Grab a tissue and hang on – we promise a very colorful ride – a tale of caution, extreme pain, incredible strength and love.
Pet makeovers are wonderful – they come out smiling after a new haircut, nail trim, maybe a little bow or bandana. They smell so good, they feel so soft and they prance around showing off. Great stuff, right! We do our own hair – funky styles and colors are on the rise. Express yourself, but please do not use hair dye intended for humans to express your pet’s style. Let’s all say that together – Do NOT, under any circumstances, use hair color intended for humans on your pets. Chemicals in hair dye are TOXIC causing a wide array of external injury to your pet – possible burns, blindness and because an animal’s first instinct is to lick, it can cause poisoning or internal burns. Just don’t.
Enter Violet – this little 5 pound ball of attitude. She owns a room and she knows it. Violet tells us all what to do and we love every minute of it. She wasn’t always such a trailblazer. Got that tissue ready? Once a beautiful little white Maltese mix, Violet was dyed a purple color (her namesake)… only the purple parts weren’t like the pictures you usually see. Violet’s eyes were swollen shut, she was limp and listless, she had obvious burns to her skin – we gave fluids, pain meds and we gently washed as much of the chemical dye off as we could, we bandaged her up. Then we waited – Violet went home with our veterinarian and we waited. And she came in the next morning and we were amazed that she had made it through the night. But still we waited. She wasn’t out of the woods but she was alert and freely offering kisses. Good news but the journey had just begun. We began the arduous process of shaving off her hair to really measure the damage – to our horror her skin began to slough off. Good thing Violet was peacefully anesthetized. It was so much worse than we initially thought – how would this little dog make it through?!?!
Fast forward 3 months – pain medication, antibiotics, IV fluids, honey treatments, scab removal, anesthetizing, bandage changes, sleepless nights, worrying, hope, worrying, hope and finally the silver lining. Violet began to tell us what to do – it started with a little noise; not really a bark, not really a cry. But then she found her voice and she never, ever, EVER stopped. She began to walk the halls, visiting each office requesting treats or hugs or gentle pats, always in the lead with our veterinarian in tow. It was clear – Violet was on the mend and she wanted everyone to know it.
Still, we worried – Did she have permanent blindness? Would there be infection? Would her hair ever grow back? Was there anything we were missing? When the final bandages came off we breathed a collective sigh of relief – Violet was beautiful. She will always have her own individual style and that’s just fine with her new owners, who specialize in beautifying pets.
So as you dry up those tears please take one thing away from Violet’s journey – only use products specifically meant for pets or you could be putting your pet’s life on the line.
Would you dye your dog’s coat if it could be done safely? Please comment below
Editors note: Dying your dog or cat has become a “thing” like dressing your pet in various outfits. It can be done safely without putting the animal at risk by using products made for pets that do not use any chemicals.