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    Just wonder how many of you follow groomers us neck harns on small dogs you groom.

    this may sound like a strange question but, here is why I am asking.

    I groomed a small 4lb dog yesterday. that I have groomed many times. I put the harns on the dog neck very loosely and had no problem during the grooming. she did not pull or strain on the harns.

    I completed the grooming and returned the dog to the customer once I set the dog on the ground the dog coughed a few time. I said whats wrong girl bend down and rubbed the dog and it stoped caughing. the customer told me she does that (cough) when she excided and that was that.

    The customer call me and said she had taken her dog to the vet. because she keeps coughing.

    The Vet told her that the dog looks like it had just been groomed and wanted to know if the groomer used a harnes on its neck and if so that this has caused the trachea to collapse

    In so many word its my fault.

    since the dog had not been strain by the harnes during grooming. I do not know how I could have caused this.

    Not sure how to handle this one, I have in the knicked a dog while grooming in the past
    I didn't charge for the grooming and I paid the vet bill in full,without any question this was my responsiblility.

    She said that the dog is on medication to help her breathing, if that does not help her she might need an operation to open the airway. which will lead to more cost,

    I know I didn't do anything to cause this, so I am not sure how to handle this problem.

    do you have any thoughts on how to handle this.

    I want to do whats right.

  • #2
    I use the grooming strap from Groomer's Helper. It allows you to adjust it to the size of the dog's neck. If a dog freaks our or does "alligator rolls" I have noticed that the neck will be red. Some of the other groomers I work with use the slip leads and if the dog pulls it can tighten around the neck. So I can see how this might happen.

    My first piece of advise is to talk to the vet directly. You CANNOT trust what a client says the vet says. MOST vets will not go out and say a groomer caused something to happen unless there is real proof. Explain that the dog did not struggle and you can't see how it could have been injured under your care. Ask if it is possible something else caused it or possibly having a strap aggravated an underlying issue.

    I work at a vet clinic. One client told me that the owner/lead vet told her that I caused her dog's skins problems. I went directly to the vet and asked her about it. The vet was shocked because what she told the client was that sometimes a dog will be itchy after grooming. She did not say that I caused anything or that what the dog was suffering was caused by grooming. But the client heard something completely different.

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


    • #3
      On small dogs (or dog's who "choke themselves" I loop the tether around the dog's neck & behind a front leg, forming a harness that doesn't press against the trachea (sp?)


      • #4
        yes talk to the vet. Collapsed trachea isn't something that just happens, kinda, I mean the dog would of had a weak trachea to begin with, did the owners walk the dog with just a collar? walking dogs with collars can cause trachea problems and collapse too. The dog coughing when its breathing increases, i.e. when the dog is excited isn't exactly normal. Yes lots of breeds do it, like pugs and bulldogs and other short nose dogs because the have excessive tissue in the backs of their throat that causes then to suffocate a little. If the dog was coughing then it could of already been having issues. I would go to vet office and talk to vet specifically and get all details. And if vet thinks you did it have him/her put it in writing. When you find out for sure let us know!


        • #5
          If the little dog is already on breathing meds, possibly cortisone for a trachea problem,the owner should have let you know so you could use an alternate restraint like suggested over the shoulder,or I sometiomes use a padded tummy strap. Do you ask the owner of any new dog if the dog has any health problems you should know about? That way you can write it on the card,and avoid future problems. An awful lot can be miscommunicated between the vet,and the client and you. Before blaming yourself,or paying anything, especially if you were not informed about the breathing problem,and you were extra careful not to let her choke herself on your loop, I would talk to the vet,and let them know your side of the story. It is very strange the way clients can get things mixed up,and try to blame you ,and say things the vet said. Anyway vets are not Gods! And without proof or real solid reason ,no-one should be finger pointing at you! Try not to be intimadated or defensive if you feel a need to speak to vet,just a friendly and professioanl call is usually the best approach!
          "Everyone needs something to beleive in..I beleive I need another Poodle"


          • #6
            Originally posted by onions View Post
            On small dogs (or dog's who "choke themselves" I loop the tether around the dog's neck & behind a front leg, forming a harness that doesn't press against the trachea (sp?)
            That how I use the grooming loop on small dogs (especially one that is only 4 lbs.). It has prevented a choking a couple of times.


