About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday's Tip #3

Plucking Ear's...
and one of my favorite tools.

My non-locking Forceps.
I am sure there is a technical name for this tool, but I don't know it.

Actually, I use four different tools for cleaning out ear hair.
1. Ear Powder: to make the hair brittle and easier to crab. It also soaks up any moisture in the ears.
2. Locking Forceps: These are great for locking onto hard to grab hair.
3. My fingers: I use my fingers the most to pluck ears.
4. Non-Locking Forceps: These are great for using when you need long skinny fingers to grab fine hairs or hard to reach hairs.

First, I put ear powder in the ears.
I do not do this with every dog.
I mainly use powder on ears that have a lot of hair in them, or ears that have wax covered, slippery hair.

If there is just a little hair in the ears, I just put some powder on my fingers so that I can get a hold of the hair.

I gently rub the powder into the hair.

If there is a lot of hair or moisture, I let the powder sit for a couple of minutes.

I usually start plucking with my fingers.

I have found that plucking just small amounts of hair at a time makes it much more tolerable for most dogs.

This Schnauzer did not have a large amount of hair to pluck.

I plucked as much out with my fingers as I could.
All that was left was a little cottony hair that my fingers could not reach.

Time for my trusty Non-Locking Forceps.

I feel like they are an extension of my fingers.

I can pluck a little hair, open, pluck, open, pluck.
I don't have to worry about them locking up, and having to stop and unlock the forceps.

Then I clean out the ears with cleaner.

Extra Tip: If I feel that the powder dried out the ear too much, I put a drop of mineral oil on a cotton ball and gently swab it around the ear canal.

This is the ear plucked, clean and clipped. (still need to scissor the edges)

Some ears are so packed with hair, that I let the powder sit in the ear for about 5 to 10 minutes before I attempt to pluck them.

I followed the same routine as above.

I was able to pluck all of this ear with my fingers.

I worked on plucking small amounts of hair at a time.

Of course, it also helps to have a good dog.

 Again, the Non-Locking forceps come in handy for grabbing the little fine hairs left behind.

Another clean ear.

This hair was harder to get a hold of and required using the Locking Forceps.

I pull as much hair up as possible towards the center of the ear canal.
Then, I lock the forceps onto as much of the clump of hair as I can.
I slowly start to twist the forceps.

Tip: If the dog does not mind me twisting the hair out, I do it slowly. If the dog hates it and starts to move around, I twist quickly and get the hair out as fast as I can.

After I pluck the ears ,I like to close the ear leather over the canal and gently massage the ears.
I also softly apologize to the dog for pulling hair out of their ears.
(If you pulled hair out of my ears, I would bite you!)
This seems to clam even the most upset dog.

I love a good clean ear.
Oh, another tip, whenever I get a large amount of hair out of a dogs ear, I always warn the owner that their dog may go home and shake their ears a lot for the first day because of all of the air getting into their clean ears now.

I also save, and show them what I got out of their dogs ears, no matter how disgusting it looks.
I have gotten some really disgusting crap out of ears.
If I think that they need to take their dog to the vet because the ears need attention, I will put  what I got out of the ears into a small plastic bag and hand it to the owner to give to the Vet.

I have been accused by Vets of cleaning the ears out too well, and they can't tell what the problem is with the ears.
That is why I send the hair, the cotton balls, and the q-tips with the owner to the Vet.

Even the Vets think I am crazy. :)

Happy Grooming, MFF

1 comment:

  1. Lol, yes, the "ear tool" has a name - haemostats.

    The rubber-covered grip type are probably the ones by Aaronco, which I love - won't use any other type. They come in straight or curved (I like the curved).

    Here is one of MY tips - shave the inside of the ear, including some of the long hairs you want to pluck, before adding powder and doing the plucking. Makes it much easier to see, uses less powder to be effective, and sometimes I almost swear the dog doesn't seem to mind as much when the hair is shorter! No clue as to why that might be....