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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever had to refuse to groom a certain dog becuz it was too old ... or too frail ... or for whatever reason, you just thought it would be too hard on the dog?
 

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I have stopped some grooms, and called owners to come and get their dog\cat, but aside from one really aggressive chow mix, I have never refused a groom.

For older animals, I tell the owners I will do what is most comfortable for their pet; so usually NO hand scissoring on those dogs; that's just too time consuming for old dogs that can't stand very long. With older cats, I recommend a simpler bath and brush, unless it's a pelted puddy, then you just have no choice, but I forewarn the owners that their skin is even harder to deal with, and that nicks certainly could happen during the shave off process.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You know, some times I just don't think some people realize how hard the whole grooming process can be on some dogs, like the elderly with bad joints & such.
I know the last time I had my 13 yr old australian shepherd in for grooming (my daughter is the groomer) was the last time I'll have him groomed - it was very evident after the last groom that he can no longer tolerate it.
I'm so new to the grooming business & I've seen several dogs come in that I wouldn't probably put thru it if it were my dog & I just wondered how others might handle that kind of situation with the dogs owners.
we had a standard poodle that came in here for grooming very regularly, & I can't remember how old, but I voiced my concerns to the client when he picked the dog up & he just hem hawed about it & turned around & sched another appt!! To tell the truth, I'm kind of scared to have the groomer groom him anymore - he can barely stand thru the whole groom!
 

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We only took Lady to a groomer once, when she was very young, like 3 or 4. So for the rest of her life she was groomed by us.
When she got to be around 13 it did become very clear that it was harder for her to tolerate long drawn out baths and stuff. Getting her in and out of the tub was a pain and she'd slip a lot in the tub so we decided that weather permitting, her baths would be outside on our deck. Those worked much better for us because it was easier to have someone help hold her when she got tired. In the beginning of the summer the Aussies would get a little hair cut... just a trim to tidy things up in some areas. It was very hard for her to stand up the entire time so we split the grooming up over several days (bath Friday night, brush and trim a little Saturday morning and then a little more that night, Sunday morning trim nails, finish everything else). It was still hard on her but not as hard as doing it all at once.
 

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I work at a Vet's clinic so I don't refuse eldery dogs. I do as much as I can until I see any type of stress/aches/pain or even if they are just too tired.

At my last job though, I would not groom an eldery dog if I felt uncomfortable putting him through the grooming process.
 

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There is one dog that comes in that Cindy said she was going to tell the owner she couldn't do anymore. It was an eighteen year old Cocker/Lab mix. Short/thick hair, but the owners never messed with it so it would come in disgusting. The dog had no bladder control and would urinate/defecate in the drying box and on the grooming table. It couldn't stand for any long periods of time. Simple brushing hurt it. Its next was curved/cocked to the side permanently, so restraining it without hurting it was next to impossible, and it would fight like a demon from hell if you would go to trim its nails, so it did need to be restrained.

I felt sorry for the poor guy. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think there are a couple of dogs I may just have to refuse to do, it just seems like the owners aren't going to stop scheduling them & it seriously worries me.
Granted, my daughter is not the fastest groomer. Our Sat groomer is much quicker - she's good, but it's more quantity with her, where as my daughter (the full time groomer) is more quality.
 

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I know that the groomers that work at vets hate the rest of us groomers for this, but SO many groomers, including myself, send the very elderly, frail, and very naughty dogs to the vets for grooming. I have referred many very old dogs, obese dogs, and mean dogs to vets..(and I used to work at a vets too...so I know what its like to have to do those dogs...) I tell them that it simply isn't safe for me to groom their pet anymore. They don't get a choice about rescheduling...I just give them a referral, and a have a good day. There are few old dogs that I have to send off though, if I have been grooming them for years. I talk to the owner, and we discuss a cut that is easy and fast, and that will last a long time, rather than stress the old dog with another facility, groomers, etc. (My favorite, a 7F everything on the haircut dogs, no clean feet on poodles anymore, etc.)

Cats are a different story...it is very dangerous to groom an elderly cat..heck, even a young, healthy cat can have a heart attack and die instantly, under minimal stress. I have clients with older pets sign a release form, so that they acknowledge the dangers, and if there is any sign of stress, the cat is put back in its carrier and owners called immediately. People have to understand the stresses grooming has on those old dogs and take steps to alleviate it as much as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
People have to understand the stresses grooming has on those old dogs and take steps to alleviate it as much as possible.
I agree. Some times I just think people (dogs owners) really just don't understand what a strain it is on the old dogs. Honestly, I did not realize how hard it was on George until his last groom.

As a very recent example: A woman called one day, spoke to my hubby to sched an appt for her cocker who was blind & basically deaf & could she stay with the dog while being groomed? Hubby agreed & sched appt. My duaghter, the groomer, was LIVID about it when she found out.
So the time comes, she brings her very old dog in. The woman had back surgery & was unable to brush the dog for 2 months - you can imagine the matts, right? She wanted the dog "trimmed" & the matts brushed out! THAT'S when I finally stepped in & put my foot down & told the lady sorry! I did explain that would be FAR too hard for the poor dog & she ended up agreeing. So groomer just ended up taking it real short all over.
Come to find out, the manager where she used to have the dog groomed would no longer schedule the dog.
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You know, for the past several years I've had George shaved down around Memorial Day & I plan to do that again this year, but I wont put him thru the whole thing of taking him to the shop & going thru all that - just maybe a quick shave down.
 

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Another thing I do, is if a dog has to lay down, because he can't stand, I work with that; The owners already know and understand that the dog has a hard time being groomed, so they know the groom won't be perfect like it was when he was a puppy, so I just do what I can, and keep my client as comfortable as I can. ;) With dogs who have a hard time standing, but still try, I definitely use a belly strap to help him.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You know, I'm seriously thinking our groomers may need to take a course on grooming elderly dogs.
And maybe I've got to start being a little more ... open ... or assertive with the clients regarding the well being of their elderly dogs.
I know 1 thing we have working against us is the fact that our grooming area is in the basement, down a long flight of stairs. So that is 1 strike, but all clients are aware of this. There are 2 dogs the groomer has reluctantly agreed to groom upstairs in the self wash room, but it's difficult for her as there's no grooming table in there.
 

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I know that the groomers that work at vets hate the rest of us groomers for this, but SO many groomers, including myself, send the very elderly, frail, and very naughty dogs to the vets for grooming. I have referred many very old dogs, obese dogs, and mean dogs to vets..(and I used to work at a vets too...so I know what its like to have to do those dogs...) I tell them that it simply isn't safe for me to groom their pet anymore.
Yup, we do hate you. :D LOL We get so many reject dogs, a normal day for grooming most likely will have at least one sedated groom, half of the dogs have to be muzzled, and the other half freak out when we blowdry/bathe/groom them and wiggle and nip so bad that it takes two people to groom the dog - one to hold, the other to groom. I would say 5% of the dogs we get in are actually good dogs that don't bite and hold still for the grooming process.
 

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Haha - I am the groomer for the island of misfit dogs.

But seriously - even at the vet's I can refuse service to dogs I don't feel comfortable working on. (I don't though, because the owners and I have the option of sedation) Even at Petsomething, I could refuse service if I was uncomfortable. I would never work in a place where I couldn't.
 
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