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grooming dogs with siezures

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  • grooming dogs with siezures

    I've groomed quite a few over the years and Thursday I groomed an elderly Sheltie. They told me when I arrived she had just started having siezures within the past week. I took one look at her and knew that I had to get her cleaned up. Under her tail was packed with feces. She had what I refer to as "cavern butt" where it's almost like a giant inny bellybutton. They had been trying to clip it out but didn't realize, I think, how far "in" they could go. She was also covered in something all over her body. I don't know exactly what it was, could have been feces, but I don't think it was her own. Almost looked liked she rolled in goose droppings. I knew there was a very good chance she was going to sieze on me while I was grooming her. I went as slowly and genlty as I could. I let her lay down whenever she wanted to. She was great in the bath tub and then on the table when I was almost done drying her she had a seizure. I would clasify it, though I'm no expert, as a petite mal type seizure. Her whole body twitched, but not violently, it was mostly her biting at the air. I kept her safe, but didn't restrain her, and let her come out of it. Her owners were right outside the window so I let them know and told them I would just quickly finish her up and let her go back to them. I shaved under her tail really well. Her poor skin was really red and I'm sure sore from all the feces. These people really love this dog, I think they simply didn't know the extent to what was going on under that tail. Her mom told me they had suspected she had had siezures but hadn't seen one yet, while the husband had witnessed two that morning and had not had a chance to tell the wife. When I brought her back out, her mom was in teh garage waiting. There was a big blanket on the floor that I placed her on and she tried to wander. She told me within the last two weeks she had seemed to go blind and she was deaf so she kept walking into things. Her mom got her to settle and just layed down with her on the floor of the garage and was still there after I cleaned up and pulled out. She thanked me profusely for helping her.
    So it made me wonder what your policy is when a dog has a siezure when you are working on them? At the salon we would ask the owner what they preferred us to do. At the vet, well, I would go ask the vet. This is the first one that has siezed on me in the mobile.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    Had the first one a few weeks ago. A Shih Tzu I've been grooming for 4 years had a petite mal seizure for about a minute. She was in the tub, and I drizzled water on her head to finish bathing her and she let out a scream and fell over. I immediately grabbed her, wrapped her in a towel and kept her quiet. She came out of it like nothing had happened. I called her owner and he said, oh yeah, she's been doing that for the last few months...jeesh...thanks for telling me. I was able to finish grooming her (she's always been a little weird, not mean, just different, not very happy) and her owner picked her up and immediately took her to the vet. Yup...eplilepsy... The next time she came in, now that she is on phenobarbital, she's a completely different dog. She's happy, outgoing, and obviously feels better.

    It's hard to know what to do at times with seizures, but I think keeping them as quiet as possible is important. I'm not sure what I would do with a dog with an unexpected violent seizure...other than call the vet immediately and keep out of their way.

    Anybody else have ideas???


    • #3
      This happened a few years ago, we had an older scottie that came in regularly for grooming. One day the mom brought her in and as soon as she hit the front lobby she started having a seizure. The mom rushed her to the vet, and she was fine. The next time (a few weeks later) the same exact thing happened as soon as the dog walked into the shop. It was so weird. This time the mom just held her until it passed. The next time she carried the dog in and everything was fine.

      We also have a jack russel mix that used to seize and foam at the mouth as soon as she saw the bathtub or was put in the tub. We callled the mom the first time, and the second time we just held her until she came out of it (about a minute later). Now its a few years later and it doesn't happen anymore, but she is definiatly a nervous dog.

      When these seizures do happen we always call the parents right away. I've never had a bad one that I had to rush to the vet, and I hope I never do. Usually the customer tells us if the dog has a history of seizures and we write it on the grooming card so we are aware.


      • #4
        I ask all new clients if their pet has any history of seizures. If so, it is something I am aware of and if the pet has one, I let them ride it out, settle down and finish grooming. If the pet is not one known for seizures and yet has one, I call the owner, ask if the pet has had any seizures before and then let the client decide what they would like me to do. Seizures don't upset me too much as I have had two pets in the past that seized. Both of them started later in life and ended up they had brain lesions. I had several pets seize on me when I first opened. Now I groom only one epileptic pet and he seems to be under control with Pheno.
        Lisa VanVleet, RVT


        • #5
          Alphipsu, I used to groom a nervous shih x who would foam at the mouth and bob her head whenever she came in to my lobby. She was fine in the working area. Back then I wasn't as informed as I am now, although I am still learning always. I had an iron cast table and chair in the lobby and we figured possible rust from dog pee and cleaner residue? I don't know a whole lot about seizures triggers, stress, noise, scents or nothing at all? It made me think and I'm careful now about scents and products I use. I just don't know, will a scent trigger a reaction?


          • #6
            ON our intake forms we ask a lot of questions. Shampoo; any special needed, cologne; anyone in the family have asthma or allergies, blades for sanitary; ever have an issues with skin sensitivity (an 8 1/2 or a 10 etc.) and any medical issues that may have changed. I have mentioned several times on other posts about my training with Vets for special needs pets, but I think ALL groomers should consider at least learning about some basic medical stuff. IT is soooo important to know how to recognize things. We as professional groomers go places on pets (and a lot more frequently than even the Vet does) that it is important to learn at least how to recognize things.

            It can be a little 'un-nerving' to have things like this happen especially the first time.. but when you have a general knowledge of how to 'see' things you are even more important to the owners!
            Ive spotted so many little bumps that have turned out to be issues the Vet's have missed that later turned out to be serious pre-medical issues.. owners love the fact that we are Professionals!

            If you can, see if you can make a list of simple things then ask your local Vet if you can 'learn' how to spot things... Vets love the fact that you can be a 'spotter' for them... saves them the trouble in a way... It is easy enough to ask and they love knowing you respect their hard earned knowledge and are willing to refer clients when you see ANYTHING different on a pet.


            • #7
              If they have a seizure at the hosp the vets have me stop the groom. I know in many cases dogs can have a seizure and continue on after some recovery time but that is the vets policy. If they are wet or at a point where they look ridiculous I will do the minimum to make them presentable/dry. I do always take them up and have the vet take a look. (They don't charge)


              • #8
                We have only one that has seizures, that we know of. A large husky mix. The parents have warned us and he takes meds for it. Whether I would stop or not would definitely depend on how the dog reacted afterward. Cesar always has little seizures, he will just slide down slowly, then his body will rock slightly for about 30 seconds, then it is like he wakes up and is fine. If the dog just seemed very groggy or exhausted, etc. afterword, I'd for sure stop. Really as long as the owners are aware of the dogs condition and the seizure is a fairly small one, I'd really see it as no big deal. Course my stepdad has epilepsy, so that was just something we kind of got used to growing up.
                I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.


                • #9
                  It's generally been my policy not to finish the groom when a dog seizes. Especially when the dog has no history of seizures. Most of the time seizures are not all that serious, in and of themselves, but whenever something new crops up, it's best to let a vet check it out first.

                  Now I work for a vet, and if a dog has a seizure, I let one of the doctors decide.


                  • #10
                    Our policy is if the dog is wet or unpresentable then we continue with the bare miniuim on the groom after recovery time. We also inform the owner and ask if they wont to continue the groom. But I also work at a vet so its typically up to them on weather to finish or not.
                    Never gonna know if you never even try