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Advice Please........there is a groomer in the clinic where I work and she sometimes injures dogs she is grooming....usually cavs or bichons..this is not intentional but the injury is almost always the same ...a cut on the stifle caused by the clippers...this would require two or three sutures by the vet. Can anyone tell me what she is doing wrong?? Is she using the wrong blade? I find this very stressful as I have to deal with the client and explain and apologise. It might happen once a month.....she must be doing something wrong...anybody any ideas?
 

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I'm not sure what she's doing wrong grooming wise - but my question would be, why hasn't this issue been addressed by the management/owners/whoever is in charge? If she is constantly making the same mistake that results in injury to the animal, I would think there is someone you could alert. You don't have to be malicious in the complaint or anything like that, but it's definitely something that should at least be noted. Especially if such injuries are requiring sutures.
 

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It could be a couple things..She could be using skip tooth blades...VERY easy to cut a dog in those areas. She could be grooming alot of matted dogs..VERY easy to cut a matted dog, no matter how careful you are. She could be a inexperienced groomer, Or she could just be try to do too many dogs per day, and is rushing. Regardless, IMO, once a month is WAY too many times to be cutting a dog to the point it requires stitches, and I would also think that the owner/manager of the clinic needs to get to the bottom of it, and keep it from happening again. All us groomers know accidents happen..but they should be mistakes learned from, and not happening over and over again.
 

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In 15 years of grooming I have cut only a few dogs that required sutures; all of them were matted, and struggled through the process, especially the legs.

That this groomer is clipping that many dogs, is a bit disturbing; perhaps she needs to be monitered, to be sure she's not rushing, and that is why she is clipping them. If the dogs are matted, perhaps a helper could help hold the dog still, if he starts struggling.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks for all your suggestions.....i think it is a combination of the things you mentioned but mainly rushing....i have checked with her about the blades ...she knows about the skip toothed ones ....oddly enough she grooms a lot of matted dogs and rarely does any harm......it seems to be the breeds that are more delicate in the stifle area which suggests that she is rushing. I have told her many times to be more careful....otherwise she is a good groomer , very stylish and always on time and a hard worker. This morning I told her I would be keeping a record of any dogs that needed vet. attention after she groomed them and we would review her performance at the end of each month. hope it works !
 

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I think that is great Rio, and should help keep her head in the game...;) I thought I would mention another thing...I assume that when a dog is cut and required medical attention, that the groom is free, yes? Assuming your groomer is paid per animal, are you docking her the free groom from the injured dog? If not, I certainly would. I have never heard of a groomer getting paid for a "free" groom because they caused an injury. If she knows she will lose money on the groom, I bet she will be more careful...
 

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I agree that not paying the groomer for the free groom is important. I used to work with a groomer who would cut a dog too often. It would always be in the same place and done the same way. With a #7 and on the stifle. The owner still payed the groomer even though she didn't charge for the groom and had to pay for the vet bill.
After the third time (which needed 2 stitches) the owner said enough is enough and told her that the vet bill will be docked groomers pay cheque. If the groom could not be completed, the groomer had to do a free groom on the dog once it healed. The groomer was VERY upset but what did she expect!? I left that place a while ago because of other reasons, but I'm sure that she will be much more careful when grooming. Me personally I don't need to be afraid of a vet bill to be careful not to cut a dog, but I guess some people do.
 

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I've been grooming 10 yrs and only cut a dog once that needed sutures.. Not that it was a bad cut, it was in a bad spot. Right on the elbow, so every time the dog stepped it would open up.

It sounds to me like she's just careless. I know a groomer that constantly slices the flank. She got her wages docked finally and she eventually wised up and was more careful...


Of course there's always an excuse.. Oh,, the dog jumped on my clippers. etc..

Oh, he's so cute..

Yes. It can take some breeds 2 yrs to get their full coat in.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
you are right graco, groom is free when a dog is accidently cut....up to now she has been paid mostly because she has only been grooming for one year and is still learning.....but she would want to learn a bit faster......docking her wages is next on the list! Its such a pity because I cant fault her in any other way. I feel much better after discussing the problem with you guys ......thanks a million
 

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Oh my goodness! As a new owner of a grooming salon this is VERY scary :eek:
I guess I should knock on wood, we've had no incidents that required sutures since we took over the shop last Sept. We did have a dog that got clipper burn which then became irritated & the dog ended up having to be treated by a vet. I offered to pay the vet bill, but the owner wanted a free groom the next time instead.
I'm sure that has to be very stressful for you, having this happen so often! Luckily, the salon came with very experienced groomers, & I do NOT look forward to having to hire a new one when business picks up a little more.
 

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There is something very wrong there, to cut a dog once is bad enough, but to keep on doing the same thing ....... maybe a trip to the Opticians would help.
 

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you are right graco, groom is free when a dog is accidently cut....up to now she has been paid mostly because she has only been grooming for one year and is still learning.....but she would want to learn a bit faster......docking her wages is next on the list! Its such a pity because I cant fault her in any other way. I feel much better after discussing the problem with you guys ......thanks a million

Well, that could very well be the biggest part of the problem. She's still learning. Grooming for a year is still a HUGE newbie, and with experience comes more skill and knowledge. I assume she is grooming alone, with no other seasoned groomers, so that makes her learning slower too. Still no excuse to keep cutting dogs! I would insist she is attending at least 2 trade show/seminar weekends a year, to help further her knowledge of grooming and improve not only her safety, but the quality of her work.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
i agree with you graco......she is still very much a novice and needs a lot more experience......all the same , today she groomed seven dogs.....two of them very excitable young pups, one of them quite matted, and two miniature schnauzers who looked fantastic when she was finished! I am actively looking for some seminars which will benefit her. She works on her own and would do maybe thirty dogs a week on a four day week so I supppose she needs to work quickly........maybe we should reduce her workload ? do you think she is overworked? I am not a groomer, I am the veterinary nurse and manage the grooming .
 

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i agree with you graco......she is still very much a novice and needs a lot more experience......all the same , today she groomed seven dogs.....two of them very excitable young pups, one of them quite matted, and two miniature schnauzers who looked fantastic when she was finished! I am actively looking for some seminars which will benefit her. She works on her own and would do maybe thirty dogs a week on a four day week so I supppose she needs to work quickly........maybe we should reduce her workload ? do you think she is overworked? I am not a groomer, I am the veterinary nurse and manage the grooming .
7 dogs a day average is a normal number for most established groomers. However, some can only do 5 per day, and some can do 10..lots of variables like whether a bather is provided, how many are haircuts, or bath and brush dogs, etc. Every groomer is different and can handle the number of dogs differently. There are seminars/trade shows in the US every month, somewhere in the country. Yes, sometimes you have to travel, but its all part of it. The knowledge she will gain at them will be unsurpassed, especially because she works alone and has no one to offer support, techniques, ideas, etc. Are you in the US? If so, Groomteamusa has lists of shows for the year on their site. I would probably reduce her workload until she is going a month without cutting/nicking a dog..then increase by one dog...do that for a month, etc. until she gains more speed, and so that she isn't rushed. If that is not feasible for your business, hiring an hourly bather would add to her time to actually groom the dogs, rather than doing all the bathing too. Its also important to have up to date equipment and tools to get the most out of the time. A HV dryer, shampoo systems, etc can be huge timesavers.
 

