Inspecting Pet Conditions Procedure
Before any pet is groomed, it should be given an inspection to determine the appropriateness of your grooming it. The goal of your inspection is to discover conditions that require medical attention before grooming, and thereby protect the people and pets of your business. When conducted properly and with concern for all, and especially the pet being inspected and its owner, it does not have to embarrass or alarm anyone. It is professional and a significant indication of your commitment to fulfill the
fiduciary relationship between the pet grooming business owner and his or her clients. How you conduct yourself will impact the reaction of pet owners, therefore, simply be caring and professional.
Remember, never make a medical diagnosis but simply describe your
observations (see From
Problems to Profits - Chapter 11 for a detailed
discussion). A "diagnosis" is the absolute property of licensed medical professionals without exception.
Wearing disposable gloves while making a pet inspection is highly-recommended. If you have
disregarded them, and you find serious conditions including those mentioned below, you must for your own health and that of others, use the gloves. Dispose of your gloves properly, and wash your hands with a disinfectant solution such as Betadine after every inspection.
making inspections should always contact their
supervisor whenever they make an observation that could affect
a pet's well-being while being groomed, or that might prevent the pet from being groomed as ordered by the pet owner. For example, a pet could display a limp, and that should be immediately reported to
a supervisor as it could possibly affect its being groomed.
A pet owner may desire a fancy Royal Dutch trim, but you observe severe
matting that may require the pet's coat to be removed instead.
By making this observation with the pet owner still
present the situation is more easily resolved when
compared to having to later call the owner and
describing the severe matting over the telephone.
Sometimes you may observe a condition that may not prevent the pet from being
groomed. Your observation should be formally communicated to the pet owner in the form of written observations on a report to the pet owner.
We prefer to use the Madson Pet Groomer's Report &
Health Alert form illustrated with instructions in the
book, From Problems to
Profits (Chapter 11).
grooming pets need to communicate the observations to
their supervisor, and both note the information on the
Madson Pet Groomer's Report and Health Alert form.
Clients are very impressed when provided a copy of the
form for every grooming, as well as veterinarians
shown a copy of the form when the pet owner takes
their pet in for veterinary review. Hundreds of
clients save every one of the reports we provide
during the lifetime of their pet, and many have said
we discovered problems before they became serious.
Here are some important guidelines to help you make a more professional pet inspection. If
employees observe any of the conditions described they
should have been trained to immediately notify their
supervisor before proceeding to care for pets
for purposes of providing an excerpt only)
1. Matter in pet eyes is very suspect, and when yellow or green in color often indicates a serious
condition. Prior examination by a veterinarian before grooming is recommended.
2. Powerful body odors other than from it being soiled or sprayed by a skunk, often indicate a serious problem. Further inspection for the source of odor is mandatory. Continue examining the pet.
Common source areas of odors include:
Ears. Lift and inspect the ear opening area. Odors may come from ear canal areas. Swollen and red ears and require medical attention before grooming.
Eyes. As noted above, odors may be coming from a discharge.
Anus. The anus area may be red and swollen with a discharge. Again, medical attention is required before grooming. Also, dried and compacted fecal matter may the source of odor. If there is no indication of a related swollen or infected anus area, and the only source of odor seems to be the fecal matter, the may be groomed. However, do not remove the fecal matter without first soaking it thoroughly until it dissipates easily and without harming the sensitive skin underneath. Dried fecal matter removed without soaking can tear the fragile skin of the anus area, and even result in breaking the skin till it bleeds. After cleaning the anus area, soothe the sensitive external skin with a
soothing lotion such as After-Clip.
Reproductive glands. Discharges from them may have an odor and require medical
attention prior to grooming.
Mouth. Problem gums can produce powerful odors. Lift the mouth flaps and look at gums. Red, swollen gums may be infected. Teeth may be abscessed. Some pets may actual have matter lodged in their gums, from chewing such things as toothpicks, rubber bands and other foreign matter.
Veterinarians should remove this matter whenever
possible. Pets with any conditions related to their mouth require medical attention before grooming.
We do not recommend teeth brushing or scaling by
groomers, and instead suggest pet owners ask their
veterinarian for their recommendations. Although it
may be legal for groomers to brush pet's teeth in some
states, it is not in all states as it comes legally
under veterinary care. We know of several instances
where groomers brushing pet teeth as part of grooming
loosened decay and related infection, and caused the
pet severe illness, and even death. Groomers involved
could then be held liable in terms of malpractice, and
that is exactly what has happened to some groomers
risking teeth brushing. Before you brush teeth in your
business, consult with your veterinarian business
Skin conditions. There are many possible skin conditions that result in powerful odors. Perhaps there are open sores. Sometimes foreign matter may have pierced the pet's skin and become infected, including the pads between their feet. For example, a rubber band may have become wrapped a pet's leg and pierced the skin.
Foxtail weeds and others may have become imbedded in a pet's skin, and followed by infection. Medical attention should be required for a pet with skin conditions that may become aggravated by
grooming, especially those accompanied by infection and imbedded foreign matter. Veterinary diagnoses of gangrene may be possible in these and other cases, and which requires
immediate medical attention.
3. An overabundance of fleas or ticks is a problem for pet groomers. You don't want to spread these pests any further within
your business. These pets are often best accommodated in a more isolated temporary lodging space (yet under constant supervision) until they can be bathed and given a de-fleaing treatment. Proceed with their bathing as soon as possible.
4. Coughs are a significant indicator of pets that may be suffering conditions that require immediate veterinary attention, and before grooming. Listen for "deep" or "hacking" type cough. Those type of coughs definitely require medical attention.
The manager should ask the pet owner if the pet has a medical condition. For example, some pets with heart conditions have a persistent cough
indicative of a heart condition. These pets will likely be approved for grooming by their veterinarian, but they require
special care procedures. One of the most dreaded coughs is "kennel cough."
Kennel cough requires immediate medical attention and you should not groom pets afflicted with it without veterinary clearance either by phone or in writing. It can quickly spread to other pets; never take a chance with kennel cough.
for purposes of providing an excerpt only)
with your business' veterinarian for other suggestions
of what to look for in pre-grooming inspection
Copyright 2000 Find A Groomer, Inc. All rights reserved