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Groomed Maltese - Grooming Gone Bad

All you wanted to do was have your Maltese be given a nice and proper trim.  You pick you dog up and found that the groomer make an absolute mess of them!

What do you do when your Maltese received a terrible grooming?  Grooming has "Gone bad" and your poor little dog is left with shaved patches, uneven hair and even sometimes hair that is shaved down to the skin.

Since this breed is famous for its soft, fluffy coat, many owners will panic and worry when a major mistake has been made on a groomed Maltese.

There are several different elements that may be involved and, luckily, most can be worked on to promote growth so that the coat can be fixed.

Not to worry too much, help is here!
  You cannot have beautiful results like this with an inexperienced groomer.  If your Malt had a very bad grooming experience, there are steps you can take to help him or her.                 

Why Would a Groomer Do Such a Thing?

You most likely expected that the dog groomer knew how to properly groom your little Maltese.  You may have even  explained exactly how you wanted your groomed Maltese to look.  So what happened? 

Unfortunately, the groomer did not have enough experience or there was a incident and they did not call to tell you.

Sometimes, a groomer will find a large mat in the coat and in an attempt to take out the mat, they will clip it off.  An experienced professional should always call you if there is any situation which may compromise the looked that you asked for...anything that would affect the finished look.  Alternatively, some inexperienced groomers will have an "accident" if a dog moves while being trimmed.

How Can You Prevent This?

When it comes to a Maltese, it is vitally important to know you have an experienced and professional dog groomer.  Ask other owners for recommendations and visit the shop before you make an actual grooming appointment.  The 1st visit should be one in which you ask questions.  If a groomer does not have time to talk to you, they do not have time to carefully groom your Maltese.  Find a new groomer!   Make it clear, in detail, how you wish for your Maltese to be trimmed.

Groomed Maltese dogDiscuss the protocol for  unexpected situations, such as what steps will be taken if a matt (tangle) is found.  If it is not able to be carefully untangled by hand (with hands coated in conditioner),  we suggest that you ask that you be called and then examine the matt yourself.  Together you can both should decide the best course of action.  If any clipping needs to be done, you should give express permission first.

A good dog groomer will also be a stylist.  Anyone can use a clipper to groom a dog; a Maltese needs a professional dog groomer/stylist who is experienced in grooming small dogs with delicate coats.  It is always appropriate to ask for referrals; a great dog groomer will be more than happy to give you the names and numbers of some of their customers who have agreed to speak to potential customers.  You can ask what type of breed that they have and their experiences at that particular dog salon.

My Groomed Maltese Looks Awful...What can I do?

Luckily, an uneven cut  that is shaved to close to the skin will grow back.  While your dog will not have the look you desire, their coat will grow back.  A bad cut or trim will not compromise or effect the new coat that will grow. 

It is recommended to bring your dog to a new groomer, explain the situation and ask if they feel confident in their ability to straighten out the cut.  In some cases, you may need to wait several weeks before the cut can be straightened out.  This will allow the coat to grow back enough so that touch-ups can be done to make an uneven coat look even...or for a too-shaved area to grow in and be blended.

If there are patches that are shaved right down to the skin, it is very important to put aside any frustration for the moment and give great care and attention to these areas.  If there are patches in which the skin is showing or the dog's coat is so short on your Maltese that you can see the skin, these are spots that can easily become infected or get sores.

If the skin has been cut or nicked, it is important to use an anti-biotic gel that will keep the cut or nicks clean and bacteria free.  These areas will also now be prone to sores and sunburn, as your Maltese will not have the proper coat for protection.  The Maltese breed is already prone to sunburn because of their light colored coat, a shaved down area is even more vulnerable.  Sunblock should be applied 15 minutes before you bring your Maltese outside, even if it is for 5 minutes.

If there are patches of skin showing on the legs or body of the dog, be sure to not allow your Maltese to lay on the floor without a soft towel or blanket. Baby blankets work very well, since they are extra soft. We recommend first washing it with hypo-allergenic laundry detergent...As exposed skin can be extra sensitive to dyes and perfumes.   Extra cushioning should be added to their dog bed or to what ever area he or she sleeps.

If you have been using a whitening shampoo, you will want to temporarily stop.  If you have not been using a hypo-allergenic canine shampoo, now is the time to begin.  The products that you will want to bathe your badly groomed Maltese in while he or she is recovering are:  Hypo-allergenic oatmeal based canine shampoo, hypo-allergenic oatmeal based canine conditioner and a name brand (don't go cheap during this time) leave-in conditioner.  In between baths (which should only be given every 3 weeks unless your Maltese has gotten him or herself very dirty) you will want to use the leave-in canine coat conditioner each day. ...

Spritz sections at a time and gently go through the coat.  Your goal will be to make sure the coat is tangle free (no matter what the length) and to not traumatize the coat or skin any further than what has already been done.

Rest assured that even patches of skin with a thin coat will eventually grow back the same white, soft fluff that you are used to your Maltese having.  Depending on how bad the grooming was, the dog's coat may be back to normal in anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months.  Finding a top notch dog groomer/stylist will ease your fears that this will ever happen again.


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