My Precious Pennies

I will be AWAY until late February as we do this moving thing...again.

Ginger from Attention Target Shoppers & Tricia from 1stopmom
will be holding down the fort in the meantime - thank you so much, ladies!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Petsmart Grooming - don't do it!

My precious Chloe dog is currently sulking around the house with bandages around her front legs. It's actually quite funny - hubby thinks she looks like half a racehorse since racehorses always have their legs bandaged. Well, it's not at all funny how she came to have bandages around her legs.

Yesterday, I took Chloe and Chip to our local Petsmart to be groomed. Chloe really doesn't need to be "groomed", but she did need a bath and a nail trim. Chip, on the other hand, needs an actual haircut every 3 months or so. Normally I send Chip off and frugally bathe Chloe at home, but I was just way too tired and they needed it desperately, having spent the past 2 weeks with 6 other dogs playing nonstop. So we shipped them both off to Petsmart.

Let me state again that Chloe went in for a bath and a nail trim. No sharp objects (scissors, razors...etc.) were supposed to be involved. So imagine my surprise when we picked her up with two open sores on the insides of her front paws.

As you can tell from the pictures, the wound on her right paw looks more like a puncture wound than a looks like something stabbed her in the foot and made a hole. The one on the left is no where as deep - it's comparable to a mild rash from rubbing against something. However, she should have absolutely NO wounds at all.

Of course, the staff did not even mention it, and when I questioned them, they said that nothing out of the ordinary happened and they have no idea how she got them. I know for a fact that she did not have them on her paws before Petsmart...considering we snuggled for 3 hours on the couch with her and clipped her whiskers the night we got home. We would have noticed. It's kind of hard not to notice something like that. But Petsmart wanted me to believe that she tried to dig herself out of her crate and injured herself in that manner.

Before we go any further, let me share with you that Chloe is a dog that has been on a plane TWICE in her life, and has spent countless hours in her crate in various situations. The dog is considerably bomb-proof. And not to mention that it is quite impossible to do that in a crate in a short amount of time unless there are exposed sharp points...which there shouldn't be.

The staff offered their apologies, and said that if anything happens I can call them and they will "take care of it". What that means...I really don't know. Hopefully it means they will pay for her vet bills. At this point though, the only vet she's seen is Dr. Mommy and Dr. Daddy. It's not an emergency situation that requires us to head off to the $200 doggy ER.

However, a trip to the vet is pretty much unavoidable at this point. By the time we got home it was already oozing. I flushed it out with povidone-iodine, applied an antibacterial cream, and sprayed on a liquid bandage. Just to drive the point home and prevent licking, we protected it with gauze and the bright pink bandage warp. Just a disclaimer - I have no vet knowledge. It's just after Chip's near-death experience with the coyote and the following month that my neighbor and I spent flushing his wounds, applying various creams/bandages, and forcing pills down his throat every 3 hours...well, I obviously picked up some tricks.

When I changed her dressings for the night, the gauze and pink bandage wrap was soaked through with yucky ooze. I'm sure it's nothing serious, but it's an infection that will probably need a course of antibiotics to clear up. All this from a bath and a nail trim.

I will not be returning to any Petsmart grooming salon in the future. It's simply not worth it.


Anonymous said...

Having worked at PetSmart as a salon manager for three years and being in animal welfare work my entire life, I need to comment on this.
I have seen times when dogs will try to dig out of the cages and this looks like that to me. The employees are at fault in that they didn't contact you immediately and ask you to pick her up because she was obviously in a state of high anxiety. You said this was her first time there so no matter what you may have experienced in the past with other situations, you have no idea how she acted at PS. All dogs react differently. The best little mama's boy or girl can turn into Cujo and vice versa. I've seen dogs rip their nails right off digging out of the cage but of course, we always removed the dog from the crate and contacted the pet parent immediately. Some need a vet's attention.
I don't think you should write off all PS salons due to this. If they were very busy and your dog was in a cage in a corner and doing this quietly, it may be true no one noticed what happened.
I hope your baby heals up quickly!

Nancy M. said...

I'm sorry about your dog. The poor thing! I hope she will be alright.

Shannon said...

I am also anti petsmart grooming. I took my lab to get a bath before Christmas last year. They called me to say she was scared of the dryer and I could come pick her up or they could keep trying to dry her. I told them I'd come get her. Later in the day I noticed she was not wagging her tail (hello, she's a lab. She ALWAYS wags her tail) When I'd tell her to sit, she'd yelp. I can only figure that they yanked on her tail and sprained it. I am NOT a fan and she won't be going back. Just wanted to let you know I am also anti petsmart from here on out.
I hope your pup makes a speedy recovery. Poor girl :(

Rita @ My Precious Pennies said...

No matter how busy they are, neglecting a client's dog is unacceptable and there is NO excuse. This was NOT her first time being dropped off at a groomers, just the first time we used this particular Petsmart. They should have removed her immediately and contacted us if the case was that she was digging...instead they didn't even as much as MENTION it. It's just not worth the risk to take my dogs back to Petsmart. Not worth the risk of injury and the following vet bill. Before we moved, we used a family-owned groomers, and they ALWAYS treated both of our dogs with the utmost respect and care, even though they were visibly very busy.

1stopmom said...

Oh my goodness that is horrible. I have been thinking about taking our dog to Pet Smart to get groomed. I hope Chloe is ok.

