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Doggie First Aid: Grooming Emergencies

Doggie First AidSometimes accidents happen. Even though we know better, dogs have even drowned if left alone in a tub of water while someone answers the phone. Yet, no matter how careful you are, you and your dog can have a grooming emergency. Listed below are some of the things that can happen while grooming your dog, and some of the ways you can fix them when they happen--and some of the things that you can to do to keep them from happening at all!


Electric or battery-powered clippers are powerful grooming tools. Even the tiniest clippers, designed to remove whiskers from show dogs' faces or from between dogs' pads, can cause some serious damage if misused.

Face: If you use the clippers on your dog's face, aim the clippers away from his eyes. If he moves, you may trim some extra fur from his muzzle, but that fur is replaceable. If the clipper blades come into contact with his cornea, they can leave a deep gash. Should that happen, prevent bright light from shining into your dog's eye and bring him directly to the vet. Many corneal scratches heal without a trace, but they should still be quickly dealt with.

Body: Use only the sharpest or newest blades to trim your dog's body whenever possible. Dull blades grab your dog's coat or leave clipper abrasions on his skin. Be careful, too, how long you use your clippers. Hot blades can leave a burn mark on your dog's skin, called "clipper burn". Neither of these things are life-threatening, although they may cause you trauma for causing harm to your dog. Cleans abrasions and burns with a gentle cleanser and rinse them thoroughly before applying a topical ointment suited to the wound. Watch the area carefully for any signs of infection. Serious wounds on your dog's body need immediate attention from your vet and may require stitches.

Paws: Your dog may move while you are cleaning hair from between his toes. As a result the clippers may cause an abrasion on, or cut into, your dog's pads. Because your dog's feet are always on the ground, they are probably going to get dirty. Stem any bleeding with a clean cloth or towel, then wrap it and bring your dog to the vet. He may need stitches or a boot to protect the wound, especially if it is a deep one.

Toenail Cutters

Your dog's toenails present a unique grooming problem. Unlike your toenails, which are flat sheets of keratin with a hidden blood supply, your dog's nails are living things with a blood supply down the center. You should know where this blood supply, called a "quick", is located before cutting. In addition, make certain that you use the correct tool for the job. If you have a small dog, use small scissor-type clippers, not large guillotine clippers that obscure your dog's nails. Keep a jar of styptic powder nearby when clipping your dog's nails, just in case accidents happen.


Eyes and ears: never use a pair of pointed scissors to trim around your dog's ears and eyes if there is any chance that he will try to move away from you. Trim any hairs on your dog's face the same way that you trim with clippers, away from the eyes. Never trim inside your dog's ears with scissors, pointed or rounded. The tips of your scissors can pierce your dog's eardrums. Any grooming accidents that occur to your dog's ears and eyes need immediate veterinary attention.

Many accidents can happen when you are grooming your dogs. If they do, your dog may struggle, strike out with his paws or body, or may even try to bite you. If you can safely restrain your dog, do so, but do not put yourself at risk.

Grooming Tables

Your dog's ability to move around is one potential cause for accident or injury to you or to your dog. One simple manner in which to remove this cause is to purchase a grooming table. Grooming tables come in different heights and in different sizes. If you do purchase a table, make certain that you can stand by it comfortably for however long it will take you to groom your dog. The top of the table should be textured or have a rubber surface, to prevent slipping. You should purchase an adjustable grooming arm to restrain your dog on the table. Grooming arms clamp to the edge of your table, providing a place to secure your dog by way of a leash or grooming noose. If you secure your dog to a grooming table, save yourself some heartache and stay with your dog at all times when he is on it. Dogs have been known to hang themselves by jumping off of tables when they are left unattended. Just don't do it.-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.
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