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Has your pet suffered improper groomming?

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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Groomer Injures Pup!!

I am sharing this because I really want to know if anyone else has experienced this, know someone who experienced this, or can offer any information regarding this kind of scenario. I have NEVER in my life experienced this horrific event until now and I want to hear your responses.

I have been with the same groomer for several years. I have two dogs that have done okay with this groomer. Once in a while they would clip too close, but nothing critical. Then, I got a new puppy. The first time I took the puppy to the groomer I told them that he had fear issues (he is a puppy mill rescue) and to be careful with him. When I came to pick him up I asked them how he did and the groomer said he did just fine. I was relieved.

Then, on the next visit I dropped off my two older dogs (Shi-Tzu) and my new puppy (11 mos. 10 lb. Lhasa Apso) I had no idea that there would be any problem. When I wash him and dry him with my blow dryer he does just fine so it makes it hard to totally believe the story the groomer had to tell me when my dog was returned to me injured.

It was the eve of Passover and I was getting ready for family to arrive to my home. My husband went to pick up the dogs from the groomer. When I was getting dressed I heard a small little whimper outside my bedroom door. That was a shock because my pup usually barks to let me know he is at the door and wants in. There my puppy sat and I picked him up, happy that he was home. I put him on my dresser to examine the grooming job. I was SHOCKED when I looked into my puppy's eyes and saw one of his eyes swollen with blood. I freaked! He also had red pop marks on the side of his head in his ear and on his temple. We took him to the vet immediately.

The groomer told my husband (who was not feeling well at the time and in a hurry) that it was no big deal and that the dog was scared of the blow dryer and freaked himself out. They explained that there was no need to take him to the vet and that this type of thing has happened before to other dogs in their care. They explained that sometimes dogs get "stressed out" and it causes this bloody eye.

Well, we went to the vet anyway. Our vet explained that the dog suffered a trauma and was either strangled or hit with a blunt object and that stress alone would not cause this injury. We were given some eye medication and were informed that the eye would heal in time. Thankfully, the injury did not affect his eyesight.

I was angry, appalled, and deeply saddened by this experience. My puppy went into emotional regression and stress breathing the rest of the day. A couple days later his fear aggression (from being traumatized at a puppy mill rescue) worsened. It seemed like we took several steps backwards in his rehabilitation. Very discouraging. I failed to protect him from yet another trauma and this made me cry!

The following day I went to the groomer's place of business and asked them to tell me exactly what happened as well as get my money back and the vet bill paid for. I also wanted to tell them that it was entirely unacceptable for them not to call my husband or I the moment the "accident" happened. I also think it is entirely unacceptable for my puppy to have been injured. They were VERY defensive and refused to give us our money back or pay the vet bill. It took many words before the owner finally gave in and gave us our money back and paid the vet bill. The groomer said "sorry" as we walked out the door, but I really didn't see empathy, compassion, or sorrow.

I was amazed that the groomer tried to place the blame on the little dog- that did not fly with me. What is wrong with people?! I assured them that my dog was hurt while he was in their care and that they are responsible! They insisted that they didn't do anything to hurt our dog and that he just freaked out when the dryer was turned on. The only other details they gave me was that he wouldn't stop screaming and relieved himself (poop and pee) and when he was released from the harness table he ran and hid. I was horrified and told them that what they described showed that he was in total distress. If extreme distress is prolonged it can kill a dog. I told them that if he was injured on the table that he was not tended to quick enough. I also suggested that they need a better policy about how to handle new puppies and emergencies. Since they offered no other information I don't know for sure what happened. I don't understand how this could have happened.

OMG! I am beside myself here. The more I think about it I can't understand why they wouldn't try to acclimate ANY new puppy client before exposing him to a loud dryer or any new or different grooming procedure? This is in my opinion total incompetence! What do you think? Was my puppy too young to go to the groomer? Even if he was too young, I never would have thought he would be injured!

Now, I wonder how shall I select a new groomer and with what criteria? What questions should I ask and what should I look for? I also think I will groom my own puppy from now on. I am regressing myself... I really don't EVER want to go to a groomer again! :( :mad: :eek: :confused:

Thanks for any encouragement or information you can offer.
 

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Oh my gosh.. I'm sorry for your terrible experience! Your poor puppy! I have a Lhasa Apso as well, but she's never been to the groomer. When we got her I bought a nice pair of Andis AGC clippers and a few other things and just groom her at home myself. You might want to consider it if you can't find another groomer you trust. It's not as difficult as it seems (though I'm not very good at it yet) and it would give you a chance to make grooming a good experience for him. It's also nice to be able to make them look exactly how you want, and you can groom them more often because you won't have to be paying to get it done every time.
 

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I have no information to add- but just words of encouragement and support...

