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Question for the dog show people

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  • Question for the dog show people

    I have my puppy entered this weekend up in Laramie, and next weekend down in Longmont. We're not even close to competitive right now--she's all over the place in the ring and immature physically--but I like getting her out, letting her have some fun and chalking up one more experience that's positive for her. As she matures mentally, she'll be more competitive and I'll worry more about it, but we're really just not there yet. These two shows are her last shot at puppy class as she's a year on June 6.

    She was recently hospitalized overnight with what ended up being a case of garbage gastritis, we think. Both dogs got sick, my older dog first, and Zin went in when she started puking. She was never particularly sick and we got well in front of whatever it was with her, but she was shaved for an IV. She is 100% recovered now.

    Is it bad form for me to show up at a show with a shaved spot on the leg? Of course it's the left We took her in to the clinic at midnight and I did not even think about asking to at least putting the IV in on the right.

    If this is just Not Done, even for what something I consider a schooling opportunity and nothing more, I'll skip it. I'd like to get her in the ring, but I also don't want to commit some enormous faux pas.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    What breed is Zin? I probably wouldn't worry about it.

    Some techs do get a bit over zealous with the clippers, especially if they are not accustomed to dealing with show dogs. In the future perhaps a gentle reminder....I don't hesitate to let them clip what they have to, but sometimes they can modify without compromising health and safety.

    I deal with one practice where the vet shows as well, they are great about being conscious of clipping on show dogs.

    For a puppy, though, in it for the experience mostly, I'd go ahead and show.

    Just FYI, they are not supposed to be shown with stitches though.

    Comment


    • #3
      I kept mine out because his shaved leg was very noticeable. I honestly don't know if it would have made a difference or not. I have to travel to most shows and I felt it wasn't worth spending the money if he would be penalized.
      You are what you dare.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think it depends on the breed; it wouldn't necessarily affect a placing in my breed (Brittany) because things like field accidents, scars, etc. are not supposed to count against the dog (so everyone always says - "oh, he got hurt in the field"). Recently we watched someone well-known in the breed show a bitch with who knows what on her leg - about 4 inches raw and red....not sure I would have presented my dog that way....but...?

        I'd probably go ahead. It is unlikely to be held against you, but if it's a practice show anyway you can try. You can blame the bad shaving on the vet.

        Re: vets and shaving - after we finished my 1st dog, we knew we probably wouldn't special him but thought we might throw him in a few specialties from time to time. We brought him in for OFA xrays and there was a woman with two Borzois having them done on the same day. She borrowed labels from the front desk and wrote "do not shave" and stuck labels all over her dog. I thought she must be insane, but she said "you never know - once they take them out of your sight they forget!"

        About one week later, my dog did something while running through deep snow that caused his right front leg to swell up like a balloon. Back to the vet, they took him back for xrays and the vet (not my regular vet) came out and said "good news, it's just a bruise" and brought out my dog with his entire front leg shaved to the skin. Completely naked from the elbow to the foot, including a lifetime of feathering. I almost fell over! Thankfully he was done showing, but obviously not a chance of even entering for fun for a while -- it took a year to re-grow the feathering!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by S1969 View Post
          Re: vets and shaving - after we finished my 1st dog, we knew we probably wouldn't special him but thought we might throw him in a few specialties from time to time. We brought him in for OFA xrays and there was a woman with two Borzois having them done on the same day. She borrowed labels from the front desk and wrote "do not shave" and stuck labels all over her dog. I thought she must be insane, but she said "you never know - once they take them out of your sight they forget!"

          About one week later, my dog did something while running through deep snow that caused his right front leg to swell up like a balloon. Back to the vet, they took him back for xrays and the vet (not my regular vet) came out and said "good news, it's just a bruise" and brought out my dog with his entire front leg shaved to the skin. Completely naked from the elbow to the foot, including a lifetime of feathering. I almost fell over! Thankfully he was done showing, but obviously not a chance of even entering for fun for a while -- it took a year to re-grow the feathering!
          AAAAGH!!!!! What a shock, and a shame!

          At one vet practice, they wrote "SHOW DOG! DO NOT SHAVE!" in huge letters on my dogs' records (not my idea, theirs!), but I never thought of putting the label on the dog itself!

          Comment


          • #6
            You've already paid the entry fees and say it's just for experience, so if it's not horrible go ahead and go, but generally speaking, no, I wouldn't show that way at a licensed AKC show - as opposed to a Match.

            Be prepared to be asked about it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by S1969 View Post
              there was a woman with two Borzois having them done on the same day. She borrowed labels from the front desk and wrote "do not shave" and stuck labels all over her dog. I thought she must be insane,...!"
              I think you're too far north for it to be the same Borzoi lady. I recall a show Borzoi coming in for a foreleg problem. Maybe OCD. Besides obsessing about shaving and scarring, woman trotted in a relative so the specialist surgeon could see what a correct Borzoi leg looks like. Surgeon was completely offended.

              (And, ya know, showing a dog post corrective surgery...)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Bicoastal View Post
                I think you're too far north for it to be the same Borzoi lady. I recall a show Borzoi coming in for a foreleg problem. Maybe OCD. Besides obsessing about shaving and scarring, woman trotted in a relative so the specialist surgeon could see what a correct Borzoi leg looks like. Surgeon was completely offended.
                (And, ya know, showing a dog post corrective surgery...)
                Lol, double meaning for OCD!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a note re: shaving. I try to be very conscientious about te amount of shaving I do/do not do on a show dog. However, demanding I do not shave at all will get me off your dogs case. I had a Bichon lady insist that I absolutely could not shave at all to place a IV catheter(for an elective procedure). I finally told her I could shave this little amount that would be not noticeable at all if she parted and fluffed it right. Or I wouldn't be doing the procedure at all. She was quite offended that I wouldn't do it her way, like 'everybody else' did, until I explained how much harder it is to have an aseptic IV catheter placement with hair in the way and all the associated infection risks. Suddenly she was more offended that nobody had explained it to her before.

