Lots of mats and tangles on fur... help!

Topics, guidelines and tips for coat and skin care and grooming Chow Chows.

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dchernandez
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Lots of mats and tangles on fur... help!

Post by dchernandez » Thu Nov 09, 2006 9:50 am

Hi everyone,
I'm a new chow mommy. I picked up a cream chow mix at a shelter a couple of days ago. He is absolutely precious. I can't believe his owner gave him up. His name is Riley and he is one year old.
Ok back to my question. The fur on top of his head, like the area behind the ears is matted. There are big balls of fur tangled. Are there any other options besides cutting them? Its really a lot of fur and I would rather not shave him. Help please

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Post by jerryo » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:41 am

Welcome and Congratulations to you and Riley, new Chow Mommy! =D=

If you want to see some great before and after pictures of what they look like after clean up, take a look at ChowLovers Lola, who was also a shelter inmate a couple of weeks ago. You can follow her story on the threads on site.

Benny, my guy, also had lots of bad hair when he came from the pound. He loves to be brushed, so we got lots of bonding time with a pin brush and detangling comb. Most of the mats could be worked out with some time and taking it slow. Both he and Lola started sheding their old hair as they adjusted to their new homes. Riley may do the same, if you are lucky, and a lot of the problems go away at that point.

All the best to you both.

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Post by Auddymay » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:44 am

Cut the ones behind the ears for sure. Stay about a quarter inch fron the skin and evaluate if you can work it out from there. I know it is a very sensitive area on our chows. Large body mats will need to be sliced and evaluated if they can be worked out. Since he is a rescue, you don't want to start your relationship by inflicting hurt on him, so you will probably end up with a Chow sporting a punk haircut. There are dematting tools, but even these will pull some.

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Post by ciaobella » Thu Nov 09, 2006 10:49 am

That wispy little Einstein fur behind the ears was a problem with my cream rescue, Sophie, when I got her. I ended up snipping out the bad mats and managed to comb out the rest with the help of a little detangling conditioner. It filled in quite quickly... if you have to do the same, don't fear having a bald chow for life.

I'm sure others will have better advice, but just wanted to say congratulations, thanks for rescuing, and welcome!
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Post by fillyok » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:38 pm

I had to cut (with scissors) some mats out of Samantha when I first got her. She looked like hell for a couple days, but it had to be done in order to get them out. Like someone already mentioned, you don't want to start your bonding on a bad note, so take it slow and easy. I found the bamboopet tools work really well. They're a little pricey, but worth it. I also use a leave-in detangler/conditioner called Nova Pearls. I think Willowchow recommended it once and I found it at Petsmart. It smells good, but it's not overpowering. It really helps get through some tangles. My problem is usually on the rearend, not behind the ears.
Good luck and thanks for rescuing Riley!!
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Post by dchernandez » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:47 pm

Thank you all very much for your advise. I'm going to give it a try tonight and see how Riley reacts. I'll definitely pick up some leave in detangler/conditioner to see how that can help. I'll post some pictures later...he is the cutest thing ever, but then again aren't all chows? :D

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Post by jerryo » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:16 pm

All Chow are equally cute, (but creams are more equal than most). Can't wait for those pictures. We luv pictures around here! :D

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Post by marla tierney » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:30 pm

my chow has the same problem every year. Put a fine comb between the not and the skin, this will help you not to cut her, be patient it will work.

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Post by marla tierney » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:31 pm

my chow has the same problem every year. Put a fine comb between the not and the skin, this will help you not to cut her, be patient it will work.