You have chosen to do the right thing! You have no idea how many people I've talked to that express concerns that something is amiss when they leave their dog with certain folks... Well- DUH! If you have a feeling something is "amiss", then get your dog outta there! Hitting your dog with a blunt object, or strangling the poor thing? That is despicable, and shameful.

You're lucky you got your little guy out in time, and try not to be so hard on yourself- Unfortunately these things happen; People tell you to have faith in others, but then when you do and something bad happens those same people say you shouldn't have trusted them so easily... I dunno.

If I were you, I'd spread the word as much as you can, more or less like a word of caution to others that you may know. Picketing and boycotting outside the groomers sounds superb to me, but of-course not very logical.

I hope your pup heals soon!
 

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I'm sorry this happened. I would be out for that groomers job. Accidents do happen, but there is NO excuse not to immediately call the owner and comp not only the groom but veterinary care. Even in the crappy pet store salon I worked at the rules were if you injured a dog, or a dog injured itself, you called a manager immediately and they whisked the dog away to the vet while you called the owner and explained what happened. This was protocol for even the tiniest brush burn or nick and even if they didn't need the vet.
 

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That's very sad about your dog. As a groomer I WOULD have told you to go to the vet. But also as a groomer, I can see how a dog can hurt itself out of panic.
He could have panicked when he heard the drier and started thrashing his head and body around to get away, but since he was probably in a restraining loop (which is better than jumping off the table) he would have been unable to flee. I can see how a dog can bang it's head on the grooming arm (the part that holds the restraining loop) and the groomer wouldn't know because the drier is very loud (and scary sounding to some dogs) Sometimes a dog that is scared will immediately panic when a strange noise is turned on without warning, and do a full body freakout it may last only a split second, not enough time for the groomer to stop the drier or dog before he hurts himself. Groomers need three arms sometimes, two on the dog one for the tools.

It's a tough job working with dogs that are nervous, and it takes a patient person to work with them. Especially when scary tools are use. It's not like working on a car or something not living.

By the sounds of it though, I would find a new groomer. I don't think the one you are going to sounds very empathetic. If it were me I would have been on the phone with you the moment it happened.

Don't take this as all groomers being like this. They're not. Next time you go to a groomer tell them everything your dog is afraid of. They may not be able to do a full groom because he is too nervous but that is better then scaring him. Also ask if he can come on a slow day so that they can take it slow with him. When you meet the groomer talk to the actual person doing the grooming, and let them meet the dog and take the time to talk to you. You might want to go on a day you don't have an appointment but just want to see the place and the groomer (call first though, groomers are very busy people who sometimes don't even take a lunch break). Also ask if you can watch another dog being groomed sometime just for a few minutes. That way you see a how the groomer works with dogs. Watching your own dog being groomed though will only make your dog more nervous and make it harder for the groomer to do her job. A good groomer will not get offended if you ask a lot of questions and ask to see the place. The more you want to be involved the more a good groomer will appreciate it.

I hope this helps and I hope your new groomer will be nice and give you a positive experience.
 

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What a horrible experience! I generally like to stay there for the first visit to see how my dog interacts with a groomer before I'm comfotable with dropping them off. The only horrible experience I've had was with my samoyed which IMO was due to inexperience groomer with sammies. She was convinced the breed had natural gray spots and kept him under the dryer for 3 hours! I prefer to have him dry naturally.... so I insist brushing before washing. (The gray spots were charcoal stains, he was lying down on an opened bag of scattered charcoal)

I hope you find a more professional groomer. I know my Ilya (husky) can be difficult so I don't leave him with just any groomer. I really like the one at my vet's office because if things get a little "hairy" I know the groomer can get professional assistance on staff.
 

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deege39. You must be careful before you run around telling people how bad a groomer is or boycotting. There is a thing called slander. And I know you could end up being sued royally for doing it. Before you complain about someone make sure you have the knowledge firsthand to back it up. And also unfortunately the owner was not there at the time of groom. So we dont know exactly what happened. As a groomer of 35 years I would say the puppy freaked out when the dryer was turned on. Choking himself on the noose. The groomer was too slow in coming to the pups aid and probably kept trying to dry him while he was panicking. A lot of inexperienced groomers behave in this manner as all they want to do is get the dog groomed and collect their paycheck. This pup should not have had a force dryer on him in the first place. Kennel dry only with the soft quiet air force that comes from a kennel dryer. It allows the pup to dry with no fear. Most fall asleep and take a nap while waiting to be finished grooming. My advice is to find a groomer with many many many years of experience. And stay with him on first couple of grooms. He will enjoy mommy being with him. and then will be brave enough in no time to handle it on his own. good luck
 

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KYASHI: I said picketing and boycotting sounds great but isn't logical, I guess you didn't catch that.