                  There are definitely times (and breeds) where shaving is more of a concern than others, but my general rule and what I tell clients is I will shave as little as possible but enough to know I'm giving their dog the best standards of care. I try to avoid shaving feathers, if I have to do anything I will trim them as little as needed. However, for the poster with the swollen leg shaving like that is necessary to not miss changes in the bruising pattern, small punctures, draining tracts and abscesses about to rupture. HOWEVER common courtesy, show dog or not, is to tell the client before you do it. Nobody likes naked dog surprises!!
                  You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you lightly chalk the area how visible is it from 3, 5, and 10 feet away? The chalk won't hide it but it will give it less contrast so the area looks like it was done with a 10 instead of a 40. If you top it was a high shine hair spray it will help take out some of the dullness that chalk imparts.

                    I am very grateful for vet techs who work around us crazy show people. When Dexter they had put in a catheter with the most discrete and minimal clipping I've ever seen. A healthy happy boy was my priority but the techs efforts were very very appreciated since that tiny patch took 3-4 months to grow out. I became pretty adept at the twist and spray to patchwork that area together.

                    Ultimately their health is always our priority but it is nice when the vet or tech tries to be as discrete as possible.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Horsegal984 View Post
                      There are definitely times (and breeds) where shaving is more of a concern than others, but my general rule and what I tell clients is I will shave as little as possible but enough to know I'm giving their dog the best standards of care. I try to avoid shaving feathers, if I have to do anything I will trim them as little as needed. However, for the poster with the swollen leg shaving like that is necessary to not miss changes in the bruising pattern, small punctures, draining tracts and abscesses about to rupture. HOWEVER common courtesy, show dog or not, is to tell the client before you do it. Nobody likes naked dog surprises!!
                      I would have been totally fine with his leg hair being shaved but not the feathers, unless after doing the first part there was some serious concern about the injury. The leg hair grew back in a matter of weeks but matching the 4" of feathering was tough for my groomer. It wasn't a huge problem but if it could have been avoided it would have been nice.

                      The bigger concern is "what if". What if I bring my special in for something small and they shave him before a big show? So it is definitely on my radar now. At that time, it never occurred to me that the Borzoi lady might be correct about the shaving. I had my current show dog in for an abscess issue in his front leg last year and they did shave him, and I didn't mind because it was definitely necessary. But I did ask that they only shave the front if possible; avoid shaving the feathering off - and they did a fantastic job and it wasn't noticeable after a week or so.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Most of the time if you just mention it to the vet/tech 'hey got a show coming up, please touch base before you start clipping etc' most vets will be very able to work with you on it. But there are some clinics/vets that just don't get it.

                        Man and the sad part is the OCD Borzoi lady probably would be the first to freak out if the dog got an infection post op that could have been prevented by shaving more. Someways you just can't win for losing!
                        You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for the input, all. I did not make any requests of the clinic--it was late, I was tired, and I figured if the dog is sick enough for an IV, they can do what they need to do. The clipped area is perhaps 1" x 2". She's a Rhodesian Ridgeback, so chalk isn't really an option.

                          I'll take her and be ready to answer questions about it. God knows "she got into the trash and needed some fluids" is something that likely damned near every dog person has experienced. That's not quite what happened (we don't know what in the hell they got into) but it's certainly close enough to the truth.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OP, oh, a Ridgeback, I wouldn't think twice about it for your situation!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                              The clipped area is perhaps 1" x 2". She's a Rhodesian Ridgeback, so chalk isn't really an option.
                              I wouldn't even worry about that! And I doubt anyone will ask about a spot as small as this.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                In humans there are some studies showing that shaving increases the chance of infection. Clipping hair with scissors is not a problem. I used to stitch a lot of people scalps at my job. I tried to trim the minimal number of hairs needed to keep hair out of the wound, but never shave the hairs. Hair can be slicked out of the way with antibiotic ointment.

                                I suspect we shave animals a lot more than we need to before procedures, without any evidence that it actually prevents infection.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Since you don't know what your dog got into, what if it was something contagious?
                                  That is what may cross the mind of anyone that notices the dog had vet attention recently.

                                  What if the dog gets stressed and starts getting sick again?

                                  Those situations are a judgment call as much as a cosmetic question.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Tell people it was an altercation with a lion!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by AKB View Post
                                      In humans there are some studies showing that shaving increases the chance of infection. Clipping hair with scissors is not a problem. I used to stitch a lot of people scalps at my job. I tried to trim the minimal number of hairs needed to keep hair out of the wound, but never shave the hairs. Hair can be slicked out of the way with antibiotic ointment.

                                      I suspect we shave animals a lot more than we need to before procedures, without any evidence that it actually prevents infection.
                                      That is very interesting! I do tend to use scissors rather than clippers to shorten hair around superficial wounds. Good reason to keep some sharp but blunt tipped scissors around.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Bluey, because the bloodwork did not indicate an infective process at all.

                                        She was also never very sick--vomited twice, never broke with diarrhea--as we got well in front if it. She was 100 % recovered within 36 hours and wondering why she was still on the super not very exciting w/d for a few days after that.

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