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Post by Jeff&Peks » Thu Nov 09, 2006 3:36 pm

My Chow won't go to the groomers with out first calling in the national guard so I'm always cutting off mats with scissors. They are usually in two places, around the ears like you said and around the rear end down on her back side, Chows Butt for the out spoken.
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Post by chowlover » Thu Nov 09, 2006 4:38 pm

I had to cut Lola's out with scissors also.
Filly, are the products for combing available at Petco, or where'd you get them? I heard someone on here say once that they used some kind of rotating brush that worked well. I was going to look for one but couldn't find the post again :cry:
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Post by dchernandez » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:18 pm

Its funny because the top of his head is the only part that is really bad. I checked under his belly and nothing there. I can only imagine what kind of care his previous owner gave him :? mmmmmmm

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Post by Jeff&Peks » Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:48 pm

I don't know if you can go by the looks of a Chow in how well it was treated by its previous owner, My Chow needs Grooming so bad that if she ever got out and someone found her they automatically would think she was abused, Its a war to get her to a Groomer, I won't sedate her for grooming the risk is to high just for grooming and with her past medical treatments she's a mess but no Chow could be better taken care of and spoiled then my Chow. My Chow was a rescue at two but she wound up at a rescue because her owner had died in the middle of the night so it would be hard to tell how a Chow was treated unless the rescuers know the history.

And as for a Chow being a bitter or having a bad temperament from being abused , My Chow is a bitter and won't let anyone touch her but me, Its not form mistreatment, abuse or bad breeding, it's from me spoiling her, lack of discipline and thinking she can do no wrong. What went on before can change over night depending on who the Chow is with now, no matter how it was treated or history of breeding. Big disagreement on this site about that last statement but I know I'm right.
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Post by kingalls » Thu Nov 09, 2006 8:35 pm

Both Shiloh & Mr. N will begin to develop the mat behind the ear if I don't stay on top of it. If your Chow will allow it and you have the patience, you can "feather" out the mat. Shiloh won't let me so I have cut it off. If you go that route, you really need to be careful. If you nick your Chow, he probably won't forget and never let you near him with scissor again. Mr. N's groomer said it's better to shave it off otherwise you can use the scissor to make "verticle" snips into the mat. This will minimize the possibility of accidently nicking your Chow. Mr. N will let me "feather" out most of his mats - just depends on where it's located.
I recommend combs or rakes with rotating teeth plus the pin brush for grooming your Chow.
Good luck! Hope to see some pictures soon!
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Post by threedogjeep » Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:13 am

IT probably was me talking about my tools. I got the recommendations from Kiwani. I ordered onine. It is a long tooth, rotating pin rake made by Evolution. The brush I got is a 35mm pin with cushion brush -- the pins are long enough to really reach the undercoat. these tools are wonderful and I highly recommend them. Leela REALLy likes the new rake over the regular kind with stationary pins!
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Post by fillyok » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:00 am

The bamboopet brushes and combs have rotating teeth. They may have them at Petco as well as Petsmart.
There's a website http://www.bamboopet.com/ so you can take a look and find some near you.

I worked little by little on Samantha's mats. There was no way to get a comb in between the mat and her skin so it was tricky. She's still very touchy about her backside and that makes it hard to groom her. When she was rescued, she was completely bald on her backside and belly, so she may have scars.

Jeff's right, it's hard to tell about how well a Chow is taken care of by how they're groomed. Some days, mine look homeless and other days they're picture perfect.
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Post by Sojourner11 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:50 am

Jeff&Peks wrote:And as for a Chow being a bitter or having a bad temperament from being abused , My Chow is a bitter and won't let anyone touch her but me, Its not form mistreatment, abuse or bad breeding, it's from me spoiling her, lack of discipline and thinking she can do no wrong. What went on before can change over night depending on who the Chow is with now, no matter how it was treated or history of breeding. Big disagreement on this site about that last statement but I know I'm right.
\


Add totally fearless to that and you've got Marshall. But he liked his grooming and baths so much you had to s-p-e-l-l it out or risk getting deep begging scratches in your leg and endless stares until you relent and give in.

And no you cant really tell from looks either, he got out last Christmas and after being loose for 48 hours I found him, brought him home and gave him a bath right away, make that 2 baths. There was so much clay and dirt on him it two two full baths to knock most of it off. If I didnt know otherwsise I'd say he'd never had a bath before.
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Post by dchernandez » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:01 am

Update on the mats: So I sat next to Riley last night and started brushing his back and slowly worked my way up to the top of his head. At first he was standing, then he sat down. Within twenty minutes he was laying down with his upper body on my lap sleeping....he's such a good boy. He looks a little better but we still have some work to do :P

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