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Scratch

Plucking Hell .......

46 posts in this topic

anniek   

maybe you can write up some kind of flyer stating pros and cons, and hand out to owners either when they make an appointment (if they come in) or when they pick up their dog. Then let them decide for next time. Unless you are determined to do it or not do it for all.

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Maybe you could send an email to the Roseworthy vet school and ask them what is going on and is there someone you can talk to about it.

But when it comes to people who disagree with me about something fundamental... I just say "I don't agree", "I didn't see it that way" (especially with me making umpiring decisions players don't like".

But I think that the vet school could use an update from a groomer's point of view about how ear care seems to have changed because of the anti-mite spot-ons.

I can't imagine my dog co-operating but she's got half prick ears that are well aired, not flat down the side of the head like spaniels.

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Scratch   

Thanks for your replies everyone.

I did send an email off to Roseworthy today. I haven't heard back yet. I will chase a couple of other professional opinions on Monday too.

I did my Porties today. The curly female has insane ear hair. I have seen a few Schnauzers come close to it, but for me, this one is somehow on another level again! She has had a few ear problems so I prefer not to pull hair out of the canal. The force needed to pull her hair is too much for her, and causes inflammation. I just clip it out with the trimmer(pictured). Their young wavy Portie has not got anywhere near the density of ear hair. I spoke with them today and they agreed to see how we go not plucking his either.

Well, I guess the hair is waterproofing the water dogs ear!

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Must say these dogs ( and their hoomans) are bluidy lucky to have such a caring Groomer.

The mad SIL used to have a poodle which would come back from grooming in a right mess. Yep, efforts had been made to pluck the ear canals. Poor puppy would be poorly for days after that trauma.

We did finally get the message thro' to leave his ears alone. I shudder to think what happened with other dogs.

:(

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If these dogs had their ears plucked properly since they were puppies the hair should come out easily without hurting the dog. If the hair is not touched until they are adults it becomes much tighter and a lot harder to remove.

As usual too many people getting puppies, have no idea what they are doing or how to maintain them then of course the dog suffers.

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A little off topic but about groomers. I also wonder why some always do a dogs anal glands as a matter of routine. I always thought that a healthy dog with no problems would not need this doing as the glands function as they should without interference.

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Scratch   

A little off topic but about groomers. I also wonder why some always do a dogs anal glands as a matter of routine. I always thought that a healthy dog with no problems would not need this doing as the glands function as they should without interference.

hallelujah! I completely agree. I do not do glands normally. But I get so many clients come in and ask for it to be done. I ALWAYS ask why they feel this should be done. Most of the time its just "something they heard about somewhere". So I explain I will take a look down there and if it all looks normal, there is no need to 'fix' it, and if it looks like problems, I will not be touching it and send them off to the vet. A very small number of clients I make an exception and do glands at each visit , with owners consent, after vet has specifically asked this be done.

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Rappie   

A little off topic but about groomers. I also wonder why some always do a dogs anal glands as a matter of routine. I always thought that a healthy dog with no problems would not need this doing as the glands function as they should without interference.

hallelujah! I completely agree. I do not do glands normally. But I get so many clients come in and ask for it to be done. I ALWAYS ask why they feel this should be done. Most of the time its just "something they heard about somewhere". So I explain I will take a look down there and if it all looks normal, there is no need to 'fix' it, and if it looks like problems, I will not be touching it and send them off to the vet. A very small number of clients I make an exception and do glands at each visit , with owners consent, after vet has specifically asked this be done.

I also agree with you :D

I will express as a one off if a client mentions there has been scooting, frequent leaking or excessive butt licking etc so we can try to determine whether the anal sacs are a contributing factor. Different story for a chronic problem though - some dogs have very mobile anal sac, or very dry discharge or previous scarring etc but these dogs are then not really 'normal'.

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Mavis   

Wow I had no idea plucking had gone out of favour! My parents were advised by their vet to pluck their mini poodles' ears and as far as I know they still do. I wonder how often vets have the opportunity to update their grooming knowledge.

