What’s the big deal about Mats?

You may not be aware of it, but mats are a serious problem and can be detrimental to your pets well being. Pets left in a matted condition are usually ignored or neglected by their owners, often un- intentionally. Many owners do not understand how wretched this condition makes their pet.  Often people obtaining a puppy/new dog are not aware of how much time and care is required to properly maintain their chosen breed.

 

The pets may chew, dig at themselves and suffer greatly if the mats are not removed.  Mats can become so tight it can tear the skin and cut blood circulation off to areas that are affected. Matting can also restrict the pet’s movement, creating a veritable straightjacket.  Some pet owners think that because the dog is chewing and scratching there must be a flea or skin problem.... but not always, many problems can result from or be aggravated by the presence of mats. Often Matting will also hide other problems, Sores, infections, cuts and maggots often result from un-maintained coats.



Why did my pet become matted?  Quite simple.  The pet’s coat has not been properly cared for. Many pet owners do not take the time to maintain there pets coats.  Often they do not understand or have been advised how to properly comb and brush their pet.  Combing and brushing needs to be done on a regular basis, and the pet should be taught from puppy hood to accept grooming as part of it's daily routine.   A dog or cat cannot brush himself or herself, and home care is a part of the responsibility one accepts when owing a companion animal.  

 

Matting is Painful!   Imagine how your head would feel if your hair was matted. Imagine trying to brush those mats out.  Now imagine how your pet feels. But on pets, the matter is worse, as mats occur in the groin area, in armpits, around tails - all areas that move when the pets move, and the hair is constantly being tugged - ouch!   Pet’s skin is just as sensitive as our own skin.

 

What if I can't get the mats out?    If the mats are not brushed out before they become to tight to remove safely,  they will eventually become an extreme health hazard to your pet.  In the worst case, the mats can rip the skin.  Wetting the pet will just make it worse, and the mats will weave tighter and pull harder on the skin.   About the only humane way to remove mats at this stage is to have the pet shaved.  Even then, the pet will be at risk from clipper burn and possible nicks from the clipper blades as mats are usually very close to the skin.  This is especially dangerous for cats and puppies.  NEVER try to remove mats with scissors, as the skin can be easily cut open unintentionally.  Fleas and ticks can hide under matted coats making their extermination almost impossible, If the mats cover the 'private' areas, urine and faeces will be pressed against the skin or stick in the coat, causing further irritation and possible infection and rotting of the coat and skin.

© copyright watt-a-dog 2012

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