Another Facet of This Pandemic for Groomers

E9886396-E33D-4206-BDDC-1C8609E98642

All of the puppies sold and dogs adopted during a pandemic add up to a whole generation of dogs entering into pet homes without proper socialization. 

At home stays means in-person training programs are off the menu, as well as puppy socialization get-togethers and classes.

Not even being able to have friends over means all of these pets have had very limited interaction with anyone outside of their immediate family unit and only inside their own homes.

 

So for us as groomers that means we’re going to be caring in the next few months for a whole lot of puppies that haven’t been socialized, adult dogs Who already had baggage when they entered into the rescue or shelter system, that have now been living in a very small bubble, and are likely going to be completely overwhelmed when they are put up on our grooming table.

 

Understanding canine behavior and body language and being willing to slow down to get these dogs started off on the right foot is always of paramount importance. But thanks to the pandemic there’s a new element of pretty much no socialization across-the-board that we will have to learn to navigate.

 

#themindfulgroomer


Dealing With Dry Eyes

Dealing With Dry Eye

59D1D04A-729A-4D03-A02F-4633CA834E56

Eyes use tears as a method of naturally cleansing and hydrating the surface of the eyes. 

Dogs with larger eyes generate more tear production, and therefore are more prone to both weepy eyes and then dry eyes they age.

 

Typically we have to clean up around the eye area quite a bit due to tear drainage and environmental pathogen accumulation, but as groomers we also see a lot of dogs with dry eyes, especially as part of the aging process.

In these instances we can have different presenting symptoms that have to be addressed during the grooming visit.

Eyes void of tears or moisture are *extremely sensitive*, painful, present a host of serious visual symptoms, and can put the dog on high alert due to the pain.

 

Aside from communicating what we see to our pet owners in hopes that they will remedy the situation on a medical level, there’s a few things we need to do in the salon when working alongside these symptoms.

7C2A9D31-7DFA-4EBC-A444-C33A25D045C6

During the bathing process we have to remember that a dry eyes will not have the surface lubricated adequately. This means that when we get shampoo in the eyes, there’s really no place for it to go except directly against the eyeball and lid membrane it’s self. 

 

This could create a world of trouble & a lot of pain! 

 

I highly recommend with dogs that have crusty eyes that we first wet the face with adequate water and use a mild face cleanser as we *gently* clean up the eye area and then immediately rinse before moving on with bathing the rest of the dog.

 

Once the bath and rinsing is done I highly recommend a lubricating eyedrop be applied to each eye before moving to the drying process.

 

Some groomers prefer mineral oil and that is personal preference. 

However mineral is messy and it can actually cause water-based shampoo to ride around on the surface of the eye opposite the oil, and redeposit under the lid possibly causing severe ulceration.

 

When  you have finished grooming, it’s very important for you to check the moisture level on the surface of the eye and carefully remove any hair splinters or particles that came into contact with the eyeballs or lids during the haircutting process.

 

I would never carefully wipe away hair splinters without applying more lubricating eyedrop solution as this can cause severe eye irritation.

 

Without doing this as a final step, it is possible for the hair splinters and any other particular debris to just sit on the eye instead of the adequately rinse away as it normally would.

 

If the owner has eyedrops from the veterinarian, then urge them to reapply once they get home. 

I do not personally recommend administering any type of prescription from the salon storefront due to liability unless their veterinarian has issued a *written consent form* for you to administer in their absence. 

‼️The same goes for medicated shampoo and eardrops!😉

 

More medical info on dry eye, or Keratoconjunctivitis sicca:

 https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/keratoconjunctivitis-sicca-kcs-or-dry-eye-in-dogs

 

#themindfulgroomer


Quick Setting Beard Length

Super quick tip to set in the length of beard hair on the lower jaw. 

Choosing the correctly proportionate length for this in comparison to overall style will help you frame the face, keep the head in total proportion for balance and symmetry, add length & gracefulness to the neck on certain breeds, and keep their beard a little cleaner between visits. 😉

 

#themindfulgroomer

 

 


Groomer Tip! When Clippered Coats Go Bad

6D91A6D8-B482-4DA2-8065-6288DCA08D9A

MANY groomers ask me why terrier or terrier mix breeds become fine and lackluster in color as they grow out from clippering. 

 

Well......🤔🤓

 

Harsh guard coat that is actively growing has the highest concentration of pigment deposit. 

The more harsh the texture, the more pigment will reside within the hair shaft.

Melanin (pigment) granules reside deep in the hair shaft along the cortex and beneath the cortical fibrils.

Hair in a resting phase will not be as harshly textured or deeply pigmented as a actively (anagen) phase hair.

 

When you clip hair off above the skin, that only removes the length of coat which is visible to us.

What’s still seated in the hair follicle cup is the remaining length of the hair shaft. 

11E01616-D240-4C62-9E72-6509E6D25474

As the hair moves into a resting (catagen) phase, the pigment is lessened drastically as is the thickness and texture because the hair is no longer actively growing. 

As this hair is slowly pushed up in the follicle cup it will be fine (having a thinner and more porous cuticle), be poorly colored (lackluster), and usually doesn’t reflect light very well or have gloss/shine.

C8225AFD-0A0C-4FDF-A429-8643A849AB7F

As well, repeated clippering of haircoat from long to short also sit in the stratum corny him layer of skin. Thicker skin produces finer/thinner hair.

And as a final consideration, dogs of the Terrier class cycle through coat differently than any other breed class. They do not produce actively growing hair from deeper within the follicle until the resting or dormant phases are adequately removed.

