When you have a dog with a long or medium coat, keeping the fur from matting can be difficult. Thankfully, matted fur is often easy to spot and de-tangle when it's on your dog's back, belly, limbs, tail, and even the bulk of the head. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for matting that occurs around your dog's ears. Ear fur matting is a problem that many pooch owners miss until it's already causing problems for their dog. If your dog has floppy ears, they may be even more susceptible to this problem. These tangles can be unsightly and even smelly, but that's not the worst of it. Unkempt ear fur can actually lead to health problems for your dog that are hard to tackle when they set in.
Here are three reasons why letting your dog's ear fur get knotted and unkempt can be dangerous.
One of the most common problems that occurs when a dog's ear fur gets matted is infection. While matted fur doesn't cause infection in itself, the hot, moist environment it creates is the perfect place for bacteria to get comfortable. To make matters worse, it's very difficult to get rid of an infection under matted fur, as the hair gets no air flow and can't be cleaned easily.
Hematomas, which are pockets of blood that form under the skin. are another problem dogs with matted ear fur can face. In the case of tangled fur, ear hematomas are caused by the matted hair getting tight and pulling on the blood vessels in the flap of the ear, which causes them to burst open and leak blood. Once hematomas form, they often recur even after being drained by a vet, so it's important to stop them from happening to start with.
Even if your dog doesn't suffer a medical condition as a result of their matted ear fur, tangles can still cause irritation. The skin under the fur often becomes uncomfortably hot and moist, which can cause pain and itching. Repeated itching will often lead to skin breakage, rashes, and even bleeding, which only causes your dog more discomfort.
While ear fur can be difficult to tackle at home, an experienced groomer will be able to cut or de-tangle it safely and comfortably before your dog starts to suffer. If you see your dog's ear fur starting to get matted, make sure you book an appointment with a dog grooming service as soon as possible.