I got Cali clipped by a new groomer last Tuesday and was very pleased with the clip. The groomer was very nice and listened to everything I asked for.
When I got Cali home, I noticed she had two little clipper burns on the sanitary trim area of her tummy. The clip there seemed quite a bit closer than other groomers had done previously. They had faded by the next day and she seemed no worse for wear.
On Friday night, when I was brushing Cali, I noticed what seemed to be a thick scab far back on her cheek, on the clipped part of her face. I wasn't sure what it was so decided to keep my eye on it. When she got up on Monday morning, I noticed there was blood on the towel in her crate, so I decided to take her to the vet.
Turns out the scab was covering a hot spot. The vet found two more small ones, one under each eye. She said she really hates to automatically blame groomers for things like this but the fact that Cali had one under each eye, in the same spot, suggested that she'd been clipper burned in those 3 spots on her face and they'd progressed into hot spots.
Cali has been clipped every 6 weeks by a few different groomers previous to this and has never had a clipper burn. Would this indicate that the new groomer was not careful enough or do you think she just clipped Cali closer on the FFT than she'd ever been clipped before? My vet said some dogs do have quite sensitive skin and can't handle a super close clip without problems like this.
I like this groomer and was really looking forward to working with her to get Cali looking like a proper poodle. Do you think I should go back, tell her what happened and ask that she not clip this area so close? Or do you think I should look elsewhere? Knowing nothing about grooming, I don't really know how to react to this.
Last edited by caroline429; 11-06-2012 at 02:18 PM.
I am a groomer with a 11 years experience. If you really liked the groomer, then PLEASE go back to her immediately and tell her what happened. Clipper burn can happen, and even though we take many precautions, some dogs just are more sensitive. By going to the groomer and letting her know what happened, will help give her a chance to correct it and prevent it from happening again. She may have used a shorter blade then the previous groomers, or she may have been using a blade that is beginning to go dull or she didn't change her blades quick enough and it was too warm.
Now, if it happens again after you spoke to her, then I would begin to wonder if the groomer is worth the risk.
I once had a poodle that I have groomed since she was a puppy and when she was about 3 years old I clipper irritated her all over her neck. I honestly don't know why it happened. I took ever precaution I always do. Mom brought her back immediately and I rebathed her in a soothing oatmeal and it soothed her skin and she healed right up, but ever since I've used a slightly longer blade and we have never had another problem. So it can happen to the best of us. Good luck, and I hope this groomer ends up a perfect match for you guys
I'm sorry Cali experienced post-grooming discomfort and hope she heals up quickly. I would call the groomer to let her know that Cali had a problem and see what she says. It's not all that uncommon in my (limited) experience for some poodles, my own silver mpoo included, to be sensitive to hot blades and close shaves. The groomer can remedy the situation as you suggested, by not clipping so closely, by perhaps being more mindful of how hot the clippers get. I homegroom Chagall and there are times, careful as I am, even using a #10 on his face, when he'll paw and scratch open spots on his cheek bones within a day of being groomed. I do clip his FF&T before bathing, then use a skin soothing shampoo. I also apply either baby powder, Gold Bond powder or Colloidal Silver to his face after he's groomed. I don't in any way see this an an indictment of the groomer, but the way she handles your conversation with her should tell you a lot. I would anticipate her being receptive, concerned and helpful. If not, well, then she's just not the groomer for you girl. But I'm betting she will come through for you!
Just be nice.
Cabryn Chagall, CGC
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I agree with the others, ask for a #10 for face/feet/sanitary. I'm wondering if she's using a closer blade and Cali's skin isn't used to it, or her blades may be unaligned (happens sometimes with #40s)
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I'd definitely not stop going because of one experience; I've come to realize my dogs have pretty tough skin because I like a really close shave on their faces and have never had a problem with it. So maybe she doesn't realize how sensitive some dogs' skin is. OR, there's a possibility it wasn't even her fault because some dogs develop hot spots from whatever reason...too much protein or an unbalanced diet, my vet told me once when my dog had them.
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I agree with everyone else, talk to her and see what happens. It's possible your girl caused the hotspots herself....sometimes after being clipped they like to scratch or rub their faces causing irritation. Good luck!
"Love is the emotion that a woman feels always for a poodle dog and sometimes for a man." ~George Jean Nathan
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Thanks, everyone. From reading this forum, I suspected that this could occasionally happen to even the most conscientious groomer but wanted to double check. I don't think Cali has ever been taken quite so close before, so I guess she's just one of those sensitive little girls. LOL
I will definitely let the groomer know what happened and give her another try.
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Like others have said... go back and talk to the groomer! We can't fix an issue without communication. And yes, sometimes clipping too short happens. I've even rashed my own poodle (and yes I felt awful!) We are groomers because we love helping dogs, so just let us know!
Good luck for next time!
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Clipper burn is not an actual burn but it's more of an skin irritation. The problem is that dogs cannot leave these things alone and the scratching cause further issues to develop.
This is not necessarity due to incompetence on the groomer's part . Some dogs are unusually sensitive to having a close shave anywhere so a longer blade should be used.
The groomer should also check to see that her blades are sharp, clean and cool. We used to check the blade temp on our inner arms, believe me if it was warm we knew it fast.
For sure inform the groomer of what happened so that she can take proper precautions next time.
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Every once in a while Lexi will get a spot like that high up on the back part of her face. The groomer is very carefull and we had to go the next leval clipping blade because the first one she tried was just too short. I am doing battle with a spot like that right now. She had a little scratch and a couple swift swipes with those big ol feet and it gets bad fast. It just doesn't take much when they scratch sometimes. I will apply Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder to the spot. I hold my hand over her eye and sprinkle it on the spot and rub it in. I do this three times a day and by day two it is gone and she isn't scratching anymore. It works like a charm every time.