for me. Even for the groomer, who is not getting the worst of the sound, it is strongly advisable to wear ear protection. So I think for the dog it is probably worse. I am not yet 30 but I feel that I have some hearing loss even though I rarely listen to loud music. Most of the people my age seem to complain of hearing loss. So I suspect it is more of an issue in young people than we know. I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to things that I can take caution with.
 

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The researchers who are taking MRI images of dogs’ brains appear to be using the foam-type ear plugs on the dogs. Perhaps the specific type is referenced in their publications.

Too few humans take precautions with their hearing. In my youth I worked in a profession with very loud environmental noise. We were encouraged to use hearing protection and could see the effects on the older employee, some of whom didn’t use ear plugs, conceding that it was too late for them.

I gifted my dog’s groomer with ear plugs.
 

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I cover Cleo's ears and mine with snoods made out of fleece headbands i wear to cover my ears when i run in cold weather. It significantly reduces the noise. I can't wear earplugs myself, and I don't love the idea of sticking something inside her ears after a bath, in case there's any water in there, it could get pushed down. (i'm sure there are safe options, though.)
 
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