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Dog question

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive May 2006: Dog question
By Kaye on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 08:22 am:

Alrightee....I have a golden who is the queen of matts. The last several times we have had her groomed even they haven't messed with the matts behind her ears. So she has had golfball sized matts there. It is ucky to touch when putting in her ear cleaner. So yesterday I decided it was time for them to go. So I took a pair of blunt end scissors and basically shaved behind her ears. How I had to do it was pull the matt out and do one layer really carefully near her skin. It took forever. One side looks great. The other side within in minutes of me doing it, looks like it is all cut up. There is bright red blood all over...except it is under the skin. I did NOT cut her, you can rub on it and not get any blood anywhere. So obviously I bruised my baby. Is there something I can put on this to feel her better? Or is it best to leave it alone, or should I definitly do something to prevent it from worsening? She has a vet appointment next week, so if it worsens she will already be seen.

By Tripletmom on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 08:28 am:

I don't know.Does she seem bothered by it?Has it spread since you did it? I had to cut the matted hair from my cat a couple of months ago.It felt awful to pet her and she has gotten so fat I don't think she can reach her back anymore.I would just call a vet and see what they have to say.

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 10:05 am:

You probably just have to wait for it to resolve on its own. On a human bruise, you could put ice on it, but you would have to hold it on the dog.

By Ginny~moderator on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 11:06 am:

If there is no bleeding, it may well be that the small blood vessels under the skin have broken, a form of bruising. If it is not bothering her and doesn't spread, I'd keep an eye on it and see what happens. I wouldn't put anything on it except maybe a topical antibiotic just in case there are very small skin breaks. Given that there are some conflicts between what is safe for humans and dogs, I would not use a topical antibiotic that also has pain medication in it unless you check with the vet's office first.

Seems to me the groomers should have caught this long before it got to this point. I had similar problems with a long-haired cat, and I learned that at the first sign of a mat or clump, I'd take scissors and break it up. I didn't try to cut the mat out immediately, but put the bottom outside edge (blunt) of the scissors as close the skin as possible, and cut the mat vertically from top to bottom (am I making this clear?) so that it broke up into several small clumps, and I could either tease them out with my fingers or carefully cut them near the bottom of the clump and then work at teasing it out. I know there are sprays that can be used on dogs to help make clumps like this more brushable/combable.

I'll try to remember to ask Scott when he comes home. His dog Keyla was mostly Keeshond, a long-haired winter climate dog, and I think he had clump problems with her sometimes. And, when you are at the vet, remember to specifically raise this problem so you know what to do in the future. You may just have to keep her hair short in that spot in the future.

If the only "cure" is to cut the mats out, if it were me I'd start from the top of the mat down the next time, making it smaller and smaller, to see if you reach a point where you can tease it out with your fingers, instead of cutting right at the skin level right away. A lot more tedious, but I am wondering if cutting at the skin level right away might have put a lot of tension on the hair at the follicle, which might be why you have this bruising sort of effect.

Poor baby. I know how frustrating it is when your animal may be hurting, because they can't tell you what hurts and you can't explain.

By Kaye on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 12:19 pm:

The reason she gets the mats, is mostly because we don't groom her often enough. As a golden she sheds all year, but once it gets hot she drops lots and lots of clumps of hair, these just add to the matting. I did brush and brush and was very very gentle. I was so suprised when I saw this on her ear. I tried the verticle bit, but the clumps were too big to actually cut through. I think the last time she was groomed they ignored them (we have to), because she is pretty sensitive about her ears being touched. She lets me do it, but goldens are prone to ear infections and we have wash for her ears, but if she is feeling the least bit icky she won't let anyone else touch her ears.

She is doing better today...really she is so happy. I cut off SOO much hair. I all but shaved behind both ears, cut off all the leg fur that hangs. I cut off an entire grocery sack full of hair and brushed off that same amount. 1 dog, 2 bags of fur, 3 hours of not so much fun!

By Dawnk777 on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 12:45 pm:

I think I'm going to be thankful for Jasmine's short hair and prick ears. I don't have to worry about matts, with her.

By Ginny~moderator on Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 08:00 pm:

Scott says swab the area with peroxide once, and again if she starts scratching at it, just to prevent any possible infection. If you have a topical antiobiotic with benzocaine or xylocaine in it (topical anesthetic) that's OK to use, because those are used on dogs all the time, but nothing else in terms of skin anesthetic. He also says there are coat conditioners for dogs that will help with matting issues in the future. He also says that when he runs into matting problems at the lab where he works, he uses clippers because it is safer. He says if you don't have clippers, does your husband have an electric razor with a mustache/beard attachment and will your husband survive if you use it on the dog. He suggests, finally, that it is partly because you used the blunt scissors (child scissors) that this happened, because they are not as sharp and have wider edges than regular scissors, and it did pull the hair and irritate the follicles. If nothing much changes, you should be OK until the vet sees her. And now that you know that this is an area where she tends to get mats, you can pay special attention to that when you are brushing her, and maybe keep that hair clipped short to prevent future problems.

Goldies are such clowns, and such joys. From everything I know, they are perfect dogs to have around children, as long as you don't have anything breakable on the coffee table. They don't have much "common sense" as dogs go, but no one who has a Goldie cares because they are such sweet dogs.

By Ginny~moderator on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 07:30 pm:

Kaye, how's your Goldie doing?

By Cocoabutter on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 09:32 pm:

I was going to suggest that it was from the pulling of the hair, but I thought maybe as a result of the mats pulling on the skin. I once knew a girl whose long haired cat was never groomed and had so many mats that they pulled on her skin and she had sores. She was such a cranky cat, and when she finally cut all her hair off, she said that her cat was actually in a good mood. :) Go figure!

By Kaye on Sunday, May 21, 2006 - 11:46 pm:

She is much better. I apparently did scrape her in one place, but it is a tiny scratch. She is so much happier, it has to feel lighter.

I will say it was the oddest looking thing, just bright red, looked like it would be wet, scared me at first.

Thanks for asking. She had a great weekend, our neighbors were out of town so we got to hang out with their golden. Theirs is a bright smart dog, I have a blond, who just isn't as smart as the typical golden.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 09:00 am:

I agree, Lisa. When Scott was a kid we had a long-haired cat - his - and were not familiar with their problems. Poor Mo got a mat on his back, near the back of his neck, where he couldn't groom himself, and by the time I realized it was a problem it was really a problem. I wound up using scissors first, then clippers, and then had to put an antibiotic and aloe on it for days, because he had some raw spots. It was really messy. And he certainly looked silly with this stripe of bare skin along his backbone.

By Shalom2t on Monday, May 22, 2006 - 10:49 am:

Matting can tear and make the tender skin bleed. Use mayo/salad dressing and massage in. Pick and then wash. If you want to cut, I trim while the mayo is still in. Less raggy cuts then. Hope this helps.

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