There are a few more facets of this considering hormone/endocrine changes, underlying medical conditions, side effects from medications, the dog’s overall health and being able to maintain core temperature & skin oil/moisture levels, secondary microflora imbalances of the skin’s microbiome, etc. 

But, to get from point A to point B this is the simplest route of general insight into this phenomenon.


Contour Trim on a Double Coat

A double feature this week on contour trimming double and triple (Nordic and Primitive breeds like Spitz, Pom, Nordic Working breeds, Chow, Collie, Sheltie, etc, etc.) coated breeds, and why it’s so important to *treat the whole coat* of these dogs first before taking off any length.

I do understand that perhaps some breeders of these breeds or purists who believe trimming of feathering is a sacrilege, may be triggered by this post. 

In the reality of pet dogs going into a pet grooming salon there are times when functionality in a family environment necessitates shorter trimming of coat. As long as the dog’s overall health is not threatened, I don’t feel there’s anything wrong with a tailored trim, and knowing how to accomplish it effectively is important for pet groomers to know.

 

 

 

#themindfulgroomer


Bathing & Intro to the Role of Water

A brief demo of my typical bathing method on non-symptomatic skin and coat, and a simplified explanation of the role of water in the bathing process.

 

** Always follow your bathing with a conditioner to replace sebum removed by your cleanser. **

Stick to a separate two step process- combining shampoo & conditioner together cancels out the full ability of either product.

 

-Much generalized itching for dogs is simply lack of adequate skin moisture and dead coat removal. 

 

~Thanks to Mikah for being patient while I squawked on & on. 😣 Next time I will wait to put the dog in the tub before I start recording so they don’t have to wait. 😕

~~~~

Reminder NOT to apply a harsh shampoo (clarifying, or whitening) to dry coat as it can be a little too overly stripping and the water will act as a buffer.

For most containing shampoos including protein shampoos, dry coat application is beneficial. 

 

Whitening shampoos applied to dry coat, depending on formulation (is it an optical brightener or true stain lifter?) can deposit blueing agents into the hair cortex resulting in major staining.
#themindfulgroomer




Burrs, Coat Damage and Oral Glositis

Burr season is well underway here in Wisconsin. 

Cockleburrs have their own difficulties for groomers as well as the dogs they get stuck in. 

C3FE0675-8A70-4578-A23D-B2E5E40617AE
0A275E6A-CCC1-4A1B-8CF9-BE9ADBAE96AB

 

So do those tiny round little  stick tights. 

 

ADB2D6E6-80F4-4AE2-8794-8DDABBA9B467

But THESE awful little SANDBURRS are a special kind of evil.

 

A8CCFFF9-0809-4A1D-A9D8-8E148FB23EB2

C5D48791-ABD8-48C9-AC2F-8CF9C05E1FC1

~Nothing like scrubbing through the coat in the tub and finding one of these with the tip of your finger.

😫😩😢

 

Remember also that anytime you find burrs on a dog, I would recommend inspecting the mouth and tongue to be sure they haven’t partially ingested any or have anything irritated inside their mouth or on their tongue.  

It very commonly happens that if they do pull any off during self grooming, the barbs of these can break off in the tongue and mouth and cause blister like lesions.

45762C26-0A83-49FF-8EC6-2624B35537AB
 

Here’s an article on more information about burrs & glossitis, as well as oral inflammatory & ulcer disease:

https://www.askjpc.org/wsco/wsc_showcase2.php?id=VGExeXcrWmFTM09oUjQ5Rmlvdkt5Zz09

 

Obviously we don’t want to be diagnosing because there are also other serious genetic diseases that can cause ulcers in the mouth similar to those exhibited from burrs. 

But it is very important if you find anything that you alert any owner at that point.

 

Know also that removing burrs in the coat can commonly cause breakage. 

E7DD975B-668E-4970-9574-802A1AB50555

I have found that removing burrs from the coat while it is covered with shampoo or conditioner in the tub, or simply blowing them out with a blow dryer and some coat spray containing silicones, is far more effective and less taxing on your workload, the dog’s tug tolerance, and the damaging effects to the coat.

 

#themindfulgroomer


2020 Pet Stylist Invitational!!

77BEA9F6-DD44-4887-96A3-799ADF1DE85F

This year our trade show has gone fully virtual!

This learning summit offers 2 full days, 16 hours total, of educational classes on Friday, October 17, and Saturday, October 18th, and a full day of livestream grooming competitions  Monday, October 19th, judged by our industry great: Michell Evans!!

There’ll be shopping discount opportunities all weekend long to stock up on supplies before our holiday rush!

Enjoy this final opportunity of the year to invest in yourself and your business all three days for only $99!!

You can register here:https://finer-details-pet-spa.square.site/product/pet-stylist-invitational-registration/64?cs=true

 


Hand and Paw

3D308FF9-C0C6-4DFB-BBCB-D152CC548E2C

Certain breeds of dogs like golden retrievers, boxers, and shepherds more commonly use their front paws throughout play & interaction.

When a dog reaches out for you before, during, or after the grooming process, that is a way of them communicating to you. 

They are seeking connection, reassurance and acknowledgement. 

 

Sometimes they are happy and want affirmation for how good they are. 

Sometimes they’re scared and anxious and reaching out becomes a coping mechanism.

 

No matter the reason, it is an incredible moment of humble vulnerability, and a chance to really connect with them. 

 

If you can take just a moment to stop what you’re doing and take their paw and hold it gently; maybe give it a rub or a shake and tell them in a gentle sweet voice that they are a good boy or another gesture of connection, you will strengthen your bond with that dog. 

 

Stronger bonds build more trust. 

More trust builds better dogs for their grooming visits.

#themindfulgroomer