Safe Approach to Removing Hair Mats

There is nothing more frustrating to the bunny or cat owner than trying to remove stubborn hair mats from your pet. Every year we have to suture cuts on pets’ skin that are unintentionally inflicted by well-meaning owners wielding scissors trying to cut out those huge hair mats. Over the years I have found a much safer way to rid your pet of the occasional mat that can’t be easily brushed out of the fur.

If you can convince a family member or friend to be the “distractor” and give the kitty or bunny a vigorous ear scratch or head rub, then the following should work for you too. Try to isolate the mat from surrounding mats by teasing it gently from its neighbors with your fingers. Once the smaller tuft of matted hair is isolated use a pair of pointed scissors or pointed forceps, and approaching from the side, gently probe and penetrate the base of the mat above the skin with closed tips. Then slowly open the tips of the scissors to tease out a small section of the mat. Now move slightly lateral (to the side) and penetrate the base of the mat again, alternately penetrating the mat and opening the scissors until all the tightly matted hair is separated from the skin and the mat will lift out. Many cats and bunnies will let you gently remove one, or several, mats at a time in this way with NO CUTTING. If your pet becomes fussy, stop after that mat, give her a treat and a rest until tomorrow.

Granted, there are some pets whose entire back or rear end is covered by a giant mat resembling a bad looking toupe. In that case a trip to the groomer is warranted for well-behaved kitties or bunnies. For uncooperative pets, sedation and a shave down at our Clinic can make the whole process less stressful and painful for you both, and prevent an emergency trip to the ER for sutures.

Week of July 2nd Rx Food Pick Ups

Clients planning to pick up prescription diets the Fourth of July Week should know that Hills says there will be NO deliveries that week. We have not heard from Royal Canine or Purina, but I will keep you posted if their schedule changes for that week.


Many kennels and doggie day cares will be requiring Canine Flu vaccines by this summer. The two strains of Canine Flu in the US are novel viruses that ALL DOGS WHO CONTACT IT WILL CONTRACT.

Social dogs who frequently go to day care, dog parks, or kennels should be immunized twice the first year, then annually. Many of our local doggie daycares and kennels have imposed a time deadline by which your dog must be immunized. To assist our clients’ compliance, if your pet has had a wellness exam within the past six months and is not obviously ill, a technician visit can be scheduled for the initial immunization and boost 2-4 weeks later.

Call our receptionists to set up a flu vaccine appointment.

Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic is a state-of-the-art, full-service suburban veterinary facility serving the Pittsburgh Area since 1980.. We offer diagnostic, medical, surgical, and dental care to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and pocket pets in the Pittsburgh area.

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