Helping a traumatized dog recover from bad groomer ptsd

Discussion in 'Health & Nutritional Care' started by Nik, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    This is Dakota after his last grooming appointment.


    As some of you already know Dakota is my mom's dog. Last weekend he came back from the groomers. When she picked him up he was soaking wet and they insisted it was only because they ran out of time and Dakota was nervous of the dryers anyways (Dakota has never been nervous of dryers in the past). By the time she got him home and went to get him out of the car he was covered in blood.

    It turns out the groomer had sliced open his tongue with the shears and tried to hide it by rinsing the blood off just before she came to get him. The cut was still actively bleeding though.

    Dakota is fine now. My mom and step-dad enlisted my help as her asthma came on very badly as a result of this and they didn't know how to stop the bleeding. Using ice helped slow down the bleeding and closed the cut within a few minutes.

    The problem is now Dakota is terrified to have anyone try to touch his face or come anywhere near it. He is traumatized. My mom doesn't know how he will get groomed again when it is time and his face gets too long and hairy and our area gets too hot to leave it untrimmed.

    She will definitely be going to a different groomer (which I will help her find) but she is concerned how to get him over the trauma of this latest experience so he will allow himself to be groomed again. Aside from keeping calm, finding someone competent etc. any other suggestions?

    She can definitely work towards allowing face touching at home but once the sheers come out I am afraid that may send him into ptsd all over again.
  2. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    Oh Nik, it's horrible. That poor dog! Has anything been done to address this with the groomer? Hell's Bells, it makes me glad that I don't have to send my girl to a groomer. I mean, mistakes happen, but you own up to it immediately, you don't dodge the issue, you take responsibility and make amends to the best of your ability. Any good lawyer would tell you the same...there is no upside to playing the downside, especially in a litigious society. I hope your mother takes them to task. There probably isn't an oversight body that represents groomers, but if there was, I'd be reporting this one for the damage and the act of cowardice. Also, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, this is definitely a case of bad faith, and people should have the right to know this could happen to them.

    Sorry, you were looking for answers to the PTSD, all I can give is anger that another dog has been hurt unnecessarily. E.
  3. Nik

    Nik Well-Known Member

    My mom actually had a severe asthma attack the moment she took Dakota out of the car and saw him like this (he has a car seat in the back seat of the car so she didn't see him covered in blood until she got him home. Luckily my step-dad was home and was able to set her up on her nebulizer machine and then they texted me for help.

    So after calling the vet for a consultation I immediately called the store. The store was unhelpful so I followed up with corporate offices immediately. I got a case number and was told I would hear back within three days. They did not call me back. Instead the store manager called my mom and grudgingly offered to reimburse the cost of the grooming appointment (over $100) and to reimburse any vet bill incurred but she would have to make an appointment with him to do so and come in store. Then he accused her of injuring Dakota when she got home and then taking the photo since as he said "When you walked out the door he wasn't covered in blood". He then said she should bring Dakota back for another grooming and pay extra money for an extended session so they could take a break partway through since he would be stressed out. When I heard that I immediately called the corporate offices again. They attempted to brush me off telling me it had all been handled and was resolved. I refused to accept that and let them know it was absolutely not resolved and that I needed it escalated to a supervisor or management. So they then said someone would return my call within 24 hours.

    Yesterday the District Leader called me back and she responded the way I expected from the start. She asked me to retell her the entire story so I did. She was absolutely horrified and said that protocol had not been followed at all and that the whole incident was handled incorrectly from point a to point z. She offered to have someone hand deliver the reimbursement to my mom along with a gift card which she could use online if she preferred to avoid the store. She also let me know that she was opening an investigation into that particular store with HR and leading some training and they would use Dakota's case an example of what not to do.

    Given the responsiveness of the district manager I am not sure that blasting them on social media is the correct response. But, I would also like to see the manager of that store lose his job after the way he treated my mom and failed to take responsibility or act with any integrity.

    In the meantime my mom's health has been very poor since the incident and she isn't really capable of dealing with it so I am handling everything for her.
  4. 7121548

    7121548 Active Member

    Oh my god!!! That picture is so frightening and upsetting. I don't have any advice on grooming fearful dogs, but I'm sorry you and your mom are having to deal with this. It's good to hear the district manager tried to make things right, but I would still review their business on Yelp or something and call out the groomer and manager by name. They should not be working with animals. Hope Dakota is doing ok.
  5. Bailey's Mom

    Bailey's Mom Super Moderator Staff Member

    I hear you, Nik. My mom had serious asthma as does my brother...mine and my sister's are minor by comparison. If my mom had had a serious attack, it would have been a trip to the ER. The shock can literally kill you if your lungs are fragile. Look up the stats, lots of people die from severe asthma attacks. So, this man...this representative of the company that holds a respected position could have been addressing a much more serious event because of his staff's actions and then lack of action. From accident to reporting any situation should be dealt with with compassion and acceptance (at least) of the possibility that the event occurred on their premises and was their ultimate responsibility. No representative of any company should put their company in the cross-hairs of a litigation. This manager, from what you have described, did do just that. Offering compensation with the backhand slap that she was the culprit, works against the company's best interest. The Man Is A Fool!

    By the time you've decided that you need to compensate a customer, you know the fault is yours.

    Trashing him on Facebook although gratifying is over the top. Reporting the situation to the Better Business Bureau serves as a warning to others, but, the Bureau helps people reach a resolution and it appears that you, through your own diligence, have managed to do that for yourself. If anyone here needs to know which store to avoid they can PM you and it can be done discreetly, but obviously, this only concerns members who live in your mother's small, discreet, geographical area. People outside that area would gain nothing from the knowledge as this one bad apple ... groomer ... and one bad manager are at your mother's local store.
  6. Hector

    Hector Well-Known Member

    Horrible!!!! No excuse how they handled it. I would blast them on social media!

    Find a groomer that is good with fearful dogs or hire a trainer to counter condition him on body handling or you can do it yourself.
  7. DennasMom

    DennasMom Well-Known Member


    Poor Dakota!

    The good thing - amazing thing - about dogs, is that they live in the moment are are quick to forgive those they love and respect. I find 'getting back on the horse' works best in traumatic situations like this, but as that might not an option... just work back toward playing with his face and beard with hands, use lots of love (and treats) and then reintroduce the trimmers, just make them visible - far away - and go back to using hands on the face. Work it as slowly as he needs you to. But, I do believe, if you forget there was a problem, he will too.

    My human fear of things like this happening is one reason I do my own grooming... I just don't trust other people very much.

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