dog grooming question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Southpaw, Jul 20, 2004.

  1. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    We own a Springer Spaniel who is really a mess! She is elderly and doesn't stand still for grooming and it shows. What would be the best way to get her cleaned up. She won't stand still for us to even brush her for more than about 5 minutes, same with a bath. She was abused before we got her and I suspect that has something to do with it. She is arthritic so we want to be gentle. She is in such bad shape we would be too embarrassed to take her to a vet. I don't relish this job but it must be done and I don't care to be bitten over it either. She is a sweet dog but I'm sure she would bite if we got serious about grooming her. Thanks.
     
  2. When you say she's a mess, is she really matted up? Or just dirty & tangled?

    If she's matted & you want to clip her yourself, start slow. I've even clipped dogs that refuse to stand for a clipping. You can clip her laying down.

    Clip her to a short leash & tie it to something solid. Then give her a treat.

    If she's scared, talk to her & reassure her in a calm voice. Just clip what you can while she'll let you. It may take a day or two, but if you're gentle & reassure her as you go, she should let you get a little more done each session.

    And give treats while you do it. Lots of her favorite treats.

    Once you get the worst of it, stand back & see what else needs done. If you start at her head, work your way back. But if it's not tangled or matted, and would look ok if you left what's left, just soap her up & wash her.

    If you clip her down completely, a bath is a piece of cake!
     

  3. mamahen

    mamahen Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,998
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Location:
    US of A
    The above post was me, not logged in :eek:
     
  4. Southpaw

    Southpaw Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    249
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Thanks for the suggestions. She is heavily matted. Her ears are especially bad and I think I would do them last depending on how the first session goes. I'm a little nervous about doing anything with them. Not sure where her ears end and the matting begins :eek: I don't want to nick her right off the bat. Do you think it would help to "sedate" her in some gentle form? Not sure what I would use but I just don't want her to have an anxiety attack! :no:
     
  5. Corgitails

    Corgitails Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    960
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    if she's THAT bad, I'd suck it up and go to a groomer. Clipping her down all the is probably the best thing for her (and keeping her clipped down if she's THAT difficult to groom). It's not that hard to learn to do, but if she's hard to groom (biting/snapping, escaping), get it done by someone who has all the proper tools- including a grooming table, a grooming arm and noose, and experience dodging snappy dogs....

    Cait
     
  6. I usually start with the ears!! I had a female cocker who was the BEST dog in the whole world.

    The first time I took her to the groomer (she was about 7 or 8 months) She absolutley REFUSED to groom her!! Said she was snappy & mean. Oooook, took her to another groomer who absolutley LOVED her, had no problems what so ever! Then I decided to groom her myself.

    If you live in the country & your dog runs alot, I'd keep her trimmed down. Springers aren't as "hairy" as cockers, so after the first trim it should be easier to keep on top of it.

    As for sedating, hmmm, maybe some Benedryl, that's what my vet recommends. Or maybe call a vet & explain that she's going to be groomed & you need a sedative? I know the groomers in my area advertise "Grooming without Sedation", but being that your dog is elderly, I'd be careful with them.

    And if you're afraid about nicking her, in all my years of clipping dogs, I've NEVER nicked one!! If you know how to use clippers & are sure of yourself, it shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes when I have a big matt I need to get off, I go against the hair, (think shaving up), it'll get those matts of quickly!!

    I just shaved my aunts long haired cat. We were prepared for war, but he just layed there!!

    Mamahen (not logged in!!)
     
  7. Mudwoman

    Mudwoman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    528
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2002
    See your vet about a mild tranquilizer. We had a dalmation that got so arthritic that we couldn't even cut her toenails without her going nuts. So, we would feed her and put this mild tranquilizer in her food and later we could cut her toenails without any problems.
     
  8. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,559
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    I am a groomer. If you want to do this yourself you can get a tranquilizer pill from the vet give it to her, let her rest @ 1 hour and start. You could make a muzzle out of a nylon stocking, around her nose a couple of times tie (not too tight and then bring up the ends and tie around her neck so it won't slip off. Make sure the clippers are SHARP, can not stress that enough. Hacking away at a dog with dull blades hurts the dog and takes forever. Buzz her right off, use a #10 blade! If she has dark nails, put her in STRONG light, wet the nails and you can usually see the pink quick. Be sure to get the ears good,, trimming the hair off the ear (both on top and on the under side) will allow the air to get to her ears. Please use the muzzle, the best "friend", when scared, will bite. OR go to a groomer, if you get the tranquilizer groomer can do above also! Joan :rolleyes:
     
  9. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    Messages:
    28,248
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    SE Missouri
    Used to have a little fat fellow that had to be clipped because he didn't shed. Best investment I ever made was a clipper. I tried trimming with scissors, but nicked him a time or two. Think I cried more than he did!
     
  10. soulsurvivor

    soulsurvivor Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    12,678
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    KY
    I just want to re-emphasize the soft muzzle. It's the only way I would attempt to clip any animal. Never know when they may take offense, and it really is the kindest way for both you and your pet.
     
