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Thursday, 9 October 2014

Lumps and bumps

Does anyone have any experience or advice they can share about their dog getting lumps on the spine?

My rough-coated Lurcher has a solid hard lump on the tail end of her spine. Tests reveal only 'unidentified cells' within it, and her blood tests are normal. It doesn't cause her any pain despite growing steadily since January. She is happy, runs fast and is around eight to nine years old.

If the lump is removed, will it grow back? Has anyone had a scan done on a lump? I was quoted £2,500 for a scan – can a scan be done for less?

Her food is varied between cooked chicken and high-quality dried or tinned food. One theory of mine is that the growth hormone that chickens are fed has contributed to the lump.

I'm worried sick for her. I don't know whether to risk surgery or risk leaving it. 

- Anon. 

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Change of tune!

My 30-month-old male dog started lunging and barking at some other dogs about six months ago. It is quite random so I never know when he is going to do it and it is hard to hold even in a front clip harness or head collar. The only thing I can think may have caused this was at about 18 months old he was chased, bowled over and bitten.

Before that he loved everyone - dogs and people! Having said that, he was always very respectful when approaching another dog even as a puppy. He was well socialized from a puppy and has never been frightened of vacuums, fireworks etc. But he now twitches when he is touched and I can no longer clip his nails, although he loves being groomed and stroked, when he realizes I am not going to do anything to him. He was also neutered at 10 months.

I take him to dog classes to rebuild his confidence with some lovely dogs and a good trainer, he does very well in class but if I try the advice outside in the real world it doesn’t work! He must give off a nervous vibe as, again quite randomly, some dogs will ignore my friends dogs and chase or snap at him, again I don’t know when this is going to happen, but if I see someone put their dog on a lead I take him out of harms way, but not everyone does.

Some advice I have been given is to get people to walk past at a distance, but he is fine with most dogs especially with my friends' dogs! I can’t go up to strangers and say, excuse me, can you walk your dog in front of my dog to see if he is scary! I take him to local fun dog shows and he is fine, happy to meet all the dogs and shows no sign of a problem, everyone there thinks he is lovely and he always wins rosettes.

If I see another dog on a walk and get him to sit and start feeding him treats, he gets agitated and starts looking around as if the treats are the trigger! I have started clicker training with him, he has taken to this well but this also doesn’t work in situ.

He is a very loving dog, amazing with children, obedient in the house, crate trained, clever, but, I am getting worn out and am constantly embarrassed and disheartened on walks. I try very hard not to tense up as I know I contribute to the tension!

Sandy, via email 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Cotton wool coat

I have a three-year-old neutered Golden Retriever.
Even though he is fed a good diet, his coat is like cotton wool!
I wondered if anyone could suggest anything to make it more silky and shiny - but not too high in calories as that is an issue also!

Wendy, via email 

Friday, 12 September 2014

Leaving his mark

Hello Think Tank,

I have a rescued an eight-year-old male Bichon Frise and I have had him for three years. When I first got him he was unneutered so I had him neutered fairly quickly.  He is very loving and a very good boy at home because he is very cuddly and doesn't wet in the house.

For three years he has been looked after at a dog sitters house where there are up to four other small dogs. He loves it there and is content.

But recently he has been lifting his leg and 'marker' weeing in certain places. Also he has been pestering a male dog for a lot of time during the day! He has never been bothered or interested in other dogs - until now!

I have tried using 'scullcap and valerian' tablets but they do not seem to work.

Can anyone help me to find a solution to this new behaviour please?

Thank you. 


Terri Sherlock

Nips and Nibbles

I have a German Shepherd bitch (Hope) who is about two years old, and recently bought two little pups (both girls, Nalah and Kitana) who are now nine weeks.

Hope is very maternal with the pups, and often keeps food aside for them and cuddles them to sleep.

Recently I've noticed Hope is nibbling Kitana all over her body, what does this mean? It's only ever Kitana, as she's the more playful one with Hope. Should we be worried about it? She's never hurt the pup, and the pup always goes back for more.


Beth, via email 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Food for thought!

Dear Dogs Today 

My German Shepherd has a pancreas problem, she takes panzym medication. I have been feeding her Burns chicken and brown rice but have just bought her new Oscar dog food complete dry food. 

It is hard to say which food is best as each day her motions range from fairly solid to loose, and in fact, they can change within hours. My husband will feed her sausages and chicken slices as he doesn't think it's fair not to give her any meat, but I don't know whether I should carry on with the Burns food or swap to Oscar chicken and fish. 

Can anyone help?

Lynne, via email 

Monday, 18 August 2014

New season trends?

How do the seasons affect dogs?
Does their behaviour change depending on the season? Humans can get SAD (Seasonal affective disorder) where we feel more depressed when the days are longer, but can dogs suffer from a similar thing? And does day length affect them?

Anon, via email.