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For the love of your pet: Go easy on perfume for pets with sensitive skin

By By John Beck
July 5, 2012 at 2:05 a.m.
Updated July 8, 2012 at 2:08 a.m.


I always take my dog to the same lady to get him groomed. He always looks so good when I pick him up but will scratch at his ears, drag his behind on the floor and sometimes chew or lick uncontrollably for two to three days afterward. What is his deal?

Your pet might be dealing with a wide array of issues. The quickest and easiest fix might be the shampoo or perfume. If your pet has sensitive skin, the shampoo and/or perfume the groomer is using can cause a slight irritation to the skin immediately after grooming.

To avoid this in the future, ask your groomer not to spray your dog with perfume. You can also ask them to use a shampoo that is easy on the coat like Aloe & Oatmeal. If they don't have this kind, bring your own from home and ask them to use it.

Secondly, the groomer might use clippers to trim your pet's hair. This can sometimes make your pet feel like they have a rash all over. Ask your veterinarian what a safe dose of Benadryl is for your pet. Give it before going to the groomer and right after they get home to lessen these effects.

When it comes to the ears, your pet's irritation is either caused by an action or the lack of an action. Either the pulling of the ear hair is irritating, or the fact that your pet's ear is full of hair is irritating. Also, either the cleaning of the ears is irritating or the lack of cleaning the ears is irritating. Ask your groomer what exactly they are doing.

If the groomer is unable to clean the ears thoroughly or pluck the hair properly, you might have to do these things yourself or make a trip to the vet to have these procedures done. I always recommend that owners bring their pets in for ear cleanings. That way we can look at them before and after to insure a proper job is done.

When your dog drags his behind on the floor, they are usually trying to get their anal glands to express. There are two small sacs located on either side of the anus that produce a liquid to lube the stool and also to create an individualized smell. These glands can sometimes have problems expressing naturally and need to be expressed manually.

Some groomers include this procedure in the grooming, but the owner must ask for it. If your groomer does not perform anal gland expression, that is another thing you can ask the veterinarian's office to do for you. Just like in ears, cleaning or expressing the anal sacs can cause some irritation in the hours or day to follow.

If none of these things seems to solve your pets problem or you have any questions, please contact me or your current veterinarian.

Dr. John Beck has a veterinary practice at Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Victoria. Submit questions to Dr. Beck at drjohnbeck@hotmail.com.

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