Grooming is an essential and regular part oftake care of your puppy.
Whether it's keeping their eyes and ears clean, trimming their fur so it doesn't get matted or irritated, orGive your doll a quick bathEvery few weeks you need to keep an eye on their grooming.
One of the most common dog grooming problems isRasurbrand,sometimes toocalled clipper burn, brush burn or razor burn. It can happen when you're grooming your fur baby, or even when an experienced groomer is doing it, and you might not even be able to tell it's happening.
In this blog post, I discuss all about how to prevent and treat razor burn in a dog. How to recognize it, how to avoid it, how to deal with it when it happens.
As always for pet owners 🤓 looking for moreDog grooming instructions, never ever miss theRead more sectionat the bottom. mythe blogis simply packed 📚 with useful resources.
Table of Contents
- What is razor burn and how does it happen?
- How to recognize razor burn in your dog
- How to avoid razor burn when grooming your dog
- How to treat razor burn in your dog
What is razor burn and how does it happen?
Razor burn is a skin condition that can affect dogs, humans, and just about any creature with hair. It's technically a form of "contact dermatitis," meaning inflammation of the skin caused by something that's come in contact with it. In this case, a razor or clippers.
Razor burn generally only happens in people and animals with sensitive skin, but it can happen if you are toowith the wrong tools for the job.For a person, this usually means a dull razor or a razor without any product to soften the hair and soothe the skin. With dogs, however, it's a little different.
Razor burn does not show up immediately in dogs. It's not like cutting yourself shaving; it's more like the clippers are pulling at every little hair in her fur coat, tugging and irritating the skin.
It also differs fromrazor bumps, which are ingrown hairs caused by shaving too closely, where the hair follicle becomes clogged and the hair curls under the skin instead of coming through as intended. This is much less common in dogs, although it can still happen.
Razor burns are not particularly bad in humans. Eventually, you can spot it and alleviate it with a skin cream. However, dogs don't have that kind of self-control or luxury.
Razor burns in dogs can be painfulitching and scratching, and your dog will likely lick at this point, further irritating the skin. Regular licking will continue to irritate the area and prevent it from healing properly. Continued licking can eventually lead to a skin infection or even a sore if the skin is broken.
But what causes razor burn, haircut burn, or brush burn in dogs?The answer is already in the name.
Since razor burn is a sensitive skin problem, it's important to keep an eye on the most sensitive areas, the face, armpits and groin.
If your fur baby's coat is shaved (e.g. if you need to trim it in the spring to make it more comfortable in the heat) this can lead to razor burn. Clipper burn is the same, and brush burn occurs when you brush an area too hard and it irritates the skin.
Think of it like a carpet burn, or even scratching an itchy spot so bad it becomes rough and painful (as anyone who's ever been bitten by a mosquito can attest to).
Some dogs have very sensitive skin and are prone to razor burn, even with the right tools. Other dogs do well most of their lives, but they become more prone to the problem later in life when their skin starts to thin with age. Many others have thick, impenetrable skin and never experience razor burn in their lives. Lucky ones!
Here are the main causes of razor burn or razor burn in dogs:
- Blunt hair clippers. If your clipper blades are dull, they won't cut cleanly through the fur when you trim. Instead, they end up pulling on those hairs, which pulls on and irritates the skin. In small amounts, this is annoying but not dangerous, but if it happens repeatedly in the same place, it can lead to razor burn.
- Trimming too close to the skin. While razor burn doesn't actually cut into the skin, the vibration and movement of the clippers can irritate the skin when pressed against it. Unless you really, really need to shave your fur baby, you generally don't want to get that close to their skin. Evencut away matted furor trimming a shaggy coat does not require a particularly close shave; typically this is reserved for surgical preparation.
“For most pet dogs, a #10 or #15 blade is considered a safe length to start with when used properly... For pets that are extremely sensitive, even longer blades like a #9 or #7F are safer choices . ” www.learn2groomdogs.com.
- Hot clipper. Because hair clippers move quickly and constantly, and are powered by a small, poorly ventilated motor, heat builds up inside them. With small dogs or with small amounts of trimming, this is not a problem. However, if you are grooming a larger dog more thoroughly, you may need to take a break to let the clippers cool down. Otherwise, the heat may irritate or even burn your poor fur baby's skin. This can also be a problem for busy groomers when their tools are constantly in use.
- Heavily matted fur. If you take good care of your fur baby it's not a problem, but if your poor pooch gets lost in the woods for days or you're dealing with a stray you're rescuing, matted fur can be a problem. In addition to potential infections already present, matted fur requires a closer shave and more pulling to remove, which can lead to razor burn.
- Inappropriate pressure. Too much pressure is a common cause of clippers irritating your pup's skin. Combine the pressure with dull or hot blades and you're asking for nothing but trouble. This one is difficult for the novice groomer to master as it can vary depending on the clipper and blade size you are using.
Finally, "brush burn" is a variant of razor burn caused by brushing too much in one spot. It most often happens when you're trying to brush out a mat, especially if you're not using the right brush.
Many pet parents tend to use asmoother brush, but this brush is best left to the professionals as the metal bristles will damage your pup's skin if not used properly.
Try your own head if you don't believe me. Instead, look for aBrush with rounded bristleswho can do the same job with much less risk.
How to recognize razor burn in your dog
The biggest challenge with razor burn is thisIt takes time to show up, often hours (or even a day) after the grooming has taken place. Because of this delay, you may not associate cause and effect and may not realize that you are dealing with razor burn.
Razor burn is a skin irritation and you need to know the signs so you know what to look out for. Visually, this means pink skin or redness. In more severe cases, you can see small bumps and possibly even scratches or lines.