::EDIT:: I'd also like to ad that you can "caution" others without making it sound like slander; And personally I would, I would warn others that the grooming salon either has negligent people working there or they're inexperienced- Either way, they allowed the puppy to get injured and refused to inform her or offer a response...

How is warning people of a grooming salon any different then telling people not to go to BYB or buy pets from pet stores because of puppymills? I look at them both like a word of caution.
 

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I can't vouch for the truth to this story, as I heard it third-hand (does that exist?), but it's a doozy of a cautionary tale either way. My mother told me that a friend of hers took her floppy-eared dog to a groomer and left him there for his appointment while she went home. When she brought him home a while later, he was very lethargic. She figured he was just worn out from his new experience so she let him be, for the most part. The next day, he had peed and pooped all over himself and ended up getting it in his fur. She wanted to give him a bath before taking him to the vet. His ear fell off in the tub! :eek: It turns out that the groomer had accidentally snipped his ear off, but instead of taking him to the vet or even calling the owner, just super-glued it back on.

Again, I can't vouch for the truth to this story, but it was enough to make my mother be very wary about where she takes her dog. She'll only take her to the pet store groomer where they let you see your dog at all times -- during the waiting, washing, drying, cutting. It's an inconvenience for her busy schedule, but she's too afraid to not make the time.

EDIT: I'd like to add, regarding slander, that it can be a thin line. I am in no way an expert on the law, but as far as I know, as long as the OP doesn't attack the groomer's company or an individual with false or malicious accusations, there's no reason they can't let their voice be heard. It's the difference between saying "This groomer is horrible and hurt my dog without regard!" and "My dog was injured while being groomed here and no steps were taken by the groomer to ensure my dog's health and well-being."
 

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What a horrific thing! I am so sorry that you and your pup had to go through all of this.

If I were you I would get the word out to anyone who will listen not to bring their dogs to that groomer.
 

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hello. :)I work in the grooming dept. at a vet clinic.

Your puppy was definately not too young to go to the groomers. In fact we prefer to see clients puppies rather early. The sooner they get used to the tub and table the easier it is for them. It should be a part of their socialization as puppies.

We never HV dry a new puppy or first groom dog. A hand held high velocity dryer is wonderful. You get a very smooth coat when drying and it takes out the old undercoat very easily. You can even get some matting out that would have had to been brushed or combed out by hand. It makes it much easier on the dog that way.

Just like cage dryers, there are safety factors with a HV. You must be very careful around the head. They are noisy. It takes some acclimation to the process. Many dogs actually find it very enjoyable. My golden loves it. For him it's like an air massage. Most HV dryers have two settings, low and high. Many dogs I finish in the kennel dryer, especailly for faces or very small dogs.

When we feel a puppy has been groomed enough times to meet the dryer we try the low setting. The very first times grooming the puppy will hang out in the room and just see and hear it used on other dogs. First HV dry we dry as long as the puppy will go. Sometimes it's very brief and sometimes they'll let you dry them completey.

It sounds like your dog may have had an a-typical seizure. Some dogs just cannot tolerate the HV dryer. An a-typical seizure will result in a 'freak out' and uncontrollable pooping and peeing. The dog may seem disoriented afterward. It happens rather rarely. We have only a few dogs out of all our clients that have this issue. Unfortunately dogs don't come labeled as to whether they have this issue. So they just didn't know.

However, they should have informed you the minute it happened. They should not have proceeded with the groom until the dog was checked by a vet. Your dog likely sustained head trauma during the seizure. A 'freak out' during one these episodes can be very scary, come on quickly and they may not have even noticed he hit his head. If it had happened at our clinic he would have been moved to the surgery room cages where he'd be observed before we then called you. Any treatment need would be covered by us. Of course we would have been very slowly working up to the HV so may have seen a warning that it wouldn't be a good idea too.

You need to let any future groomers know about this drying issue. They'll either need to dry him with a low velocity human speed hand dryer or kennel dry him. We have non-heating element kennel dryers for dogs that don't like the HV. They are the kind with three hoses that hang onto the cage doors. They also have a low and high setting. I don't like the heating element cage dryers.
 

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I am so sorry you had a bad experience with your groomer. I am glad your puppy recovered and hope you find a groomer you can trust.

I would ask for many references, ask what they do for puppies and how they ease puppies into being groomed especially with rescues and dogs that are already uneasy around strangers.

When i'm doing a puppy if they refuse and are not going to allow me to groom them without injury to myself or the dog then I just don't do it. It's not worth me getting bit or the dog getting injured. Sometimes owners are upset but usually they understand that i'm just not wanting to hurt a dog.

There are good and reliable groomers out there and I hope you find one!
 
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