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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    595

    Question Dematting or shaving a shih tzu Help

    I am not exactly sure where to put this post but here it is. I am new to grooming & have a lady bringing a 9 lb 2 year old shih tzu she rescued that has been locked in a kennel for most of it's life. She said there is quite a bit of matting & to do what I need to do to make the dog comfortable & able to start fresh in its new home. OK, I have seen all of the terrible shave downs due to matting so bad & so close to the skin that people have posted & I am scared to do this dog, I am not sure exactly how bad it is but just in case I want to be prepared for the worst. If I have to shave the dog, what is the best way to go about this? Do I bath 1st? Wet shave or after hv shave? Do I scissor & then shave? What blade or ss comb should I use? Any tips or tricks would be appreciated. I really need to learn this sooner or later & I guess now is as good of time as any. Wow if I could pull this off I would be so happy knowing I helped this little dog. PM me if you would rather. Thanks, Terri

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    NEW JERSEY
    Posts
    195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinetm View Post
    I am not exactly sure where to put this post but here it is. I am new to grooming & have a lady bringing a 9 lb 2 year old shih tzu she rescued that has been locked in a kennel for most of it's life. She said there is quite a bit of matting & to do what I need to do to make the dog comfortable & able to start fresh in its new home. OK, I have seen all of the terrible shave downs due to matting so bad & so close to the skin that people have posted & I am scared to do this dog, I am not sure exactly how bad it is but just in case I want to be prepared for the worst. If I have to shave the dog, what is the best way to go about this? Do I bath 1st? Wet shave or after hv shave? Do I scissor & then shave? What blade or ss comb should I use? Any tips or tricks would be appreciated. I really need to learn this sooner or later & I guess now is as good of time as any. Wow if I could pull this off I would be so happy knowing I helped this little dog. PM me if you would rather. Thanks, Terri
    Hi Terri: Lynne from Oz-n-company here,my advise would be to shave the dog with a 7F all over,then into the tub remember this poor animal has been in a cage most of it life, very sad. there's alot of mental problems that poor dog could be dealing with,go slow talk alot to him/her to start to gain back trust somebody stole from it,I would say to the owner,let's start off fresh ,with the cut down,show her how to brush,I think it would make it easier on the dog.Start by stripping the dog first,then the bath,reason is this dog not being groomed often,might freak from the blow dryer,plus it will take longer to dry,shape head and tail.When you get done I'm sure you will feel happy inside that you made a difference in a little dogs life,Good luck. I have over 25 years experience.
    Lynne Groomer of Oz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    5,058

    Default I agree

    I agree with groominginstyle - probably a 7F. However, you may have to do quite a bit of handling and introduction to clipper sounds before you can even work on the dog! You will have to see.

    If the dog has bad matting, you need to scissor a line down the top of the neck and along the spine so that you split open the hard matting to allow the blade in. Blades do NOT go THROUGH mats, they have to go UNDER them. Therefore you may have to use a #10 or 15 or 40 on parts of the legs/feet or other bad areas, even if you can use a 7F on the body.

    If you have to shave the ears due to matting, the dog may start shaking its head and can ultimately make the ears bleed due to broken blood vessels from shaking. Warn the owner if you have to shave the ears. Tell her what to watch out for (shaking head, swelling in ears, blood). This can also happen if you have to shave cheeks underneath the ears, or large mats behind the ears, but if you can leave hair on the ears this is a "cushion" when the dog shakes, so the haematomas (sp?) may not be so bad that there is bleeding.

    If you have to do this little dog in 2 trips a few days apart, so be it. Do what the dog can handle and not be traumatized with.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Draper, Utah
    Posts
    6,060

    Default

    Have you ever tried wet shaving? You can do a search here and get all the instructions you need. For severely matted dogs I think it is the safest way to get those mats out.

    Good luck and keep up posted.
    "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    595

    Default Thanks

    You all are awesome, Thanks a million for the tips, I need them & the dog needs help. I will keep you posted on how it goes. I groom it on Sunday & will try & get before & after pics. I sure hope this dog isn't as bad as some that I have seen on here, I think that is a little out of my league at this point but I will give it my best try. I have never tried wet shaving but have been reading the forum about it & will do more research before Sunday. Thanks for letting me know about the ears, I hate to have to cause any pain to the poor dog but sounds like it will be inevitable. If the ears bleed after they take to dog home, should they take it to the vet or what should they do? I am really getting nervous about this. I offered to do this to help & for the experience & the owner sounds so grateful & appreciative, it doesn't sound like they have a whole lot of money to take it anywhere else right now. I explained that I am new & not experienced but they said they would help in any way they can. Thanks again & if anyone wants to add any more tips, please feel free. I will print & study all you recomend I do. Terri

