Dog groomer saves Grace

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Grace is the Airedale terrier living with Hobo the Wonder Dog and is groomed regularly with Skyler and Hobo. Never underestimate the relationship you have with your dog groomer — they may save your dogs life. Choosing a dog groomer is more than simply searching for the best price or convenient location—its about trust, knowledge, skill, and caring.

During Grace’s last grooming at Fionna’s Grooming Boutique in Benham Kentucky, groomer Brett Sparkmon noticed a small pea sized lump on Grace’s back. During checkout Brett showed me the small lump on Grace’s back and said, “I think you should have this checked out by your veterinarian.” Of course, a word to the wise was sufficient; we stopped by our veterinarian’s office on the way home. Our veterinarian suggested doing a fine needle aspiration and sending it off for analysis. I thought I was being a crazy dog parent hypochondriac and over reacting to such a small lump.

When the results came back, the cells were suspicious for carcinoma and surgical removal was recommended. Grace was scheduled for surgery and the lump removed. Once again, pathology was completed with a diagnosis of pilomatricoma — a rare neoplasm in dogs. Metastasis, including that to bone, have been confirmed. Absolutely, this innocent looking pea sized lump needed to be removed and diagnosed.

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It isn’t uncommon to learn of pet grooming accidents and associated deaths in animals. I believe it is equally important to learn about good deeds and incidents where groomers improve our pets lives and, in some cases, save their life. Choose your groomer wisely and build a relationship of trust. Brett could have groomed Grace and never mentioned the lump — it was small enough, who would notice.

Pilomatricoma’s can be rapid growing tumors. Grace is lucky to have had it surgically removed early with wide margins and is thought to be curative. It doesn’t take long to realize that everyone caring for our pets are integral parts of a team to improve their lives. So, choose your groomer, dog sitter, and veterinarian carefully — your dog’s quality of life may depend on them.

Life is better with a dog — woof!

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