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When you lift up the flap that is their ear, you will be able to see all of the hair coming out of the ear canal. You just have to pull all of that out. It's pretty easy, you can do it with your fingers or with tweezers. My vet confirmed that it should be done, but I am not quite sure why or how often. I guess when it grows back I'll just pull it again. My "Maltese" book says that you should use ear power to desensitize the area but I think it's a waste of money. Koa didn't mind when I pulled it out.

Now I am not sure how you are supposed to clean inside the ear. Koa gets a little wax in there so I try to clean it with rubbing alcohol (without letting the alcohol get into his ear.... not sure if I am doing this right). However, I read on this site that some girl faithfully cleaned her dogs ears with drops everyday and when she stopped for a week, he got his first ear infection. So maybe letting nature do it's thing is the way to go, unless the vet recommends otherwise. (I heard it's the same thing with anal glands... let the dog try to get rid of them himself. If you rely on the groomer to clean them out, then the dog will never learn how to do them on his own, and you'll be relying on the groomer for the rest of your life.)

I think you can do the pads on your own. It is not very hard, and you can't really mess it up astetically. We do Koa's every four weeks. The hair grows fast and supposedly will mat and hurt his feet if it's not done often enough. We just got a pair of kindergarden scissors and they work fine. (Funny story... when I first read that you're supposed to trim the hair inbetween the pads, I thought is said between the toes. Twice I sat with Koa and carefully separated his little toes and trimmed the practically non-existant hair inbetween his little fingers. Now that took patience on both our parts! haha! Trimming the pads is much easier!)

Your vet can guide you a lot on these issues too. Good luck with your new friend! :) :D
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