For behavioral reasons, your fur baby will likely be constantly licking, scratching, or rubbing the affected area. Usually their behavior makes it worse, so keep an eye on your pooch for a day or two after grooming to make sure he doesn't show up.
Generally, razor burn occurs within a few hours of grooming. If your fur baby shows no signs of irritation by then, he's probably fine.
The exception is when they shave closely and expose their skin to an irritant, but that's not really razor burn, it's just an unrelated skin irritation.
How to avoid razor burn when grooming your dog
Now that we know what causes razor burn, we can better prepare to prevent it in the future.
First things first, if you're new to shaving your pup, ask a friend or visit a groomer and ask for a clipper recommendation. Ask how long the blades last and if the clippers tend to overheat. Knowing how loud the clippers are is also helpful if your pup is shy around loud noises.
Once you get your new clippers, always start with a longer blade, even if you end up wanting a shorter cut. This way you can gauge if your puppy has sensitive skin by observing their reaction after clipping. This also gives you a little more room for error when learning how much pressure to use.
If this isn't your first rodeo but you accidentally gave your pup razor burn, you may need to do thisSharpen or replace your hair clippers.
You should also make sure to check the temperature of the clippers to make sure they aren't getting too hot. If this is the case, allow them to cool before proceeding.
Also, remember not to brush too much in one spot and groom smaller amounts more frequently to avoid tangles forming.
Alternatively, when going to a groomer, ask for a recommendation from friends or your veterinarian, or check reviews online. Before you ever give your pup away, make sure you disclose any of your pup's skin sensitivities. When doing this, your groomer will likely use a longer blade to avoid irritation.
Well, if your groomer caused the rash, you need to do ittalk to them about it. They may not know their tools need sharpening, or they may have just shaved too close when they shouldn't have.
Because they can't see your fur baby in action after grooming, they don't get the feedback they need. As awkward as it may be, you need to tell them what works and what doesn't work for your pup.
How to treat razor burn in your dog
If your poor fur baby suffers from razor burn after grooming, try not to worry too much. It's always heartbreaking to see them suffer, but it's a very minor illness as long as you treat it quickly.
Fortunately, if it is not further irritated,Razor burn will go away on its own, so you should do what you can to prevent this additional irritation.
First, you should take a look at your four-legged companion. Watch for red marks and spots that could indicate razor burn or another form of skin irritation. Watch for behavioral cues for a few days after the grooming session.
If it's a full-blown rash with cracked skin, blood, or worse, oozing pus, then you have an infection. If your fur baby has developed an infection, take them to the vet immediately for treatment. You don't want to let it linger and get worse.
The most important thing in healing razor burn is making sure it stays dry. Moisture can lead to further irritation such as hotspots. The second most important thing is to discourage your pup from licking, scratching, or biting the affected area. Once you start relieving the burning and itching, your pup will be more likely to learn the area on his own.
You're probably wondering at this point what you can use to soothe your pup's skin and I have several options, let's start with the natural ones.
- An oatmeal bath, is a great way to soothe skin, but if you've just got your pup home from the groomer you might not want to have to start from scratch. However, if your pup has large areas of razor burn, this is an effective way to calm them down. Just remember to maintain the water room temperature and make sure your pup is nice and dry when you're done.
- Vitamin E, these small capsules are inexpensive and readily available at any grocery store. Just pierce a hole and apply to the affected area. Continue doing this daily until the rash clears.
- witch hazel, is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of skin conditions. It helps reduce both pain and inflammation. It comes in handy little wipes, but if you have a bottle use a cotton ball to apply to your pup's skin.
- Aloe Vera, is great for soothing skin, thoughNever use raw aloe that you have harvested yourself.Aloe contains latex, which can be toxic if your dog ingests it. You can avoid this risk by purchasing a food-grade aloe that has had the latex removed.
As an alternative or in addition to the products above, you can also use the following to soothe your pup's skin:
- Vaseline, which is pet safe as long as it contains no additives.
- Vetericyn, a topical ointment that helps balance pH levels, heal skin irritation and improve the healing process.
- Certain lotions such as Aquaphorthat are made from petroleum jelly and moisturizers. Make sure you know what's inside and it's non-toxic!
- dog skin moisturizer,There are many options out there. Most are marketed as dog paw balms, but they can be used to moisturize any part of your pup. We recommend searchingUSDA certified organic optionsto avoid harsh chemicals and potentially toxic substances entering your pup's bloodstream.
If your pup insists on licking, scratching, or rubbing at the site. You may need to take some additional protective measures.
- Get a cone or Elizabethan collar. These can prevent your fur baby from rubbing his face on surfaces (if the razor burn is on his face) or licking his body. But it can't really help against scratching. However, make sure you get a soft collar that won't irritate or get in the way of your fur baby's lifestyle. There are many soft collar options that won't irritate or affect your fur baby's comfort - so don't feel like they have to be in plasticcone of shame.
- Consider a light shirt or sweater. If her irritated skin is on her body, you may be able to use a shirt or costume to prevent her from scratching the area. Just make sure it's lightweight and breathable; Otherwise, you could trap moisture and cause an infection.
You may also want to spend extra time monitoring your pooch and stopping him if he scratches or licks the area. If they persist, consider using a soothing ointment to reduce the itching.
Do you have questions about how to prevent or treat razor burn in your dog? Or maybe you're concerned about razor burn that your furry friend already has? As always, if there is anything to worry about, go to the vet because safety is always the right decision. But if you have other non-serious questions on the subject, don't hesitate to leave them below! I would love to help you and your canine companion wherever possible!
If you're looking for something unique for your fur baby that's made right here in the US (or anywhere but China), 100% dog and cat safe, and USDA certified organic, check out Toe BeansOnline shop for pet supplies!
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