Best way to get rid of mats behind the ears?

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your dog. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your dog's hygiene needs.


Barked: Thu Mar 7, '13 4:45pm PST 
I've recently noticed my 7month Australian Shepherd has smallish mats one behind each ear. I've been working a little each day to comb them out, but it's a slow process since my pup doesn't really want to sit still. I've gotten about half of one out and maybe a third of the other out. Anyways my question is my pup has to be put under anesthesia at the vet tomorrow for surgery. My vet says he could shave out the mats at that time. What's better? Having him shave them out or me just combing them out little by little? My vet said its better to shave it cuz ill have a hard time getting all of the mat out since its right down to the skin. But when he says shave them out all I can picture is my fluffy boy with a naked head. He's not gunna shave a lot right? Or do you think he'll shave a big area! I'm worried.

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Barked: Fri Mar 8, '13 7:06pm PST 
Get thinning shears and then break up the mat with those. Break it up until you can easily just brush or comb out the mat. You can try them vertically or horizontally into the mat.

feed me
Barked: Sat Mar 9, '13 10:40am PST 
I'd shave, less work you and less pain for your dog. I don't think trimmed ears look drastically different from untrimmed, btw, so i wouldn't worry about that

My mum won't let me cut the ear fluff on our dog when she gets ear mats, and I have combed out my own dreadlocks so i transfer that experience to the mats. What I do is hold the mat by the base so i won't yank on the ear and skin too much, then I niggle a metal comb at the tip until it loosens up. When I've done this all the way to the base, I use a slicker brush to remove loose hairs
If your dog's not used to boring ear grooming, give a time consuming treat while you work.

Unless you want to groom ears every day I'd really suggest shaving and keeping the ear fluff short, the area is notorious for matting in like, seconds.frown

Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
Barked: Sat Mar 9, '13 11:46am PST 
If you brush corn starch or baby powder into that fluffy hair AFTER the matts are gone it will definitely keep it from matting as quickly.
Cutting them is extremely dangerous as those usually are right to the skin, especially cutting with thinning scissors as they can easily pick up skin without you realizing it. Clipping is much safer, particularly if someone experienced does it. You would not believe the number of clients we see with serious cuts behind their ears from owners working with scissors to get the matts out... those stitches the vet has to put in after you cut them will cost a whole lot more than having a groomer shave them out, plus they will have to shave a lot of extra hair in the process!!!!

Barked: Wed Mar 13, '13 7:59pm PST 
Thanks for the advice! I did end up having the vet shave them out. My good friend is the vet assistant at the office we go to and she promised she would shave him herself and did not take out more than she had to. I can hardly notice he's missing hair he's so fluffy, but I'm definatly stepping up my grooming. The thing is he doesn't like having his ears brushed but ill just power through it. Lotsa treats! smile Dexter is my first dog and I guess I'm just learning from my mistakes.