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Scratch   

I am not completely against ear plucking. I am all for leaving healthy ears alone. I have groomed many a dog with persistent ear infections, some for years and years. In the dark ages I would have flushed the ears, plucked them and wiped them out and sent them home cleaned out but red raw, because they were so inflamed to start with, I just made more of a mess in my determination to clean them out. Not only was it what groomers thought we should do, but also what owners expected. I was always uncomfortable with this until it finally broke me and I decided never to mess with an irritated ear ever again. That IMHO is veterinary treatment. I am not going to pretend to be more than I am, and I advise veterinary treatment. Besides not wanting to create more of a mess for the dog, I don't really want litigation or a bad reputation spread either.

I have to admit it's been a long curve that has brought me to my current position. It is an itch I have to try very hard at not scratching. But I feel I have come to the right decisions for myself and my clients. Anything other than minor cosmetic clipping and wiping is best left to the vet.

Ps....cleaning and plucking your own dogs ears is a bit different to Clients dogs. Your not likely sue yourself or complain to anyone who'll listen about the service you got from yourself!

Edited by GrufLife

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I agree with not plucking while the ears are inflamed, I would usually send them off to the vet to be treated but once the ears are back to normal I then start a routine of regularly plucking and cleaning amazingly this usually ends majority of the problems. Some dogs however have so much hair the owners can't even get the drops/ointment down the ear canal to treat the infection, those dogs I pluck a small amount just to create an opening.

Also I'm in a bit of a different situation I was taught how to manage ears etc properly while working in the vet.

Edited by Rascalmyshadow

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Scratch   

I agree with not plucking while the ears are inflamed, I would usually send them off to the vet to be treated but once the ears are back to normal I then start a routine of regularly plucking and cleaning amazingly this usually ends majority of the problems. Some dogs however have so much hair the owners can't even get the drops/ointment down the ear canal to treat the infection, those dogs I pluck a small amount just to create an opening.

Also I'm in a bit of a different situation I was taught how to manage ears etc properly while working in the vet.

does your vet advocates plucking?

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I'm not in the vet anymore I have a grooming salon at home but when I was there it depended on each individual dog as to what the vets thought was best, if the dogs had ongoing chronic ear infections then they would say to keep them plucked, if the ears were fine then I would just scissor the hair short under the ear flap. With cavi's and cockers we would shave with a 10# blade.

Edited to add: when I first started grooming the done thing was to pull all the hair out in one go with forceps, something I have never liked. I remove only a tiny bit at a time until the ear is clear, most dogs seem to be comfortable with that and none of them go out with red irritated ears.

Edited by Rascalmyshadow

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Dogsfevr   

We are groomers & own a breed that does require plucking & to be honest the vets that say this usually have no clue at all & when there is an issue there advice is to knock the dog out & do it that way after the ears are that bad & yes i have seen that option all to often.

Most of these vets can't even pluck ears in the clinic unless the dog is knocked out because they have never ever done it themselves

Many of these same vets prescribe ear products whilst infected & hairy that the owners TRY and place in the ears but are to full for any benefit & often the product sets like concrete & causes awful issues to the dog as it blocks the ear way & yes have witnessed this too.

We currently have a puppy we breed with ear issues,the vet has told them not to pluck ,this dog has very hairy ears ,The owner is trying to put cream down & the vet has prescribe prednil :eek: .Personally the vet sounds like a new graduate with no idea at all & the owner believes them meanwhile the dog is the one suffering which is very sad .

I can guarantee you this dog will be knocked out to have its ears cleaned & the poor owner will come out $600 plus poorer for the effort .

We are not believers in over doing it but we have been around long enough to understand ear hair & have hands on experience that most vets never ever have or even try to experience ,i can also tell you what chains in my state have this method which is also the same chain that insists on many other over the top theories & $$$$ spent on everything an anything .

