Tuesday, 18 December 2007

communicating with the dog groomer

Penny went to a new salon yesterday because her usual groomer only works on Saturdays now and it's quite difficult to get an appointment. I'm used to just dropping Penny off and knowing that Michelle (the usual groomer) knows her well. (In fact, Michelle knew Penny before I did, as I bought her from the clinic where Michelle works.)

I didn't think to discuss in detail how she would be groomed and I was surprised to find that her face had been clipped more closely than I had expected. She no longer has the long fur hanging down on each side of her face. It looks quite nice, just not what I expected.

Her rear end had also been more closed shaved than Michelle usually does.

When we got home, she dropped into one of her favorite resting places, the box where we keep paper for recycling. She seemed unhappy.

Today she has been miserable all day. We went to training class but Cindy suggested we go home, as Penny wasn't enjoying it.

We were lucky to get an appointment at the vet and he checked her over. He suggested she is suffering from 'clipper rash' and said it's not necessarily a reflection on the new grooming salon, as it can develop if the dog is clipped too closely and isn't always noticeable at the time. He gave her a cortisone injection to relieve the symptoms that seemed to be driving her crazy and she is more relaxed now.

I had a look on the Net to check out this condition and found a preview of an interesting-looking book called Grooming Manual for the Dog and Cat,by Sue Dallas, Diana North and Joanne Angus. There's a big slice of the book to look at and page 33-34 says that clipper rash can occur if the blade becomes too hot or if it is dragging through the coat or is blunt. The rash can also be caused by a blade that is too fine for the dog's skin.

There's an article by a professional groomer that I found interesting, in Bartow Buzz Magazine. The writer, Lisa Drummond, says that she considers it most important that pet owners communicate successfully with groomers. She says that if a client were to phone her and say that a dog was scratching and bleeding after grooming, she would suspect clipper burning or chaffing. The feedback would allow her to take note that in future that dog needs a longer blade.

She also says that she would be able to advise the client how to deal with the problem. She would suggest using Neosporin or triple antibiotic, Vaseline or a good re-moisturizing conditioner/lotion.

However, I'd be wary of using Neosporin, as Wikipedia says it tends to exaggerate the pain of abrasions.
My vet prescribed Neotopic-H.I think it sounds better, because it has local anaesthetic properties as well as having a wide range of antibacterial activity.

I'm convinced that Lisa Drummond's discussion makes an important point. We need to talk to groomers and give them feedback so that our pets get an ever-improving standard of care.


Amber-Mae said...

Oh poor Penny! Those rashes must hurt badly. It's always stressful being at the groomer's or the vet becoz there are soo many dog there making soo much noise, we have to be kept in cages to wait for our turn & we have to stand up the whole time to be bathes, dried & groomed. The dumb loud hair drier makes everything worse too & some groomers are not that nice & will get angry if we try to move. Thank god our hoomans are always there to watch. They will never trust anyone(even if they are professionals) to handle us by themselves. Penny just needs some rest & I hope those rashes will rear off soon. She needs to go back to her older groomer that's for sure!

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer

Lizzy said...

Oh, I do hope you feel better soon, Penny!

I also don't like going to the groomers. They shave me almost completely naked! It's sooo embarrassing.


Johann The Dog said...

Wow! Never being groomed (well clipped anyway) I've never experienced this! So sad, hope Penny feels better. Mum (and our holistic vet) swears by Traumeel for any skin problems, used it on my stitches and other skin situations. Homeopathic.

BTW - we posted about foundation skills, check it out - long, but hopefully educational.

Woofs, Johann

parlance said...

Amber-Mae, I haven't been able to find any groomers here in Melbourne that will let me stay with Penny. Do all the groomers in Malaysia let owners stay, or did your mum have to look around for one like that?

parlance said...

Johann, I'll have a look on the Net to see what Traumeel is and try to find out if we have it here. Penny's not completely well even yet, so it might be good to get some.

parlance said...

Sparky, I think you look gorgeous, so those groomers must do a good job. The part where Penny is (still!) sore are the places where they actually shaved her naked - her belly and under her tail.
I think I'm going to try to do what Amber-Mae's mum does, and stay when Penny is groomed.

Amber-Mae said...

Parlance, at the groomer's, you're allowed to watch your dog through the glass window. Some of them also allow my hoomans to help out.

Love licks,
Solid Gold Dancer