Let me preface this blog with the fact that everything I will discuss throughout, does not apply to all groomers and breeders!! It is very unfortunate that this a topic that needs to be taken more seriously than some others. Many times in our profession we will have clients come in with their pets and when we discuss certain medical things with them they will instantly come back with….”well my breeder said I am not allowed to give those vaccines” or “my groomer said that I don’t need to have the ear hairs plucked because that has nothing to do with my dogs constant ear infections”. We honestly love that you trust the breeders and groomers that you deal with but lets make this very straight forward….they are NOT veterinarians! They did not go to school for years and work their butts off to learn exactly how they can take care of your pets to be able to keep them healthy and happy.
Most breeders fall upon breeding as an income and in more cases than not are producing less than healthy dogs. Groomers may have had some schooling and they are considered licensed groomers, but they at no point had any medical training. We never tell them how to do their job unless it has to deal with the health of the pet. We won’t go and give fluffy a haircut and we won’t sell dogs out of our facility that we are breeding either. We understand that just like any profession you see enough of something and you believe that you know enough information that you can give advice to your clients.
Even as a vet tech, we know how certain things are treated and taken care of after seeing it done so many different times by our veterinarians, but far be it for us to ever give any type of medical advice. If we give the wrong advice and pretend to be more of a medical professional than we really are, we can get into a lot of trouble should anything happen to a pet! I think that the biggest problem that we encounter is that the breeders are telling clients what vaccines they are allowed to give and when and also what vaccines they are not allowed to give. First off, once you purchase your pet….they are no longer theirs! So they have no say in what you can and cannot give your pet.
Now lets say they have medical information pertaining to one of the parents that says that they are a vaccine reactor. Ok this we can deal with. Being a vaccines reactor does NOT mean that the pet cannot have the vaccines it just means that we have to pre medicate the pet to make sure to ensure its safety, and stop any possible reactions before they may happen. It is always very helpful to have the information of your pets parents to determine certain medical issues that your pet may incur, but that doesn’t mean that they instantly are limited. Vaccines are still necessary for their health and well being. I would much rather have my pet receive a dose of antihistamine before vaccines than to not vaccinate and lose my pet to a disease that could have been totally preventable.
Another thing that is hard for us to swallow is when we discuss treatment options with a client and they tell us that they have to check with their breeders first. Again, they have NO MEDICAL TRAINING. Which means that they should have no say in how your pet is treated. You want a second opinion on a medical procedure…… then we strongly encourage you to discuss it with another veterinarian! We have had the same exact issues with our groomers that I have discussed about our breeders. Another few things that we need to add on for groomers are; make sure that your groomer requires all vaccines! If your groomer does not require this then you may want to consider finding another one. Yes rabies is a big one, and most do require this, but what about the others. Lepto? Parvo? Distemper? etc.
Although your pet may be vaccinated, just like any vaccines they are never 100% effective due to many different reasons. If this groomer does not require vaccines and one of the other pets has a breeder that does not allow them to get certain vaccines…..well your pet is set up for a disaster. In most cases any of those diseases can be life threatening to your pet and some can even be harmful to you as well. Fluffy has a wonderful haircut, meanwhile fluffy is in the hospital now and your on your way to the ER too. Another big thing that we see with groomers is that if we give any advice on a medical stand point as far as their grooming goes…..well they don’t like it.
We have a lot of pets that need regular grooming and more and more we have seen that ear plucking has been something that we ask of their groomers. The hair that builds up in their ears can hold a lot of buildup as well as water which can cause some really terrible ear infections. Now yes it can also help to have a small amount to catch said debris, but believe us there is a difference. When a groomer is approached about this topic, they either deny the possibility or simply state that they won’t do it. We here are able to do ear plucking but we always try to make sure that they are giving that business to their groomers. If they see us having to do what is supposed to be the groomers job….well they may just put themselves out of business. Again we aren’t groomers any more than they are doctors so we don’t regularly try to step in on something like this…….unless for a medical reason. As I stated before, not all groomers and breeders are like this. We actually have great relationships with some of our local groomers and breeders and we have also dealt with clients who have had the same luck with ones that we have never had the pleasure of knowing, but please beware!!
Make sure to put your trust into your veterinarians, and if you don’t fully trust them, then maybe your not going to the right one. We want your pets to have the best medical care while also having the most comfort for both you and your pets!!