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Clipper burn!

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  • Clipper burn!

    I accidentally clipper-burned a dog's scrotum today at work. Had one of the bosses tell the owner about it, and he was fine. Later on, the owners wife called, claiming I had "cut" her dog up "pretty bad" and she was taking him to the vet for it! My boss is not pleased with me right now. It was a total accident, my first experience with clipper burn, and I feel very bad about the whole thing. Although part of me is a little peeved at the fact that my boss didn't stand up for me. She was more worried about her reputation and never once said she understood accidents happen. My feelings are hurt!

  • #2
    Unfortunately clipper burn happens. I do my absolute MOST to skim and use a gentle touch on those areas that are sensitive, but all it takes is for the dog to decide to sit down and it will happen.

    My experience is that if clipper burn is untreated it will continue to get redder and redder when the pet goes home. If the dog decide to lick it will make it worse.

    The minute I notice an area getting red I use Skin Works or a steroid spray called Genesis. They seem to stop the clipper burn from getting worse. I still advise the owner, but at least I can say I've put something on it. I tell them that by tonight it should look much better but that if it doesn't look completely better by the next morning to give me a call.

    So I wouldn't be hurt, look at it as a learning experience and be prepared next time. Skin Works can be used on a lot of stuff. I'm not sure what is in it, but it isn't greasy and it really does work.
    "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


    • #3
      Ouch I did that to my own dog

      Shame on your boss if she actually saw it and knows what happened. I clipper burned a dogs face the other day. I didn't even notice it my boss did after the bath. whoops! All we could do was put a little baby powder on it and file down the back nails, and of course tell the owner. She didn't seem too pleased but knows the dog is wiggly and only gets groomed every 4 months or so. And by wiggly I mean as soon as he's bored/unamused he goes into a crocodile deathroll on the table!


      • #4
        Clipper burn/clipper rash

        Well, I don't know whether the problem was caused by a hot blade or by irritation at cutting hair short and then the dog feeling prickly, but either way the owners should have been told about applying Bactine to help soothe. Sounds like dog went at it and made some red marks and raw spots, so mama thinks he was cut!!


        • #5

          no offense, but if it was clipper burn, it was your fault! you should always test your blade on your wrist! if it is to hot for you, it definately is for the dog!! she did the right thing by telling the owner, otherwise they could have blown it way out of proportion. if you don't tell them, that is how lawsuits start! if he was matted; then you explain you did the best under the cercumstances. no offense, but you cannot blame someone else for what you did!


          • #6
            I say.....

            too bad the dog wasn't neutered. I too, use skin works because it does prevent such things. Don't beat yourself up, it us a learning experience. You know we offer solutions for this, so just order some skin works or genisis. Skin works is Coat Handler, Genisis, I do not know. You didn't do anything I bet all of us have done at least once in our grooming life. ( shhhh, more than once til I found skin works)


            • #7
              Originally posted by pawsonwheels View Post
              no offense, but if it was clipper burn, it was your fault!

     offense, but this is a very wrong statement. Some dogs are just sensitive to the blade. White dogs, puppies, and dogs that don't get groomed often enough. You can use a perfectly clean, cool blade and it will still irritate the skin. It is not actually a "burn" it is an irritation from cutting the hair close to the skin.

              gloaming: some people just don't understand what "clipper burn" really is, apparently that goes for groomers too (see pawsonwheels previous statement). The owner probably saw a very red irritated area that the dog was licking at and just over reacted. Now we can try to educate the owner about getting the dog groomed more often, we can use a lighter touch down there and just not be so thorough (as long as there is no matting), we can even keep a calming spray on hand, but the reality is that sometimes it will just happen. When it comes to incidents like that it isn't the managers job to stand up for you, it is the managers job to retain the customer. We'd all love it if the boss would always tell the customer exactly what we wanted, but that isn't going to happen. You know the dog needs groomed more often, you had to shave the area because it was probably covered in mats. That isn't your fault. Now just make sure you thoroughly document the incident and keep it on file. Check your dogs thoroughly at check in, if there is matting, cya (cover your a**) and let them see the matting and describe what will happen. Also, do you have dogs sign a matted pet release?
              I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


              • #8
                Clipper burn is not from hot blades. It's actually irritation caused by the cutter blade going back and forth. I've gotten "razor burn" while shaving my legs and I promise you that the razor wasn't hot.

