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Nightmare housecall. Grooming is stressing me out.

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  • Nightmare housecall. Grooming is stressing me out.

    I had my first incident today while doing house calls. I trimmed this super matted dogs face into a cute puppy trim and the owner said she wanted it shaved. I took a 5 blade and tried to do a clean face and foolishly nicked the dogs under eye. This dogs eye was bleeding and I thought I blinded him.... luckily that wasn't the case. When I saw what I did and assumed the worst I did pass out. Flat out on the floor done. The owner called 911 and I was okay and they were very understanding. The bleeding stopped right away and the dog seemed okay. This dog was a mess when I came in and I could only get a 10 on the body. It was a new dog they rescued and never had real grooming before. I cant believe I passed out and cut there dog in the eye! I haven't had a issue in months! Every time it happens I get racked with guilt and I start to question myself. I have been doing this for 4 years. I should be better then this. The lady gave me full pay and I told her if there was an issue with the eye to call me. It looked worse when it happened then what it was. Just a little cut under the eye. I still feel like **** though. And I hate myself for hurting there new dog on his first groom. I feel bad in general. ugh.

  • #2
    You didn't say what size the dog was but I'll assume it was around an average shih tzu size. If so I'd probably have used a 9 or at most a 7 blade on the face. 5 's just have too much gap between the teeth for those little spaces.
    BUT that is in hindsight and not having my hands on the dog. Besides, I might have tried the same thing in your situation.
    If the dog is going to be fine I'd try to relax and use this as a teaching moment. Truthfully - you are probably feeling worse about it than the dog. Or even the owners. And there is absolutely nothing we can say to you other then we've most of us done something we feel ****** about and wish we could erase from having ever happened. We can't - but we can move on and let it make us better at what we do and stronger overall.


    • #3
      Sorry........had to chuckle.......I have visions of a groomer splayed out on the floor. You definitely used the wrong blade on a face........#10, #9 or #7 would work. Four years of experience may seem long, but I'm still learning after almost 30 years, and so will you.....

      Happy calling 911

      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC


      • #4
        Do you usually pass out when you see blood?
        Maybe have your blood pressure and blood sugar checked to make sure everything is okay, just in case, if you haven't had a check up in the past year. Passing out is a very extreme reaction! What if you'd hit your head on something hard? You could have wound up in the hospital.
        I'm still learning that it's important to not listen to owners if they suggest doing something that might be harmful to the pet. They don't know any better.
        When I start to feel guilty, I remember that guilt is another form of narcissism. It's taking a situation and making it all about me! I get into that trap too, so I feel for you. All that matters is that the dog is fine. You are not the important part of this story
        Move on. The next dog will be different.


        • #5
          I am glad you are OK and the dog. There is still a lot to be thankful for compared to what could have happened to both of you, wow, 911 even. Don't be hard on yourself, summarize what you learned from all of this and find some peace in it and look at it as a lesson of sorts knowing you are a better groomer in the future from this wild experience.


          • #6
            Wow, Emma. Love the comment about guilt. Puts a whole new perspective give on things. I'll be kerping get phrase in mind.


            • #7
              Sorry you went through this, pick yourself up I hope and continue on. On the lighter side while grooming a dog from the rear he gassed me head on and it was so rotten smelling I almost did pass out.


              • #8
                Passing out can be so weird and random. I grew up on a farm growing and butchering all sorts of animals and wildlife, and I spent 13 years of my career working in a vet clinic and seeing all manner of wretched grossness and blood and guts. What did me in was watching my kid sister get her nose pierced. As soon as they speared her, boom, down I went. Never saw that one coming.

                Don't be too hard on yourself.


                • #9
                  Stop smacking yourself for what was an accident. There are helpful comments here about what your possible error was (I'm not a groomer, I'm a paramedic hoping to learn how to do my own pets safely) but more to the point about why you passed out this might help...

                  1) Don't over-think about the accident (injury) part, focus on doing first aid (direct pressure on the cut and reassure the pet) and why the accident happened. Learn how you could prevent it in future. Don't obsess about it afterwards as then it blows out of proportion in your mind and demoralises you.

                  2) Remember to take deep, slow breaths when you get a fright. Take your eyes OFF the bleeding wound and look for a cloth or something to hold on the wound. People often forget to breathe when they get a fright, and staring straight at a wound will just fix the sight in your mind. ACT... DON'T REACT. When you need to apply the dressing and need to look at the wound, look very slightly to one side and use peripheral vision.

                  3) Immediately the accident occurs, say out-loud in a soothing, calm voice "Don't worry.... You'll be OK.... It's just an accident.... You'll be fine.... I'll fix this"...
                  You'll be soothing the patient but ALSO by hearing your own words, you will calm yourself too.

                  4) The tips above apply to people as well as animals. Good luck. Don't give up.


                  • #10
                    @Totally Clips, I had to laugh at your comment. I am a paramedic and nurse (for 40 years) and lived through war and in a very high violent crime country. I've seen too much.

                    I passed out when helping my vet friend stitch a wound on my own dog!


                    • #11
                      Emma, you are spot-on with your comment.
                      Very wise words all round. Thank you.