As groomers, we see client's pets on average every six or so weeks. I feel this is the perfect amount of time to notice something that owners may miss because owners see their pet's everyday.
What may be a minuscule difference in behavior when seen on a daily basis, will appear huge to a groomer who has not seen this pet in weeks.
Many times a change in behavior is one of the early signs of an underlying medical condition. Early detection means early intervention.
Some examples of change in behavior:
- Brownie was a sweet, lovely Shih tzu.I could do anything to this boy. On one occasion he was snappy.Very snappy.I called the owners to come pick him up and reschedule him. Brownie's owners informed me that the day before their home was burglarized and the intruders terrorized Brownie. The owners thought a change of scenery with someone he loved would be better than staying at home. Brownie was suffering from PTSD. We stopped grooming and let him just hang out with us while the owners cleaned up the mess at home.The following grooming, he was back to his normal self.
- The opposite of Brownie was Princess. Princess was a handful. We nicknamed her the "Pterodactyl." She could fly and nail you at the same time. Except for one groom is which she was very complacent. In case you're wondering, I finished that groom. It was the only time in her entire life (15 years) that she was a pleasure to groom. I mentioned it to the owners and they had her vetted. Turned out to be the beginnings of a problem for which she was treated.
- Casey was also a very good boy for grooming. He was a large golden retriever. He always was very social. So when he looked a little withdraw and cautious around his legs, we told the owners that it wasn't like Casey not to be wagging his tail the entire time he was here. Owners started Casey on some joint supplements and by the next groom he was back to normal.
So, the point is, don't ignore subtle changes in the behavior of the pets we groom.None of these changes in any of these pets were notices by the owners.The longer a health issue goes undiagnosed, the less likely there will be a full recovery.