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  • 17 year old dog coming in...

    I'm worried about tomorrow..We have a 17 year old dog coming in tomorrow in her notes it says that she was very hard to handle and she would never do this dog again..
    How should I handle this dog if she is bad? I don't want to stress her out and have her die on my table...
    She is probably going to be really matted (they brought in their other dog mon, and it had to have a 30 strip since the dog was just a 4 inch thick pelt)...
    Should I turn her away if/when she starts stressing out..and leaving her with half a groom?

  • #2
    If it were me in the situation...I would not touch this dog unless a matted release form is signed, and sometimes, if I'm really nervous about potential "croakage",...I'll even put in additional wording by hand to indicate that the owner has read/is aware of the possibility/and asumes the risk of death. I know it sounds extreme, but some owners are in a bit of denial...not to mention, they let the dogs go WAY TOO LONG between appts. because they think they are actually "doing the dog a favor". NOT!

    That being done, I always tell the owners "I will do the best I can do without stressing the dog to the point of no return, or risking injury to myself", and I charge them for every minute of my time, just as I would with any other dog, even if I determine I can not complete the dog.

    I've been in this situation many times over the years, no one has died on me yet, and I have some folks that signed a form worded like that 2 years ago...and the daggone dogs are stilllll hanging on!

    I don't put any pressure on myself what-so-ever, and usually manage to get alot more accomplished than I thought I would. But...the owner has GOT to be on-board, and I don't pussyfoot around by trying to buffer my words.
    Good Luck.
    Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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    • #3
      We have a lot of old pets that come into your shop. We just tell the client up front when they drop off that if the dog seems too stressed then we stop. Even if the dog is half groomed, we just stop. We do the most important things first, like getting matts off, getting the eyes cleared up etc etc, and if they can take more than we'll do more, if not than only the bare necessities are done. If the owner cares anything for their pet they will be understanding and know that your first and only concern is the dogs well being and not how beautiful the haircut is.
      My co-worker is wonderful with the little old dogs that no other groomer will touch. She gets them done quick and only does the bare necessities and she tells the owner that it may not be the most beautiful haircut but their dog will be comfortable. She also tells the owner that if she has to stop halfway through or whatever that they will be charged accordingly.

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      • #4
        After getting the "death waiver" signed, I'd ask the owner to stay for a few min. just to see if the dog would let me touch it. If the dog starts doing ANYTHING I don't feel comfortable with...home it goes. I might even keep the owner there if the dog was good just to witness the grooming. If it dies, I don't want them to think for a minute that I did anything wrong.

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        • #5
          Forget waivers and releases. Get a signed statement from the dog's vet saying the dog is healthy enough to withstand the stress of grooming.

          Personally, if I were in a shop and not a vet clinic, I would probably not even attempt it. I'd send 'em to a vet's for grooming.

          There ya go. Send it to me, LOL.

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          • #6
            Where can I find a release form thing..we have never used those before...

            I would like to send it to the vet but these people are 'good' customers and bring in their dogs for baths (which they have like 15) alot (and neglect to bring in their groom dogs..) But if anything comes up the dog is going home...I hope it's at least somewhat behaved...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BoscoandKoda View Post
              Where can I find a release form thing..we have never used those before...

              I would like to send it to the vet but these people are 'good' customers and bring in their dogs for baths (which they have like 15) alot (and neglect to bring in their groom dogs..) But if anything comes up the dog is going home...I hope it's at least somewhat behaved...
              You don't need a release, unless the dog is matted. Then you need something stating that they are aware that their dog will have no hair when they get it back...and all that other matted dog stuff.

              What you really need is a letter from their vet, stating that the dog is healthy enough to handle the groom. Just call the owner and ask them to bring one when they come in.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by BoscoandKoda View Post
                She is probably going to be really matted (they brought in their other dog mon, and it had to have a 30 strip since the dog was just a 4 inch thick pelt)...
                This is the reason I suggested a matted dog release, and possibly...then some.

