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Health Assessment by Groomers at PetCo. Petco to change ads after vets complain.

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  • Health Assessment by Groomers at PetCo. Petco to change ads after vets complain.

    PetCo was going to run, or was running, ads where an owner is shown talking about her dog being described as "happy and healthy" on a groomer report card. Also the ad shows a groomer opening the dog's mouth and checking the teeth. The AVMA (vet group) met with PetCo to ask them to make it clear that visits to the groomer aren't a substitute for visits to the vet. PetCo is going to change the ads.
    This reminded me that I have to be careful to never say anything that seems like a medical assessment of a pet, even if the owner specifically asks me to check the teeth, etc.

  • #2
    Yep surprised they would use the word "healthy." I know I know I read from problems to profits book and it said record ONLY observations, never diagnose.


    • #3
      Yes, I've seen that ad alot. Wondered about that.
      Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

      Groom on!!!


      • #4
        The reality is, that groomers are able to recognize problems in pets more readily than most owners based on experience. How many times have you heard, "I didn't know Fluffy was so matted that he required a shavedown!!" We've got dogs coming in to school with tortuously painful sandburs dug into their armpits, their faces, their abdomens...owners don't even know they are there. Groomers see yeasty or infected ears, but the owners just think that smell is that Fluffy is dirty. You see a swelling on the face and rotting teeth, owners think Fluffy just has bad breath. I've discovered that not many people actually see their pet with the same attention that the groomer is seeing them.

        One of the "professionals" at school used to work at PetSmart and attempted to reprimand me one day because I told an owner that her Chihuahua's dewclaws had grown so long, that they had actually penetrated the flesh and that while I had treated the laceration, they needed to be aware of it and clean it at home to avoid any problems. The "professional" pertly told me that she learned at Pet Smart over her long 18 mo there that the client should always leave with a positive report on their pet. I told her no, that is negligence. The truth of what has been found is what needs to be reported to the client, without making a diagnoses. I think making people aware of the problem and what it looks like is a better way to avoid the problem again in the future, as opposed to telling the client, Fluffy was great and everything was great!! Dumb clients then think ok, I don't have to bring Fluffy in more than twice a year because everything is "great". A lot of people don't go to the vet until there is a REALLY obvious problem because it is expensive. Many times, notifying a caring client when a problem is just beginning will save them money in the long run. And everyone knows you can't make a non-caring pet parent care, no matter what you tell them. Making an actual diagnoses is where the problem comes in. But there is more than one way to say things. You don't have to tell a client that a dog has an ear infection. But you CAN tell them that their dog's ears are enflamed and smell VERY bad and should be seen by a vet. That is within the letter of the law. I think it is a responsibility to report potential problems to the client, what they do with it is up to them.


        • #5
          Having worked at Vet clinics for over 30 years prior to starting my cat boarding and grooming facility, I can spot potential problems, but I am extremely diligent to not diagnose anything. And I will tell clients that I cannot legally diagnose anything even if they ask what the problem could be. For example, I had a regular client that had been coming to me for grooming for many years. I start grooming the cat and notice she has lost a lot of weight since the last groom. When I mention this to the client, she says the cat is eating like crazy but loosing weight. I just told her that she should take her in to her Vet for a senior panel and make sure a thyroid panel is included, just to be safe. The next groom visit the owner says she had the kitty checked out and sure enough, her thyroid levels were off the chart. Kitty is now on hyper thyroid meds and doing great. This could have just as easily been normal muscle mass loss due to age, but I would never indicate that or hyperthyroidism in any type of "diagnosis", I would always tell the owner to have it checked out with your Vet for an actual diagnosis. I think for this reason, most of the Vets in my area are referring cat grooming needs to me. In fact, I have a 22 year old matted cat coming next Saturday for potential grooming that was referred by their Vet for evaluation to see if he can be groomed at all. That is the trust I have by the local Vets in my area because they know I will not risk the health of their kitty clients and will refer medical issues back to them.