Scissors and Pets Don't Mix

 |  Jan 3rd 2009  |   10 Contributions


The other night at the emergency hospital I treated a sweet Yorkshire Terrier whose hair had become matted. The person who brought the dog had been trying to remove the mats with scissors. It was hard to see where skin and hair met. As a result, the young woman accidentally cut through the dog's skin.

It had been a while since I saw a client who felt so guilty. In fact, the last time I saw a client so upset with herself was a few months ago, when I treated a different dog for the same sort of injury.

The wound was not serious, and the dog went home the next morning happily stitched back together. But please remember that scissors are not safe grooming tools for animals.

Even in the hands of professionals, scissors are risky. I once treated a cat who had lost the last half inch of her tail when a groomer accidentally snipped it off. The owner brought the amputated portion of the tail to my office and was was upset that it could not be re-attached.

The best way to deal with mats is to brush your pet regularly before they become unmanageable. If your pet needs its hair trimmed, I recommend the use of clippers. Clippers are available at pet stores and are less likely to cause injury.

If your pet's hair is hopelessly matted, then you may want to have a trained groomer or veterinarian deal with the situation. Be sure to ask them not to use scissors!

Photo: No, we're not talking about that kind of mat!

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