            • #7
              Many years ago I had a male Maltese who had a collapsed trachea. When he would get excited he would cough. There wasn't much that could be done about that. When I groomed him he stood like a statue so I never used a loop on him. However, on my client cards I have place for them to write down any medical issues that I need to know about. I had a dog last week that the owner told me had breathing problems and would cough. She told me the vet said his windpipe was weak and the excitement would cause partial collapse. I put the loop on the dog but didn't have it on tight. So, I didn't have any issues. When the owner came to get the dog it was excited and started coughing. She said, "see what I mean. Excited coughing." I don't think a grooming session with a loop on would cause a fully collapsed trachea. Like others before me, I would talk to the vet about this issue.


              • #8
                4 lbs is very tiny, and small dogs are more prone to narrow, weak or collapsing tracheas. Add excitement during grooming, cold weather, even slight pressure on the neck due to the dog pulling on the leash while being walked by the owner could cause this to come to the surface.

                This is one of the main problems we deal with as groomers: Dogs who have pre existing medical problems that flare up during the excitement of being groomed. We get the blame.


                • #9
                  I groom

                  a teensy Maltese that a groomer referred to me for Housecall because it has a trachea problem, collapses. I have used the Groomers Helper with the front attached. I tell my customers that this thus does not pull on the trachea. Often though I just keep a good hand on the dog, she's so little that it's easy to do. No problems in the comfort of her own home at all.

                  I think that the dog likely had a week trachea problem and might be bothered by the loop, but also the excitement or fearfullness of grooming can sometimes seem to bother the trachea too.

                  No matter what first thing you would want to do is speak with the Veterinarian. See what was really said.
                  Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PoodlePal View Post
                    That how I use the grooming loop on small dogs (especially one that is only 4 lbs.). It has prevented a choking a couple of times.
                    I do the same thing, over the head and behind one front leg.

                    Talk to the vet personally before you assume responsibility over this situation. If the dog did not pull against your grooming loop, then it seems unlikely that you created a problem.

                    I also wonder about the owner walking the dog with a collar and the dog pulling the leash, that may be the problem and the owner did not realize it would hurt the dog.


                    • #11
                      I would sya the customer has known of this issue it has never happened with you int he shop? so how can the vet say it si your fault? Call the vet and ask him wht exactly he said and let him know the owner was aware of the problem and you weren't. But in future use the one leg in the loop to be safe. I have one client a Pom who won't have any issues til teh owner comes to get him we laugh because we know he is doing it just for attnetion because it never happens during the groom!


                      • #12
                        If the dog already had a problem with coughing when it was excited, it already had a collapsing trachea. You didn't cause it.

                        While it's the owner's responsibility to inform you of health issues, it doesn't hurt to jog their memory a bit. Get in the habit of asking all new clients if their pet has any health conditions you need to know about; heart disease, arthritis, other joint problems, collapsing trachea. I can't tell you the number of times I've asked if the dog has any problems and been told No, but when I start listing things like heart problems, etc. they suddenly remember "Oh yes. Fluffy has a bad back" or "I'm glad you reminded me. Phydough has a bad heart." So ask. And periodically ask existing clients if anything has changed with their pet's health, too.


                        • #13
                          My Cindee 6 lb toy poodle has trachea problems,which sometimes flare up for no apparent reason. If she cough,or retches a lot I give her a prednisone pill,per vet instructions. She wears a step in harness for walks,and if I ever had her groomed by someone else I would consider it MY responsibility to let that groomer know to please use the alternate loop,or a tummy strap. If your client knew the little dog had breathing problems,and uses a neck collar,and did not inform you of the condition, it hardly seems your fault,especially if you made sure she was looped gently and kept her stress low. Getting excited definitly aggravates trachea problems,as does strenous exercise,some foods,pollutants. I was spraying febreeze last week and didn't notice my tiny one was sleeping curled up on a black pillow on the sofa I was spraying,and casued her a bad retching attack. I felt terrible.
                          "Everyone needs something to beleive in..I beleive I need another Poodle"