Marni is a Certified Pet Aesthetician and NDGAA Dog Groomer trained in restorative skin and coat care for dogs and other mammals.
Do you know a dog that has been diagnosed with "chronic allergies?” Is the dog's skin dry, itchy, flaky, crusty, or inflamed? Has medical treatment by a vet been expensive and ineffective so far?
Chances are good that this dog can benefit from an exciting new approach to canine skin and coat care.
What Qualifications Does a Certified Pet Aesthetician Have?
A small but growing number of pet professionals from around the U.S. are becoming Certified Pet Aestheticians, trained in the art of restorative skin and coat care. The CPA training program is led by veterinarian Dr. Cliff Faver, DVM, and Master Groomer Suzanne Marchetti.
Dr. Faver and his team are arming groomers and other pet caregivers with the science-based knowledge and tools necessary to achieve a new standard of care. They can help heal pets' skin and coats from the outside in, with specially formulated grooming products and ozone-infused baths.
Each Certified Pet Aesthetician that completes this training returns to their salon or clinic with a tremendous amount of new knowledge and a whole new set of skills that sets them apart from every other groomer in that community. Clients often drive hours to other states just to get their pet the Iv San Bernard therapies.
These therapies are in no way designed to function in a vacuum without veterinary care. They are in fact a complementary offering—designed to work in partnership with veterinary care and diagnosis. The training program refers to it as vets treating from the inside and Aestheticians working their magic on the outside.
“By understanding and using the science of skin and hair we can not only prevent many problems we can actually heal them when things go wrong. Many caregivers are totally frustrated with the typical treatments being used because they don’t solve the conditions they are dealing with and the animal is suffering." -- Dr. Cliff Faver, DVM
Ask the Experts
I asked Dr. Faver and Ms. Marchetti, ”What would you like pet caregivers to know about Iv San Bernard and the Science of Skin that you are teaching?”
Dr. Faver answered, “By understanding and using the science of skin and hair we can not only prevent many problems we can actually heal them when things go wrong. Many caregivers are totally frustrated with the typical treatments being used because they don’t solve the conditions they are dealing with and the animal is suffering. Learn the science, use the techniques we teach, use Iv San Bernard products, and you will see results you never expected to be possible! Our goal is to help as many animals as possible by preventing suffering through our program.”
Suzanne Marchetti added, "Science of Skin" provides knowledge based on pure science that I as a pet stylist was lacking in my formal training. It is a missing piece. It’s given me a template for each pet in order to achieve optimum results, whether a client dog, a show dog, or a rescue, the program addresses it. Thanks to Iv San Bernard and Dr. Cliff Faver’s science and techniques, we are changing lives all over the world.”
Professional Groomers Can Take Their Skills to a New Level
As a professional groomer myself, I knew I was lacking basic dermatological knowledge about the function and form of the skin and hair I dealt with every day. Seeing dogs come through the salon with oozy red inflamed itchy skin was heartbreaking when I could do nothing to help them.
Well-meaning owners dropped off their dogs and handed me their prescription medicated shampoos, which I used as directed. However, month after month many of them showed little to no improvement. I knew I needed something more to be able to help them.
Discovering the Science of Skin
In August of 2016, I attended a sold-out seminar entitled "The Science of Skin" led by Dr. Faver, at the All-American Grooming Show in Schaumburg, IL. I knew I had found that next-level opportunity to help my clients.
When the presentation concluded, I joined a long line of interested groomers excited to sign up for the training program.
Training Module One: The Science of Skin
The training begins with a distance learning module consisting of video presentations and lectures by Dr. Faver and his team. This first module covers different canine and feline coat types, the composition and functions of different parts of the hair and skin layers, and a variety of common problems such as bacterial and fungal infections, parasites, allergies, hormonal imbalances, etc.
Next, there is a basic overview and introduction to the types of products and how they are combined and applied to address each of these problems.
Training Module Two: Case Studies
Once a pet professional masters this material and passes an online test, they must be invited to begin Module Two. This section focuses on using the actual products on dogs in your salon, or friends or family dogs, suffering from these types of skin issues. There are very specific guidelines for weekly documentation of the dog's progress.
After eight weeks of compiling detailed notes and photographs (with help and support continually available online from the team) these case studies are submitted to Dr. Faver and Ms. Marchetti for review. Once the case studies are discussed and approved, Module Three opens up.
Training Module Three: On Site Training
This final training module consists of a three-day workshop onsite at Animal Health Services of Cave Creek, AZ. There are classroom sessions, learning the product protocols, and hands-on experience.
The in-depth training includes a "wet lab" style afternoon in the grooming area of the clinic, using the Iv San Bernard products in combination with the key to the entire program-- a small ozone generating machine that turns your tub into a healing ozone bubble bath.
Observations: How Severe Skin Conditions Respond to Ozone Baths and ISB Products
The highlight of the onsite training is the afternoon of practical labs with several of the clinic’s client dogs suffering from some pretty severe skin conditions.
The first was a standard poodle with sebaceous adenitis. This is a condition where the sebaceous glands cease to function and no sebum is produced to feed the hair and skin- causing alopecia, itching, follicular infections, and other issues.
Next was a bully breed mix with a connective tissue disorder. The constricted circulation to his extremities was causing his tail and feet to die and slough off little by little. Four other members of this dog’s litter had already been euthanized for similar problems.
The products that we mixed and applied to these dogs that day could achieve amazing results on their own when used correctly by a Certified Pet Aesthetician. However, even faster results are achieved by using the product before, during, and after bathing the animal in special Ozone baths.
Safe, low levels of ozone gas (the same kind used to disinfect CPAP machines and hotel rooms) are generated and bubbled up through a special mat placed underwater in the bottom of the tub. Ozone is scientifically proven to be anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and anti-cancer. The super oxygenated water drives products deeper into tissue and stimulates faster healing than using the products on their own.
The differences in these dogs before and after their treatments were incredible to see. Initially, they barely moved, there was no spark in their eyes, they were nervous and fearful. After their therapy and bubbly ozone baths, the reduction in their discomfort and pain must have been significant. They became playful, interactive, wiggly, and happy.
Romeo, the bully mix, laid down and went to sleep. At the very least his therapy significantly reduced the intense pain, swelling, and itching that he might have been suffering from for weeks, maybe months.
Conclusion and Contacts
While these products and therapies can heal and even cure some chronic conditions, they won’t work on every pet, especially if they have serious underlying pathologies like Romeo's. But as we could see with our own eyes that day, therapies can usually provide a great respite from, and reduction of, their pain.
If you have a dog with chronic skin conditions, consider consulting a pet aesthetician. You can read more about Iv San Bernard products and find a directory of pet aestheticians in the U.S. on the Iv San Bernard website.