Groomers, vets and pet owners are calling on the Victorian government to lift restrictions on grooming dogs under lockdown.
Under current Stage Four restrictions, dog grooming is considered a non-essential service, meaning owners cannot have their dogs trimmed since August 2.
Dog groomers say the restriction is becoming an animal welfare issue, dogs who may have already been expected for a clip when the lockdown was announced now suffer from tangled fur and hygiene issues.
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition started by Rachael Garthe, who runs Beanfeet Dog Grooming, asking that dog grooming be allowed while in lockdown.
Melbourne veterinarian Dr Jack Zaks of the Elsternwick Veterinary Clinic told 3AW radio station last week that his practice had been overwhelmed by injured dogs whose owners had attempted to cut them themselves.
“We had… people… who were trying to groom their own dogs. What they do is cut these dogs and there are nicks on the skin,” Dr Zaks told Neil Mitchell. .
“On Sunday, a dog nearly bleed to death when an artery in the ear cartilage opened.
“It goes on and on. It’s everyday.”
Ms Garthe told nine.com.au that poodle cross breeds such as labradoodles, spoodles and groodles in particular need to be treated promptly every eight weeks.
“If you have a dog groomed after eight weeks, that’s when the mat starts to fall into place,” she said.
“Some of my clients were due six weeks ago, so they’re waiting a lot longer than when they would.”
Dog groomer Annette Collins, of Netz Pampered Pets, said she has received worried calls from pet owners about reopening her service.
“Some people have told me before that they cut the matted fur. I had to tell them to stop. It is clear that if the owners try to do it themselves, they will just cut them,” a- she declared.
“I can sense the panic in the owner. I know when the dog was cut and the length of its cut and I’m panicking myself because I can’t even imagine what they will look like when I see them again.”
Ms Collins said dogs can get their eyes dirty if they aren’t cut in time, which could cause hygiene issues.
“If the hairs on their pads are not cut, they can also get embedded with grass seeds and other things and they can bite their feet and that can cause sores.
“Veterinarians look after dogs in their health if they are sick and injured, but we also take care of their health in their hygiene.
Commenting on the online petition, owner Larissa said her dog was in pain.
“My dog is in desperate need of grooming. She has mats that stick her ears to her body and she has mats all over her stomach / armpits / face. She is overheating from seven inches of thick wool – she has a woolen coat, “she wrote.
“The vet won’t do anything and said that because they’re not groomers, they’ll only cut a dog’s coat with them sedated. It’s disgusting. She doesn’t need anesthesia, she does. needs to go to the groomers. She looks like a woolly mammoth sheep that got lost in the mountains this year. “
Ms Garthe said she had previously practiced contactless dog grooming under the state’s Step Three restrictions and it could be easily done.
“The dogs were put in a crate at the front of the living room and we talked to the owners about what they wanted to do over the phone. Then the owners came back to pick them up when they were ready,” she said. declared.
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org.