Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Dog Blog: A Hard Week for Our Babies

Gershwin and Tovah

Well, I didn't blog last week and hesitated as to whether or not to blog this week for the Monday Dog Blog because the puppies have been miserable for over a week now.

We took them to a new groomer (whose name we had received from another groomer in town), and both puppies ended up with severe ear infections that have left them lethargic, painful and generally 'off'. A little touch to the ear results in a cry. And our Twinkle Toes has been quieter than we ever see her.

It's been a hard week for all of us. The puppies are checking on each other constantly wondering how the other is doing. Mom and I hate seeing them suffer. We're feeling awful and powerless as to what can be done to keep this groomer from hurting more dogs. I'm trying not to blame myself for not being better educated on choosing a groomer.

G and T

The puppies got the best haircut they have ever had. They looked beautiful when they came home from the new groomer. 

But, none of that has been worth the suffering and expense that has followed.

While we had explicitly told the groomer (on the intake form and in email) not to express their anal glands, she did so anyways. She claims that they were on the way to being impacted and had to be drained. She also claims that the forced air dyer will cause them to express regardless of whether she does it or not. Our understanding is that forced air dryers are loud and strong, and dogs glands express out of fear and stress in such cases.

Both puppies have problems when their anal glands are drained, especially Tovah, who sits and won't walk, doesn't want to eat, has a hard time pooping, etc. This time, Gershwin was also very irritated by the expression of the glands.

In many discussions with our vet, we have felt that the best and only place we want to have the glands expressed is at the veterinary practice and not by a groomer.

Miss T

But the worst of it all has been the severe ear infections that have left both puppies so miserable and out of sorts. 

The groomer plucked their ears. We have never had this done before, nor were we asked if this was okay. We were just told by her that the ears were a mess and had to be plucked. Really?

It's hard for us to believe that these puppies, who have been going to the groomer every month of their lives for three years and had regular vet check-ups with no documented ear issues, needed to have their ears plucked. How could their ears have been that bad? 

It is clear to us that the ear infections are a direct result of the ear plucking. We do not know if the groomer used unsanitary tools, if the plucking itself caused the bacteria to grow or what. We just know that the infections started within a day or so of the grooming appointment.

From our understanding, there is no reason that dogs who are not exhibiting ear problems need to have their ears plucked. We also understand that it can sometimes be more irritating than helpful.

Mr. G

After learning the cost of treating the infections in addition to needing to purchase Rimadyl to help with the anal gland drainage discomfort, I contacted the groomer. It is very difficult for me to be so strong and assertive. But I left my feelings out of the email and let her know that these medical issues were a direct consequence of her grooming practices and that she owed us over $200 in veterinary bills.

Of course, her response was defensive and insisted that the infections could in no way be a result of her grooming process. She also insists that the anal glands had to be drained (this may be true, but we ask that this only be done at the vet's office). 

She offered no compensation for veterinary bills, assumed we would continue to move forward with her as our groomer and offered no free grooming. 

Miss Bright Eyes

Why would we ever take our babies back to her after such an experience? 

Feeling Like Crappola

I have posted about our experience on Facebook and received an incredible outpouring of support and help. I'm humbled by how many people understand and empathize with seeing our fur babies suffer.

I have talked to others as well about our experience and continue to hear many negative things about this groomer.

I received an email from her today ordering me to remove her name and my post from Facebook or her lawyer would be in touch with me. I don't think she can insist on this from me?

Not Cooperating!

Right now, we are just busy nursing our babies back to health and trying to figure out how in the world to respond to her emails. 

I am learning a very hard lesson in a very hard way. I didn't realize that the puppies could be harmed or get so sick from taking them to a groomer, especially one referred by another groomer in town. I didn't think about how we literally place our dogs in their care and have little say over what they do. This is very scary.

From now on, we will be returning to the groomer at the veterinary practice where we took Asher for his whole life and he was very happy. The only reason we hadn't continued there is because the puppies have to be there all day. 

But that is a small price to pay for knowing that they are in good care and that if anything should go wrong, the fact that the groomer is at a veterinary practice hopefully means we are more protected if anything should happen.

G and T

I want to thank everyone who has been so incredibly thoughtful, tender-hearted, and helpful during this process of trying to figure out how to handle the situation. You've been amazing!

We hope our babies start to feel better soon and are back to their old playful selves. We've hated to watch them suffer so unnecessarily.

Next Monday, I hope I'll have a more uplifting Monday Dog Blog, but I did think it was important to share that things have been rough for these two little loves.



No comments: