Necropsy results back for dog who died during grooming session

Necropsy results released on pug who died during grooming session

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A five-year-old pug, named “Ollie,” recently died during a grooming session which was taking place at a Petco in Middletown, Rhode Island. According to the dog’s owner, Ollie had no known health issues which might have led to his untimely demise.

Immediately after Ollie’s death, Petco stated that they would be looking into the dog’s death to see if there was anything untoward which had taken place.

On Friday, the Pet Rescue Report received an email from a Petco Communication Team representative. The following is the company’s updated statement about the results of Ollie’s necropsy:

“Based on the preliminary autopsy results from Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, we can confirm that there was no evidence of trauma to Ollie’s head or neck. As is the case with all Pugs, Ollie had what is called brachycephalic syndrome. The results show that his soft palate was much longer than normal, which causes blockage of the airway and makes it difficult to breathe. As a result of this information, we do not believe the actions of the pet stylist who trimmed Ollie’s nails, nor any other store partners were responsible for his untimely passing. Our thoughts are with Ollie’s family during this difficult time.”

Prior article about Ollie here.

In the news Friday: Cruelty investigation launched after dog found with rubber band around snout.

Dog found with rubber band around snout


71 replies
  1. Sue says:

    Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome are particularly sensitive to heat, and more likely to die of heat prostration. This is the cause of many grooming deaths – putting the dog in a crate with the heat blowing on them, unsupervised, while the groomers to on to whatever else.

    While groomers have been known to hang dogs (I hate that their method of restraint is a noose around the neck, anyway), I think even more dogs have died from the heat prostration.

    Don’t leave a dog or cat alone with a groomer, unless you know that groomer as well as you know yourself.

    • Glenn says:

      I agree with all the above, however, if it died during a walk in nail trim then the dog didnt spend anytime in a cage or with any driers on it.

    • Looh says:

      The dog was in for a nail trim. It wasn’t anywhere near a dryer. How exactly do you recommend one keeping a dog tethered to a grooming table? The grooming loop is literally the same as a collar and leash.

    • Erin says:

      1- Petco no longer uses heated kennel driers, they now only use fans for kennel drying. The same type of fan you’d use to cool off a room, just a little bigger.
      2- Pugs are not allowed to be kennel dried at Petco ANY WAY, due to them being a breathing challenged breed.
      3- This dog only went in for a nail trims, which is a walk in service and does not require the pet to go in the kennel at all.

      Your entire comment is completely irrelevant to this incident.

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      The dog was in for a nail trim, could it be the stress caused this? I know my Beagle goes into snorting spells when she gets stressed, and sounds like she is gasping for air, has scared me a couple of times. As I said above I will stick with my Vet trimming their nails, I don’t pay anymore and If something goes awry they are in the hands of a Veterinarian.

      • Liz says:

        Most groomer would rather a beathing challenged dog go to a vet if they dont like getting nails done. Not because we dont want to do it. We want the dog to be safe too. If you know your dog has problems with nails or grooming please use a vet. It is safe for the dog and groomer.

    • Darshon H says:

      It’s hard enough being a groomer as it is, having customers staring at us and questioning our every moves makes it that much more stressful. As a former groomer and someone who knows the industry I would say the vast majority of groomers deeply and truly care about our clients dogs and treated them as our own if not better. I’m not saying go trust any groomer but go with you gut I guess use your God given intuition.

    • Jess says:

      As a groomer of 19 years I find it highly offensive that you think we all go into a job working with animals with the intention of harming them. I believe I can speak for most of us when I say we went into this field because we love animals. Don’t like the noose? Try grooming a dog without restraint and see how well you do. Also most groomers do not use heated dryers on kennels, we use cool air dryers. Lastly this dog was in for a nail trim so he was not subjected to any of us horrible groomers without the owner standing there so none of your comments are even relevant to this situation.

