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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I have a 6 year old Samoyed, Yoli, who had an unfortunate meeting with a porcupine. The porcupine won. Consequently Yoli had to have surgery all around his head and neck to removed deeply embeded quills which were moving around and causing all sorts of damage.

So now his entire head and neck are shaved but the rest of him is still his usual incredibly thick dense (even for a sammy) coat. He doesn't care how he looks (he's very happy to have the quills out) so there's no issues with his dignity but we've gotten tired of answering questions. We've talked about shaving the rest of him, which our vet recommends, so he doesn't look quite so strange but I know that shaving a Sam is not recommended. His coat really is insanely thick. It took the vet tech an hour just to do his head.

Any thoughts from people who know about such things? He's our eighth Sam so we are well versed in Sam care etc but this is a new issue for us. We've shaved a couple before for different reasons. One had no problems regrowing his fur and one had major problems (but an inexperienced groomer stripped his coat first so I don't know which caused the problem).

Could we clip him but leave it somewhat long? Or if we do shave him down, would daily grooming keep the undercoat thinned out so his top coat would grow unimpeded?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Hehe, snrk. Sorry, but that looks so funny! I think you can clip him without ruining his coat, as long as you don't shave it to the skin. Maybe an inch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You are not the first to laugh. We were in hysterics when the vet tech brought him out. The woman behind me said, "What is THAT?"
 

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I'm dying.

I think I'd probably clip him down, just so he doesn't look so ridiculous (not a groomer), but to be honest, I don't think the questions are going to stop for a while.

Poor guy!
 

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OMG *almost dies chocking on coffee* I think I would trim it short so that it doesn't look so dramatic and wait for it all to grow out together. Though you do have to worry about sunburns and the like
 

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not sure how much a difference it makes.. I had a mix sammy and I shaved with clippers on the hottest years to an inch and he would grow back the exact same full coat and by winter.. never did any stripping.
 

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Some dogs get depressed after getting a shave down. I stripped and shaved down a poodle mix few weeks back and he got really depressed, I also shaved down a schnauzer and she's really ashamed. Of course I don't know how your dog will take it, but I recommend clipping, not a complete shave down. It's summer also and the dog is more likely to overheat if it gets a shave down, the coat protects it from the sun and heat.
 

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Oh goodness, poor little guy! I'm glad he is recovering medical wise! I showed the picture to my husband and the first thing he says, "It looks like he's wearing a mascot suit!" hahaha. I agree, maybe clip him just a tad, give him a good bath and brushing and pretty him up a bit.
 

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It's not a good idea to shave down a double-coated dog. I've copied and pasted a great article from the dogchannel.com that discusses this subject. I would consider taking him to a groomer for a good brush out and bath to get rid of all that old undercoat hair. That will thin it down a little and will help his look. As fast as they grow he'll look fine in no time. Try not to worry!
http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-information/dog-groomer-salzberg/dog-shaving-debate.aspx
The Great Shave Debate
Shaving a dog down saves times but could lead to irreparable coat damage.

By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG

Q. I just cringe when I see beautiful double-coated dogs shaved down. I've heard many grooming shops defend this practice saying it’s good for the dog and it saves time. I've also read about sunburn, coat, and skin problems that can occur when shaving the coat down to the skin. As a novice groomer, I ended up leaving a job because I was criticized for not shaving the dogs completely bald. Do you ever think there will be a time in the grooming industry when people might talk about these types of shaving issues?

A. I applaud you for wanting to find out if this practice is harmful. The short answer is it depends on the dog. In my shop, we never shave a Northern breed such as the Husky, Samoyed, Norwegian Elkhound or Keeshond down close to the skin – or a Labrador Retriever or German Shepherd Dog either – because their double coats can be irreparably damaged in the process.

Brushing out the undercoat, and some trimming and shaping is fine, but cutting the hair to the point where you end up with a bald dog may permanently damage the hair follicles. The dog may end up with a moth-eaten appearance – bald spots here and bits of fluff there – for the rest of his life instead of the beautiful coat Mother Nature provided for its protection. Unfortunately, as a novice groomer, I did shave a Samoyed down at the insistence of his owner and I saw the results firsthand. I learned this lesson the hard way.

On the other hand, many dogs can be clipped short with no ill, but I still don’t think shaving them right down to the skin is a good option unless they are so matted that there is no alternative.

Neither is it necessary to shave dogs down in the summer to keep them cool. A well-brushed coat has “loft,” allowing air to circulate within it and cool the pet while offering natural protection against the elements.

I am glad you are dedicated to the health and well-being of the dogs you work with. Good luck in your grooming career.

Kathy Salzberg, NCMG, is a Certified Master Groomer and writer who has been grooming pets since 1976. With her daughter Missi, she owns The Village Groomer in Walpole, Mass. She has also written extensively on pet care for several consumer magazines and authored three books on dogs and careers with pets. Kathy lives with her pets on Cape Cod.
 

