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Mutt Muffler

Let's not put those things in our ears, hey, boy?
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My dog has just come home from the vet. About a week ago we took him to the vet because he kept shaking his head. "Nothing wrong with him", they said, "Maybe a habit", they said.

It continued, not anything to be alarmed about. Last night he was back to shaking his head but doing it every few seconds, so we took him back to the vet.

Lo and behold! There was a grass seed way down inside the ear canal and it was infected. Brief operation, antibiotics, local anaesthetic, vet stay for 6 hours' observation... $850.00

Proposal: A set of gauze earplugs that fit snugly into the ears of man's best friend, to keep bad things out of the ears. A bit of training, to get used to them (maybe during the daily walks) and insects and seeds get to stay outside the dog's ears.

Poor little buggers... they can't talk, to tell you what's wrong.

UnaBubba, May 01 2012

Mutt Muffs http://www.safeands...pets.com/index.html
[DIYMatt, May 01 2012]

Aussie seeds and dogs http://www.dmvs.com.au/grassseeds.html
Corrected link [AusCan531, May 01 2012]

[link]






       Some hunters around here train their dogs to wear foam earplugs to protect against foreign bodies and waterlog, muffle gunshots, etc.   

       My father has performed numerous such extractions. He usually goes after the foreign body with his endoscope before he opts for invasive surgery. That seed must have been really jammed in there. Glad your dog's alright.   

       // Poor little buggers... they can't talk, to tell you what's wrong. //   

       That's part of the steep learning curve for vets. Some have a knack for communing with their patients.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       Muffs for your mutt? Like Mutt Muffs?
DIYMatt, May 01 2012
  

       No, not like those, [DIYMatt]. I want something that allows airflow to the ears, because I live in a hot climate. I don't need to protect the dog's ears from gunshot sounds.   

       The seed is from a grass called Rough Speargrass, (Austrostipa scabra). It's a barbed spear that "unwinds" and rotates when it's wet, allowing it to drill into the ground or flesh.
UnaBubba, May 01 2012
  

       Nasty. You Aussies sure have some downright hostile organisms in your great land.   

       In instant retrospect, maybe not so much... Just completely foreign to me. I mean, we have moose, which can be pretty damn dangerous if you don't know how to act around them. Plus bears, coyotes, and very rarely mountain lions, though nobody ever sees them. Not to mention a whole host of extreme allergen/toxic plants. I guess you guys must know how to move around your environment the same way I do mine.   

       Anyway, perhaps a modified expanding foam plug, hollowed into a tube, with soft mesh screens at each opening.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       A lot of nasty seeds down here. Check [link] for an Aussie vet's page showing the seeds and the damage they cause. Some suitable accessories for the Mutt Muffler are also shown: I like the "doggles" best although our dog has had surgery to remove the little buggers from her feet.   

       Correct link now posted
AusCan531, May 01 2012
  

       I remember stepping on Goat-head Burr (Caltrop) when I was a kid, many times. It also made short work of bicycle tyres.
UnaBubba, May 01 2012
  

       One idea about feeds, and this idea involving seeds. You didn't formerly work at the place that was called Chuck's, by any chance?
4whom, May 01 2012
  

       Reactive ear-muffs, with small tanks of hypergolics and miniature RCS clusters, that shoot a jet at incoming nasties.
Obviously, both sides of the head would fire simultaneously and in opposite directions, to eliminate head-shaking symptoms.

Object detection would be by sonar, using ultrasonics, so that Fido's owner is not disturbed by it.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 01 2012
  

       Is there _anything_ in Australia that doesn't want to impale, envenomate or poison people and animals?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 01 2012
  

       Or all of the above, in the case of the Murdochs.
AbsintheWithoutLeave, May 01 2012
  

       //Is there _anything_ in Australia that doesn't want to impale, envenomate or poison people and animals?// - Australian beer compensates for everything else in Australia with its weakness and unassertiveness.
hippo, May 01 2012
  

       To paraphrase Terry Pratchett:   

       A list of all harmless flora and fauna of Austrailia:   

       1) some of the sheep   

       end of list   

       Earplugs definitely effect a dog's hearing, but despite how good it is, dogs don't rely on their hearing as much as you'd think (with the exception of so-called 'sight hounds' such as German Shepherds and Dobermans). The nose is a dog's primary sense organ, as much as or more than the eyes are ours.   

       As I mentioned, it takes training to get a dog to wear ear plugs, but once they are accustomed to them it does not hamper them much (according to the hunters in my area who do it). For nasal protection, I'd propose some sort of screen or mesh mask that goes over the nose entirely, including the side-slits. This, too, would take training before a dog could wear it comfortably. Although specific examples may prove me wrong, I cannot imagine a dog willingly wearing nose plugs--it would be like a blindfolf.   

       Many high-quality booties are available today, including some with kevlar or 'fire hose' soles. They're popular in my locality because the entire valley is basically a 50-square- mile glacial moraine and is strew with sharp and/or abrasive stones.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       My girlfriends dog snuffed up some foxglove weed up his nose, and it was positioned sideways, making it very painful, and it too had to be extracted via Vet.   

       Not fun. Give 'em a little snout guard too!
blissmiss, May 01 2012
  

       [+] Pro bono doggo.   

       // They're popular in my locality because the entire valley is basically a 50 square- mile glacial moraine and is strewn with sharp and/or abrasive stones //   

       Or in Maine terms, "premium real estate"…
8th of 7, May 01 2012
  

       How about something akin to a beekeepers hood that protects the entire head?
normzone, May 01 2012
  

       Such things exist. I think they're mostly marketed as anti- mosquito/biting fly accessories.
Alterother, May 01 2012
  

       The dog is dumber than shit, 21, but your mesh idea is quite good.
blissmiss, May 01 2012
  

       Couldn't tell you what Australian, or any other, beer tastes like these days. I don't drink any of it, on suspicion it has all been filtered through a dog, to give it that pale yellow colour and frothy surface.
UnaBubba, May 01 2012
  

       Erghhhh, puke, gag, puke again...
blissmiss, May 01 2012
  

       Exactly.
UnaBubba, May 01 2012
  
      
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