Yesterday at work was like the day where all things from the night come out for grooming. I nail trimmed a dog with three back dew claws on his back leg, groomed a dog with a huge festering tick on it that I couldn’t get off, and bathed a dog with a dew claw on it’s body. I was waiting for my two headed dog to come in to ask to be shaved down. What made the day even better is half of my other grooms didn’t have updated rabies papers and I had to explain to them the dangers of rabies. So I figure in honor of all those customers, today we’ll talk about rabies, things that go bump in the night (with pictures of course), and ticks. I already posted about fleas a while back. I try not to repeat to much, so feel free to revisit. If I happen to get a lot of flea questions, we’ll revisit the topic! :)
The first thing I need to get off my mind is the dog with a dew claw growing on it’s body. The dog came in for a shave down. It was a golden retriever mix and it was shedding so much. I should also mention that there was so much undercoat, it felt like on giant mat. He thought we would have to shave her down to release it. I told him, You don’t need to shave this dog down, it just needs to be brushed, a lot. If I shave her, it’s very likely her coat won’t grow back the same way, and she could come out very patchy. I told him to do the furminator and I’ll trim her up to make her look clean again and that should help with the shedding and undercoat issue. Everyone also seems to think that by shaving down their dog that it will help them stay cooler, but it actually does the very opposite. Their coat regulates their body temperature. Since dogs don’t sweat like humans, their fur isn’t trapping heat in, it’s keeping heat out and the panting is their means of sweating. If you ever watch a dog being groomed, the nervous dogs pant. So if you want to keep your dog cool, plant a tree for shade, give them a kiddie pool to lay in, and always always offer fresh clean water for them to drink. Luckily, this dogs coat was saved. So while I was adding the furminator conditioner, I felt a lump. I spread the fur to take a look to make sure it was anything serious, and I saw a dew claw. There was no quick, probably because it was on the body verses the leg where it should have been. I showed the other groomer there and she couldn’t believe it. So the joke of the day was, Nails are included with the groom, are you going to trim that nail for him too?!? I did not trim that nail, but I pointed it out to the pet parent and told them to keep an eye on it, and definitely be careful when brushing with the furminator. I’m lucky I spotted it and I’m also lucky it didn’t catch my undercoat rake when I was removing all of its hair.
Ticks! I know I hate them. To be honest, I probably hate them more than fleas. I think it’s the way they crawl, the way they hook onto you, and the way they suck your blood. Even though ticks are a type of flea, they still seem to gross me out more. It’s always good to have some kind of protection on your dog, especially if you are an outdoor person. Aladdin has the spot on treatment. It is expensive and I do have an advantage working at pet store. But you can also go to places like dog.com and order 6 months worth for a cheaper value than buying three or even a single treatment at a time. And if you catch it when it goes on ‘sale’ even a couple bucks saved is an opportune time to buy. Of course no one can really tell me what the ingredients do, I’m still researching all of that. When I figure out if the cheaper ones do the same thing, I will share the wealth. Until then we are always told that the value of money is the value of your product. I can honestly say, I don’t always believe that but for now, it’s the only help I’ve got.
The great thing about ticks is they spread disease and they spread it easier than fleas. Fleas may have numbers, but the tick has size. One flea can only carry a quarter amount of blood the tick takes. So if the tick bites and animal and escapes and bites your pup, he could be carrying a disease. Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, and Babesiosis. Of course not all ticks carry diseases. The number of ticks that carry diseases is actually very low, but that doesn’t make it a less serious topic. The quicker you remove a tick, the lower your chances are to getting a disease. If your pup is showing signs of lethargy or fever, you might want to consult your vet. Other more serious signs could be weakness, lameness, joint swelling or anemia. Sometimes signs could take days, weeks, or even months to appear. Taking your dog to the vet for proper testing is always the best solution to figuring out what’s up.
The proper way of removing a tick from your dogs skin is by taking tweezers, we use hemostats in the salon cause they can lock, and by clamping onto the tick closest to the skin as possible. If you squeeze the body, you could send bacteria back into your dogs body. Slowly start pulling, without twisting or turning. If some of your dogs skin comes out with the tick, do not be alarmed, it is natural for some of the irritated skin to come with. If the head did not come with the body, try taking your tweezers and getting it out. A lot of rumor goes on about rather a left in head can leave infection. My vet says rarely do they ever cause infection and that they will fall out as the dogs body produces a scab and it heals. Simple as that. I usually burn mine or flush mine down the toilet. In the salon we a jar of rubbing alcohol that we throw them in. Some people say keep them for reference, but I refuse to have jars or little containers of ticks in my house (lol).
I know when I was little, my mom use to take a hot needle and apply it close to the body of Milow and the tick. The tick would back out. Although it is said to day that none of the old remedies would back out a tick until it is done feeding. But I say, what works for you, works for you. As long as you don’t inflict your dog with pain, it’s good in my book. I know one groomer said her dad use to apply nail polish to the site and said the tick usually detached itself. Either way, just make sure to clean the area with soup and water after the tick is removed. I know we have plenty of soup and water in the grooming salon! :)
I know the topic of rabies is still in order, but perhaps another day. That will actually need research for all the correct body terms that it effects, and I actually need to stop by work to pick up everyone’s order for new grooming supplies. Who doesn’t love new tools? I know it feels like christmas when all the packages arrive! :)