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Hi all :)

Although I've had dogs all my life, "Daisy" is my first Labradoodle. She was a stray, and we were lucky enough to adopt her last fall, when the vet estimated that she was just barely a year old. Needless to say, we're completely in love and have been from about the first five minutes we spent with her. She is just the best dog in the world!

We had her spayed today, and that went well, but at the same time, I asked them to check her ears, which I was concerned about. They seemed "not right" to me, but at the same time, they didn't really look like what my other dogs' ears have looked like when they were infected; there was no noticeable redness or scaliness, but lots of black "gunk". I think I hadn't noticed it at first because of all the black hair in her ears. I've never had a dog with hair in her ears like this!

Anyway, the vet told me that this was from the poodle, and that the hair in the ears needed to be plucked from time to time to keep the ear canal clean. They did this while she was sedated and cleaned the ears out well, and now we're treating her for bacterial and yeast infections in both ears. I feel terrible for missing it, and I really don't want to let it happen again if I can help it. So I was wondering, how often do the hairs need to be plucked? Will it hurt her when this is done? Is this something the groomer has to do, or can we do it at home as part of her regular brushing/grooming regimen? Do you have any other advice/products to recommend/etc. for caring for Labradoodle ears? My apologies if these questions have been asked a thousand times - I couldn't find it and the whole idea of "plucking" a dog's ear hair is completely new to me.

And now, a bonus coat question :). As I was looking through the posts here, I saw several references to puppies blowing their coats sometime before they were a year old. Daisy came to us closely shaved; she'd been a stray, and the friend who rescued her said she was so matted that the groomer just had to buzz the whole coat and let her start fresh. We've had fun watching her get shaggy over the last few months, but no matter how shaggy she got, she didn't seem to shed much at all. Then suddenly (after she finished her first heat) she started leaving chunks of hair all over the house. It's not really noticeable to look at her, but it's a pretty huge difference from the amount of shedding we'd been seeing before. Is this a seasonal thing with some Doodles? Is it just because her hair reached a certain length? Could it be hormonal and related to being in heat? I'm not worried about it, really - more just curious as to what we can expect.

Thanks so much for your patience with newbie questions!

BSCK
 

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Can't help with the coat question but for the ears...I'm going to leave plucking to the groomer. However, Sadie had a yeast infection with lots of black gunk in her one ear but then I started using Blue Ear Wash (google it), it's a recipe you make up at home and it works miracles!
 

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Welcome, i am a new owner of a doodle so I have no answers, but someone on here will.
 

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Welcome to Doodleland...............
I clean ears with a vinegar/water solution and
have never plucked(personally think it causes more problems , but that is just my two cents), sorry not much help so i guess
a groomer is your best bet or vet
 

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First you dust the inside of the ear with this powder. The powder makes the hair easier to see and easier to grip. Then carefully.....pull the hair out with the forceps. If you hold the ear up and back a bit, you can get a straight shot down the ear canal and get the deep stuff. Just be careful, even doing it over a couple of days if you have to so you don't stress your dog & have him never let you do it again. Once you get the hang of it, it really is quite easy!
eye powder
http://grooming.petedge.com/Top-Perform ... goryId=219
forceps for pulling hair
http://grooming.petedge.com/Hair-Puller ... goryId=219
I use this ear cleaner on all my dogs when they get funky smelling, it is also good for after swimming to help dry it out.
http://www.healthypets.com/derskinandea.html
I get this from the vets office, a big bottle will last you a long time.
 

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I do get some of the hair out of AB's ears as she has an abundance of it the powder they make for it, makes it much easier to get the hair out

keeping ears clean though is VERY important, really with any dog. there are lots of diff cleaners on the market and lots of home remedies !

Good luck and post lots of pics of your sweet baby !
 

