Grooming a matted shih tzu

Discussion in 'Dog Grooming Forum' started by lizzybeth727, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    My organization recently adopted a shih tzu to start training as a hearing dog. :D

    Of course the dog is pretty matted. His fur is about 2 inches long. We were able to cut out the biggest mats, but he's wiggly and frankly, we're trainers not groomers. I've personally never used clippers, and the other trainers aren't good at it.

    When he came to us he had kennel cough which progressed to an upper respiratory infection. He has not had his rabies vaccine, and the vet didn't want to give it to him until he was done with his antibiotics (which will be in a few days). So we can't take him to a professional groomer until he's had his rabies shot.

    Of course his coat is REALLY dirty - flea dirt and all kinds of other debris - and he's really itchy; we think the flea dirt and such is irritating his skin and we feel like he needs a bath. But I'm afraid to give him a bath with his fur so long and already somewhat matted. Also we don't have a dryer, and the kennels aren't the warmest places to be - between 65 and 70 degrees.

    So my question is, do you think we should go ahead and bathe him and deal with the mats later; or should we wait until mid- to late next week until we can get a professional groomer to clip him and then bathe him?

    We've never had a dog we have to get groomed, this is kind of new for most of us. :) Any advice would be appreciated!!
     
  2. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    Hmm... Personally, I'd clip the worst of the mats out, comb him out, and bathe him. Comb him out again after his bath, then dry him thoroughly, and then brush him out really well.

    Then once he's able to go to a professional, let them clean up your handy work :p :D
     
  3. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Oh, there will be LOTS of that, for sure!!

    Thanks for the tips. Do you think conditioner would help? If so, got any suggestions on types/brands?
     
  4. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    Condition will definitely help both in the bath working some knots out, and when he's being dried at keeping it from tangling up too much. We use Earth Bath at work, and I've used Mane and Tail at home as well.

    Maybe try bringing a hair dryer with you when you (or whomever) bathes him, and using that to help dry his fur to keep him from getting a chill. Try to squeeze the water out, instead of toweling him roughly or in circles, because that can cause the fur to tangle up really easily. Brush him as you're drying him, and if you don't have a hair dryer, prepare to use a lot of towels to get the coat mostly dry.

    It's really really hard to dry fur completely with a towel though, and I've never been able to get it less than damp. We have a force air dryer at work, and I LOVE it, maybe you can talk them into getting one, lol, because it literally blows the water out of a Lab coat, and makes drying a dog to the skin much much easier.
     
  5. Saeleofu

    Saeleofu Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2009
    Messages:
    9,036
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I'd make a terrible groomer, but I can de-mat a dog with clippers. They just look like **** when I'm done :lol-sign:

    I'd also try to get as many mats out as possible before bathing. Mats take FOREVER to dry and can tighten up with a bath, making it that much harder to get out and more uncomfortable.

    I do think conditioner would help...I mean can it really hurt at this point? We use an oatmeal-based conditioner at work that can be rinsed out or left in. Maybe lubing a mat up with enough conditioner will help get it out.
     
  6. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1bird, 1 rabbit, 2 rats, 1 turtlem and a ca
    Location:
    Toronto Area
    What blades do you have?

    I would not bathe him, will make mats worse, plus they will not dry fully and the water stuck in them can harm the skin even more.


    Id call some groomers. See if any will take him in, play the bleeding heart that he is a rescue. they may do it.
     
  7. UniquityBelgians

    UniquityBelgians New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Most groomers don't ask that the dog be up to date on vacciantions. I don't ask my clients to show me vaccination records -- and I don't vaccinate my dogs either. The only groomer in town (out of dozens) that wants UTD rabies is Petsmart. You shouldn't have a problem with a smaller or home-based business. I'd try to get him in there (as long as the kennel cough is no longer contagious of course!).
     
  8. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    We called a couple of groomers - the ones we had personal experience with - and none would take him without a rabies vac.

    They went ahead and bathed him today, though I don't know how it went, I wasn't at the facility. Another dog accidently peed on him :rolleyes: yesterday (the shih tzu walked into the other dog's stream.... probably couldn't see it with all the fur around his eyes), and he was scheduled to go to a foster home tonight, so he really had to have a bath.

    Tankstar, I have no idea what blades we have, I've barely even looked at them. I've literally never even held clippers, so I don't have the first clue what to do with them. I just don't think this is the dog to learn on right now.
     
  9. Tankstar

    Tankstar ~Lisa~

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    2,301
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    1 dog, 1bird, 1 rabbit, 2 rats, 1 turtlem and a ca
    Location:
    Toronto Area
    Poor guy. Its a shame. i wish i was close, id shave him down.

    Its a shame no one will just clip him, even with out rabies. They could just muzzle him to prevent any bites. At my old work we would take in HS cats and dogs and shave them down for free, since they were SO matted and disgusting.
     
  10. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    15,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    Ohio
    If his mats are awful and close to the skin, he might need to be sedated in order to fully shave him down, give his skin a good cleansing and give his fur a chance to grow in better. Normally I think sedating a dog for grooming is a terrible idea, but this would prevent the first grooming being an awful experience for the dog . De-matting hurts, and to a dog that hasn't been clipped much before (as, I would gather, is the case with this dog) it can be scary too.

    I would cut out the mats that you can, spot-clean the areas that aren't matted and let a professional take care of him (or let a vet give him a full-body buzz cut and a fresh start on his coat). Don't use clippers if you're uncomfortable with them. It's hard to cut a dog's skin with clippers, but if you're jumpy you're way more likely to cause some harm.
     
  11. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Well, that's one reason why we went ahead and bathed him - because the mats AREN'T pulling the skin, most of them are away from the skin. We scissored out the worst ones and went from there. I still haven't seen him since the bath, but I hear that he looks a lot better. He's getting a dental cleaning done on Wednesday, hopefully the vet will be willing to shave him down while he's sedated for that.
     
  12. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    Just found out that the dog fell into his foster's swimming pool. :rolleyes: Doesn't sound like he was traumatized by it, I was just mostly concerned about his coat. Fingers crossed he gets shaved on Wednesday!
     
  13. lizzybeth727

    lizzybeth727 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    6,403
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    Two dogs, three cats
    Location:
    Central Texas
    For anyone who's interested:

    The shih tzu finally got groomed yesterday. :) Of course they had to clip him pretty short, and besides being cold, he seems a lot happier. We also now know that he's very bow-legged, LOL. And "sit" will be much easier to teach him now that we will actually be able to tell when he's doing it. :D

    The groomers said he did really well, the mats were bad but they didn't have to sedate him or anything.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2011
  14. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Messages:
    13,402
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Kennel Manager
    Location:
    Guelph, Ontario
    yay! So glad that he is feeling better :D
     
  15. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Messages:
    12,953
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    OH
    :) Glad to hear it!!
     
  16. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    9,420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Georgia
    That's awesome!
     
  17. Izzy's Valkyrie

    Izzy's Valkyrie Very Food Agressive

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Messages:
    5,946
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Two
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Pics or it didn't happen! But really, I'm glad he's all cleaned up :)
     

Share This Page