                I thought about it a little more after I read Helly's response and really took into account the notes by the other groomer...and I think Helly has the safest advice, if you are really concerned. (Which, of course you are...)
                Sorry that it is tomorrow, maybe too little-too late, but I suspect that if I had my choice under your circumstances...I too, would want a letter from the vet.
                Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Helly View Post
                  Forget waivers and releases. Get a signed statement from the dog's vet saying the dog is healthy enough to withstand the stress of grooming.

                  Personally, if I were in a shop and not a vet clinic, I would probably not even attempt it. I'd send 'em to a vet's for grooming.

                  There ya go. Send it to me, LOL.
                  I HAVE to say this sounds like the safest course of action.
                  "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                  People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Helly View Post
                    You don't need a release, unless the dog is matted. Then you need something stating that they are aware that their dog will have no hair when they get it back...and all that other matted dog stuff.

                    What you really need is a letter from their vet, stating that the dog is healthy enough to handle the groom. Just call the owner and ask them to bring one when they come in.
                    The only problem I see with this is, what if they bring in a signed letter from the vet and something happens. Then they can say my vet stated my dog was healthy enough for the groom. What happens then? I don't want to come off as being negative, the thought just came to my mind when I was reading this whole post. It is scary doing some of the older dogs and I don't know if there is answer to protect groomers if something unforseen and unfortunate happens. The only thing I can think is to pay close attention and if the dog does anything to cause concern, stop and call the owners to come and pick up their dog. I do have a few older dogs and I'm very concerned and careful when I groom them. So far so good. If they show any signs of things not going so good for them, I would not hesitate one second to call the owners and have the dog picked up for their welfare.

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                    • #11
                      there are some dogs that i will not do without an ok from the vet. i have even offered to meet them at their vet and groom them there.
                      Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
                      "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Helly View Post
                        Forget waivers and releases. Get a signed statement from the dog's vet saying the dog is healthy enough to withstand the stress of grooming.

                        Personally, if I were in a shop and not a vet clinic, I would probably not even attempt it. I'd send 'em to a vet's for grooming.

                        There ya go. Send it to me, LOL.
                        seriously the best idea .. this dog should be groomed at a vet clinic for its own safety . If you personally have never groomed this dog before and the notes have stated the other groomers will not groom it again due to difficulty levels for health reasons alone this dog should have medical staff on hand for any unforeseen incidents should they arise .

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                        • #13
                          i wouldnt even attempt to this dog,to many problems and stress for you and the dog not worth it

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dbarcreations<3westies View Post
                            The only problem I see with this is, what if they bring in a signed letter from the vet and something happens. Then they can say my vet stated my dog was healthy enough for the groom. What happens then? .
                            I'd say not much happens then. Certainly not as much as could happen if you don't have the vets approval.

                            We are not vets, so we can only go so far in assessing a dog's fitness for grooming. On the other hand, the vet has much more training, and is more able to determine the dog's fitness. So if we ask for a vet's release, we've exercised due dillegence, which is what the law requires of us.

                            If we are reasonable in how we handle the dog, and something happens anyway, we have a piece of paper stating the dog was examined and found fit enough to withstand the stress of the groom. That's really all we can do. If we don't ask, and don't have one, you can bet that a judge or attorney is going to ask you why. They'll want you to explain why you didn't seek an expert opinion before proceding.

                            No release, waiver, statement of fitness is going to be 100%. Vets can make mistakes. Some physical ailments may not be presenting symptoms until the dog is stressed. But by asking a vet to sign off on the groom, we've legally covered our butts. And that's really all we can do.

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                            • #15
                              well...

                              The dog came in not matted at all (thank goodness) she was fine with me petting her when her owner was there..She went to the back and i tried to put her in a cage and she kept trying to turn around and bite me...we got her in there then we tried to take her out she completely flipped out and we gave up on trying to do anything with her..The person was very understanding and i'm not sure what they are going to do with her now..I don't think anyone can really groom her...Even with the people there she kept trying to bite us..
                              So all the worry not worth it..poor old dog..

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