Common sense tells you filling an ear full of hair with cream isn't going to work

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Rappie   

I appreciate what you're saying Showdog and don't agree, but that's ok. There are a great many more considerations in treating ear infections than just hair and in my experience of treating (hundreds of) cases of otitis it is rarely the reason for treatment failure. Additionally, most of the really chronic, horrible otitis cases I see are in dogs with short hair and hairless ears so apart from poor generally hygiene and failure to notice an ear infection due to the hair, the fact that it is there is not a huge concern for me. That's not to say it will never be a problem but for the vast majority of dogs it is not, much like possessing a tail or dew claws.

IMHO there is no good reason to pluck the hair from the ear of a dog with a current infection while it is conscious. The ear will already be painful, swollen and inflamed and if it is not possible to put topical medication in from the outset due to these factors then options such as GA and an ear clean or systemic medication with oral prednisolone and/ or antibiotics are definitely appropriate options. There is no point applying topical medication to a swollen, stenotic ear canal because it will not end up where it is needed and it will be painful and potentially become progressively more difficult for the owner to apply.

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Showdog that is my experience exactly, I'm getting very tired of so called experienced vets giving clients advice when they have no hands on experience at all.

I have had clients come to me in tears not knowing which way to turn after they have been trying for months sometimes years to get their dogs ears fixed, the vets are cashing in but getting no results.

I have a similar issue with anal glands, I have had many clients hear their dogs screaming while the dogs get their anal glands emptied then they watch me do them and the dogs barely flinch.

These are just a few of the reasons I have serious problems with most vets, they study for years, do their paperwork but never experience most problems in real life.

I have been a groomer for 20 years, lost track of the amount of dogs we have rescued and rehomed and have owned multiple long haired high maintenance dogs myself. Not many people are in a position to have the hands on experience I've had. Most of my customers come to me for advice before calling the vet.

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Scratch   

Reply from a specialist vet to my email enquiry to Roseworthy (in red). Good enough for me, and concurs pretty much with what Rappie has been saying.

RMS a few years ago I would have completely agreed with what you are saying, and did what you are doing. I have almost 30 years full time hands on grooming experience. i have worked in a large show kennel with Bouviers and Newfoundlands. 2 very different ears with their own management issues. I have owned A Bouvier and 3 Poodles, as well as a Chow, Irish Setter, Skye Terriers and Chihuahuas. I have owned and operated rescue kennels. blah blah blah...... But I have opened my mind to changing practices and have to say, despite years of thinking and acting to the contrary, i now agree with the vets saying do not pluck.

My opinion is that ear plucking does not achieve much, except to cause the dog pain and inflammation. The hair is always going to grow back. If a dog is prone to ear infection because of hairy ears, the best way to manage this is with an ear cleaner such as epiotic 1-2 times weekly. Ear plucking is not a substitute for a good ear cleaning regime, and the damage and inflammation to the ear caused by plucking is more likely to set off an infection.

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Seems strange since I have managed my own dogs and also helped many customers and rescue dogs clear up infections that vets couldn't, I have never caused more inflammation in any ears since I don't pluck them while they are sore unless they are too hairy to get drops etc down the canal, then the plucking is minimal.

I would like to know how many of these specialists actually live with these problems in their own home.

I spent the first 12 months of my old poodles life battling ear problems following the know it all vets advice, got me no where except an empty pocket. Once I got into the routine of plucking weekly and rinsing with diluted Malaseb surprise no more ear infections. The only time in her life she got another infection was when I trialled not plucking them.

I think il just agree to disagree, what I'm doing works perfectly for myself and the clients I deal with, I do not do anything to hurt any dog and so far in all these years the results have been very positive.

Edited to add: of course if its all done by someone not knowing what they are doing then yes it's going to cause the dog issues.

Edited by Rascalmyshadow

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Very interesting discussion. I don't have dogs with hairy inner ears thank goodness but I've always wondered whether regular use of Epiotic in my breeds would be more or less useful. I have heard some say to let the inner ear well alone provided there are no issues. Mine swim a lot but have very light ear leather so they dry quickly. I've used Epiotic once or twice on my dogs in their first 12 months but very little since. Em had a very slightly smelly ear recently but it turned out to be a huge grass seed. She was barely irritated by it and it was just fortunate that she had a GA for hip/elbow scores so I asked them to check.

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