Yep! The weather is warming up in (in most places anyway) and the matted, once and twice a year dogs are coming out of the woodwork. When I first started grooming almost 20 years ago we had no topical flea treatments and dogs were genuinely groomed yearly in the small rural farmtowns I was servicing. I used to see dogs lie the one above (and she would have been in GOOD SHAPE) all day every day. Yes there were well maintained dogs, but there were at least as many that were not. These days, my shop sees mostly well maintained, pampered dogs with only a few once a year dogs.
The one I am focused on today was a strange one for me for three reasons:
#1 She was CLEAN. VERY clean.
#2 She was INFESTED with fleas. More fleas than I have seen on a dog in a LONG time.
#3 She was scared to death and blind.
Given all the above reasons I decided to dry shave this dog (DON'T FALL DOWN!) and in the process I can show you how to avoid infestation in the shop when grooming a dog with this many fleas.
The first thing I did was put my waterproof table cover on the table. You dont have to do that but I prefer it because it makes the hair on the table easier to clean up and keeps the table top cleaner.
Then I put a plastic shopping bag on the knob to the arm of my table so that I could bag the hair as I went along. We save all of our Walmart and Dollar General bags for this type of thing (and poop cleanup as well). That way the bag of hair can be tied off and placed inside the outside trash can instead of having all the fleas in the trash can inside the shop.
I started shaving her down and because she was super clean I was able to use my Bravura. I know, I know, I always preach NOT to use it on dirty hair, but this dog, even though she was covered in fleas and badly matted, was really clean!
The ears, while they look horrible, were not as tight as many I have seen. They were in no danger of bleeding and believe it or not her ears were in great shape too. Not even dirty inside! If they had been super tight and a hematoma was possible I would have used a Happy Hoodie or vet wrap to keep the ears from being damaged by shaking. I was pleasantly surprised.
Her feet were dirty from being outside that morning so I left the foot hair to get after her bath. She was biting and thrashing by the time I got to that part anyway, so we both needed a break.
Cleanup is actually really simple. Keep all the hair you can possible keep in the bag that is hanging from your table. I use a flea spray (it doesnt matter which one you are happy with) and every time I put hair in the bag I spray the hair with it. That keeps the fleas in the bag and kills some of them as well. When the dog is in the tub and the bather has taken over control of the dog, I go back to the table, take off the table cover, dump the remaining hair into the bag, sweep the floor, to get up any hair that fell and after one last spray with a pesticide I tie the bag up as tight as I can and place it inside ANOTHER bag, tieing it as well. A quick spray on the floor in the area I was working in and then I take the bag to the curb. There is no way another dog is going to get fleas in my shop and by doing the cleanup as I go along it prevents that from even being a minor concern. It never even crosses my mind anymore with good housekeeping.
We use Capstar in my salon (with owners permission) to kill fleas, and this dog was given one before I started shaving her. She also got a flea bath to help jumpstart the killing process. We put a towel underneath her while she was drying and the dead and dying fleas land on it for easy cleanup. She did not get force dried at all because she could not tolerate it. She got towel dried really well with a warm towel then placed in front of a fan to dry in a warm room. She was flea free when finished. Not a single one crawling!
Her parents had an exterminator out that day to spray the house and yard and she had Comfortis (WHY she had not already given it to her is beyond me.....) so the fleas should be a non-issue shortly in her life.
I didn't think to get an after photo but I did get a video of the fleas. LOL ENJOY!!!!!