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Pet Grooming

Techniques

Regular pet grooming can help to prevent problems such as skin and paw disorders, excessive shedding, painful mats and periodontal disease,. They can also help you catch other problems that might otherwise go unnoticed on your pet. Pets of every breed size, age and coat type need to be groomed regularly.

Ear Grooming

Always check with a veterinarian before plucking any hairs from the ear structures that seem to be infected. Sometimes the ear problem requires you pet to be sedated and cleaning procedures. Chronic or severe cases of infected and scarred ear tissues usually respond well to surgery to open up the canal for better exposure to the drying effects of the air. Be sure to have the ears checked if you suspect Otitis is present in your pet. The longer it goes on, whether it is allergic or infectious, the more scarring tissue forms and the more difficult it can be to cure. Simple ear cleaners that work well to clean the waxy or oily ears will not even touch an infection and may further irritate the allergic ears of your pet.

Shaving the hairs close to the skin with a #40 blade can be of help. Make sure to keep that blade flat to the skin surface and not at an angle. If the ear structures have any buildup of debris or crusts, eliminating the hair can prevent the hairs from trapping the exudate and allowing better contact with medications and facilitates of the drying effects in the air. So, removing hair from infected tissues can be helpful. Do not forget to disinfectant your grooming tools after every use.

Nail Grooming

Your pet's nails can be a good indicator of the pet's general state of health. Dry, crooked, cracking or pitted nails are a sure sign that the dog may have a fungal infection or be poorly nourished.

If you see abnormal nails on your pet, be especially watchful for any areas on the skin where you may see circular or dry patches of hair loss. The dog or cat may have ringworm which is a fungal infection called dermatophyte.You should always be concerned about your pet's environment, diet, or immune system whenever your are diagnosing a fungal skin infection, especially when the nails are also involved in the process. External signs may indicate an internal abnormality in your pet. Treating diseased toenails could possibly extend over a few months time period.

And it is very important to notify your vet if you see any pus or bleeding from your pet's nail bed. Be cautious never to get any pus, blood, or discharge into contact with a scratch or cut on yourself. A serious fungal disease of dogs or humans is called Blastomycosis and can often will show up first as a draining lesion at the toenail bed.


Eye Grooming

One of the most common disorder you may see in your pet will be Epiphora or excessive tearing. There are so many causes for the tears draining down the face that there is no way we could name them all. One thing you can try is to darken the room and shine a light along the edges of your pet's eyelids and look for tiny eyelashes that may be growing along the edges of the lids. If these tiny lashes are coming in contact with the eye, there is the potential for some serious corneal damages. Often the tiny openings, one on the inside corner of the lids, will be plugged up or underdeveloped. Tear duct obstruction can sometimes be alleviated simply by using a small amount of an antibiotic called tetracycline.

Other disorders such as entropion of the rolling inward of the lid, facial folds, follicular conjunctivitis or long hairs contacting the eye can predispose your dog to misdirected or excess tears resulting in chronic wetness and a mucoid or crusty buildup on the face.

Clipping the hairs short will make the clean up or application of medication easier. Remember to have the underlying cause determined by a vet. Dogs with lots of hair falling in the eyes, such as Shih Tzu's and OESD's , do not have to have their eyes shaded because excessive light will not make them go blind. They can see better, and the light will not cause blindness, if most of the hair is kept away from your pet's eyes.
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