Dryer syndrome in dogs

I’m not sure if that’s the official name, or if there is a name for it. We dropped our 2 dogs off to be groomed this morning at a well known pet place which I won’t name. We’ve only had our cocker spaniel a few weeks, got her from a rescue, she’s we believe 6 years old. We think she’s probably never been properly groomed before either. Anyway, the girl that’s always done our Shih Tzu and is wonderful, tells us sometimes, and especially with cockers they don’t do well with drying, she will take it slowly and see how it goes. We get a call she seized, they took her to the local animal hospital. We got there, they already had her there. It was very short and she never lost consciousness. She’s been fine since. I looked online and couldn’t find a lot of info but some dogs, cockers seem to be prone, have seizures when being dried. The girl grooming her described it exactly like I read it. She had cotton in the ears and her head wrapped in a towel. She began drying her, no problem. She moved the towel a bit, no problem. When she removed the towel it happened. We’re going to see what the vet says, but I really think it was the dryer, I just don’t think it’s a medical issue. We now know that they need to do a towel dry with fans. Has anyone had any experience with this? The groomer also said they’ve had some dogs that have gone there for years with no problems and then one visit and they have an episode like this. I couldn’t find a lot of info about it. She’s already scheduled to see the vet Monday night.

We brought our standard poodles home at age 3-4 months. The ride was stressful and one of them was car sick. We bathed both of them and dried them. Both of them freaked at the hair dryer so we used towels. Now they were young, and it had been a stressful day for them, I’m sure, but we were quite surprised at the reaction.

Both were fine and lived to age 14.

Thanks for the response and from the little bit I saw, the way your poodles reacted is also common. In fact, I think it’s more common than an actual seizure. She’s been absolutely fine the rest of the day, I truly believe it was the stress and the dryer.

Our various pit bulls and pit mixes (very short fur) have seemed to like a warm dryer blowing on them, but we generally just towel them off, as it doesn’t take much to get them dry.

Dog groomer here. I don’t want to say that stress-related seizures are common, but they definitely do happen. I’ve not personally noticed a trend with any particular breed. Cocker spaniels are notoriously finnicky when it comes to grooming. They tend to have issues with their ears and feet. Being an adult dog going through a first time groom would certainly be a stressful situation. I hope that is the problem.

Thank you, I appreciate it.

I’ve run a dog grooming salon for the last 5 years.

I’ve seen a few dryer seizures, it usually happens with older dogs, but can happen with younger too. It’s a combination of stress of being in a different environment, away from their home and family, and then the noise and possible discomfort from the dryers.

If you change groomers, or even if you keep the same one, remind them that your dog has had that issue, so they can take precautions. We try to keep things as low stress on the dogs as we can, but some dogs are just going to be stressed, no matter what comfort we give them. It’s hard to dry a spaniel (or most dogs) fully with just towels and cage dryers, so for the most part, we would still do the body with the high velocity dryer, and then let the head and face dry in the cage.

One thing that I have noticed, anecdotally, is that it is the dogs that come in less often that are more prone to seizures. I do not believe it has ever happened with dogs that come in every month. They know us and the procedures pretty well, and even get to enjoy the process of getting all the attention as they are cleaned and groomed. Dogs that come by once or twice a year don’t see it as such a routine, and are usually more stressed about it.

That’s really good to know, our Shih Tzu goes every 8 weeks and I want to get her on the same schedule. Since she never got groomed yesterday, she will be needing an appointment in between. I was just saying tonight though that it might be a good thing because she won’t be there as long since we won’t have to wait for both of them to get done. We’re also going to talk to the vet tomorrow night about possibly getting her on something to relax her a bit, she definitely has some separation issues, although she seemed to be fine with the groomer, it’s when we are home and leave her sight.