Matted Hair deep inside the ear?
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Thread: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ayanla's Avatar
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    Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    For the last few months, Odo has seemed to have an itchy ear. He frequently slides one side of his head along the floor and then sits up and shakes his head.

    I asked the vet about it, and he pulled out a little wax but said everything looked fine to him and to just keep his ear hairs plucked.

    Well, for the last week or so, whenever I do the normal plucking of his ear hairs, he yelps worse on the right ear (the same ear he runs along the ground). He yelps on both ears, but the yelp only sounds "serious" on the right ear. There's no odd smell, no darkening of the skin, no obvious irritation or redness, and when I called my vet he said not to worry too much about it.

    Last night, though, I noticed a darker brown bit of hair (maybe 10-20 hairs together) that seemed to run pretty far down into his ear. They almost looked like they were maybe coated with ear wax/drainage?

    Me pulling on that bit of hair was what was causing him to yelp. So I slowly worked with him and just barely putting pressure on it and kind of wiggling it around managed to, over the course of twenty long minutes, pull out a line of matted hair about an inch and a half long from so far down in his ear that I couldn't even see it until it worked loose. It wasn't terribly thick or really firmly packed, but there's still more of that dark brown hair sticking out, so I just know there's more in there. Now my conundrum is whether I continue to try to work it out, or take him to the vet. He got pretty stressed by the ordeal last night and part of me is worried that I'll seriously hurt him if I just pull it, like maybe it's matted with ear wax and attached to his ear drum or something. Of course, it doesn't help me any that Odo is quite the drama queen so if you listened to him yelp you'd assume I was trying to pull his brain out or something.

    Have any of you seen anything like this before? Odo gets his ear hairs plucked on a daily basis and visits the groomer once a month. Are we just not pulling from far enough into the ear canal? Is he getting too much water in his ears? I do notice that when he comes back from the groomers, the insides of his ears are wet. When I give him a bath, I put cotton balls in his ears to keep water from getting down in there, and then we finish off his blow dry with a little ear powder to dry things up further (and I use ear powder sometimes when I pluck his ear hairs). Could the ear powder be causing the problem rather than helping? I feel so horrible. I am very diligent with his grooming and upkeep, but obviously I'm missing something.

    If you encountered this on your dog, would you continue to try to work it out yourself? Is there anything I can put in his ear to maybe help loosen it up?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Binkalette's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    Are you using your fingers to try and get it out? If you are, maybe try a pair of Hemostats instead. I got this pair: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w..._478861_478861 after Zoey had an ear infection and the vet pulled out a big wad of hair like the one you described with a pair of these. Obviously I wasn't getting deep enough with just my hands. These do a great job though.. they can get way down in there where my fingers can't.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Ayanla's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    I use my fingers. I assumed the groomer would be using hemostats or something similar. My theory was that I was doing basic upkeep and every four weeks she was really cleaning things out, but apparently that isn't the case. I have to go out this evening to get a lamp for my son's aquarium, among other things. Maybe I'll pick a pair up and see what I can do. I really feel guilty.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Canadian Dog's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    Molly has hair that grows deep in her ears as well. When she had some dental work done, and an ear infection, the vet was surprised how deep the hairs were and had to use the longest forceps to remove the hair. This past summer she was put under to remove a growth from her and and I asked the vet to do her ears again while she was under.

    Some dogs do fine with just using your fingers, while others need a deeper cleaning. Makes me nervous and I use a little head lamp while I'm doing it to make sure I can see exactly what I'm doing.

  6. #5
    Senior Member MoonStr80's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    I plunk Frankie's ear hair when I start seeing hair growing looks bushy that's kind I use the link Binkalette gave you, it works very well be careful don't to to deep into the ear canal

  7. #6
    Senior Member poodleholic's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    It sounds like you need to clean ears with a good ear cleanser. I have Standard Poodles, so I know what you mean about the ear hair. What's most important is to cleanse the ears on a regular basis, to keep that hair clean of ear wax gunk, so that minimal plucking can be done. Hemastats are not necessary, nor is old school practice of plucking bare. The hair is there for a reason. Over-plucking creates problems and sets up an environment for infection. I use my fingers and a pumice stone I get online that's shaped so that it fits in the ear, and makes grabbing ear hair easy.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ayanla's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    What do you recommend as a good ear cleanser? My vet's only recommendation is to pluck the hair and maybe use a little ear powder for better grip. In fact, he told me specifically to try not to get water in his ears at all, so I just sort of assumed that also applied to liquid cleansers. I guess I should have done some more research and asked around.

    I still haven't been successful at removing this stuff. It's so deep in the ear that I can't see it. I can only see the waxy hair sticking out of his ear that leads down to it. I guess it's possible that there's no more matted hair in there, but considering the last waxy bit of hair lead straight to a matted chunk, it's probably unlikely. Obviously I'm concerned at getting this cleared, but at the same time I'd like to prevent this from happening again and I'd definitely like to head off ear infections. Thanks so much everyone for your insight and advice as always.

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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    This is the best ear cleaner I've ever used. Shake the bottle well to mix and flood the ear canal. Close the flap and massage for one minute. Let him shake, then use a cotton ball to wipe out. Since he's having this issue, do it again and massage again for one minute.
    http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Health-.../dp/B000OUY5L6

  10. #9
    Senior Member Ayanla's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    That stuff says it stains pretty badly, even white fur. I'd hate to see his ears stained purple

    Guess I'll give a look myself and see what I can find. Thanks for the help all.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Graco22's Avatar
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    As a general cleaner, with no ear infections going on, I love R7. Its great at getting all that wax cleaned out...some ear cleaners just swish it around and don't really get it out. I use R7 daily and have for years at my salon. I use it on a cottonball..I am just not a fan of filling the ear canal with anything and letting em shake..dogs hate it, and end up being hard to deal with about their ears..I find a wipe out with a moist cottonball is quite efficient on a healthy ear.

  12. #11
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    Re: Matted Hair deep inside the ear?

    instead of using just your fingers or hemos go to your local pet supply store and buy some ear powder. this will help you to get a good grip on the hair and won't take as long to pull it out. ear hair does get matted a lot but if he is in that much pain i would take him to the vet. it might not just be ear hair. he could have a fox tail or sticker. if you don't want to keep trying to pull it yourself then i would take him to your local groomer. it's pretty cheap. and pulling the ear hair might not be hurting him really at all. some dogs just act like that when they know they can get away with it. he knows that when he does that you stop. dogs can be just like kids. especially with their mom lol

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