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I have a small Toy Maltese who has really bad knots only on her belly area. I was thinking it's maybe it's caused by her running through the grass and it causing her hair to get tangled..but not sure..

anyway..anytime i try and comb out these knots she cried out really loud. I guess that area is really sensative. anyone have any tips for combing them out without her squeeling and moving around.
 

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It sounds as if they are pretty bad.. I would either cut her hair down short to get the mats out and start fresh or buy a mat comb to cut them out. If you trim her hair, make sure that you start brushing her out every couple of days to keep her hair tangle free.. Get a good comb, and brush all the way from the skin to the tip. If your not sure how you could take her in to a groomer and have them show you how.

And the mat comb:

It's sharp as a razor on one side, and flat and dull on the other.. You put the dull end against your dogs skin, and pull the razor end up through the mat.. It will cut the mat out of the coat, so you won't have to shave her hair off... But then make sure you keep her brushed out so you don't have to keep doing it.. it's pretty uncomfortable for a dog to be matted.
 

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If she is matted than the best thing would be to have her professionally groomed. Are you showing her? A full coat on a Maltese requires daily brushing. And most people that show keep the coat wrapped. I keep "Squeak" in a "puppy cut". She is brushed at least once a day and bathed once a week. I always brush her before her bath, then condition her and comb her out. Make sure that you rinse well and use a hypo-allergenic shampoo. I use this http://www.senproco.com/bark2basics/desc-sh-sensi-skin.html
and the conditioner I use is this:http://www.amazon.com/Coat-Handler-...7WJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1248476762&sr=8-1
I would not use a dematting comb as a maltese's hair is very fragile and will just break. I always use a detangler when I brush for the same reason. Here is my little "Squeak" after she was groomed


 

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Squeak is adorable!

As everyone else stated - you have a dog that requires regular grooming. You will never have mats if you do. It's too painful for the dog to allow mats to form. They end up pulling the skin together and depending how long they have to develop can cause skin problems. Regular grooming can be very enjoyable for both you and your pup instead of torture. Good luck.:)
 

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Since the knots are on the stomach would it be possible to do a 'tunnel' where just the belly is very short? That is done on some long haired dogs like shelties I believe. Then the dog can look like a show coat but the moving legs won't cause matting.
 

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Since the knots are on the stomach would it be possible to do a 'tunnel' where just the belly is very short? That is done on some long haired dogs like shelties I believe. Then the dog can look like a show coat but the moving legs won't cause matting.
Yes, you can do a belly shave, from armpits to groin. However, if the coat on the sides does not hang at least an inch past the belly, its going to be very obvious. Maltese coats are one of the most difficult to keep up with. They matt easily, and require VERY regular and thorough combing sessions. Their coats also break and become damaged easily, causing matting even faster. IMO, they are the hardest coats for owners to maintain at home. And when they matt, they aren't the kind that can be broken up easily..its right to the skin, and tight. :(
 

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Alright, I am not a dog groomer but I have taken manes on horses that were so knotted up they were like a solid chunk with burs and what not in them, and gotten them all combed out nice. I used a product called "Cowboy Magic" you can get it in the farm supply or horse supply store. It works great, smells great and leaves the hair so soft and silky. Might be worth a shot. :)
 

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Alright, I am not a dog groomer but I have taken manes on horses that were so knotted up they were like a solid chunk with burs and what not in them, and gotten them all combed out nice. I used a product called "Cowboy Magic" you can get it in the farm supply or horse supply store. It works great, smells great and leaves the hair so soft and silky. Might be worth a shot. :)
Cowboy Magic (and Showsheen) help to loosen tangles/knots because of the silicone in them. However, horse mane hair, and maltese hair are TOTALLY different. Horse manes/tails are fairly easy to "demat" as they are coarse hairs. I am sure you have seen the breakage and damage to the manes after getting the knots out though. Maltese (and most other dropcoated breeds of dogs) have very soft, cottony fine hair..When the matts are so tight to the sensitive belly skin, its just inhumane to try to yank that out...:( While I use Showsheen almost daily in my salon, I only use it on short coated breeds to shine em up. Silicone coats the hair shaft and causes breakage/more matting on long coats.
 

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The OP stated that the dog cries when she tries to brush out these knots. I am guessing we are past the point of just "tangles"

Be humane, shave the belly. It is hair and it will grow back. No need to make the dog suffer so she can have pretty belly hair. Next time be sure to comb out the belly or keep it short since you know it is a problem area.

No biggie.
 

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I think a trip to a professional is what you'll need to do. Have the groomer show you the type of pin brush to use, as most I've seen in retail stores have the round balls on the ends, which actually damage the hair, which creates matting.

Never use a dematter - they, too damage coat, and make things worse.
 

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Owners of dogs who are now matted need to go to a groomer and then start a grooming routine. It is cruel not to groom knowing they own a dog that requires this maintenance. It is part of caring for your companion.:)
 
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