About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Vet Vent

I am sorry, I can't help it.
I have to vent a little about some things that Vets have been doing lately.

First, a few weeks ago I have a Self-Serve customer come in with her 11 year old Lab.
After she finished bathing her dog I went back to the Self-Serve to clip her dogs nails.
As I approached the owner and her dog, the owner had a concerned look on her face.

"Are you sure you can do his nails?" she asked me.
"Why, does he not like to have his nails clipped?" I asked her.
"Oh no, he is very good about it, but I was at the Vets yesterday and she told me that any dog over 10 years old should not have their nails clipped." the owner informed me.


I really hope that I didn't stand there with my mouth hanging open...I don't think that I did.

Now, I am usually very, very good about not talking against any Vet, but this time I did not hesitate.
I told the customer that that was the silliest thing that I had ever heard.
I told her that older dogs, more than any other, needed their nails clipped often.
This Labs nails were already starting to bend sideways.
Really, how can a Vet look at that and let the dog walk out of their office without clipping the nails.
I clipped the Labs nails and he was great about it.

Second: Today, I had a regular customer call to cancel her two dogs for tomorrow.
Because, her Vet quarantined her dogs for 6 weeks because they have fleas.

You read that right.
Because of fleas!

Her Vet told her that Frontline no longer works...I agree with that.
She told my customer that she was going to put the dogs on Revolution every two weeks, for 6 weeks.
She told her not to worry about bombing her house.
She also told her not to take her dogs to the groomer, because they would give my shop fleas.

Now, has something changed in the last few years that I don't know about?
I thought for sure that one of my jobs was to help pet owners get rid of fleas.
Believe me, I am not crazy about a dog coming in with fleas, but if an owner gives me a heads-up about them I can be prepared and take evasive action.

I had my husband call the customer back and tell her that I didn't agree with the Vet, and that I had no problem helping her with her flea problem.
He told her that she needed to get the dogs out of the house and bomb, vacuum and clean the house before she brought them back after grooming and then proceed with the Revolution.
Now I am wondering if her Vet told her that Revolution is also for heartworm, and are her dogs already taking a heartworm preventative?

Third: A couple of weeks ago my husband came into the grooming room and told me that he had someone on the phone with a Yorkie that was a year old and had never been groomed.
He also said the the dog was not socialized and would probably bite.
The man on the phone said that his Vet told him to tranquilize the dog before bring him to a groomer.
My husband wanted to know if I would groom the dog.

Yes, I will always try.
No, not if he is tranquilized.
I refuse to groom tranquilized dogs.
I don't care how mean they are.

I did that during my second year of grooming.
Only the Vet/Kennel that I worked at didn't give a mild tranquilizer, they knocked the dogs out entirely.

If I wanted to groom dogs that lay on my table like they were dead, I would have become a Taxidermist.


That dog came in today at noon.

About 11:35 I heard the door bell ring.
Next, it sounded like a large Shepard had come in for the Self-Serve.
We have a few loud Shepard's that come in for the Self-Serve and bark and bark and bark the entire time their owners give them a bath. 

I am afraid that I can't help but chuckle when those owners come in with their dogs.
My sarcastic side wants to go out into the Self-Serve and ask them if they are having fun playing with their dogs. ;)

Anyway, the noisy dog was not one of the Shepard's, it was the Yorkie.
Yes, that guy has the bark of a Shepard.

My husband came back and told me that the Yorkie was here.
The dog was still barking.
"That is the Yorkie making all of that noise," I asked my husband.
"Yep, that's him," he said. "He looks like he wants to eat somebody."

Oh, did I mention that on top of the fact that this dog is a year old and never been groomed....he is also a fully in-tacked male.


So, I walked out of the grooming room door, and the dog charged the gate at me.

"Hi, Romeo!, How are you doing buddy?, Where did Daddy bring you?" I said in my sweetest, soothing voice, as I opened the gate and walked towards the Shepard in a Yorkie mixes body.
I always ignore the owner and greet the dog first, before I start talking to the owner.

I took the leash from the owner, while holding the dog that was so desperately trying to get at me, away from me.
I turned the dogs head away from me and reached down to pick him up.
Boy,he was tense.
He was defiantly not sure about me.

I continued to talk to him like he was my best little buddy.
I got him into my counter and turned him to face me.
I started rubbing his face and telling him that everything was going to be okay.
I could feel him relaxing.
I started talking to the owner while still rubbing his dog.
By the time I finished talking to the owner, Romeo wiggling his stub and kissing my hands.

I could tell that he was still a little tense when I carried him back to my table.

I had told the owner that I would have to move slowly and groom at a pace that would help this dog accept the grooming.

This guy was all over the place.

There was no taking your hands off of him.

I put him on my table and started rubbing him all over.

I rubbed his ears.

I picked up his feet and rubbed them.

I didn't stop rubbing an area until he settled down and didn't mind me rubbing anymore.

Is it just me or doesn't he look a little like the dog on my Self-Serve business cards and reminder cards?

He didn't seem to have any 'hot areas' that he didn't want me to touch.

He was very curious about everything, but not the least bit mean.

Time for the bath.

He got a little freaked out when I put him in the tub, but I turned the water on, away from him, and let him check it out.

I told him everything that I was about to do.

Yes, I think it helps.

I put the sprayer right up against his body so that the water would not make any noise and scare him.

I moved from the back of his body, slowly to the front.

I have found that dogs new to being bathed, accept the sprayer faster if you keep the sprayer right up against the skin so that they don't hear the spray of the water coming close to their head.

I was very happy when he accepted the water on his face without much fuss.

Letting him hang onto my arm seemed to help him too.

He was very good about letting me soap up his body too.

It took a few minutes to get him to trust me enough to hold his face.

