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Discussion Starter #1
My Springer Spaniel's ear tips are always smelly because they get dragged on the dirty ground during our walks. Rinsing with water doesn't help, and cleaning daily with shampoo seems excessive.. He even develops crust from time to time because of all the allergens collected this way. I try to alternate between rinsing with water, dipping in diluted apple cider vinegar, and shampooing, but it's not enough. When he eats I tie his ears back, but can't do that during walks.

If you have a dog with long ears, how do you keep the ends clean?
 

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Have you seen the snood things for dogs? I think most people use them for when they're eating, but if it's comfy enough I don't see why it couldn't be used for walks, too. If you're crafty you can look up a pattern to crochet or sew one :)
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Sorry nessa I don't have any wonderful solutions on this one, I have a Springer spaniel too and she is always dirty from head to toe
Oh she does have a spaniel feeding bowl and that helps at mealtimes

So I will be very interested in any ideas in this thread

This is how dirty Poppy gets :)
 

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Here's a couple different options you could try:

-Snood: I use this with my Afghans at meal times regardless of any other options that I may also be using. Snoods are essentially stretchy fabric tubes that hold the ears back and prevent them from dropping forward into the face when your dog puts their head down.

-Banding the hair: this meathod consists of using tiny hair bands to collect the ear fringe into pony tails. You do have to be very careful though not to get any of the ear leather caught up into the hair bands or it can cause the tissue to become necrotic. The bands also needs to be changed weekly to prevent excessive matting and tangles.

-Wraping the hair: this it what a lot of show people do to fully protect the coat from all dirt and damage. Correctly wraping the coat is something that ideally needs to be taught in person because it's difficult to explain over the Internet. You also have to change the wraps every 2-3 days to prevent moisture build up which can cause mold.

-VetWrap the ears: This is what most show spaniel people do. Basically they just wrap VetWrap around the entrie length of the ears to protect the coat. This does need to be changed weekly to prevent moisture build up and you have to be careful not to wrap too tight. You may also run the risk of accidentally staying the coat if the Wrap you use leaks out dye from the color. The wrap may also slip off if your dog excessively shakes his head.

-Shaving/trimming the excessive coat: If your dog does not tolerate the other options and you aren't dead set on keeping the hair, this may be the best option to prevent your pup from continuing to injure himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry for the late response; got super busy.

Cali - I've seen the snood but it won't hold during a walk. My Springer is extremely active and would lose it within a minute.

Kaye - Haha, Poppy is so cute! That must have been difficult to wash out!

Animalcracker - Thank you for the suggestions. It seems that a lot of the show-ring options restrict air flow to the ear and that would contribute to the crust issue he has. I'll definitely try to trim his ears a little shorter, but they look funny with overly trimmed ears.

I'm really hoping to find something mild I could use to wash his ears more often without damaging the skin.
 

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Can you maybe post a picture of the "crusts" you're describing. There's lots of different types of crusts that can be associated with ears, so perhaps were visualizing something different that what is actually going on.

If you want the shampoo/wash his ears everyday then you could do that, but personaly that seems like a lot more work than just throwing on a snood if it's only needed to protect his ears during walks. Most dogs will accept a snood fairly well as long as they are distracted doing something else more interesting, or only need a minimal amount of training to get them used to it. There are also different shaped snoods that work differently for different shaped heads, so not all snoods are exactly the same. However if you would like to try cleaning instead Chris Cristensen has a waterless shampoo that works really well and thier Day to Day shampoo can be used on a daily basis. The C.C. Clean Start clarifying shampoo would be great for weekly or bi-weekly deep cleaning on the ears. The problem with using any non-waterless shampoos is that it can be difficult to spot clean the ears without bathing the whole dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
animalcracker -

I couldn't find any pictures of similarly crusty ears online and he doesn't currently have the crust. The vet said it was something to do with air flow to the ear tips.

I see that you have several dogs with long ears. Do you wrap them during walks?

I like the dry shampoo idea - might try that! :)
 

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Mine don't normally drag their ears on their walks and since they show dogs they get fully bathed and brushed every 1-2 weeks at least. However if I do need to keep the ears clean for an upcoming show then we use snoods on walks. And they all ways wear a snood for eating. I also keep their ear fringe wrapped or banded most of the time.
 
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