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Your Curlies ears should be clean, slighly pink-gray and have no odor. Problems with the ear to watch for include:

The most common problems with ears are ear infections (yeast or bacterial). Ear mites are actaully pretty uncommon in dogs. In any case, any of the above symptoms are grounds for having the vet check your dog's ears out.

Ear mites are treated with medication. Sometimes a reapplication is needed. Some people have gotten rid of light infestations by cleaning the ear out and then coating lightly with baby oil or mineral oil.

Ear infections are a little harder to treat, usually requiring daily ear drops for a week or so, weekly drops for some time after that. Some dogs prone to ear infections need to have ear drops on a regular basis. Drop-eared dogs are a bit more prone to ear infections, as prick ears normally allow more air circulation.

An easy home remedy to *prevent* ear infections (will not cure an existing one) is:

2 Tablespoons Boric Acid
4 oz Rubbing Alcohol
1 Tablespoon Glycerine
Shake well. Put 1 small eyedropperfull in each ear. Rub it around first, and then let the dog shake. Do this once a week and you shouldn't see any ear infections. It works by raising the pH level slightly inside the ear, making it less hospitable to bacteria.

To clean out an ear that's simply dirty (some buildup of dirt and wax is normal, but excessive ear wax may indicate that something else is wrong), take a cotton ball, dip in hydrogen peroxide if you like (squeeze excess out) and wipe the dog's ear out. The canal is rather deep, so you will not injure your dog so long as you only use your finger to probe the canal. Clean all around the little crevices as best as you can. Use another cotton ball for the other ear. Be sure to dry the ears out thoroughly.


Trimming Nails

Most dogs need to have nails trimmed at some point. While the vet will often clip them for you, many dogs need their nails trimmed more often than that to prevent injuries and other problems associated with overgrown nails. You may find some curlies are prone to brittle nails. Nails that chip and break off if left too long.


Use nail clippers available at pet stores. Look for the guillotine type (don't use the human variety, this will crush and injure your dog's nail) and get blade replacements as the sharper the blade is the easier this procedure is. There is another kind that looks like scissors with hooked tips that are also good, and may be easier to handle (however, the blades cannot be replaced on this type).

Before cutting the nails, examine them carefully. If the nails are are white, the difference between the nail and the pink quick is easy to see (use good lighting). If the nails are dark, it will be much harder to tell where the quick is, in which case you must take care.

If your dog resists having its nails trimmed, try trimming them while you sit on a couch with the dog on its back in your lap. By putting the dog on its back, you make the nails accessible and put the dog in a submissive position where they are less apt to fight. As with many things, this is easiest if you start while your dog is still a pup.

If the cutter is sharp, the nails won't crack if you cut at right angles to the nail. that is, hold it so that the blades are on the top and bottom of the nail, not to the sides of the nail.

Do not cut below the quick. It will be painful to your dog and bleed everywhere. When in doubt, trim less of the nail. It will just mean trimming more often. Clip the portion above the quick for each. Keep a styptic pencil on hand to staunch any blood flow. Flour or cornstarch will help in a pinch.



The nail grinder avoids the potential problems of cutting the quick, nails cracking, and sharp edges afterwards. The nails can also be thinned, allowing the quick to recede, resulting in shorter nails and a tighter paw.

RC Steele and other mail-order companies sell them for about $45. One model is the Oster Pet Nail Groomer, Model 129, with two speeds. Some dogs may be spooked by the noise. It may help to watch someone who knows how to use it first.


You can use a wood rasp and file your dog's nails down. Also, if you clip them, using a plain file afterwards helps smooth the edges down and keep them neat. You can use "people files" or purchase files shaped for this purpose

Elbow calluses
Elbow calluses are common in dogs. Large breeds seem to be more susceptible to this problem. They are thought to be the result of pressure when the dog lies on a hard surface. Mild calluses are usually not harmful. If the callus is large or becomes infected, veterinary treatment is usually necessary. The best prevention is providing soft bedding or padding for the dog's resting place, provided the dog is not inclined to chew and swallow bedding material. Choose material that can be replaced or washed frequently for sanitary purposes. Try to prevent your pup from getting these in the first place. If they do get them, you can apply Bag Balm to the callus to help soften it.

Why does my curly have a bald spot on his tail? Tail gland hyperplasia

There is a scent mark on the tail (also called the precaudle gland) which is located about 1/3rd of the way down the length of the tail. You may notice a change of color in a liver dog. Other times the texture of the fur will be different. Sometimes it is characterized by an oily or scaly matting of the hair over the tail gland which may or may not be accompanied by hair loss.

In dogs this gland is no longer functioning. Although, cats also have this gland, and it still functions. Also called Stud Tail.

Many times this bald spot, if present, clears up and fills in at maturity.

Some remedies that have been tried by dog lovers to get the hair to grow back sooner:

Washing with a good dermacidal soap and using Oxy10

Using Oxy Wash on the area.

A horse product called "Epi-Coat" two times a day to area.


If your dog is destined to have ‘goopy’ eyes, get in the habit of wiping gently with a warm wash cloth. Nothing else should be done unless a veterinarian advises. Curlies tend to be one of those breeds that produce a lot of eye goop.

Caring For Your Pet's Teeth

Gum disease and broken teeth are the major concerns for animals' teeth. Fortunately, pets seldom suffer from tooth decay. Regular brushing and professional cleaning can keep your pet's teeth healthy and gleaming. Giving pets appropriate toys to chew prevents fractures. What you feed your pet affects its dental health. Dry foods and treats help clean plaque from the teeth. Rawhide chews are also good cleaning tools, as are a number of knobby plastic toys on the market. None of these are hard enough to cause tooth damage, but you need to watch your pet to be sure small pieces of the toys aren't torn off and swallowed. Just watch how your dog chews rawhide. If you pup breaks off big chunks and tries to swallow them, take it away.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home: Teething: Housetraining: Crying at Night

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Those First Weeks at SoftMaple & The Bio Sensor method of early puppy stimulation

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Coat Care

Trimming the ears

Trimming the tail

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