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I too leave the hair plucking to the groomer - Tyke usually goes once a month anyway. In the meantime, I try to clean her ears out with a cotton ball and some alcohol-based ear cleaner that my vet gave me (but I'm betting Sue's acohol-vinegar solution works just as well and is a lot cheaper!) She usually squirms and fights like a wildcat while I do that, so I can imagine the fight if I tried to pluck the hairs out of her ears!!!! :twisted: Tyke has never had an ear infection (so far). She also doesn't eat dog food with some of the cheaper grains in it -particularly corn. From this forum it seems corn is a real culprit as far as causing problems with ear infections. You may want to keep that in mind when choosing dog foods for your baby - and WELCOME!! :lol:
 

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I personally am not a plan of plucking the ear hair. I think it can lead to more trouble because the follicles can get inflamed.

Ear cleaning is definitely necessary. I clean Charlie's ears with a commercial solution twice a week. First I warm it in the microwave for 5 seconds. He absolutely hates having cold liquid squirted in his ear. THEN, I squirt it down his ear canal, massage the base a bit to get it well cleaned and wipe it out with tissue.

If there is alot of dark gunky stuff then you need to do more than clean the ear. You likely need some medication.

As far as the coat is concerned, I'm not an expert but I believe I've read that dogs go through coat changes with their heat.

Deb
 
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I'm leaning toward the "If God put the hair there, it must serve a purpose" camp. :lol: :lol:
My vet did pluck her ears under anesthesia when she was spayed. I don't think it's been done since then and we have had no issues.
I think yeast like moist and dark, so just try and keep them clean and dry (the alcohol helps with that)...BUT do not use any cleaner with alcohol in it while the ears are inflamed or infected...it will burn.
And like Deb mentioned get a food with no corn (or no grain at all if you continue to have a problem) and no soy.
 

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I'd definitely prefer NOT to pluck, and my vet is the same way, but when she saw Tyke's hairy little ears on her first visit, she recommended that we may need to do it - she said those were he HAIRIEST ears she had ever seen!!! :shock: It sure makes it a lot easier to keep the "gunk" out too - just a couple of swipes with a cotton ball, and her ears are "squeaky clean!"
 

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A friend who's a vet showed me how to take a q-tip and insert it in Chouette's ear and then twirl it around and pull. Doing it successively gets the hair out. I imagine the numbing powder would make it easier on the dog; Chou runs when she sees the cotton balls come out, even if I'm using the boric acid and alcohol solution which is supposed to feel good. I never have tried warming it, though. She has so much trouble with her left ear that I am for keeping the hair out as much as possible. That said, I have never tried the q-tip trick myself. I think if I did Chou would either be on the phone to the SPCA or down the driveway with her belongings tied to a little stick.

Leslie
 

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I have never tried the q-tip trick myself. I think if I did Chou would either be on the phone to the SPCA or down the driveway with her belongings tied to a little stick.
Leslie, I think Tyke would do the same thing! Couldn't you see our two little hobos, running away from home b/c their mommies pulled their ear hair out??? :wink:
 

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Mine are so jealous that another is getting more attention then they are and sit "patiently" awaiting their turn at ear cleaning! I found with Miko, if I keep the hair under the earflap trimmed short, her ears stay cleaner. I use a cotton ball and q-tip with ear cleaning solution I bought at petsmart. I had heard peroxide was not a good thing to use....correct me if I'm wrong. HAPPY EAR CLEANING ALL!! :lol:
 

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LOL Leslie!

When Pixie was about 5 months, the vet assistant (who is also a groomer) showed me how to clean and pluck her ears. I do the ear wash with cotton balls, then I pluck the hair out with my fingers. I was a little skeeved out when i saw the vet assistant doing it (Pixie's ears were super hairy), but I have found it's pretty easy. Pixie will sit still for it, too. I just check her ears whenever I'm brushing her, and I probably pluck the hair out about once a month. I don't use the powder. The assistant did use it but said it wouldn't be necessary if I kept up with the plucking.

I also trim the hair on her head under her ear flaps, to help air circulate better and hopefully prevent ear infections. She hasn't had one yet. I also don't feed her any food with corn in it.

I can't help you with the coat question, as so far Pixie doesn't shed at all.
 
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