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why can't the vets work with us?

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  • why can't the vets work with us?

    Last week I did an 11 month old schnauzer. He was such a good boy and was cooperative with everything until it got to his ears. His ears were loaded with hair (and it was yellow). As far as I can tell, it looks like they've never been plucked. I tried to pull some out, but nothing would come out. All the hair was just in there too tight. The dog was getting upset, and I was getting stressed, so I stopped trying pretty quickly. When I brought the dog into the house I told them that the dog's ears were loaded with hair and they might want to consider taking the dog to the vet to have it removed. I explained to them how tight it was in there and that I wasn't going to cause any more discomfort to the dog than I already have. I told them if the vet thinks that the dog should have the ear hair plucked than I could keep it up after the initial work done by the vet.

    Well, I get a message on my machine today that they brought the dog to their vet and the vet said that it was my job to pluck the ear hair and that they shouldn't have paid the price of a full groom because I didn't do it. They want me to call them back to discuss the "situation". I will calm down a little before I call them back.

    So, I need some good comments to make to this customer.

    Helly, I'm really counting on you for this one, because I know how you feel about ear hair plucking.
    don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

  • #2
    It is only your job until it endangers the dog or the groomer. I don't pluck hair. If it is not loose to gently pull out, then it is the vets job. Just like anal glands. I don't do that either. It is up to each individual groomer as to what we do and don't do. That is not services I offer.
    I would ask for the vets name and number and contact him. Explain what you did and why. If you have that info, call the vet before you call the people back.
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


    • #3
      if it were me, I would first call the vet and explain why you felt like it couldn't be done. I would explain to him also it is not his place to step into a groomers shoes anymore than it is for you to tell his clients how to do his job. geez...I would explain to the owners also the time it took for you to at least attempt to do the ears...and with it being a problem..took more time than it usually thats why they were charged a full groom. It obviously had been neglected to the point that a vets services were required...and thats not your fault...if it had a discharge..plucking also could have further aggravated the problem...we are not vet substitutes as much as people would like for us to be lol I think you did what I would've done and that is to act in the best interest of the dog! ya did good kid!


      • #4
        I don’t know what I would say. I’m not always best at choosing my words. I would politely remind them that you normally pluck the ear hair, but in this situation it would have been way to painful and stressful for their pet and that is why you referred them to the vet. I would explain that you did the full groom, and for the amount of work and time you placed in the groom that is why the price was what it was. I would also explain that the doctor might of had tools readily available to make the process less painful that are otherwise not offered to groomer. I know its discouraging that vets seem to always find a way to blame or make the groomer look bad. Its sounds to me like he was lazy and just didn’t want to deal with it himself. I would be interested in hearing what others have to say, because I know a lot of people on this board don’t pluck anymore and I would like to know how to better explain this to my customers.


        • #5
          Off the subject a little. Why aren't some of you plucking ear hair anymore? Is there a reason why? I thought it was best to let air in.


          • #6
            Oh, I get sooooo steamed at vets on issues like this. And I've called vets on it. Basically, I explain the situation to the vet, but it always ends up with me saying "Look, I don't tell you how to practice medicine. Don't tell me how to groom dogs. I also don't suggest to clients that if the first medication you perscribe doesn't work, you shouldn't charge them full price, or you should refund the cost of the meds. If I feel it's not safe for me to pluck ear hair, I'm not going to pluck it. You don't sign my pay check, so don't try dictating what my job is."

            I avoid the whole issue of plucking/not plucking in relation to ear infections. They aren't going to listen to it, aren't going to research it. They're the prima donnas with the medical degreee, so why should they listen to a lowly groomer. I just "pull rank". You don't sign my check, you aren't my boss, it's not up to you to tell me how I'm going to do my job.

            PetsRus, I and some others have stopped automatically plucking hair because veterinary dermatologist no longer recommend it. Plucking hair that will come out easily causes no harm. But plucking hair that isn't ready to come out can cause irritation and oozing of serum. Serum is a perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria, and that leads to ear infections.

            Since I stopped plucking ear hair, I've seen fewer poodles, schnauzers and shih tzus with ear infections.

            Cocker spaniel ears are a whole 'nother issue.


            • #7
              Maybe it wasn't the vet who told the clients this...Maybe it was a receptionist, who doesn't know the situation. I would def. call over to vet office and find out for sure and explain the situation to the receptionist and the vet.


