Full Title: Effects of Hair Matting on Movement and Cirulation
Author: Sue Wajvoda
Date of Publication: February 9, 2014
Research Paper Text:
“Matting” refers to densely tangled clumps of fur in a pet’s coat. If a coat is not properly and/or frequently brushed, loose and live hair become embedded in large masses. Sometimes “mats” can be combed out, but if left too long, it is impossible without seriously harming the animal. Mats can form in both the outer coat as well as the deeper undercoat. Sometimes severe mats form in the undercoat and are unnoticeable because of a heavy outer coat. If left completely unattended, a pet’s fur can become entirely matted to such an extent that the only recourse is to shave the entire coat. (Matting: The Truth & Consequences)
Severe matting can be extremely painful to an animal. Even mild matting can cause your pet a significant amount of pain. Matting can deny regular air circulation to the skin and be so severe that it can cut off the blood supply to the extremities. Preventing regular air circulation to the skin can cause the skin to become red and irritated creating open sores and infection.
Heavy matting can be even more of a problem. Matted hair can hold tears, feces and urine next to the skin. This can cause irritation, pain and potential skin infection. If left for a long time this can cause hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the skin) and/or hyperkeratosis (elephant skin). Heavily matted hair can change a dog’s movement, cut off circulation, or hide infected wounds. In an extreme case, matting can tighten around a dog’s leg or tail, slowly constricting until it has cut through to the bone! (Clinic, 2011)
Depending on the severity of the matting and where the animal is in the healing process, PetMassage™ can assist by increasing blood and lymphatic circulation throughout the tissue. Specifically, skin rolling around the affected area. In addition, shaking, rocking and positional release can be used to help with mobilizing the pet if movement has been hindered as a result of matting. PetMassage™ positional release offers a wide range of benefits including the noticeable decrease in muscle tension, increased range of motion and reduction in pain in the soft tissue. (Rudinger, 2012)
Incorporating PetMassage™ into the healing process for a dog that has suffered from moderate to severe matting with help speed healing of the area and also allow the dog to heal emotionally from a potentially traumatic experience.
- Clinic, C. V. (2011, March 30). Does Matting Matter? Retrieved June 19, 2016, from Chetek Veterinary Clinic: http://www.chetekvetclinic.com/matting.html
- Matting: The Truth & Consequences. (n.d.). Retrieved June 19, 2016, from Matting: The Truth & Consequences: http://www.dogdayafternoonspa.com/groomingservices/aboutmatting.html
- Rudinger, J. (2012). Art and Essence of Canine Massage. In J. Rudinger, Art and Essence of Canine Massage PetMassage for Dogs (p. 133). Toledo: PetMassage Media