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    Grooming: Spring Is Clean up Time  

Spring and early summer are typically the times when people bring their pets in for grooming after a long winter. Without regular grooming or brushing, the coat is probably matted and dirty. Unfortunately, these conditions make grooming much more difficult. Your groomer may not be able to give the pet the clip you prefer and in fact, may have difficulty grooming the pet at all.

Here are some things to take into consideration:

  • A tightly matted coat cannot be brushed out. It will need to be shaved off. Your groomer may call this a puppy cut, a strip or shave down. Basically, it requires shaving the coat off right down to the skin. This process may lead to skin irritation, nicks or cuts, regardless of how careful the groomer is. Excessive matting is difficult and dangerous to remove.
  • Your pet will be more likely to get sunburned if the coat is shaved, so do not leave him exposed to the sun for any length of time.
  • Ears may also be affected by a spring grooming. If the hair inside them has become impacted, the groomer may have difficulty removing it. There may also be an underlying infection. If problems develop within a day or two of grooming, the infection was most likely already there. Another problem called a hematoma may develop if the dog shakes his head a lot following ear plucking and shaving of matted ears. By shaking the head hard enough and hitting the ear flaps on the skull, blood vessels may break and cause swelling of the ear flap itself. Again, the grooming shop did not cause the problem; it is a result of grooming a matted pet. Poodles and Sheepdogs are especially prone to hematomas.
  • A shorn pet may act differently for several days following a close cut. He may shake, hide or otherwise act abnormally. He may be cold but it is more likely that he feels "naked" and different and needs a few days to adjust. It is not a physical problem and a pet usually resumes normal activities as soon as the mental adjustment is made.
  • If your pet can be dematted and you request it, be prepared for a substantial fee. It is very time-consuming and difficult work. It can be uncomfortable for both the pet and the groomer. Dematting can leave behind irritated skin and an uneven coat that may need additional grooming to even it out.
  • While a spring grooming is better than no grooming, consider regular grooming appointments throughout the year to avoid these problems.

This article is provided as a general overview of the topic. Always consult your veterinarian for specific information related to diseases or medical care for pets.

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