Matted Bichon Needs to Be Shaved?

I have a Bichon Frise, that I got from a puppy store a couple months ago. She has recently became very matted, and when I took her to be groomed (for her first time), the Pet's Mart groomer said that she was too matted, and had to be shaved. I really do not want to shave her because I think that she will look wierd, but also because I have heard of a disease that a dog can get when the blood in their ears goes to the bottom of the ear, and clotts, I heart that this is caused by shaving the dog, and it has to do something with the hair, and it's pulling the ear in certain directions. I want to know if there is anything I can do, and anything to be aware of. Just to lt you know- I spent about four hours yesterday trying to un-tangle all of the mats, but it is just to tangled. Please let me know if your bichon has been shaved, or if you know anything about bichons being shaved. Also, if you can get your hands on any pictures of shaved bichons, I would love to see them. Thanks!
Also, I took her to a prefesional groomer with over twenty years of experience, she too said that Molly (my bichon) was to matted, and had to be shaved. She was the one that told me about the ear diesease.
This will also be her first hair cut! I am really scared, and if she moves, her skin could get cut very badly!!!! I am really scared for her. Have you had your bichon shaved? What happens with her apperance, and her personality? How long does it take for the hair to grow back? Is she going to be okay?!

My Yorkies get shaved every few months and there is nothing wrong with their ears. If your dog is that matted you have no other choice, brushing and cutting them out will take hours and will be painful. She'll only look funny for awhile and the hair will grow back.



  • Schnoodle_Mom88

    I've never heard about any diseases like that. I've seen dogs get shaved down plenty of times on television (all versions of animal cops) and we used to shave our Maltese in the summer to keep her cool! Our neighbor across the street had her Bichon shaved regularly as well. None of my dogs or my neighbors dogs ever had any problems.

    I would talk to a different groomer. Maybe not a Petsmart one – try looking for local grooming shops that specialize in JUST grooming?

    Add – the only disease i know of that has to do with ears is when they get dirty or matted inside the ear – ear infections and the like. I've never heard of clotting diseases like that. Maybe she was saying that s\too much shaving of the ear can hurt the ear because it gets pulled and could get nicked by blades?

    And i have to ask – why would you let your dog get matted in the first place? Bichons need to be brushed out every day…..
    References :

  • Rachel – Pit Police Captain

    If she is that matted (I mean, extreme enough that they recommend a shave) than that is your only option. Matts that severe are very painful for the dog and can restrict movement as they pull at her skin. Have her shaved down, and in the future, brush her coat regularly. Bichons need consistant grooming to avoid these things.
    References :

  • gbeans419

    I've never heard of any disease from shaving a dog. I have a little silky and I've shaved him twice and never had a problem. But if you don't want to shave your mini one… maybe just cut the mats out, even if she looks silly for a while. Just cut the hair as short as possible without shaving it. One thing I know about all small dogs being shaved.. they don't like it! My pup shook for days! I think he felt naked! My advice would be to cut out all the mats you can. Sometimes it's the easiest option. Good Luck!!
    References :

  • azvettech

    If she is too matted trying to comb out the mats will be expremely painful. Get her shaved down and when the coat starts growing in be sure to brush her daily.
    References :
    Cert Vet Tech, 16 yrs exp

  • jayne2

    It's alright don't worry about it, my poodle mix had a matte as well and I got her basically shaved. She looked hilarious, but it was worth it because she's so much cleaner now and it's a lot more hygienic as well. By the way, fur grows back….just a reminder. :)
    References :

  • montana_rain73

    The thing with the ears doing that is from blood vessles in their ear breaking when they shake their head really hard. Shaving does not cause it. I have seen several Bichons that have been shaved due to mats. It doesn't look as bad as you would think. LOL And if you don't like it at least it will grow out in a few months. It would be much better for the dogs sake to shave her and get all the mats off of her. After her fur grows out groom her every other day or so to keep her from getting tangled again. Good luck!!
    References :
    worked at vets office for four years.

  • Snowboarddemon

    I havea bichon/ shih tuz mix. (looks just like a bishon) Anyway, they usually shave her every summer because she gets really matted. She looks a little wired to begin with, but the hair grows pretty fast and you get use to how they look.
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  • lovemypups3

    I am a groomer and I've never heard of any diseases a dog can get from being shaved down, we shave down plenty of dogs all the time. We even have a couple of customers that keep their Bichons shaved short all the time because they don't like the big poofy Bichon look.

    I agree with the other groomers though. If your Bichon is that matted it is much better to shave her down, trying to comb out a severly matted coat is cruel and unusual punishment for the dog. Your dog will start to hate being combed because she will associate it with pain. Have the groomer shave her down and start over with her coat from scratch. Bichons have to be combed out daily or at least every other day if kept in a longer puppy cut because they will matt otherwise. Make sure you get a good metal comb and comb her out, because unless you brush in layers by lifting the coat as you brush you aren't going to get all the knots, most people don't get all the way down to the skin when brushing alone. I like to brush the coat first with a nice pin brush, then comb and then follow with a slicker brush.
    References :
    professional groomer and owned by 2 Shih-tzu and a Yellow LabX

  • Jane L

    My Yorkies get shaved every few months and there is nothing wrong with their ears. If your dog is that matted you have no other choice, brushing and cutting them out will take hours and will be painful. She'll only look funny for awhile and the hair will grow back.
    References :

  • tuque7

    ok, you are being ridiculous. YOU let your dog get matted. YOU asked for the groomers opinion. they gave it to you. There is no way that you can "untangle" her hair once it is matted. You have to start from scratch. If two groomers has said she has to be shaved, then she has to be shaved. Stop making such a big deal. She will be fine at the groomers, and she will come back to you feeling ssssooooo much better. Do you really think that she enjoys being matted? NO! its hurts!!! At this point, its not about beauty, its about comfort and health. Have you looked up diseases that dogs can get from being severly matted? Just get her shaved, start over. Now you know what happens when you dont take care of her hair. Bishons are very high matienence dogs. And remember, when she comes back to you shaved (which she is going to have to be) remember, the groomer did not make her look wierd, YOU DID by not brushing her.
    References :
    sorry, but i had a customer like you today and it really pissed me off.

    groomer since I was 16