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Gundog health: Oily ears

PUBLISHED: 10:30 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 16:42 10 November 2015

Grease is the word: an unusual problem that requires a visit to the vet

Grease is the word: an unusual problem that requires a visit to the vet


I have a one-year-old working cocker spaniel who we have had since 12 weeks of age. When we got him his ears were all soft and fluffy but now the hairs on his ears have turned greasy. I have tried washing them and brushing them but nothing changes. Is this normal and what should I do? His ears are always clean and we clean them on a regular basis. They are also cut tightly to the ear so the hair is not long.

VICKY PAYNE replies: This is an unusual sounding problem! A greasy coat is usually caused by the skin producing excess oils in response to irritation or due to a skin disorder. If the greasiness is only on his ears it may be a response to the hair being cut short and the ear flap having less protection. If other areas of skin are also greasy a more generalised skin condition may be the cause. I’m afraid this will probably need a trip to your vet to look for possible causes and treatments, and investigation may include tape strips and skin scrapes.


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