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Scratching her ears?!

by Meredith

Hi! my little one, Molly, is almost 10 months old. Recently she has started scratching at her ears. We keep the hair out of them by plucking, so I can't figure out why she is scratching so hard. It is causing her hair to mat at the tips of her ears. I can't get the mats out! I have tried detangler on the mats but it has not helped. Help! Does anyone have any recommendations for the itching and the mats?!


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

Merideth, I would take her to the vet for an ear check--might be an infection or ear mites. Is there any odor coming from her ears?
-cathy brown

For the itching, take your baby to the vet. She could have ear mites or a yeast infection, or one in 20 different conditions. Your vet can diagnose and treat the ears, then for the mats, you can use a mat-breaker from the pet store to remove them. Be careful with the mat comb as the inside is very sharp. Use it as directed on the box. Never leave it out where your baby could step on it and cut her foot. After the ears are cleared up, you should not have the matting any more.
-Marsha A.

Sounds like Molly may be suffering from ear mites. I would have her checked out by your vet to be sure. Good Luck!
-Robin D.

Even though you keep the hair plucked from the ears - the dog may still develop a yeast infection - particularly if it has tiny ear passages and/or you allow any water to get into the ear during a bath. Do you plug the ears with cotton during a bath or swab them gently with an Otic cleansins solution after a bath. The ears should always be pink, even inside the passage - if it is dark with a musty odor it could be a yeast infection or ear mites. We use different treatments for each condition. I've only had mites once, ever, but a yeast condition is not unusual especially in a very tiny dog with very small ear passages. Clear up the problem and you eliminate the scratching.

They also scratch if there is some kind of skin irritation and one of mine rubs her head with her paws just as a kind of nervous habit - or to request attention. But, this rubbing is not usually enough to mat hair like a full-fledged scratch-attack.
-Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

Meredith,Have you taken your dog to the vet. Our Princess started scratching her ears just like you described. Her ears looked normal and pink, but our vet found that her eardrum membranes were infected. Eardrops for a week cleared it right up.
-Chuck Norman

My two year old Maltes, Bobo, also has that problem.I've had her checked out at our local vet and even got a second oppinion. She's totally healthy. It's just one of her nervous ticks. Does your baby itch more when nervous or upset?

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