      • Kelly Whitten says:

        I do have a question about pugs. My jax and zoie (both pugs) hate having thier nails trimmed and get wicked stressed out and go into snorting fits. Could that be what happened to the pug because of the long palate and stressed out and all that? As most pug owners know, it takes 4 humans, the help of thor and hurcules and an act of god to get them trimmed. I was just wondering if the snorting and blocked air passage coupled with stress could have caused it? Its good to know when I bring them in. Jax and Zoie do not have the long palates but just as added into to our pug knowledge would be helpful. Thanks.

    • Michelle says:

      This dog was just getting his bald done for 1.
      A node if placed properly should not be there to so the groomer can groom the dog. Not all dogs just sit there. Some (mostly large dogs) freak when u do their legs if the dog wasnt in the noose he could break a leg by jumping off the table. Or holds the front while your working on the rear.

    • Tina says:

      As a groomer I can say that the majority of the dryers on the market have a heat option which I rarely use. Also dogs are continuously supervised when drying. I have never worked in corporate and things are different between them and mom and pop groomers.

    • Colleen says:

      As a groomer, I’d like to know where you found your “facts”. And how else are we supposed to keep the dog from jumping off the table and breaking a leg. Lastly, I take offense to the comment about groomers hanging dogs. By that logic, you are strangling your dog every time you take him/her for a walk.

    • Alyssa says:

      Petco and pet smart do not use any heated drying for pets AT ALL. in addition the types of leads now in place have additional safeguards against hanging danger. And dogs are not left alone on tables without supervision. How stupid do you have to be? Perhaps you may learn a bit more about a profession before making your uneducated and biased bullshit opions (that sound like a peta supporting idiocity) known. Thanks.

    • Alesia says:

      I am a salon owner and pet stylist of twenty years. I agreed with everything you typed until your last statement. There are good and bad employees in every profession. Yes, you should trust your pet stylist but don’t blame the entire industry.

    • Groomer says:

      Let me ask you this, are you a groomer or have you ever groomed a dog in your entire life? Have you ever even owned a pet before? Probably not, so I’d appreciate it if you’d keep your idiotic comments to yourself.

      The kennel dryers used do NOT blow hot air, it is room temperature or luke warm air and the force isn’t any stronger than a breeze on a windy day. Second of all the dryers can only run for a MAXIMUM of 15 MINUTES at a time and automatically TURN OFF when they are done. Most groomers do not like to use this method of drying because it takes an unnecessarily long amount of time to dry a dog and prefer instead to use a velocity dryer, which is basically just a vacuum sized hair dryer. Dogs are checked on every 5 minutes when the dryer is on and any pets over 8, any puppies under 1 year, and/or any brachy breed or breed prone to collapsed tracheas, CANNOT be kennel dried. Period.

      The grooming loops are there for the dogs’ and the groomer’s safety. As the other person commented, they are the same concept as a collar and leash, they might appear to be tight to the inexperienced eye but if you actually got up to the dog you would see that the loop is tightened so that you can still fit TWO FINGERS between the loop and the dog’s neck. The actual strap that connects to the grooming arm is adjusted to the height of the dog and is adjusted just enough to take the slack out of the strap to prevent the dog from hurting themselves.

      • ellen cottone says:

        you are mistaken groomer
        2- bull dog type dogs died in a 6 month period this past summer while their attendands left the dogs unsupervised in a hot box here on long island.
        Its shamful of you to defend petco.
        so let me ask you groomer.who are YOU, to ask about “idiotic comment”?

    • Alicia says:

      At corporate facilities groomers are on camera and monitored by management and don’t not use kennel dryers with heating elements only air like a fan and not allowed to be used on breathing challenged breeds. you can go on Petco and PetSmart website and see reviews on salon also. I take pride in my job and take care of every pet as it was my own

    • Ashley says:

      It is the only method to keep the dog still and safe. Its no different really than a thin collar. Do you also not use collars on your dog? ????

    • Patty says:

      “Hang dogs” ??!! Really??!! How do you expect to keep a dog on the table? On a wish and a prayer? Do you reason with the dog and explain to him/her why they shouldn’t jump off the table and potentially kill themselves? I’ve seen dogs jump off and crack their head on the floor and immediately start siezuring…boy, that’s sooo much safer! Smh.

