Booking regular grooming appointments for your pet isn’t just for looks. It keeps them healthy too.
What some Sunland Acres clients may not realize, is that we are giving a visual check every time a pet visits us for grooming.
During the grooming process, we’re sometimes able to spot small concerns before they become more serious. This means that lumps, lesions, discolorations, ticks, injuries, ear infections, and more will likely be detected with routine grooming visits. Although we’re not veterinarians, we work closely with these professionals that offer the next level of care, if needed.
When an abnormality is detected that we feel may require a vet visit, we send the pet home with a note indicating what the groomer found. This way when you book the veterinarian visit, you can pass along what was written by another pet care professional. This prevents miscommunication and gets your pet the care they need without delay. This is important because early detection means early intervention.
You can help by supplementing these inspections at home, in between grooming appointments. It only takes a few minutes! Here’s what we look for, and you can too.
The ears are a common troublespot for pets. Look to see that the ear canal is free from debris and is odor-free. A small amount of yellow or brown colored waxy debris is normal, excessive amounts of debris or other discharges are abnormal. There should be no redness, inflammation or swelling within the ear. Excessive head shaking or scratching at one or both ears can be an indication of infection. The exterior ear canal can be gently cleaned to remove excess wax and debris. A non-medicated, over the counter cleaner that is labeled for use in Dogs should be all that is used.
Your pet’s eyes should be clear and both look the same. Look for redness or irritation. The pupils should be the same size and should both track when looking right or left. There should not be any crustiness or discharge. Some pets may have some tear staining below the eyes.
The condition of your pet’s mouth can quickly give you an indication of their health. Examination of the mouth should reveal moist, pink gums. Some dogs have pigmented gums that appear black, brown or spotted. Teeth should be white and not have excessive tartar.
Make sure your pet is walking normally and without a limp. They should allow you to inspect all four paws. If there is some hesitancy, it could mean the paw is sensitive. This could come from something as simple as a thorn or as serious as overgrown nails that are now impacting the paw pad. Although simply remedied, it should not go untreated as it could cause long term health problems like arthritis.
Notice if your dog is continually scratching or biting the same spot and look for differences in fur patterns. Run your hand along the body and feel any abnormal swelling or bumps. Be sure to separate the fur and look and visually inspect the skin and coat. You could find fleas or flea droppings. There shouldn’t be any matts or tangles in your pets fur so brush those out. Start at the end and work toward the root. For severe tangles, your groomer may be forced to cut them out. Don’t forget about the hidden spaces like under the front legs or in between paw pads. Call your veterinarian with any areas of concern.
Giving your pet a nose to tail assessment should be a bonding experience with your pet, but in case you need more help, Sunland Acres offers a complimentary visual assessment on request. We will show you exactly how to do these health checks. We want our customers to view us as a partner in their pet’s health and as part of the team that keeps your pet happy and vibrant.
Video: Pam, National Certified Groomer