Candy OlsonDr. Candy Olson graduated from veterinary school in 1978, and has been working as a small animal veterinarian ever since. She started her own practice, Greenbriar Animal Hospital, in Fairfax, Virginia in 1993 with a goal to providing a very personal level of service, like an old fashioned family doctor’s office. The hospital has grown into a busy 2 doctor practice with a full time dog and cat groomer. The practice and Dr. Olson have received several awards for top quality service to her patients and their owners, but what she enjoys the most is fine tuning the day to day care of her patients, and helping their owners cope with medical and behavioral issues that pop up in today’s lifestyles. Dr. Olson is particularly interested in the care of geriatric pets and in pets with multiple medical and/or behavioral problems. She keeps her veterinary knowledge current by reading more than 8 veterinary journals every month, and by attending more than 80 hours of continuing education meetings each year (Virginia requires 15 hours per year). She also serves as a mentor for student veterinary technicians and high school students interested in veterinary medicine. Her hobbies include gardening, travel, and photography (photography is an extended family hobby). Some of her photos and some of her family’s photos are framed and on display at the animal hospital.
Dr. Candy Olson: Hi! I am Dr. Candy Olson from Greenbriar Animal Hospital. We're shooting a series of video clips on, how to take care of your dog at home. This is Putter; he is going to be helping us with this one. Little bit of information on some special grooming tools that you can use.
This is Melissa, one of my assistants; she is helping us out too. We have a couple of sections here. One of them is on the Shedding Blade that's what this is here, which is particularly helpful if you've got a dog with a coat like Putters or even more of a Shepherd kind of coat. What this does is it takes out the undercoat that they have without you having to taking it all out by hand. The way you use this is just kind of run it along their back like this. Turn this way a little bit so you can see. Now, Putter is kept in excellent shape and is recently been groomed, so he doesn't have a lot of undercoat but you can see he doesn't mind this. He says, it feels pretty good and it takes out all of that fuzzy undercoat stuff. If you were a Husky or a Shepherd you would have both loads of hair out here and it's really easy to do. These are readily available and this is a regular size, they come in a small and a large as well and they are a very handy thing to do. You do have to be a little bit careful because they do have little tiny teeth here, you shouldn't ever use a shedding blade except for on the body itself. If you were to use it below the elbows or on the legs, it can bump into the bone and cause them some discomfort. So, it's only for on the body itself. But particularly for the big shaggy dogs it's very handy.
The other tool that we have here that's really helpful for dogs with a lot of coat is what we call a Mat Splitter Comb. They are actually on these little curved areas here, there is actually a blade. This part here is not sharp at all. So, what it does is it goes through the thick coat, tends to thin the coat or remove some of the undercoat and if they are just starting to get some little knots, it works really well there. You can use it on the ears. You can use this tool pretty much anywhere and you can see, it just takes out that little fuzzy stuff without leaving bare spots, it's excellent. Now, if there is actually a knot on -- Putter doesn't have any knots, but say he had a little mat starting right here, you don't want to comb through and pull this because it's really going to tug and it's going to hurt, but if this was a little knot what you'd want to do is pick out a little bit from one side and just kind of gradually going from one side get to the point where you get it all out. Now, if it's a very big knot, it's probably going to have to be shaved. Then something that you'd want to talk to your veterinarian about or contact your groomer and see one of things about knots in mats and dogs hair is once they start all the nearby hairs tend to jump in and form a knot also. So, they can get rapidly worse. So, if it's getting away from you and you're thinking I can't keep up with this, it's best to call a groomer sooner rather than later, because it's only going to get a lot worse, and it may end up that your dog needs to be shaved. That will grow back. But just one of the things that it's best also to remember if your dog has any knots or any places where the coat is really thick and you can't get a comb through, don't bathe your dog, bathing will make it worse, it sets the knots and they turn into felt.
So, you can see the kind of stuff that we're getting out here and yet there's no bare spots and it works really well. As this kind of comb is gentle on them he doesn't mind.
So, those are some things that you can do with the Mat Splitter type comb and with the Shedding Blade, they are excellent for dogs with a lot of coat.
Next we're going to cover some tips on exercising your dog.