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,954

    Unsure

    Good luck Terri! You can do it, just think of how much better this poor dog will feel. Take your time and use the good advice you got from above on this post and make the dog as comfortable as possible. I would have said Wet shaving also, but I haven't done one that's as bad as you think this one might be! Oh and don't be to concerned on making it look just right, just get the dog out of those knots for now.
    "No matter how little money and how few possesions you own, having a dog makes you rich." - Louis Sabin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    3,279

    Default

    Make sure you have her sign a Release Form before you shave this dog. If you read my thread that's up "Protect Yourself" you don't want to let this situation run away if there is a problem. You don't know what's under that matted fur. It's also easy to nick a dog that isn't used to being groomed in this condition. Also, you are new to grooming. Make sure you are up to this task. If the dog flips out, it might be better off being sedated as it might be more humane. If I was you and had limited experience with a situation like this, I might pass this on to a groomer with more experience. I don't want you feel I am discouraging you. I just don't want anything bad to happen to you or the dog. If you do groom the dog, make sure you charge enough. Yes, we want to make the dogs feel comfortable but it is going to be a long and arduous task. Explain to the customer this would a one time charge since I'm hoping after this groom the owner will get the dog on a maintenance schedule. I only bring these issues up because I've learned a lot since I became a groomer.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    268

    Default

    good luck.
    I agree with the 7f on the body. 10 on the legs

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    7,255

    Default

    Good luck. I'm sure you'll be able to do it. Just take your time and be patient with the dog. This is all new to him/her.
    I would do the wet shave, even if you do use a 7 blade, the blade will stay cooler a lot longer. Read up on the wet shaving.
    "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
    Diane

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    1,281

    Default

    I have done many many dogs like that. The humane society brings me quite a few. Just start with a 7f like the other post said. In some places you may have to go even shorter. I've seen mats so tight that they are cutting into the legs. Have to be very very careful especially around the lower legs. Just take your time. You didn't say if this dog was from a rescue group or not. If so, they will have already done a temperment test on it before even placeing it in a new home. But anyway, every single dog I have done that was in that bad of shape has let me do whatever I needed to do. Some may put up a little fuss. But truely, every single one has let me shave them down. I think they know we are helping them. Save the bath for after you get that hair off. You may uncover some skin problems. Then you can select your products to use. And you never know, it may not be nearly as bad as you are thinking it will be. That's happened to me before also. It was a yorkie, and I was able to use a 4f on it, and it's head brushed out just fine. When it was done, you never would have known it was as bad as it was. It had dreadlocks of urine and feces. ewwwww. Got adopted as soon as it went back to the shelter. Believe me, you and the dog are going to feel sooooo wonderful after this!
    Take pics, so we can see before and after.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    1,281

    Default

    Yes, study everyones tips. For the hematomas, if the dog is shaking his head, you can take vet wrap and wrap it around the head. With the ears flat against the sides of his face, in their natural position, just wrap over the top of the head and down under the jaw. Don't make it too tight! I had to do this on a doodle that had so much hair in it's ears, and when I got it all out and cleaned them, he shook so much that they started to bleed. I sent the client home with this on the dogs head, and gave instructions to call the vet also. I think we caught it soon enough that the wrap was sufficient to prevent any real damage. The client was understanding, and called and thanked me for being observant and knowing what to do. The vet told him that it could have been very bad if I had not done that.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    595

    Default not as bad as I thought

    I just wanted to let everyone know how everything turned out today with my groom. The dog was not anywhere near what I had envisioned, thank God. His face & ears were in pretty good shape as was his tail. The body was Very matted all the way to the skin but not pelted. I wet shaved him with a 7F & 10 with conditioner still in the hair. He looked better before I started shaving him but under the top hair was all mated all the way to the skin so I had to shave him. The dog was excellent threw the whole thing other than the front legs & feet but not to bad even then. The owner was very appreciative & knew he would have to be shaved. This is her 3rd rescued shih tzu & the others were shaved when she got them due to mating. The owner was very pleased & said she will be back to have me groom all 3 of her dogs when they need it. So thanks again for everyones help. Here are the before & after pics. I can't wait to see what he looks like when he grows out again. Terri
    Attached Images Attached Images

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