A "Matted" coat is very unhealthy to have.
Owners are responsible for their pet's coat. Brushing removes dead hair shed from the coat. Hair allowed to remain in medium to long-coated pets can easily tangle and matt causing discomfort and in severe cases, affect their health.
Once a coat is matted we strongly suggest pet owners seek a professional groomer for assistance with de-matting and possibly coat removal for the welfare of the pet. Every groomer faces the situation where they see matting so bad, they advise the owner that the coat must come off for the comfort of the pet. The owner says, "NO!"
I often face a uniquely challenging situation where a stubborn client adamantly refuses coat removal, but the dematting process will simply be too intense for the pet, especially if the pet is aged or disabled.
I do not accept unwarranted risks. I do what is right for the pet, even if I lose the customer.
Skin denied regular air circulation and stimulation from regular brushing becomes quite unhealthy. It is often dark pink to red. There may be foul odours and even organic matter like weeds embedded in the skin...
In extreme cases, I have seen skin so damaged and unhealthy under heavily-matted coats (like Maddy here on the right) that its outer layer "peeled" away as the clipper was lifting and removing coat... You can see we started on her head as it was the only spot we could manipulate the clipper. In some places, the matt was 3 inches thick. Maddy could not walk or do her business as her privates were impacted with matted hair and waste. Her nails were corkscrewed and twisted back into her pads and it literally took 2.5 hrs to snip, cut and peel down to her paws using a surgical blade and tiny scissors. It was intense.
Another word of caution. De-matting or coat removal on very matted pets involves the post-grooming risk that the pet will develop an itchy skin response.
Whenever I remove a heavily matted coat or de-matt one, I tell the owner to watch their pet. Itching, scratching, rubbing on the ground, against trees, scrubs, you name it, the animal will inadvertently hurt itself. Unfortunately, owners then tend to blame their groomer for causing the irritation or the infection that can occur after the pet has licked the irritation until it bleeds.
We don't want the dog to injure its skin with constant scratching or licking, but it happens. Because of this risk, I sometimes required pet owners that requested grooming on a pet in poor condition, to sign a Release and Hold Harmless form before we would groom their pet, and in extreme cases, we required a veterinary clearance in writing as well.
In serious cases, I will request you to fill out such a waiver, I'm not in business, to be put out of business!