              • #8
                Are you asking why the vets will not work with us or why that vet wouldn't back you up? You referred the clients to their vet, they paid for his/her professional training and opinion and it was given. Prehaps, you should contact the vet, introduce yourself, discuss the issue and the reason for the opinion given. Any information that you can gather straight from the vet's mouth should be helpful as you determine what good comments you want to give to your client. Keep an open mind, be professional and you may find this negative situation to be an opportunity which you can turn into a positive learning experience and help you to retain the client. Good luck.


                • #9
                  Ok, Ive had this talk with a couple vets. that the day they started saying the groomer should be doing it was the worst thing that could of happened. for one thing some groomers and bathers dont know how to express the anals safley or pluck ears with out possibly cause a more serious problem. I tell my customers the same thing we'll try to express but if dont come out easy . They need to go to the vet same with ears if they smell funky or look like there something going on I wont pluck or clean they need to go to the vet. Cause if you do it then your damed by the vet even worse.. and now the customer wants you to pay the vet bill NO WAY no more of that. And i tell the customer. so let the vet bag on us for not doing it id rather have that than the dog had surgery for it anals or the ears became infected that gets around town QUICK


                  • #10
                    Wow, I am stunned by this vets arrogance in saying what YOUR job description is in YOUR business!!!! What nerve! I'm sorry, but that part of your story just flew all over
                    That aside, I would still call the vet to explain why you didn't pluck. Keep the tone of the conversation friendly, because you don't want to get on the bad side of a vet. It is also possible that the owners misinterperted what he said. We all know how often that happens! I would also tell the owners that you stand by your decision not to pluck. You could offer to let them watch the next time so they can see first handed what you are talking about! Don't let this vet make you second guess your decision. You did the right thing IMO.
                    SheilaB from SC


                    • #11
                      It might be a good idea to call the vet first before doing anything else. Sometimes (and I have had it happen a few times) the owner misconstrues what the vet said. The vet might have said nothing of the like...of course he also could have said it, but i think that it would be best to get it from the horses mouth, so to speak. Then you can go from there. If he did indeed say it you can talk to him about your policy, and why you felt it was in the pet's best interest to not pluck the ears...and like I said, YOUR policy, one he has no business disputing. You did what you thought was best for the pets sake. If the owners had a problem paying full price for the groom because you did not pluck the ears, then that is between you and them, not the vet. However, that being said, vets do often refer to businesses (a large percentage of our referrals come from vets) so do your best to remain nice and professional (which I know you will ). Explain the same thing to the owners, that you had the best interest of their pet in mind. How can they argue with that...if worse comes to worse they feel the have to find another groomer, but I have had similar situations happen and it all worked out just fine. In most cases the vet didn't say what the owner said, and it all got worked out! I hope you can get it all worked out.
                      Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


                      • #12

                        I have come to the conclusion that I'm not as nice as most of you are. I think I would have a hard time NOT calling that vet and asking him if he knew the difference between his ass and a hole in the ground.

                        I guess I'm lucky because most of the vets in this area work with me. There is ONE vet who is a few mutts short of a puppy mill, but most of my clients don't use him anyway.

                        I'm curious to know why people are not plucking ears also. Seems like I'm always being asked, "will you make sure to pluck the ears and express the anals?" I have the feeling I would lose a lot of business if I didn't do those 2 things. I don't pluck ears if I notice irritation or infection, and if the anals are stubborn, I don't bother, but I always give both a try.

                        What I don't do is brush teeth. That grosses me out.


                        • #13
                          You are so right! The vets don't work with us as they should. I pull ear hair (sometimes I need to use powder) but when, like the dog you had, it is too thick, too much I tell the customer & leave it alone. Frequently, I have a dog that came to me from the vets and am told "the vet says you need to pull this hair out". OK well, ..... the vet is there, looking in the ear, it is a medical situation. WHY didn't HE pull it out?>?!!


                          • #14
                            I totally agree with Hairdevil. Yellow discharge?? No way would I pluck that ear. Too painful for the pet. I would have trimmed all the hair around the ear as close as poss-40 blade- but infection needs a vet's attention. Yes, I do pluck ear hair unless it's dangerous for me or the pet. The vets here are anal about groomers plucking ear hair. One schnauzer I do will let me finger pluck, but no forceps-too jumpy. Vet wants groomer to get way down the ear canal, but when she had this guy lightly sedated, SHE ruptured his ear drum. And she thinks I can SAFELY do this dog???!!! Yes, I would talk to the vet and explain your reasoning. They have the same priorities as we do, the health and safety of the pets we see.
                            Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                            Groom on!!!


                            • #15
                              I forgot to mention, I don't use the forceps in the ears. Just because I'm not comfortable doing it. I use ear powder to get a grip, and lightly pluck out any visible hair. If I can't reach the hair with my fingertips, that's a job for the vet, as far as I'm concerned.