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Dog's hind legs paralyzed after visit to groomer

How to prevent injuries at the groomer or vet
Injured dog.jpg
Posted at 12:01 PM, Nov 18, 2021

UNION, Ky. — If you have a dog or cat, chances are you have left your pet with a vet or groomer, and trusted they would be OK when you returned to pick them up.

But sometimes, something goes wrong, even during the most routine of grooming sessions.

Jill Ross and her daughter Carolyn, of Union, KY, now have to baby their beloved 12 year old dog Harley, because he can no longer support himself on his hind legs.

They are now trying to teach him to walk again, after something went terribly wrong at a local grooming salon.

"I brought him in, he was walking fine on a leash," Ross said. "And when I picked him up, his two back legs were dragging in the parking lot."

The groomer said Harley must have worn himself out during the session, and had a vet connected with the grooming salon to prescribe anti-inflammatory pills, she says.

"But by the time I woke up the next morning," Ross said, "he was totally paralyzed and couldn't move either one of his legs."

Harley ended up in the hospital, and after an X-Ray and other tests, required surgery for a damaged disc in his back.

The cost to the Rosses was immense.

"It was $6,000 for the surgery, and more payments because he needs physical therapy now," she said.

At this point the Rosses are just hoping for some financial help from the groomer for what's turning out to be an emotionally tough and very expensive experience.

We contacted the grooming salon, but the manager claimed Harley had a known, pre-existing back condition, and that they did nothing wrong.

We have decided not to name the salon at this time, because we cannot find other injury complaints involving them, and because the Rosses are still hoping to negotiate some sort of settlement.

Injured dog.jpg
Injured dog after groomer visit

How to protect your pet

The Los Angeles Times, in a recent report, says there are no licensing boards for pet groomers in most states, and says to avoid a grooming injury:

  • Ask if the groomer was professionally trained.
  • Request references from existing clients.
  • Check the salon's reviews at the Better Business Bureau,
  • Ask if you can sit there during grooming.

As for Harley, Ross is working with him every day, holding up his back end, as the physical therapists have suggested.

"Playing ball was his favorite thing he could do. So I have been sitting on the floor, and rolling it back and forth with him because he couldn't do it himself," she said.

One final suggestion: consider a mobile groomer who comes to your home, where your dog won't be stressed, and you can sit there by his side.

That way your dog is comfortable, and you don't waste your money.


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