    • Allison says:

      Yeah, speaking as a groomer, there are restrictions on which dogs we are allowed to kennel dry. There are about 15 breeds we cannot kennel dry, and if a dog is mixed with one of them, we can’t kennel dry it either. No kennel drying large dogs aged 8+, or small dogs aged 10+. Companies DO know about this problem with breeds, you know, and take preventive measures. Also, maybe had you actually done some reading, you’d know that this dog came in for a walk-in nail trim, so it never went in a kennel.

    • groomergal says:

      Good lord pay attention. This dog s death had NOTHING to do with heat or dryers! I don’t think they dry a dog to cut it’s nails!

      • Sue says:

        Everytime I come back to this article to reply to a comment, I see that my first reply to a comment (with several links to prove my point) is not there. THEN, when I write a comment asking where it went (or, if it was not approved, why was it not approved), it suddenly appears after I hit the send button on my question. So, I have no idea what the problem is, and if it is visible to no one, to a few, or just me after I send an inquiry.

      • Cheryl Hanna says:

        Not sure what you are referring to here as most comments except those that are racially offensive or deemed to be totally unacceptable expressing violence, are approved. Please note however, the team is not at their computers 24/7 but try to be as efficient as possible. Hope that makes sense to you.

    • Amy says:

      Most grooming salons have gone away from using heated dryers. I believe petco removed all after the incident with the golden retriever. Also this dog was not in the kennel since he died during a nail trim…..

    • Kelsey says:

      Any dog with a “noose” around their neck has a groomer with them, and it’s not at a fixed tension for that exact reason so the dogs don’t choke. It’s also a safety issue as many dogs try to bite when being groomed.

      And grooming salons like petco and petsmart don’t use heated kennel dryers. All a kennel dryer is is a fan that circulates room temperature air. And there are policies about which dogs can even have that on their kennel door for that exact reason. Any breathing challenged or senior dogs don’t get one.

      I agree that you shouldn’t leave your dog with just anyone, maybe check grooming reviews, but with 5 minutes of talking to whoever will be working on your dog can give you some piece of mind.

      I’m a grooming salon manager at a petsmart and once my customers hear me talk about my dogs and how much I love dogs And my job they’re much more comfortable leaving them with me.

      And in an earlier post it stated that Ollie was only there for a nail trim and spent no time in a kennel. The mom even said that she looked in the salon to check on him midway through (while he was on the table) and everything was fine.

      Just a little info for ya 🙂

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        Question, when I take my dog to have her nails trimmed it only takes about 5 minutes, why was it taking so long for this dog?

    • Alissa says:

      As groomers we have to use nooses ! It’s for the safety of the animal , without them they would jump of the table and could cause serious injury to themselves. As far as cage drying animals I totally agree with you . To many groomers stick dogs in cages and blow heat on them , not a good idea

      • Sue says:

        I see that my reply was eliminated – not approved? Was it the links which prove my point, or? Explanation, please?

    • Nicole says:

      You know pet grooming retails dont actually use hot air for kennel dryers. Secondly. Many places don’t allow dryers to be used on dogs that have breathing problems. Just am fyi

    • Barkley's Mom says:

      I see your reply with all the links, and thank you for taking the time to provide the links, I remember most of these stories,

  2. Barkley's Mom says:

    No probably the actions of the groomer or store partners were not to blame. But still a fairly young dog is dead, My condolences to the owners of Ollie, and may be in the future if you have a pug type dog, nail trimming should be left to your veterinarian.

    • Dawn says:

      I am a groomer and we do an incredible job with our dogs in our care. In fact, I know we do a better job than lots of veterinarians. Thinking that all groomers are the same is sad. You are missing out on a lot of great people who could take very good care of your babies. Also, we groomers don’t “hang” your dogs.

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        I never said groomers “hang” our dogs, or that they are all alike. I have had my dogs groomed very successfully at a boarding kennel I frequent but I would never take them to Petco. I was just pointing out this sort of thing seems to happen a lot to Pug type dogs, and maybe being at a vets where there is a vet around would be prudent if the dog started to have trouble. Please don’t put words into my mouth!

