I have cleaned a lot of ears over the years.
To be honest, I don't remember learning a lot about plucking and cleaning ears in Grooming School.
I mostly remember learning how to clean out ears really well at the Veterinarian I worked for after grooming school.
He would send dogs down to have their ears cleaned out all of the time, and he was a stickler about getting them whistle clean.
I would pluck every hair out of them, and then the Vet had me put the dog in the tub, squirt a cleaner down into the ears, and then flush them out with the hose.
Then I would stand back and let the dog shake all kinds of nasty stuff out of their ears.
I loved that ears cleaner.
It smelled so good and really got the ears clean.
Anyway, that Vet really grilled it into me to get the ears as clean as possible.
So, I clean out ears no matter how nasty they are.
I do this for a couple of reasons.
One reason is because of the that Veterinarian that I worked for, and the other reason is a little more.....
oh I don't know what the word for it would be.
I know that there are a lot of groomers out there that leave bad looking ears along, and send the owner to the Vet.
I have found just one problem with that.
Nine times out of ten the Veterinarian looks at the ear, gives the owner medicine, and sends the dog home without plucking or cleaning out the ear.
Oh, and the best part, tells the owner to have their groomer clean out the ear at the next grooming.
That is a really big pet peeve of mine.
I can not stand when a dog comes in, and the ears are all greasy with medicine that the owner hasn't even been getting down into the ear because the Vet never bothered to pluck and clean them out.
That is the main reason why I clean out all ears no matter how nasty they are.
The only exception is a dog whose ears are causing him/her pain.
I will not hurt them to clean out the ears.
Unfortunately, I have been told by a few Vets that I clean the ears a little too well.
After I clean the ears, tell the owner to go to their Vet, because I think that their dog has a possible ear infection, the Vet says that they can't see any problem because I cleaned the ears too well. :/
So, did I stop cleaning out bad ears?
I save everything that I got out of the ears.
The cotton balls.
Whatever goo and crusty stuff that I get out of the ear is saved.
What for you ask? :)
To put in my little plastic bags.
(You can get these at Wal-Mart in the craft department)
I seal all of the yucky stuff up in this little plastic bag and hand it to the owner.
I tell the owner to take it, with their dog, to their Veterinarian and have the ears checked.
I tell the owner to tell their Vet that the stuff in the baggy is what I got out of their dogs ear.
I also use these little baggies for other things that I find on dogs.
If a scab comes off.
If I got a lot of crust off of a wart and it was bleeding.
Long curled toenails to show the owner how much I got off the nails, and that they need to be clipped more often.
And...any other foreign matter that you might find in a dogs coat.
It is also a good idea to get some labels to stick onto the the little bags.
You can write the date and the dogs name on the label.
You can also write a message to the owner so they will remember what you told them when they get to their Veterinarian.
Hope this helps. :)
Happy Grooming, MFF