Take one look at this 3 year old Poodle mix and you may wonder how we ever decided he was a Poodle mix. His coat was so overcome with mats from not being groomed that he moved as if it was burdensome, perhaps even painful. Yet you could see that with the subtle wag of his tail, he wanted so much to be loved.
You might not be able to see it, but this dog had a large, pendulous mass hanging down over his right eye (it might look like an ear to you). His matted coat obscured much of the mass, but it was sizable and clearly in the way.
While much of what I write about on this site has a lot to do with the medical care that my team and I are able to provide to the animals within the animal shelter, something that is often overlooked as not being medically related is an animal’s hair or fur.
Many animals that do not have short hair coats are in need of grooming on a regular basis in order to keep their coat healthy and prevent it from becoming matted. You may think that mats are unsightly more than anything else, but you may be surprised to learn that they do have health consequences.
Matted hair can be soaked in urine, feces, or tears, keeping these bodily fluids close to the skin and resulting in a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. What manifests can be a potentially serious skin infection.
Matted hair can also conceal wounds and overgrown nails, the latter of which have the ability to grow in 360˚ circles and straight into and through the paw! Ouch!
For this dog, getting neutered was also an opportunity to get a complete makeover! Check it out…
Before! About to undergo anesthesia, though we weren’t really sure what he looked like underneath all that hair!