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When is enough, enough?

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  • When is enough, enough?

    I seem to be having the worst time dealing with customers wanting free grooms and vet bills paid lately. Not sure if this is a normal occurrence for anyone else out there. My last doozy was a customer claiming I cut the dog inside the top eye lid and within 24 hrs the eye was oozing with infection. I must have done something to the other eye because within 72 hrs it was having the same reaction.
    I will admit that upon check in the dog did have some redness but nothing to foresee that of oozing seeping eyes.

    Needless to say the vet bill was paid even though when the video of the grooming was watched it was clear there wasnt any problems and clear I did no harm to the dog.

    Thus now a week later we are to take note of anything and everything we see on the dog upon check in and have the owner initial, and sign that along with the many other waivers we have. I don't disagree that it's a good idea to help cover ourselves. But at what point is enough enough. I feel as though I'm in constant fear of being blamed for injuring these pets when I've done nothing but complete the requested service.

    This is but one incident. Others have been as simple as I must have caused the redness on the neck where the collar lays. I must have taken my clippers to a the neck of a chihuahua because there is a red scratch. Which is clear was from the dog scratching but either way the groomer did it.

    At this rate I'm very much fed up.


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  • #2
    Wow that's kinda weird. Knock wood, I've never had anything like that come up.

    There is the odd thing that annoys me, like one dog had a big yeasty mat by her vulva really close to the skin so I had to take it out with the 30 on my mini arco, and it probably bothered her, she was licking at herself as I talked with her dad, who said did you get clipper burn, and proceeded to put her on a table to look. No there was no clipper burn, and yes, it annoyed me to hear him say that, but nothing came of it.

    A few weeks ago, I found a lump on a dogs tummy, and when I took her to the door, I said I need to show you this, and the owner immediately asked did you nick her? Umm no, there is this huge lump that you need to keep an eye on. Even go to the vet.

    Or the owner whose dog got ear infections a few weeks after I groomed him, and of course the vet blamed me and told the owner to have me put cotton in the dogs ears before I bathed him. The owner asked if they could give me cotton, and I said well, I put cotton in every dogs ear, before every single bath, so no need. Did you forget last time? No, this is something I absolutely never waiver from, it's the only thing I do before dogs go in the bath tub, put in cleaner, put in cotton.

    I hate that people jump to conclusions even after I've been grooming their dogs incident free for over three years, but it's just an annoyance for me at this point. I really don't know what I'd do in your situation.

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    • #3
      I don't have too much of this but when we did it was assumptions fed to the owners from the same vet. I called that vet and invited him to come to the shop and see how we groom. It seemed to stop.

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      • #4
        I have had some instances like this over the years but quite some time between them. Do you question the vet when they make these assumptions or just pay the bill. Sorry you are going through this.

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        • #5
          Since I work in a pet something I don't have any contact with the vets. Only contact I have is through my management. And in the situation regarding the eyes the owner went to their vet and gave us the bill.

          Been similar situations over the last year where owner inspects the dog on check out everything is good. And some how the next day we get a call and a vet bill from a clinic 10 hrs away claiming we cut the dog. Here's the bill and owner needs a refund.

          I guess my issue with it all is, I view it as though I'm not doing my job correctly. Yet I'm at a lose on how to fix it.



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          • #6
            Early in my career, I did catch a lower eyelid on a dog with the clippers WITH a comb on!!! It was a horrifying moment. I'm not saying you did something like that... but 24 hour suggests perhaps maybe some soap got in his eye or something?? I had a dog with terrible skin infections.. and I would bathe him in chlorhexidine. He got a corneal ulcer and I wracked my brain wondering how that happened. Next bath... I realized he would lie down in the tub and probably got that shampoo in his eyes. No matter how good of a rinser I was... he still got a corneal ulcer.

            Another time.. and I will get to my point.. I had a customer that had a giant, white Husky (yeah, not a Husky). I finished her up.. she SAT in my tiny salon for 30 min, while both of us waited for the owner... she was NEVER out of my site. NEVER. Owner picks dog up, owner gets home and wonders if I have cut the dog?? What?? She takes a picture... a 1" gash and bleeding. I was very confused, figured MAYBE she scraped herself getting out of the crate? No sharp edges though. Second time I did the dog.. I checked her skin thoroughly... thoroughly. No scab, no nothing. Owner picks dog up.. owner takes dog to car.. dog is bleeding same area. I seriously have no clue. I always offered to pay a vet bill... but it was weird. Anyway.. third time they called me.. wouldn't you know it.. I have injured my back and can no longer do their dog. I made it up.. I made up a back injury. I wasn't touching that dog again. Go somewhere else.

            Anyway...I'd check everything on the dog.. including eyes, ears, pads...and rinse like crazy. I rinse cats for 5 min. I rinse small dogs under 15 lbs for 5 min.. and it goes up from there. Big labs gets rinsed for 10 min or more.. that's rinsing.. including eyes. Some of us in private salons always have some saline on hand and rinse the eyes with simple saline as well. And even though we may have been grooming.. I'm still constantly checking my blades on my skin.. before I start to clip the dog, to make sure the blade is seated correctly and during to make sure the blade is not hot. You get a few injuries and you will and should change how you do things. I always file nails smooth.. unless they fight me. In that case I do tell the owner.. please be careful, the nails are sharp.
            Debbie
            There's always room for another rose in the garden.

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            • #7
              Thank you daesue. Your husky sounds just like the problems I've been having. It's just driving me bonkers.

              I always check my blades on my wrist area as well and we have eye rinses that we use as well. Upon check in we do a 7 point check on eyes, ears, feet, teeth, skin/coat, and belly. Anything we find we have to notate. Maybe things just happen and it's out of our control.

              Sigh....

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              • #8
                If you know you didn't harm the dog, then that's that. Nothing to worry about.
                When you talk about being in constant fear, that sounds like a horrible story that you're telling yourself. Are you trying to make yourself anxious
                You weren't fired. You didn't have to pay the vet bill out of your own pocket. You maybe gained a little useful business knowledge, since now you'll automatically do a thorough check of each dog. Sounds like it's all good to me!

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                • #9
                  I agree with Emma. Are you in one of the pet somethings that advertises the money back guarantee?? That could be part of the problem.
                  Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

                  Groom on!!!

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                  • #10
                    Yes I am at one of those pet something's. And yes I also agree with Emma. I am causing my own anxiety.

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                    • #11
                      That eye infection thing they claimed you did with your clipper might actualy be from the shampoo you are using getting into the eye. I had a lab mix who also came in with only one eye red. I obviously did not even touch him with any clippers just deshed him but when he left he actualy ended up going to the vet insteaf of home because his eyes were all puffy and like you said oozing with infection. I used the blueberry facial like i do with all dogs but now i just use hypoalergenic shampoo to wash all dogs faces. Im not sure if the blueberry facial claimed it was hypoallergenic on the bottle i never even checked really because im thinking its meant for the face. But that dog actualy had a bad reaction to it so i didnt want to risk any other dog having the same issue.

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                      • #12
                        I am really hesitant to use the blueberry facewash on any dog, since we had two dogs in a week get severe eye irritation, even with groomers who are careful to use eyewash. We figured it was a bad bottle but I still don't want to risk it and don't wash around the eyes with it

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                        • #13
                          I heard that blueberry stings eyes. I use "tearless shampoo" on face but It still stings, too. When dogs shake their body while bathing, it catches my eyes and it stings a little bit. Not strong aches like regular shampoos though.

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