Most of his bath was done on two legs.  :)

I thought that we might have a problem when I found that his bum was caked with dried poop.

He did whip around to check what I was doing, but once I let him check things out and told him that I was just going to get 'that nasty old poop off your bum', he stood still and let me do what I needed to do.

He even trusted me enough to stand there and let me cut away some of the poop with my trusty tub scissors.

He had a good time rubbing all over the towel after the bath.

He earned it.

He even accepted the HV dryer without too much fuss.

Of course, he was most comfortable standing and holding on to me.

He let me dry everything with the HV.

Even his head and ears.

 I turned my clippers on without the blade, and put it against his body to see how he would react to the clippers.

As you can see, he was great.

Then I put the blade on, and he still had no problem with the vibration of the blade.

Okay, where did that crazy dog in the lobby go?

He let me clip out the corner of his eyes.

He let me clip his belly.

Even around his scrotum.

And, he let me clip his nails and pluck his ears without any fuss at all.

Can you tell that I am really liking this little guy?

How many groomers would have turned him away just by the way he was acting in the lobby?

He was a leaner, but he let me scissor him.

I clipped him with a 5/8HT blade and followed up with the scissors.

Look at that face.

One thing that I did discover while grooming him was, that I could not praise him throughout the grooming, because every time I told him he was a good boy, he took that as an invitation to jump up into my arms.

If I kept my mouth shut, he stayed really good on my table.

So, right after I took this picture I started rubbing him and told him that he was a very good boy.

He kissed me and jumped up into my arms.  :)

We gave the very happy owner back the tranquilizer pills that he handed me when he brought the dog in.

He was sure that I was going to have to use them.

I told him he could throw them away.  :)

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. Excuse this comment, but, HAS THE VETS IN YOUR AREA GONE MAD? ..lol okay i'm alright now,

    But that's VERY strange, and what's worse is, most owners would jump off a cliff if the vet told them that was the right treatment, you know?

    Quarantined for fleas.. hmmmpf..

  2. Wow!! That dog looks great! I work for a vet, so I'm very sorry you have had these experiences.. our vets work hard to work WITH us. As for the nail trim deal, I HOPE the client heard wrong.. sometimes they repeat what they think they heard, rather than what was actually said. And WOW.. quarantined for fleas?????? I hope she listened to you and brought the dog in!

    Also, as a groomer who does groom anesthetized animals, FOR SURE the pills don't work. They only agitate the dogs, I refuse to groom a dog who is on them, the owners love to think they would work and always want to try them. Many times the owners or the vets can't do a thing with a pet, but the groomers can work with them and have very few problems. We have some dogs that the groomers actually hold them for their Vet exam.. no one else can. :) The dogs and cats who have to be put under have no other options for grooming, so though I dislike it, I still do them. Luckily there aren't very many. Maybe one or two a month.

  3. Hi Westies,
    There are a lot of good Vets around me, and then there are also some that I would not send my worst enemy to.
    Most of the time if I don't like something that a Vet told one of my customers, I just suggest that they get a second opinion. I do not like to bad mouth anyone. That is why I don't mention names. :)
    Lisa, MFF

    Hi D,
    Thanks, I was happy with how the dog turned out too. As for the nails, unfortunately the customer didn't hear wrong. She asked the Vet to clip the nails. The Vet refused, and that poor dog really needed his nails clipped.
    The flea dogs? They came in today. We didn't find a flea on either of them.
    As for the pills, I agree they do not work. At least while the dog is with me. It's too worked up. I am sure it knocks them out as soon as they get home. :/
    I give you all the credit in the world grooming dogs that need to be put out for grooming. The thing that I hated with the place that I worked at was, that the owners thought that their dogs were just being tranquilized. They did not know that their dogs were completely knocked out. I did not agree with that at all! It was also too nerve racking for the newbie groomer, that I was at the time.
    I agree wholeheartedly, that we groomers are better at handling dogs. :)
    Lisa, MFF

  4. That is terrible that the owners didn't know what level of sedation their pets were getting. There is always some risk with anesthesia and we encourage our sedate to grooms to have a pre anesthetic blood profile done before the groom. Our cats are kept on a gas machine and monitered by a technician at all times.

    Love the blog. I just found it, and found it surprising that we have such similar blog titles!

  5. My hands down u def have to be master :) to have the nerve to approch a dog who wants to eat you, i wish that someday with practice i have at least half of the talent you have :) keep up the good work the world def needs more people like you :)

  6. Hi D,
    It was 26 years ago when I worked at that Vet/Kennel. The Vet
    wasn't even the one to give the dogs and cats 'the shot'. The kennel owner (the Vets son) gave the shots. We (the groomers) were told to 'watch' to make sure that the dogs and cats kept breathing while we were working on them. THAT is why I hated working on these dogs and cats so much. If done the 'right way', like you are grooming them, I would be more comfortable with it. I am glad that the Vet you work for does things the right way.
    I thought that it was funny too that our blog titles were similar. Good groomers think alike. :)

    Hi Jessica,
    Thanks, I guess it takes nerve, or maybe just stupidity. lol I follow my gut. I guess I have gotten pretty good at telling when a dog is going after me just because they are scared or because they are crazy and want to eat me. I have only turned one dog away in all of the years I have been grooming.
    It was a large Chow that the owners warned me, was a biter. I told them that I would take the dog into the grooming room to see how he was when he was away from them. I walked the dog five feet into the grooming room and ran my hand down his back, all of the while talking to him. He spun around and lunged for my face. I turned around and took him back to his owners and said no thank you. THAT dog wanted to hurt someone. Every vibe in my body told me so.
    I don't think that any groomer should groom dogs that they are scared of. The dogs can feel your fear and that will only make matters worse.
    Don't worry, your talent will grow and grow with time. :)