Nancy said...

Hi Rita,

PetsMart is to commercialized - I was a trainer there for about 2 years but could not handle the people they were bringing on board as "trainers" who had not EVEN taken a dog through a training class let alone had a demo dog - it is important to me to interview someone who is either going to work with me and my dog - I want to know that they know what they are doing and the same goes for a groomer - I want someone with experience and they just don't have that at PetsMart (granted there are exceptions to this assumption but I've yet to find one)- I just don't trust people with our animals - I trust our veterinarian but he allows me to be with my canine/equine family members through everything. I'm sorry that this has happened to Chloe and I do recommend that you call the manager of the salon and advise that the wound is getting worse and that you will be taking your dog to her normal vet - get in writing via e-mail or fax or go pick up a paper stating that PetsMart will reimburse you for your expenses to resolve the leg wounds. I cannot stress enough that this needs to be done immediately. I reviewed all the vaccinations for dogs in my training group and verified boosters were done. I have seen so many people come in with dogs who are supposed to be vaccinated but are not or have skin issues and if the crate was not properly cleaned or if she was accidently poked with a pair of scissors what if the scissors were not sterilized properly? Go to the vet and make sure to follow up with PetsMart. They just turn people loose that do not have the proper training to handle dogs in these situations. I applaude you for doing what you are already doing but if it is oozing it is infected - I hope Chloe feels better - By the way - I do not even take my dogs into Petsmart with me when I purchase their food/toys for fear that the people bringing their dogs are not able to control their dogs and it is just not worth it. I've seen too much to know they can't handle their dogs and even though mine are behaved it doesn't stop them from being attacked.

Momstart said...

We've been thinking about taking our dog to Pet Smart, thanks for posting this. There is NO WAY, I'm letting my dog go there.

Pet Smart should pay your vet bills. This is there fault.

Jenny said...

How sad :( Your poor baby!

I would be very upset too! Make sure you get those antibiotics soon, before the infection gets worse.

I have 2 cats with countless health issues and the quicker you get them the meds, the quicker they'll heal up.

Good luck with your dog.

Anonymous said...

Hope Chloe feels better soon.

I just wanted to chime in and say that her injury looks like one that my dog gave himself while trying to claw his way out of a crate. So, it is possible that the PetSmart people were being truthful with you. (Though they should have still reported the injury to you immediately.)

My dog's injury happened while we attempted to crate train him as a puppy. He just never took to it at all...wouldn't go near it, even if we left the door open. We tried to put him inside for a few minutes at a time to get him used to it. He usually appeared anxious, but I thought he'd adjust to it. However, one time he panicked so bad that he started clawing madly at the crate in an attempt to get out. The whole thing took less than 5 minutes, and he ended up with 2 spots on his paws just like Chloe's. That was the last time he was ever in a crate. I gave up on the idea of crate training him after that!

It has been 2 years since then, and fortunately he does well enough in the house that the crate isn't necessary. (Though the fur never did grow back over those spots.)

Anonymous said...

You people should be ashamed. Especially you people who say you've worked for Petsmart and are talking crap about it. SHAME. ON. YOU. I am a groomer for Petsmart and yes, I will admit that we DO have some mishaps from time to time- AS DO ALL GROOM SHOPS. Yes! It's true! Things like this happen every day! I'm sorry that you had a bad experience but it is NO REASON to tell everyone you know to write off all Petsmarts completely! I love dogs, I love grooming, I love my job and my company. If I didn't have 100% faith in my company, I wouldn't work there. I have noticed things like this before... one time a wheaton was digging so severely at his kennel, all of his nails broke exposing the quicks causing them to bleed. This happened only fifteen minutes after the dog checked in. We noticed it immediately, informed the owner, and she still raised hell. Even though we were CLEARLY not at fault. So yes. Things like that DO happen, but does it mean that it's the groomers' faults? OF COURSE NOT! That could happen anywhere folks. I repeat- ANYWHERE.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just wanted to say that I've been working with dogs for 8 years now. I've trained with veterinarians and groomers alike. I got a job at a PetSmart grooming salon because it looked like what I always wanted to do in life: work with dogs.

Since then, I will admit there have been good times and bad. It is true that not everyone there is knowledgeable about dogs, and I agree that they should require more extensive training for employees. Not everyone has 5, 10, 15 years of experience in the animal field, and that does need to be addressed.

The reality is that we can't "fight city hall," so to speak. The corporate bigwigs will not change just because we want them to. With the state of the economy, jobs are scarce, especially jobs that are secure and pay well. So, for now, I will stay at PetSmart.

At least they do have safety guidelines for animals in our care. One of those btw is to check all the animals every hour (there's even a sign-off sheet for it that hangs on the wall in our salon), so I agree that someone in that store wasn't doing their job. The manager should pay for your vet bills.

My salon really isn't bad. My manager has worked with dogs for more than 10 years now, and we haven't ever had any serious incidents. Minor cuts and scrapes will happen, but every time it does the owner is contacted immediately and our store manager pays for everything, even if we didn't directly cause it.

Yes we have to follow corporate guidelines, but heck, I volunteer to groom dogs for local rescues every couple weeks(I just don't tell my bosses about it). The point is, PetSmart stores vary. Until I can find a better place to go, all I can say is that every dog and cat I see gets the best care and service I can possibly give. Every time.

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