                If you think about it, it makes sense. How hot would your blade have to be to give a first degree burn and how long would it have to stay in contact with the skin? I don't have the answer to either of those questions, but the point is that NO dog is going to hold still while you burn it's skin. It would move away and scream. I use a clipper vac and so my blades never get even warm, and yet I still have "clipper burned" dogs.

                When I talk to owners I try to avoid saying "clipper burn" because it really does give the wrong impression. I explain that the skin is so sensitive that the blade irritated the skin.
                "The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog." -Ambrose Bierce


                • #9
                  I compare it to a man growing out a beard then shaving it off. Feels funny and yes, can be irritated too. People understand that and know better to leave it alone til it settles, dogs are in the moment and don't GET IT. As humans we have to get it for them. About applying a topical, how do you go about choosing something? What if dog has an allergic reaction would you get in more trouble? Life and people have gotten so weird in some areas that you are damned if you do and damned if you don't.


                  • #10
                    Keyray is right. Clipper "burn" is not a thermal burn. It's friction, which causes irritation.

                    I've actually attempted to heat up a blade enough to cause a thermal burn when the blade is in contact with my skin for the nanosecond a clipper blade is against any given area of a dog when we're clipping. I suppose it's possible, but I've never been able to do it. Yes, they get hot. Uncomfortably hot. But the only way there was ever anything I'd remotely call a 'burn' happened only if I held the blade against my skin for several seconds.
                    Last edited by Helly; 04-07-10, 10:11 AM.


                    • #11
                      Sorry that happened to you, it will all work out. Next time, of course, just use a longer blade or do not clip that area on that particular dog. If you can, call the owner yourself, explain to them that some dogs are just more sensitive than others, and you never know who that dog is until it happens. And explain how the irritation happens-sensitive skin, could have had mats (intact males are notorious for mats around their hangdowns) that pulled a bit, dog could have felt prickly, sometimes they sit when you are clipping that are, etc. and tell her 9 times out of 10, unfortunately the dog licking the irritated area will make it worse. And I suggest never using the word 'burn', as someone else said that would have to be a pretty hot blade to 'burn', always say 'clipper irritation'. Burn sounds brutal, lol. Make sure and tell her that you can do 1 of 2 things on the next appointment, either use a longer blade or simply not clip that area. You will need to tell her if there are mats they will have to be trimmed out though. Ask her to bring a copy of the vet bill and you will cover the charges that pertain to the clipper irritation-do not say I will cover the charges, sometimes they like to throw in vaccinations and other procedures, so specify 'pertaining to clipper irritation'. (of course you will have to ok that part with the boss-should be able to write it off, it is an expense-keep the invoice).


                      • #12
                        wiggly and matted

                        The dog was extremely wiggly and matted, a nightmare to groom. My take on it is accidents happen, especially on a super wiggly little dog. When I owned my own salon, I was always very solicitous of the customer, but afterward, I would make sure the groomer knew I wasn't angry. I really wish my boss had taken that route. I don't care what she told the customer on the phone, it's what she said to me afterward that hurt my feelings. Probably being overly sensitive, but it would have been nice if she'd told me how to prevent clipper burn, what to tell the customer to treat it, etc., instead of worrying out loud about her reputation.

                        I'm wondering if my time at this salon is at an end. I've learned a lot there, but some things really bother me about the place. For instance, I don't get to greet the customer and talk to them about the dog--the receptionist/owner's husband does that part. Same with pick-up. I feel like I'm just someone who works in the back room, not a valuable member of the grooming team.