Animals that are not groomed regularly run the risk of potentially serious health problems that may include:
- matting of the coat with subsequent skin irritation or infection ("hot spot" moist lesion)
- tearing or inflamed eyes from overgrown hair in eyes
- ear infections or parasite infestation of the ears (ear mites)
- overgrown, ingrown or broken/ripped toenails
- fly strike (maggot infestation) due to soiled, moist areas attracting flies
- anal sac impaction or infection
- generalized parasite infestation - fleas, ticks, mites
- Diseased teeth and gums, tooth loss; potentially serious heart, liver and kidney complications from diseased teeth
Grooming tasks can be done all or in part by the owner or by a professional groomer. Some tasks, such as anal sac "maintenance" and dental care should be done by your veterinarian or someone trained in this aspect of care.
Each pet has their own personality - some love to be brushed, some do not. Likewise, some pets will be amenable to letting owners clip their nails and brush their teeth, some pets will prove to be more of a challenge.
Please consult with your veterinarian or a professional groomer first if you have questions on the proper technique and restraint for each grooming task. It is much safer for your and your pet to know the proper techniques and will make the job much easier, too.
Skin and Hair Coat
- What Is A "Hot Spot"?
- Glossary Term: Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
- How To Soothe A Hot Spot - Some Quick Tips
- Quick Tip for itch relief - oatmeal shampoo
- How To How to Give Your Dog or Cat a Flea Bath
- My dog is scratching like crazy. What flea shampoo works best?
- Veterinary Q & A: My Stinky Dog
- Torn Toenail First Aid
- How to Take Care of Torn Toenails
- Clipping a Cat'sToenails
- Clipping a Dog's Toenails
- Glossary Term: Polydactyl - more toes mean additional care needed!
- Glossary Term: Dewclaw - dewclaws are commonly torn, especially when too long
Fly Strike (Miasis)
- Parasites of Dogs and Cats Regular grooming and examination of your pet's coat, skin and ears will aid in parasite prevention and control. If you see parasites, please contact your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment -- all parasites are not created equal and treatments vary widely.
- Tips and tools for home dental care for pets
- Veterinary Q & A: Dental Care For Pets
- Glossary Term: Dental Calculus or Tartar
- Glossary Term: Dental Plaque
- The Importance of Dental Care for Pets
- Is anesthesia necessary to do a dental cleaning on my pet?
- A Dental Letter
Photo credit: Lulu with a brush" © Brief Gasp on Flickr