Today we are going to discuss the biggest taboo in Lhasadom…ear cleaning. Any Lhasa will tell you that this subject is absolutely forbidden, even for discussion, never mind actual participation. They are dead wrong!
One of the biggest problems for Lhasas, as with any dog whose ears lay down, is ear infections. In order to prevent ear infections, ears have to be kept clean. In Lhasas, the hair inside the ear cannel has to be removed regularly. If you have never performed this procedure, or if you do not have steady hands, or if you do have a very uncooperative Lhasa, as is common with this matter, have your vet clean ears.
If your hands are steady and you have been instructed in the proper procedure by your vet, and if you feel up to the task and you can get your fur baby to hold still for you, you can do this yourself. It is very helpful if you can do this yourself since ears really need to be cleaned once a week. If you have to make a visit to your vet for this procedure, check with him for an acceptable schedule for your fur kid. Some fur kids have to endure this activity more often than others.
Tiffany, my little lady, does not roll in the dirt or grass and is very proper, so her ears do not get as dirty as the youngsters or her siblings who are more rambunctious. You need to check ears frequently and clean them or have them cleaned promptly whenever the need arises.
Black, oily discharge can be an indication of ear mites, so always have your kid examined by his vet if this condition develops. Ear infections can also cause a discharge and frequently are accompanied by an unpleasant aroma and red, sore ears. Any indication or ear problems needs immediate attention.
Now, do-it-yourself. If you can meet the above mentioned criteria, you can take care of the fur kid ears yourself, but be very, very careful with this procedure, one slip can cause severe pain the to the fur kid at best and deafness at worst. Forceps, which are available from your vet or a vet supply are essential tools of the trade, so to speak. A flashlight is another necessary tool. Fold the ear back so that you can see into the cannel. Clean the outer portion of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in ear cleaning solution. Gently, but throughly remove any dirt or debris from the outer ear flap and exposed areas. With the forceps, carefully grasp the hair withing the cannel, lock the forceps and wind the hair around them to remove the hair. Repeat this step and all the hair inside the ear cannel is removed. Very carefully grasp any large pieces of debris with the forceps and remove them, be very careful not to push any debris further into the ear cannel or pinch the inner ear. Do not try to remove deep debris. Remove only what is easily visible in the upper portion of the ear. Once you have removed the hair and large particles, use a good, professional ear wash to clean the inner portion of the ear. Fill the ear cannel with the cleaner and massage the ear gently at the bottom where it connects to the head. Repeat this process two or three times, allowing the fur kid to shake his/her head between application to help dislodge deep seated dirt and debris. Clean the outer ear again to remove dirt dislodged by the cleaner and apply a good, professional drying product to help dry out the ears. Allow the ears to dry throughly and then apply a medicated powder to help keep ears dry and healthy.