Like all other dogs, cleaning Shih-Tzu ears also demands great attention. The "living toy" is prone to infections, and diseases like the ones caused by dog ear mites. A cat may become immune to cat ear mites with age but a Shih-Tzu will need proper treatment before the condition can be treated.
Shih-Tzu is a rare breed of dog that has a coat that resembles human hair. In fact it is the hair that gives the breed its beauty and unique appearance. Although somewhat similar to a Pekinese, Shih-Tzu is a class apart in the "toy" group of dog breeds.
Ears can be a primary source of infections and other diseases in dogs. Given the long hair that the breed has, it requires regular and more frequent cleaning and grooming. The need for regular grooming is actually a boon for people who own a Shih-Tzu because regular inspection during cleaning and grooming helps in identifying the early signs of a disease.
But the exceptionally long hair that a Shih-Tzu has, creates a damp environment for the ear mites to breed in. The dampness along with the dirt that tends to accumulate, is an invitation for ear mites to multiply and grow. The regular cleaning Shih-Tzu ears exercise helps in spotting the first signs of ear mites so that early action can be taken.
Cleaning Shih-Tzu ears is easy. All that you need to do is:
* Buy some ear powder from a pet supply store. You could do this in a regular store or buy the powder online.
* Spray the powder directly in the ear.
* Remove extra hair from the external ear with your fingers or tweezers once they are dry.
* Look for any extra wax that might be there and remove with a moist muslin cloth.
* Ensure that you keep away from the inner ear.
* It is possible at times to push the ear wax further inside the ear while trying to remove wax. Make sure that the movement is from inside out.
* Report to a specialist or look for home remedies for dog ear mites if you see any unusual developments that are new.
Grooming of a Shih Tzu takes a much longer time than it does for other breeds. Other than bathing, combing, drying and nail trimming, a Shih-Tzu also requires hair clipping. Bathing should be done only after the hair has been brushed and untangled. Blow drying will give the much appreciated fluffy appearance to the coat.
Matted hair can be managed for some time. But after a while the only option left is to strip off the entire coat. This should be done by a professional. If you are planning to do this at home, make sure that you take necessary precautions.
Ideally a Shih Tzu's coat should be dense and long. It should also have an undercoat that gives a soft and smooth feel. You may want to tie up the hair at the top with a ribbon to give a picture-perfect look to your Shih Tzu pet.