Matted hair may seem like minor annoyances; however, matted and knotted hair can cause discomfort, can become very painful or in extreme cases may even necessitate surgical procedures. Matting prevents proper air flow and hides parasites.
Mats often occur in areas of friction, such as under the collar, behind the ears, armpits, under the harness and on the back of their legs. Neglect and lack of grooming also causes tangles and knots. While any dog with a longer or double coat can have matting, some breeds such as Poodles, Bichon Frisés, Cocker Spaniels and long coated breeds like Collies are more prone to matting.
Matting can occur more frequently during seasonal shedding periods if the loose fur isn’t brushed out. Dogs who like to swim or who are bathed but not thoroughly brushed and dried also develop matting, as moisture causes their hair to curl and dry wrapped around itself.
Matts and knots do not only represent aesthetic problems. Matted hair can lead to discomfort or even severe medical problems:
- Matts can cause hot spots which can dramatically increase in size in a very short period of time. When a dog licks a sore spot, he irritates the superficial nerve ending, causing a vicious circle of licking-biting and scratching. Moreover, a wound left untreated can accumulate maggots, especially in warm humid areas, such as the Mediterranean.
- Fleas and ticks can thrive deep in the hair mat and infest the animal.
- Severe mats can cause strangulation wounds on distal limbs which can cut into the skin or even cause strangulation of blood supply.
- Mats around the anal area can cause accumulation of feces and urine causing severe dermatitis and even impede defecation.
The most important thing you can do to prevent matting is regular grooming. How often you should brush your dog, depends on their coat type and if it’s shedding period. You should avoid cutting matts with scissors, as your pet can unexpectedly move or jerk resulting in skin laceration or puncture. Moreover, brushing the knots too hard can cause discomfort and pain.
Using a moisturizing conditioning serum can make brushing easier while deeply nourishing the hair. Our Liquid Gold Serum is a silicon-based formulation which can be applied in either slightly wet or dry hair, but in the first occasion someone can achieve an easier application. Silicones create a protective layer, trap moisture and help detangling. When a pet has already a problem with knots, the serum can be applied topically and detangle them with the use of a brush.
Keeping the fur healthy and getting all that matted hair off your dog is important for both its health as well as its appearance.