What is Matting?

“Matting” refers to densely tangled clumps of fur in a pet’s coat. If a coat is not properly and/or frequently brushed, hair becomes embedded in large masses. Sometimes mats can be combed out, but if left too long, they can cause serious harm to the animal.

Mats can form in both the outer coat and the deeper undercoat. Sometimes severe mats form in the undercoat and go unnoticed because of a heavy outer coat. If left completely unattended, a pet’s fur can become entirely matted. This is known as “pelting”. When the coat becomes pelted, the only recourse is to shave the entire coat. 

Causes

In most cases, matted fur is the result of one common reason—absent, inadequate, or infrequent brushing.

For cats, disability, obesity and older age may mean they are unable to properly groom themselves which can also result in matting. 

Besides a lack of grooming, a few other factors may cause your pet’s mats to form more easily or to get worse. Environmental factors like change in season, activity level of the pet, exposure to static electricity, and exposure to water (without brushing after) all increase the risk.

Genetic and physical factors also play a part; “Non-shedding”, longer-haired pets, like Poodles or Doodle breeds, or those with a thick undercoat are more prone to matting, and therefore have more extensive grooming needs.

Harms

Matting is detrimental to your animal’s health. When the fur is matted it does not allow adequate circulation of air to the skin, and as a result there may be hotspots, bacterial and/or fungal infections beneath the coat. Fleas, ticks, maggots and other parasites may be lurking in the coat causing further skin infections.  Matted fur also pulls and binds, causing damage to the skin, bruising, and pain to your pet when they move or lay on the mats. The skin underneath is usually raw and inflamed. Matting can can even cut off blood supply to extremities, and somewhat frequently we see it create hematoma of the ears. Matting around the anus and genitals can restrict normal bodily functions. A matted coat also does not properly dry and can lead to rotting fur and skin.

Grooming Options

Dematting - If matting is located in one isolated area and it’s situated too close to the skin, we are able to painlessly de-mat the area for an extra fee on top of the normal groom.

Spot Shave - If the matting is located in an isolated area but is close to the skin, there's an option to spot shave. This means the rest of the animal can be groomed to your desire, but there may be a few holes in the coat where matting is removed with a safe blade. 

Blow Out - For compacted double-coated breeds where the undercoat is quite fine and soft, we are sometimes about to break the matting apart with the high velocity dryer, then use some dematting techniques.

Clip Off - Where ample matting occurs there is only one solution - your pet needs a short hair cut known as a “clip off” or “shave down” using a safe blade to get underneath the matts.

Cost

Simply, a matted animal will always cost more when going to a groomer because it is a delicate, time consuming process that takes experience and expertise.

We charge $100 for the first hour, then $1.5 every minute after that. 

The time is dependent on how severe the matting is, and how cooperative the animal is. As an average example though, a matted Cavoodle would probably be around 2 hours. That means 100 + (1.5 x 60) = $190

Risks

Even though every precaution is made, a matted animal is at increased risk of accident and injury during the grooming process. Some risks include clipper nicks, clipper rash, skin irritation. However, we work extremely hard to make sure these issues are prevented. Animal compassion and care is important to us!

Sometimes we remove mats and discover underlying issues that had been hidden.

Though unlikely, because of these risks we require all owners to sign a matting form before we begin removing matting.

You can read more and sign the form here:

Aftercare

An animal feels completely different after being clipped off - finally free of heavy, unconformable matting! YAY! It’s joyous watching how happy they become. They’ll be able to move better, be pain free and they’ll feel air on their skin where air hasn’t been in a long time. You’ll often find animals will come out of their shell after matting is removed.

However, there are also some things to look out for.

 They may develop an itchy skin response and owners should watch to ensure that constant scratching and licking doesn't cause the skin to become irritated.

 Your pet will also be at increased risk of sunburn, and may have some underlying sores that will require barrier creams/lotion.

 Sometimes animals also flap their ears which posing risk to hematoma of the ears (ask for a pamphlet on this from us.)

  Also, your pet has gone through a big process leaving it feeling a little overwhelmed and uncertain. This is where you step in to give them some extra affection and pour your love into them.


A fresh Start

All of this information can be emotional for owners. Many will have feelings of confusion and can become upset. However, owners need to keep in mind that this is the start of a happier future! We all live and learn, and your animal is lucky you are taking the step towards a brighter future. Your pet now has a fresh coat to work with, giving you the opportunity to have a fresh start grooming it. If you need advice on at-home care, your groomer is here to help!