Shih Tzu Grooming Techniques Of Ear Cleaning And Nail Trimming

Published: 30th November 2005
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Ear Cleaning:
Cleaning the ears of your Shih Tzu is a simple chore. With the Shih Tzu being a long-haired breed, problems can arise if ears nor cleaned regularly. The hair in the ears of a Shih Tzu will grow long, knot up, mat and eventually interfere with proper functioning of the Shih Tzu's ear canal. Infection of your Shih Tzu's ears can result.

You will need a bottle or can of ear powder easily obtained through pet supply manufacturers. Squirt the powder directly into the ears of your Shih Tzu. The hair will become dry and brittle and is easily plucked out with your fingers. Pluck the hair out of your Shih Tzu's ears with a quick, firm motion until the ears of your Shih Tzu look clean. You can also use a hemostat to pluck the hair out of your Shih Tzu's ears.

Be sure to purchase ear canker powder as it has the additional benefit of helping to control canker and ear mites in your Shih Tzu. Swab your Shih Tzu's ears gently with a cotton swab dipped in mineral oil or rubbing alcohol.

Nail trimming:
Keeping your Shih Tzu's nail trimmed is important. Without regular trimming, your Shih Tzu's nails may grow so long that they actually throw the Shih Tzu off his natural balance and act as a source of irritation. Neglecting to trim your Shih Tzu's nails also detracts from the look of an otherwise well-groomed Shih Tzu.

Nail trimmers and techniques:
Guillotine type nail trimmers are the best to use on your Shih Tzu. Hold the trimmers vertically. Grasp the foot of the Shih Tzu firmly, hold the leg up towards you, carefully trim each nail of your Shih Tzu. It may sometimes be unnecessary to trim the nails on the hind feet of your Shih Tzu as they seem to grow much slower than the fore feet. If dewclaws are present on your Shih Tzu, trim the dewclaws as well. The shorter you keep your Shih Tzu's nail, the better, and frequent trimming will help tighten the feet and improve the dog's balance. Be careful about the "quick." The "quick" is a vein that can be easily observed in most white and light-colored Shih Tzu when the toenails are "white." The "quick" is more difficult to identify in toenails of darker colored Shih Tzu. More often that not, these are black rather than white in the darker colored Shih Tzu.

Nail bleeding:
If the nails of your Shih Tzu bleed after trimming, or if you trim them to close to the "quick," there is no need for alarm. Always have on hand one of the antiseptic coagulants which you can purchase through any pet supply manufacturer for your Shih Tzu. These substances will stop quickly any bleeding. Using a cotton swab dab a little of the powder on the bleeding toenail of your Shih Tzu and hold it with a little pressure for a few seconds. The bleeding should stop quickly.

The best time to trim the nails or clean the ears is before you bath your Shih Tzu so that all traces of blood or powder will be washed away. However, the nails of your Shih Tzu will be softer right after bathing.

Nail grinding:
A finishing touch in trimming nails is the use of a nail grinder for your Shih Tzu. A nail grinder will polish off the rough edges of the Shih Tzu's nails. The Oster Corporation makes a nail grinder favored by many professional groomers and handlers. Caution is advised when using a nail grinder on your Shih Tzu's nails. If the Shih Tzu bends his head during the process, some part of the fringes could get caught in the grinding wheel causing the Shih Tzu considerable pain.

If your Shih Tzu objects strenuously to nail grinding, it is advisable to not force the issue since grinding is mostly for a cosmetic effect.

Connie Limon is a shih tzu breeder. She publishes a FREE weekly newsletter. A professional newsletter with a focus upon health and wellness for you and your pets. Discounts are offered to subscribers. Sign up at:
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