    • Ashleigh says:

      What difference does it make if a groomer or vet does the dog’s nails? Vet assistants are usually the ones clipping dog’s nails and I have seen them quick the crap out of nails. Not only that, but they will restrain your dog in a headlock if it doesn’t like it. And you think that is better? You’re actually better off having a groomer do it. Less restraint, more experience.

      • Barkley's Mom says:

        My point was that since Pug type dogs seem to have problems with getting groomed, that maybe a Vet’s office would be better since there is a Veterinarian around to help if there is a problem. That was the difference I “unsuccessfully” attempted to portray.

  3. Emily says:

    Yet the original story is worded just so it seems to incriminate groomers, what else is new? How would anyone in any other profession like it if when anything goes wrong they are instantly to blame?

  4. Cynthia Como says:

    This is what I figured,Pugs do not breathe well and I thought he probably add something wrong with his breathing. Prayers to the family

  5. Lh says:

    If they got the dog to stressed while cutting the nails the dog would get hot and that breed can’t breath so if they continued yes the dog could over heat while doing nail trim. Dont take your dog to people that don’t have expirence and expect professional treatment.

  6. DOROTHY says:


    • Tara says:

      I can personally say as a groomer that I can trim nails way safer and better with less stress on the dog then half of the vets around …half the time they quick them in turn males it a terrible experience for the dog…I have personally trimmed a dogs nails that the owner had said it took 3 people at the vet to hold the dog down do to dog not liking it …it only took me to do the nails and the dog did wonderful…so I believe it goes both ways when it comes to who should be doing nail trims ….some vets are better and some groomers are better

    • Liz says:

      This dog had no heath problem that the owners know of. So getting the heath info doesnt help if pp dont know about a problem. There are great groomers. I am not saying they all are. But i have been grooming for 13 years. I have. 8 dogs of my own. I foster dogs and cat for rescue. Animals are my life. I go to work everyday because i love grooming. And a lot of you guys up here are not stopping to think. Pet parent came in and want us to work miracles. On dogs i am not god. I cant make you dog love nail trims when you only get it done once a year and i can get all the matts off your doodle that has not been groomed in 6 month. And yes your dog can and does bite.and no he is not playing when he bites me and its not funny or cute when your dog fights the groomer for everything. And when you tell a pp that the dog need to be groomed at the vets cause i dont want him to hurt him self or me cause he doesnt like grooming. And they say you can just musle him and hold him down. No i will not. This is some of the othef side of this. This are living thinking animals.they move they fight they bite. No they are not always bad but alot of them are because the owners dont take the time to work with there babys and dont start them young enought. They think you can just through them into it. Half the dogs i own are foster dogs that were never groomed till i got them. And they bite and fight for grooming. And they are dogs that have to be groomed. So i keep them so i know they get groomed safely and so no other groomer ever gets bite by them. So any day you want to see what real grooming is come on by.

  7. Brandon says:

    PETCO just made a very illegal mistake regarding this case. By the way, the “grooming technicians” should know how to tell if a dog is dead right? No reason one groomer should have to ask another groomer in front of the owner “how do you tell if a dog is dead?”

    • Groomer says:

      Please explain how this is at all illegal? Second the groomer could have been panicking over the dog and asked or they could have been asking how to explain it to the pet parent the unfortunate situation.

      Fuck off.

      • ellen cottone says:

        your relly classy groomer.
        do you always have such problems relating to humans around you?
        I would imagine you also are abusive to animals behind your closed doors.
        its plain to see you are an animal abuser. because you defend the mistreatment of humans who care.

  8. PetMom says:

    I don’t think the company who was responsible for the dog when it died should have the final word on whether they were at fault or not.

  9. Dallas says:

    Ok first im a professional petstylist and if a dog starts to stress on my table or doesnt like me doin their nails or trimming i stop the service cause i refuse to stress any dog out ..i will send them home ..i want my furbabies to enjoy their spa day not have them never wanting to come back…thats whats wrong with half these groo.ers these days all they care bout is the freakin money…not me animals feelings and safety is more important then money ever will b in my life


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