How to Shave a Dog's Matted Ears

Medium
15 - 30 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

When Dozer's ears are full of mats, they are not only unsightly, but the mats can be bad for his health. Any breed with floppy ears and long hair is likely to end up with mats at some point in time, no matter how often you brush them. Although it is possible for Dozer to get ear mats as part of his normal life, more frequently, the mats are the result of another issue. This could be from frequent scratching due to fleas or an infestation of ear mites, lack of regular grooming, or certain food allergies. Mats can be difficult to get out of fur, especially if they're particularly large. Trying to brush or untangle them with your fingers can lead to unnecessary pulling and tugging, so it's important to know the alternative methods to getting rid of mats. This includes the process of shaving the ears down. 

Dog's Perspective

Even Dozer doesn’t like it when his ears become all knotted up. Not only do the flaps not move around properly, but they can be very uncomfortable to sleep on. At the same time, the mats become the perfect place for mold to grow in the sweat that will build up, for fleas to nest, and for any number of other insects to lay their eggs. Heavily matted ears can also cause hematomas, or build up of blood, in the ears which can require extensive medical treatment. Overall, shaving the ears may just be the best course of action for Dozer's health. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Regular grooming is the best way to avoid mats from developing on Dozer's ears. This includes proper bathing, brushing, and special attention to the fur around the ears if mats are a recurring issue.
  • Be sure the blades on your shears are sharp. Dull blades can pull at the hair, causing pain instead of cutting it. If necessary, purchase larger or smaller shears, depending on the size of Dozer's ears.
  • Be sure your clippers have a sharp blade to avoid snagging the hair instead of cutting it. You'll also want to be sure to lubricate the blades to avoid the buildup of heat. This could burn the skin on his ears which are especially sensitive areas. 
  • If you must shave his ears, be sure to use a canine sunscreen to protect this delicate skin until the hair grows back. You'll also want to keep an eye out for excessive scratching or itching at the ears once you're done shaving.
  • Take your time and go slow. The skin of Dozer's ear flaps is very delicate and easily nicked or cut. Try not to rush or pin him in place. Take breaks if he becomes too stressed. 

Conclusion

Truth be told, if you keep up with regular grooming, you may have a few small tangles to deal with but you should rarely, if ever, have to deal with a major mat. Shaving them out can be challenging and time consuming, but Dozer is sure to appreciate when you are done. Make sure to keep an eye on Dozer's ears and give him regular checks to ensure that mats are caught before they can really form and cause a problem. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

Grooming Questions & Answers

Question
Bailey
Cocker Spaniel
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
Cocker Spaniel
4 Years

I took Bailey in recently and her ears are severely matted and heavy I'm trying to figure out what I can do to fix them.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
0 Dog owners recommended

Hello, you may be able to call your groomer and ask for a groom of just the ears, and as well, get tips from the groomer. That is probably the best idea - then you can start off fresh with ears that are not matted. There is also the issue that the mats may be painful for Bailey because the ears can be sensitive. Comfort is the main thing. Without seeing the mats, it is hard to say but they often need to be shaved when the matting is severe. To keep the ears mat-free, ask your groomer for the best type of brush and then gently brush Bailey's ears daily. Your groomer may suggest a detangler and a comb, too. I hope this helps; unless you are able to safely remove the mats, I would ask the groomer for a helping hand. Good luck!

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