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No offence. but he loosk very ungroomed. looks like he has a ton of stuck undercoat in him. which would make him seem so thick. if it took a vet a hour (I cant understand why) to shave a head and neck then he must have a ton of matting. if possible take him to a groomer and have them do a proper brush and bath to get all that undercoat out

All shaving is going to do is mess with proper growth of his coat. leave it to the pros to get out the undercoat. He is a dog who cares what his head looks like right now, let his hair grow back in that area. it wont take that long as thats all shorter coat
 

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Oh your poor guy, the porcy did a number on him eh? Are those drainage tubes in him too?

If he's comfortable (ie: the difference in head and body covering aren't brothering him) and the constant staring/pointing/coming over to him isn't getting to him, I would just leave it as opposed to making him go through something else.

You guys though, might need some ear plugs to ignore all the people asking questions. You could always make up some crazy story like he saved a kitten from a pail of liquid and had just given him medication which made his body react....or he fought off a lion protecting a child lol....
 

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Honestly, that's probably not just "thickness", but matting. If he's "so thick" like that, it'll take a groomer a couple hours to demat all that fur... I would shop around and try to find a groomer that's been in your area a fairly decent amount of time; b/c a lot of groomers would take one look at that dog and shave it (w/ or w/out your permission), most people wouldn't spend the time and the effort dematting a thick, matted undercoat, not to mention put a dog through that lengthy process. Be forewarned, finding a groomer to do that job will probably come w/ a hefty fee.
 

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I personally would take him to a groomer to have him clipped shorter so it doesn't look quite so drastic. Dogs can get really sensitive about people laughing at them. When we would take my husband's childhood dog in for grooming we usually asked them to go pretty short, and when he came out we told everyone NOT to laugh at him. If we laughed he would hide under the bed and growl when we tried to get him. We had to act like he looked his best after being groomed.
 

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that is CRAZY looking wowers.

this is what I would do. Make a appointment at the groomer...make sure it is one that will not shave the dog however if it is really matted it could be abusive to the dog to make it endure the dematting process. He looks more like his undercoat has not been brushed out maybe with some mats under the belly and arms. See what the groomer can do that is not going to physically harm your dog. IF they can get him brushed out and trim up the feathering and get him evened out on his body...I would honestly put a Cone E-Collar on him and hide that whole area....till he grows back a little...and it would also keep him from itching. but even without the head issue your dog NEEDS to see a groomer ASAP! Those double coated breeds are miserable when their coats get in that condition...all the undercoat should be blowing by now during the summer and he should have nice smooth hair..

like



I couldnt find one with a samoyed but this is the idea I had



better option then shaving
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone. FYI, Yoli is NOT embarrassed at all and couldn't have cared less when we laughed at him, he was just happy to see us! We haven't done anything yet... the inertia of indecision,,, but I'm leaning toward a 1" clip if for no other reason than to make it easier to get his undercoat out. It's starting to blow!!!
 

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That's good he's not embarrassed. My friend's sister has a dog that if you laugh and point she will growl, try to grab you and then go sulk.
 

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Wow I had no idea thats what Sammies look like under all that fur.... I would just hang a sign on him that says "recovering from a medical condition" and wait for it to grow back out (I think getting him groomed and brushed is grt advice)...
 

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I agree he is in dire need of professional grooming, whether clipped down or not. The vet shaved with a surgical blade, bald, and nothing short of,doing that all over the dog will even it out or even make it less obvious. I DO NOT recommend that. Even clipping down to,an inch, is still going to look funny, and terribly obvious. The dogs coat looks to be in bad need of a proper grooming. Its packed and matted down, a sign of matts close to the skin. Does not look like a healthy coat like the photo Fade posted. As a groomer, if you brought that dog to me to groom, there is no way I would spend 4+ hours bathing and combing him out, and then cutting it down. Another couple hours. That all has to be combed thru before it can be clipped down. Expect to pay a good amount. I would charge at least $200.
 

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If he was to be brought to me as a grooming client, I would end up breaking down his grooming into quite a few hour long sessions to work on dematting him piece by piece so as not to overwhelm him with the excessive pulling and tugging that would have to happen to remove all of the undercoat. I agree that even at a 1" cut he would still look funny but it might make it more manageable for you to take care of his existing coat while his head and neck return to full strength so to speak. If you decide to take him to a groomer--expect lots of time and money before he looks to be in good working order again.
 

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Thanks everyone. FYI, Yoli is NOT embarrassed at all and couldn't have cared less when we laughed at him, he was just happy to see us! We haven't done anything yet... the inertia of indecision,,, but I'm leaning toward a 1" clip if for no other reason than to make it easier to get his undercoat out. It's starting to blow!!!
a 1 inch clip is alot more work then just getting the coat out. to shave a dog at a 1 inch comb, you still need to get out all the undercoat. please take him to a groomer, he needs a dire grooming. I doubt he has been brushed in a long time by looking at his coat.
 
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