I just noticed that Maya's tail is incredibly matted. It is almost like she has dreadlocks!
She has just gotten some beautiful feathering and I would hate to have to cut it.
I am not sure how it happened. I feel really horrible for not catching it sooner. Last week we were at the beach and she was in the ocean a lot, so I am not sure if that is why it happened. She spent a few hours playing in the ocean, retrieving balls and swimming. She spent some time on the beach as well, doing some digging, but most of the time she was in the water. I don't know if the salt water is the problem or what. Then over the weekend she stayed with friends of ours because we traveled to Kentucky for a baptism. She was in the woods a lot with them and got very muddy. She has never had this issue before, so I don't know what causes it. In the past, she has had an occasional small mat behind her ear in the long fine hair that grows there, but no other mats. I have always just cut out the small mats behind her ear. She has never been to the groomer before, and I am considering taking her for this, but I don't want them to do anything that will torture her. If it comes down to either having to cut her tail hair short or having to cause her a lot of discomfort, I will cut her tail. I would really rather not have to do that though if it can be avoided without making her completely miserable. Maya is my first golden (and my first long-haired dog) so I am very new at this.
1. Is it possible to remove mats without cutting them out?
2. How uncomfortable will the process make Maya? Can a good groomer do it without making a dog miserable?
3. Would a groomer let me stay with her so if getting the mats out was upsetting her too much I could have them stop?
4. Is there a way for me to get mats out at home without much grooming experience?
5. If it comes down to it, how long will it take tail hair to grow back?
I was absolutely horrified when I found the mats. Maya is 16 months and has just gotten beautiful feathering. She has a very pretty tail and I would hate to destroy it. I am guessing that the tail hairs take a long time to grow. The mats are not visible unless one looks at her tail up close and they certainly aren't bothering Maya, but my assumption is that leaving them alone will only make things worse. Is that true?
I would really appreciate any advice.