  11. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

    Messages:
    7,236
    Joined:
    May 9, 2004
    Location:
    Zone 8a, AZ
    Greetings from Montana! I have two english springer spaniels. Clara who is field breed and 70 pounds and Molly who is show breed and 35 pounds. Clara will just lie there and let me do what ever I want. Molly on the other hand will eat my hand off if i touch her ears tail or feet or nails! Finally ended up getting tranq from vet that totally knocked her out for an hour or two. Had to lift her off the grooming table and onto the couch when I was done! The next time the vet gave me doggy sized valium so Molly could learn while sedated. This was great, slowly over the past year we hve worked up to half hour of grooming with no meds. But alway use a nice soft muzzel too, I do and it does not hurt the dog!
     
  12. nostalgia

    nostalgia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,607
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    I think I would take her to a good groomer. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. They see this all the time. But most likely they will insist on cutting her hair close with clippers to get those mats out. They are experienced at grooming and that would probely be much easier on her with the proper equiptment and experience. After a few times of letting them do it, she may get comfortable with it and allow you to do it for her. I would never use any type of seditive except in the case of illness. There are just to many risks.

    Be sure to let your groomer know about her arthritis, abuse, and that she is uncomfortable with grooming. I would call around first and explain your situation to them, then make sure they will not use any type of seditives. A good groomer will NOT want to use any. You might ask your vet about giving her a pain medication to help ease some of her pain. She could probely take it an hour or so before grooming and it would help ease her pain. I would NOT use a sedative with pain killers for sure, and I would talk to the vet about this first. I used to think going to a groomer would cost a fortune but it is really not that expensive since you will only be using their service a few times, then you can probely take over the grooming after that. Our groomer does it all nails, ear cleaning, shampoo, condition, cut, etc. for 35.00. Your friend is worth that much isn't he, to know that he will be ok? And ours loves to be pampered by them. :)
     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    With our Shih Tzu (KILLER MAD DOG) we give him 2 mg. Valium,and after a 90 minute struggle we have a short haired killer mad dog.
    Valium, YOUR BEST FRIEND.
    BooBoo
     
  14. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,559
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Sorry, but as a groomer for 32 years (and a caring one!), I have to repeat the good points on using a mild tranquilizer on dogs that are "uncooperative" for whatever reason. I have regular customers who come every 6 weeks that I could not even touch their dog without some "help". Why subject a terrified, snapping dog to this when I can be done within an hour with a seditive. Some of the dogs I see have never been tied, feet handled etc. I am only suggesting a seditive for the worse cases. The customers can talk to their vets and get the correct doseage. I do not have them here, the customers bring them when the dog comes in. I have had dogs that I could not do because of the "panic attacks" yet next time with a little "help" they were fine, no bad experiences and no one got hurt. Out of say 50 dogs maybe only 7-8 could REALLY benefit from a little seditation. The way I see this, it is cruel Not to do this when needed...Joan :rolleyes:
     
  15. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    204
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    I agree with the sedation and groomer route. Most vets also have a groomer on staff, so if you're worried about dosage, side effects, etc, that may be your best way to go. Also, have the groomer use ShowSheen after the dog's bath. It's like an ArmorAll stuff for animals- makes the coat so slick that nothing will stick to it for at least a week or so.
     
  16. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    15,978
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Location:
    Michigan's thumb
    Have you tried Rescue Remedy. It is a Bach Flower Remedy using essential oils that are mixed specificly to soothe traumatized animals.

    I would give her a whif of Rescue Remedy, rub her ears beginning at the base. If she doesn't like this she may have an ear infection. From the base, I'd massage lightly the entire ear. Then, I'd give her a treat and let her be for an hour. An hour later, repeat the procedure, but only work the base of the ears, then stroke her shoulder with my hand, then stroke her shoulder with the brush and give her a treat before she has a chance to complain. Leave her be for an hour and start over. Very gradually, I'd desensitize her to the grooming process. As you go over her body, bit by bit, massage a little with light fingertips in little circles, bigger circles, use the brush, treat. One stroke, treat. One stroke, treat.

    You don't worry about accomplishing a grooming job, but rather getting her to accept the brush. Once she is accepting the brush you can start working on mats. Push comb under the mat so it is against the skin. With scissors, cut the mat from the edge of the mat to the comb in two, three, however many pieces you need. Once the mat is cut this way it will pull out much more easily. If you want to just lop the mat off, lop it off just above the comb. This will keep you from accidently clipping the dog.

    If you send me your snail mail, I will send you a bar of my homemade soap to bathe her with.
     
  17. Judith

    Judith Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    658
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2003
    As a groomer of 18 years (gasp that is hard to believe) I HIGHLY recommend sedation for your girl. There is absolutely no reason to scare her to death over a hair cut. Suck up your pride and take her in to a qualified groomer. There is nothing worse than the hands of the inexperienced doing this type of dog. It will be over quickly and a good groomer will be very skilled and quick! You don't want someone poking at her for a long time. just get her in and get it done. Also try to have her in when it is a slow day for the groomer, that way the shop will be quieter and she will have a more pleasant experience.
    Hope that helps
    (It is my experience that most dogs behave WAY worse for their owners than for the groomer, you might not have anything to worry about.) Also please don't got to a groomer and say "this dog was abused" It gets our backs up, 99.9 % of the time when an owner says that it simply means that the dog is lacking socialization or just plain has a less than ideal temperment. Trust me we know the difference. Most abused dogs are beyond sweet and would never bite they are sooo thankful for loving hands that they just melt at your touch.
    Judith
    CMG