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7 dogs a day average is a normal number for most established groomers. However, some can only do 5 per day, and some can do 10..lots of variables like whether a bather is provided, how many are haircuts, or bath and brush dogs, etc. Every groomer is different and can handle the number of dogs differently. There are seminars/trade shows in the US every month, somewhere in the country. Yes, sometimes you have to travel, but its all part of it. The knowledge she will gain at them will be unsurpassed, especially because she works alone and has no one to offer support, techniques, ideas, etc. Are you in the US? If so, Groomteamusa has lists of shows for the year on their site. I would probably reduce her workload until she is going a month without cutting/nicking a dog..then increase by one dog...do that for a month, etc. until she gains more speed, and so that she isn't rushed. If that is not feasible for your business, hiring an hourly bather would add to her time to actually groom the dogs, rather than doing all the bathing too. Its also important to have up to date equipment and tools to get the most out of the time. A HV dryer, shampoo systems, etc can be huge timesavers.
you have some very interesting suggestions ,graco, which i will take to the practice partners.....a bather is something I have been thinking about, she also dries all the dogs by hand and doesnt like using the blaster as she thinks the cold air does not give a good finish.....so its not like she isnt interested but would benefit from more training. Lots of food for thought......thank you.
 

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you have some very interesting suggestions ,graco, which i will take to the practice partners.....a bather is something I have been thinking about, she also dries all the dogs by hand and doesnt like using the blaster as she thinks the cold air does not give a good finish.....so its not like she isnt interested but would benefit from more training. Lots of food for thought......thank you.
Glad to help some. If she thinks the blaster (HV dryer) isn't giving a good finish, she isnt' using it correctly. Also, the type of HV dryer makes a big difference. My favorite (and I won't groom without it) is the K9III. It warms up, but doesn't get hot, and I dry every dog in the salon 100% with it. I don't even own a stand dryer, and if I am doing a poodle or something curly for show, I still dry 99% with the HV, then fluff with a human hair dryer. Having the right equipment, and knowing how to use it to its fullest is a must. Again, all things that can be learned in seminars at trade shows. There is SO much to learn in grooming, and you never know it all. I have been grooming 9 years now, and still learn something new every day, and especially at the trade shows. I attend 4-5 a year, and drive up to 15 hours to get to them. Well worth the time and travel. Keep us posted. :)
 

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you have some very interesting suggestions ,graco, which i will take to the practice partners.....a bather is something I have been thinking about, she also dries all the dogs by hand and doesnt like using the blaster as she thinks the cold air does not give a good finish.....so its not like she isnt interested but would benefit from more training. Lots of food for thought......thank you.
Oh my...I don't know what I would do without a high velocity dryer! The coats are straighter, so easier to clip; more dead coat is loosened, so easier to comb out, if it doesn't blow out itself; you can remove alot of matting using a high vo dryer, etc, etc...send her my way...Lol! I'll teach her how to use that hi vo dryer! The number one reason is that it is a huge huge time saver. I rarely use our cage dryers (don't have stand dryers), unless the dog\cat just can't handle the high velocity dryer.
 

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I am of the opinion that 7 dogs a day (especially with one year experience) (if they are full grooms) is too much.
But then again, I am slower than the average groomer. I would be horribly overwhelmed with 7 haircuts in one day.
If you dropped her to 4-5 full grooms a day you may see less injuries, and you may also see an execellent increase in quality. And in that case, you may be able to raise your prices a bit so as to not loose any income. Just a thought....
 

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Hurrah! I spoke to someone today who has a very large grooming business and he has offered to let her "sit in" one day a week for the next couple of months. This will definitely improve her skills and she wont feel so isolated. He has a very good reputation and will take her under his wing, he is about two hours drive away so there will be no conflict of interest. I have filled him in on the problem and he says he wont let her groom any dogs to begin with but will advise her and answer any questions she might have. Thanks to everyone for all the advice......fingers crossed that this works....otherwise ?
 

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Hurrah! I spoke to someone today who has a very large grooming business and he has offered to let her "sit in" one day a week for the next couple of months. This will definitely improve her skills and she wont feel so isolated. He has a very good reputation and will take her under his wing, he is about two hours drive away so there will be no conflict of interest. I have filled him in on the problem and he says he wont let her groom any dogs to begin with but will advise her and answer any questions she might have. Thanks to everyone for all the advice......fingers crossed that this works....otherwise ?
That is awesome! Hopefully your groomer will have an open mind, and be open to learning some new techniques, and have fun doing it! Great idea to contact another business to see if they would help out. :)
 
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