Problems with Furminator?
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Thread: Problems with Furminator?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Karnagia's Avatar
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    Problems with Furminator?

    Hey groomers
    Mika (see avatar) is a 90lb GSD. She gets groomed once monthly and the last two times I've opted to use the Furminator treatment (I get an amazing discount with my groomer so it's not as expensive). She was groomed last week. The last couple of days I've noticed she's had some scabs on her back where the hair seems to be thinner. Mostly along down her spine.

    I'm thinking this could be a result of the Furminator blade. Do any of you have any experience/insight on this? She was sprayed down with a conditioner before being brushed out but obviously that's not fool proof.

    Any ideas would be appreciated!
    It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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    Senior Member Graco22's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Furminator?

    This is the main problem with the Furminator and overuse. If used correctly, and on occasion, it can be a great tool. Unfortunately, it is easy to overuse, (try to get ALL the shedding coat out) which can cause irritation/scabbing and make the coat very thin. I use a Furminator in my salon, but I do not charge for it, its included in the prices for shedding breeds, and that way I don't feel the need to over use it trying to get clients' moneys-worth out of an add on. I use it to remove the bulk of the shedding coat and not to try to remove every shedding hair.

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    Junior Member Karnagia's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Furminator?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graco22 View Post
    This is the main problem with the Furminator and overuse. If used correctly, and on occasion, it can be a great tool. Unfortunately, it is easy to overuse, (try to get ALL the shedding coat out) which can cause irritation/scabbing and make the coat very thin. I use a Furminator in my salon, but I do not charge for it, its included in the prices for shedding breeds, and that way I don't feel the need to over use it trying to get clients' moneys-worth out of an add on. I use it to remove the bulk of the shedding coat and not to try to remove every shedding hair.
    I do wonder if she was over brushed, and am glad to hear that's a valid possibility. Her coat is SO thin and she has almost no (if any) undercoat on her back. I can tell it's bothering her. Poor girl.
    What would you recommend? I don't feel comfortable knowing that she's being brushed out by a bather who doesn't know the proper use for the Furminator. So I can switch bathers, ask for the Furminator NOT to be used, supervise the bath and brush (I work for the company), or go elsewhere.
    It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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    Senior Member FilleBelle's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Furminator?

    Don't just blame the Furminator if it's going to keep you from investigating the situation further. Could be mites or even fleas. Could be an allergy.

    I guess the real reason I say this is because I use the Furminator on Alvin (and used it on Clifford) for about 10 or 15 minutes once a week and he's never had any problems with it. It would seem like the groomer would have had to apply fierce pressure for more than fifteen minutes at a time to the dog using the comb. And if there are now scabs, then there was probably blood at one time. Surely your groomer would have noticed that the brush and/or fur was coming away bloody.

    It could absolutely be the comb. But you might want to consider a few other options, too.


    RIP Clifford, who never met a stranger

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    Senior Member Graco22's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Furminator?

    I have seen these problems numerous times, and even caused them myself in the past when the Furminator was new, and supposed to be the end all be all in shedding treatments. I would be very confident that the Furminator caused the scabs, and the thin coat. No, you won't see hair and skin coming off the tool. The scabs are small, correct, but many of them. Mostly along the dog's back, where the skin is close to the bone, and not much/any fat to cushion it. Yes, the Furminator is supposed to be used with pressure..and the more pressure you use, the more coat you get out. But more pressure also can cause damage to the skin, and pull out coat that isn't dead and shedding..causing the thin spots. I have seen groomers use the tool for WAY longer than 15 minutes...and I think thats too long. It can also cause this damage if used at too much of an angle to the skin.

    To the OP, I would recommend putting some neosporin on the spots to soothe and promote fast healing. You can call the groomer, and tell them that the dog is irritated,/hair thin and you assume its from the tool, and to mark on her card not to use it for as long, etc. If you know that it was a bather that did it, and not a groomer, you can request ONLY a groomer work on your dog. Most "bathers" (sounds like a corp. box store?) are young kids hired off the street, who have little to no training, and have no idea how to use the products and tools they are given. Thats why my bather does nothing but wash and dry. I am sure it was an accident, and unfortunately, misinformation, and little education on tools and products is very common, but shouldn't be. It could also be that your dog is just very sensitive skinned, and "normal" use caused the irritation and thinning. Regardless, if you are comfortable with this salon, then I would keep going there, just bring it to their attention, so they can be aware in the future, and request only a certain person you trust to work on your dog in the future. If they refuse to meet your requests, then go elsewhere. Your pup should be feeling better in a day or two at the most.

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    Junior Member Karnagia's Avatar
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    Re: Problems with Furminator?

    I appreciate all the help!
    It is a truism to say that the dog is largely what his master makes of him: he can be savage and dangerous, untrustworthy, cringing and fearful; or he can be faithful and loyal, courageous and the best of companions and allies.

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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