I guess it started a year after I started grooming, when I was working for a Veterinarian.
Every once in awhile I was asked to clip hair away from sores on a dog, or to clean up and give a special bath to a dog with hot spots or other sores.
I actually liked cleaning up sores.
I felt like I was helping the dogs.
Even after I left the Vets, I continue to this day to clean out sores that I find on dogs.
I know that most groomers don't agree with this, but owners have always been very grateful that I have helped their dogs.
I also make a point to tell the owner, even though I have cleaned up the sore, or hot spot, or what ever that I found, that they should see their Vet for medication.
The other day I had a Collie mix in that had eight hot spots on his back and sides.
They were in various stages of healing.
Some where hard to tell whether they were almost healed or they were just starting.
When I find a hot spot on a long hair dog, I lift most of the hair out of the way and gently clip only the area right around the hot spot.
I know that a Vet would most likely shave away a large section of hair so that the hair would not cover up the hot spot, but I am not going to put that large of a hole in the dogs coat.
I will leave that up to the Vet.
People don't seem to get that upset when 'the Vet' hacks a large hole in their dog.
This hot spot was bleeding in the tub, during the bath.
I cleaned up each hot spot with Peroxide and gently clipped the hair right around the sore.
By the time I was finished grooming this dog the bleeding hot spot was already starting to dry out.
This is the dog once I was finished.
He was so good about it.
You can't even tell that there are eight small holes in the coat.
I told the owner that all he had to do was run his hands backwards through the coat and he would be able to easily find the clipped hot spots to show his Vet.
Because he has such a thick coat, you couldn't find the hot spots without a dryer blowing them out of the way.
I like to let hot spot and sore soak in the tub.
If the they have a scab and it falls off, I save it to show to the owner.
I didn't think to take a picture of this hot spot before the bath.
Although you really couldn't see it very well, because it was cover by a large gooey mat.
In the tub the goo washed out and most of the hairy scab fell off.
If the scab is not ready to come off, I leave it alone, but still clip the hair away.
The faster the hot spot can get air to it, the faster it will heal.
Some of the scab on this hot spot was still pretty tight to the skin.
The owner had been trying to but medicine on it, but all she had managed to do was medicate the mat on top of the hot spot.
Her dog is prone to hot spots so she already had the medicine from another time and did not take her dog the the Vet.
I cleaned it up for her so that she could get the medicine directly on the hot spot.
If I find something on the dog, I like to clean it up so the Vet can see it.
This dogs owner wanted me to check her dogs foot because the dog had been licking and chewing on it.
One of the dogs nails had cracked all of the way back to the toe.
The nail was only being held on by some dried blood and matted hair.
I shaved all of the hair away from the bad toe and the toe next to it.
The bad nail was raw and the quick was exposed.
I cleaned it up and saved the nail for the owner to show to the Vet.
When I find nails that have grown into the pad of a neglected pet, the fist thing that I do is take a picture.
Especially if I am pretty sure that the nail will leave a sore in the pad once I clip it.
I want evidence of the neglect just in case the owner tries to blame me for the sore.
This poor dog did have a hole in it's pad from the nail growing into it.
I flushed this toe with spray Peroxide, and cleaned it up as best that I could.
The owner was shown the long toe nail that I cut off and the hole in the pad.
I also told her to see her Vet.
I can almost guarantee you that this owner did not bother to take her dog to the Vet.
At least he no longer had a nail growing into his pad.
The owners thank me for finding the sores on their dogs, and for helping their dogs.
I have even heard back from some Vets telling me that I did a nice job cleaning the sores for them.
So far I haven't had a Vet get upset with me. (knock on wood)
I am very careful with the sores I clean.
I also know when to leave something alone, and save it entirely for the Vets care.
I am just glad to help the dog.
My main hope is that the owner listens to me and seeks Veterinary attention.
Happy Grooming, MFF