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Old 01-18-2013, 05:36 AM
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Default Grooming for a senior dog? Also medical question

Gyp is 13 1/2 now, and honestly I am about at the end of my rope with grooming him. He has got a terrible coat- very thick and cottony- and it mats like you would not believe. I have always had trouble with his coat, but its gotten so much worse now that he is having trouble standing for long periods of time on the table. I don't have the ability at home to do a back end harness, and although my sister is a groomer, their salon is not set up for that either. I could take him to a new groomer, which I know would make him miserable and I would have a hard time finding one who I trust, or I could continue doing what I have been doing, which is having him lay on his side on the table and just kind of getting through it. Either way sucks, honestly, and it is getting ridiculous. His pants are stained because he has been licking his bum a lot (my idea is because poop gets caught in his pants a lot), and his elbows get horribly matted from laying down almost all day. I brush him as much as I can but he shakes the entire time- it makes me feel horrible.

So, my sister had a suggestion of clipping him down- and honestly I don't know how I should feel about that. Part of me says NO FREAKING WAY, and the other part of me wonders if this would make his life more comfortable. He would have to go in for more regular grooming, but less matting and brushing. What do you guys think? I don't know if there's anything else I can do for him.

Also, vets/vet techs/anyone who might know- Gyp was on Clavamox and Lymphomyscot for a tooth infection which caused an abscess on his neck. He was on both for 2 months with no sign of improvement- and he was taking 8 pills a day! I don't know if I just didn't give it enough time- but I am just really frustrated and I feel like there has to be a simpler option. I have an appointment for tomorrow, but I wanted to ask anyone here if they have any experience with these two medications. I just feel like thats a lot of medication for him to be getting with no results.

Grrr, senior dogs always make things complicated.

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Old 01-18-2013, 08:11 AM
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TBH as a groomer, shaving is a huge no no

But these is a difference here. I personally would shave him. You could always take him down to a ince long where ruining his coat is much less likley. But IMO I would just take him short. to cut a 1 inch all over is alot more work then just taking a 4f or 5f to him. will last longer on the poor guy too
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:23 AM
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Sorry, but if he's to the point where you can't groom him in a comfortable manner and it's intruding on him health-wise, do it, just get him clipped! I know exactly what you're talking about, both in "You shouldn't do that!" and in the sanitary/comfort factor. That was Maddy, she had "spay coat", frizzy rough and LOVED to mat, so I kept her clipped "lightly", never taken down just trimmed her feathers shorter and it made it easier to get the mats out. Although she was a little different, yes I groomed her on one side then the other on the floor, but even till the day she left it was her world to just be with you and get groomed.

Anyway, what I would suggest is not taking it all off, but do a few light trims shorter, then shorter till you're happy and it seems to groom easier, that way you're leaving some on for protection but it will be easier to deal with. Maybe start with taking it down half way, then shorter if need be, start with the worst trouble areas the feathers down the backs of all 4 legs are usually the biggest trouble spot for all dogs followed by the belly, and that's literally all I ever trimmed on Maddy, just the backs of her legs and belly never the main portion of her body.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:39 AM
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Well, for some senior dogs, or overweight dogs (dogs that I know COULD stand but are just getting too tired or lazy, I wouldn't use this for a dog that has hip dysplasia or something), I'll put a stool or pillow under their lower abdomen, to keep them standing up. When I do this, I'll do as much as I can with the dog lying down or on their side, and let them take a break in between.

I would also consider clipping. As a groomer, you of course are going to think that the coat won't grow back correctly, and clipping over time can become difficult as the fur grows back thicker...and with some breeds you worry about owners letting them get overheated because they think they'll be cooler (not true). But with a senior dog, who is uncomfortable standing for grooming, and who's coat is matting so easily, clipping might be a good option. At the very least, I'd do a LOT of scissoring and thinning out his back end.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:44 AM
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After 2 months with no improvement, I'd be questioning my original diagnosis and looking for something else going on.

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Old 01-18-2013, 10:50 AM
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I would shave him down and look for a new diagnosis!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:55 AM
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Shave him, he'll love it.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:21 AM
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I think you have a few options besides an overall shave/clip. There are people who give their collie-type dogs Aussie pants to help with the poop getting caught in the fur, and you could thin out all the hair in his armpits and stuff as well. But you might think it would look weird for him to be short in just a few places and might be better to just go short overall.

Auggie was on Clav for his UTI and it didn't do anything; Baytril is the go-to abx for him. OTOH Georgie has taken Clav for her UTI and it works for her. I would say if you're not getting results from the Clav, it's time to try a different med.

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Old 01-18-2013, 12:05 PM
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We just had to shave Bobsie down because she won't allow us to brush her any more. Normally I wouldn't recommend it for a BC because like Tank says, the coat never grows back normally, but in this case, you're risking skin damage if he gets too matted, and that just leas to more problems, which nobody wants.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:07 PM
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I loved my Pomeranian's beautiful coat but when she reached her teens, she progressively grew difficult about brushing. Her skin seemed more sensitive and she no longer enjoyed it. I took a pair of scissors and cut her coat down to about an inch long. It wasn't pretty but she loved it. I could run over her coat with a comb and her coat would be done in only 1-2 minutes. I kept her coat short until I finally lost her. I never fully appreciated the look but the dog's comfort was worth it.
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