A little history about my pup Moriarty. I got him at 10 weeks old, he was flown out to me from Texas when I lived in Virginia. He is a Coton de Tulear and he has been groomed every week his entire life. He has never had any issues after a grooming session. Last year, the groomer that I had been taking him to moved and I live in a small town so I had to find another, we don’t have a lot of options, but I found one. She was recommended by one of the Vet’s assistants and her salon has been grooming for almost 20 years, so I started taking my two pups to them and they seemed to do, they do, a great job on him and Annie, my other Coton. But over the holiday’s I wasn’t able to take him on his weekly visit. I had to skip a week and he got matted pretty good from the static of the dry winter air from the Heater (we are in a n ice storm).
Well I took them last week to the groomer and had to pay a little more to have his knot’s taken out and since then, he has done nothing but shake when you pet him and he’s always been rock solid when he rolls over onto his back to get a belly rub. Now he doesn’t roll all the way over, he pulls his back leg in and it shakes, a lot.
He also has a mild case of Canine Ehrlichiosis, but he has been on meds for this for almost a month and has had 3 grooming sessions without incident, so I am not sure that is the issue as it was a very, very minor infection and was caught at the first stages, though I cannot rule it out.
I called the groomer and told her about the trembling and asked her if she had had any issue with him and she said she hadn’t. She said she took her time grooming him out and did a little, stopped to let his calm and then repeated, but I am worried. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have another groomer to take him and I can’t groom him myself because of back issues. I am worried she is trying to get done fast to get to other dogs and is hurting him when she brushes his long hair out and works the tangles. My other Coton isn’t shaking, but normally when we go for a car ride she is the first one out of the car and now when I take her she jumps from the front to the back seat trying not to get taken out of the car instead of into my lap to get picked up and taken out.
Are these indicators my groomer is not a good one? Could it be just a bad session? The environment or something else? Are my dogs now mentally damaged forever for groomers? Can one bad grooming session traumatize them against it for the rest of their lives? What should I do? These are my kids I am talking about, I don’t want them hurt, but I don’t know if the groomer is the issue or not, it just started after they started visiting her.Mom2CavsMember
The problem with most groomers is that you have to leave the dogs in their care and just trust that they are taken good care of. I have a groomer for my Cavaliers and he grooms them once a month. I do brush them if needed in between times. So far, he has done a good job and I haven’t had any “odd” behaviors by my dogs. I’m always worried, though, when I drop them off…..it’s always in the back of my mind that something could happen. But unless I’m going to stay and watch them being groomed, which is impractical, then I have to trust my groomer to some extent, at least. I always explain about any matting, and exactly what I want done. Then I just have to have some trust. If it were me and I did use this groomer again I would explain what has been happening with your dogs and even ask to come back a little early or just show up a little early to see how they’re doing. There is no easy answer for this. You may have to find another groomer. Have you checked to see if there is a mobile groomer that can come to your home? That might be a better solution for you if possible. Good luck to you and I understand your feelings about this.
The first thing I would do is call your vet and make an appointment asap. Tell them what has transpied and have your vet do a thorough exam. The second thing I would do is find another groomer. Could be a reaction to meds but I suspect it was an issue with the groomer. She’s not going to admit that she rushed through the job to get to her other clients. Sounds like he may have gotten reprimanded quite forcefully for not being calm through the stressful formatting process. Whatever happened, it happened at the groomer and was bad enough that now he’s stressed and frightened. I would never bring my dogs back there again
Obviously you need to keep up with combing and dematting your dogs at home on a regular basis.
I meant to say the stressful de-matting process.
I do, he’s brushed daily, but when the static builds up, he mats, no matter what I do (only in the winter when it is very dry). Even using leave in conditioners and the like. While his hair is like soft spun silk, very wispy and fine, our females is much courser and she doesn’t mat at all. I also have a feeling it is the groomers and feel I should take them somewhere else, but there is no where else. I could get him trimmed close and not have the long hair. I think that might be my only option. That way I can take him in only once a month or so.
It’s really my only solution. As he’s been groomed his entire life, I have never experienced this in 4 years.
I’m not sure if this will help or not, but one of my dogs is a Maltese. She has very fine, soft silky wispy hair and also. She and I are constantly getting static electricity shocks in the winter even though I live in the South. There is a product that really is fantastic for removing matts but is also fabulous for dealing with static electricity. What I do instead of spraying her is spray the comb and brush that I use to comb her out. You just lightly spray periodically while your combing out. It’s called Ice on Ice by Chris Christensen. It’s also available on Amazon. Forgot to mention that it’s a leave in finishing spray. I use it daily on her and there is absolutely no build up whatsoever. My other two dogs (Yorkipoo and Maltipoo) do not have the fly away type hair (more Poodle hair than Maltese).
I use both of these, but I can try the Ice on Ice as well.
Thick N Thicker Volumizing Protein by Chris Christensen
Chris Christensen Just Divine Brushing Spray
I use those because they also help reduce the wispy and the protein I thought might help thicken the strands of his hair to help control it as well.
I also contacted a larger vet clinic at the larger town about 20 miles away and they have professional grooming that deals with dogs that have been traumatized by rush grooming sessions, I am hoping that taking them there will help them, because I don’t want my pups shaking and afraid to get petted because they think they are going to get tugged when brushed. That’s what I am worried about the most, long term affects of one bad groomer session.
Oh hey Mitchell, I’m glad you’ve reached out and have found a groomer that deals with traumatized dogs from grooming. We’ve all heard the horror stories that go on in some of the back rooms where dogs are groomed. Some people have absolutely no business being around animals, let alone grooming them. There are a lot of really good kind hearted groomers and, of course, it’s a business but some are solely out for the quantity of grooms in a day, not the quality and health of the animals they groom. They just have no compassion where dogs are concerned. I also didn’t like the comment that that groomer made to you that she waited periodically for your dog to calm down. Why would your dog, who has been groomed all his life, need calming down sessions? She was just to rough and rushed and might even have been hurting him as she was pulling mats out. Breaks my heart for your little guy to go through something like that at a groomer of all places where now he doesn’t even want to get out of the car probably fearing that you’re taking him back to the groomer. I’m sure since this was a one time thing eventually his fears will pass especially once he’s been groomed by a kind compassionate person. With the groomer you are going to try, I would suggest that when you call for the appointment and let her know what has happened to your dog, that you ask if you might speak to some of her clients that have had this happen to their dog.
Glad you’re using Chris Christensen. I love their products. Funny, I’ve tried the Thick N Thicker product for the same reason. Didn’t help at all with all Hannah’s fly away hair.
I did. i spoke to the groomer herself and she said she encounters this often. She said it takes about 4-6 sessions with h er for them to get back into the trusting stage, which I hope is the case because it breaks my heart that my dog that’s been groomed all his life is afraid of the very thing he used to love the most when he got in the car, thinking he was getting groomed (or going to any place with dog treats).
I use all Chris Christensen products, including the Gold Series brushes and combs. I also notices the protein spray didn’t help 🙂 but I figured it couldn’t hurt either.
I hope it works out, it’s no fun having so few choices, I much preferred living in Fairfax, many choices for all kinds of stuff, including groomers.
Thanks for the info and kind words, these situations are never easy and I can’t just talk to my dogs and let them know it’ll be OK.
I know it won’t be for a while, but please let me know how the new groomer works out for him. I’m glad you spoke to her and she’s given you some hope that things will eventually get back to normal. Since it was a one time thing it may not even take that many sessions before he enjoys getting groomed again and, of course, getting the treats.
I’d quit using the volumizing spray. Anything that encourages the individual strands of hair to stand apart from each other also encourages knotting.
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