If your dog comes back from the groomer with a cut or nick, what should you do? Is it a sign of negligence or just bad luck?
Dog grooming involves a dangerous mix: sharp blades, tabletop nooses, wet surfaces, and pets who don't care what their hair looks like. It's important to consider several factors when reviewing a grooming injury. In this article, we'll consider cuts, nicks, and gashes.
You Might Comfortably Stay With the Groomer If:
- the bleeding stopped quickly after the cut
- it's a minimal cut that does not require medical attention,
or it's a more significant cut, but the groomer agreed to pay your veterinarian's bill for care
- the groomer told you about the cut, or (if they didn't know) apologized when you reported it to them later
Yes, there are some grooming accidents that are difficult to prevent. A dog may sneeze just as the groomer is trimming close along the ear, or maybe the phone rings at the exact moment the shears are closing to round-out that beautiful paw. Sometimes accidents happen at no (or minimal) fault of the groomer.
If your dog (like many) has a particular area they don't like groomed, this area may be more likely to be nicked or cut during grooming. Consider talking with your groomer about alternative styles that may require less brushing, less scissor detail, or otherwise avoid the sensation that is difficult for your dog. The appearance may be different than you prefer, but it might be worth the safety advantages.
Consider Leaving If:
- your dog has cuts often (and you've reported them all to the groomer)
- it often happens in the same places
- your groomer suggests that they cannot groom your dog without causing cut. If they think your dog is too anxious/scared/wild/aggressive to be groomed safely, it may be best to find another groomer.
Frequent cuts may suggest your groomer's methods need safety improvements, or possibly that your dog has difficulty tolerating a part of its grooming. If your dog has had many grooming visits, it's likely they've given you feedback about how well Wiggles tolerates the process.
For All Injuries
Accidents are difficult for everyone - you, your pup, and the groomer. If you're having a hard time deciding how to react to a more minor grooming cut or nick, it may be a good idea to mention it at your next vet exam. For more severe cuts, only you can properly consider the injury, your past relationship with the groomer, and how they reacted to this situation.