Recently I published an article entitled “What is Humane?” Within days, a client brought her cat in for grooming because grooming was essential to saving her cat’s life. This was not a case of a dirty, pelted cat or even one with minor tangles or mats. The main reason for this particular grooming visit was the prevention of life-threatening hairballs. The remedy: professional grooming whether the cat liked it or not. Case in point.
You see, weeks earlier, the domestic longhair named Haley, had been to the vet’s office for emergency surgery. The surgery was to remove the impacted hairball that was blocking Haley’s intestinal tract. Without the surgery Haley would have died.
I’m happy to report that Haley’s surgery was a success, and she is now free of any blockages. However, Haley must remain hairball free in order to maintain good health and avoid any future life-threatening intestinal blockages.
So how does Haley remain hairball free?
The most effective method for remaining hairball free, and the one preferred by her owner, is for Haley to receive a lion cut on a monthly basis. No hair = no hair ingestion = no more hairballs. However, Haley is not a fan of the clippers, even under sedation. Her disposition causes her to react rather aggressively to the use of clippers on her body. This, in turn, creates a stressful situation, which could be life-threatening.
If Haley ingests too much hair she is at risk of suffering another intestinal blockage, which could end her life. If Haley is shaved, she becomes rather aggressive and stressed, which could also end her life. She is very calm during the bathing and blow-drying, making regular grooming a non-stressful option as long as clippers are not used.
So where does this leave us? I believe the most humane option for Haley is a bath, blow dry, and de-shedding treatment without shaving of any kind. This must be done frequently (every 3-4 weeks at a minimum) in order to lessen the possibility that Haley will ingest too much hair and suffer another blockage.
Fortunately for Haley, her owner truly cares about her well-being and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that Haley lives a healthy life.
I could tell other stories very similar to this one. It just so happened that Haley made her visit to our salon right after I wrote the article about what is humane and what is not. I thought she illustrated my point purr-fectly.
Posted on 12/11/2011 at 12:00:00 AM
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