May issue

May issue
May issue

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A friend in need


Please could you point me in the right direction?

I am looking for an assistance dog for my friend's little boy who is in a wheelchair and has special needs. The family sadly lost their pet dog last year and really would like a dog that could help their son in friendship and in his everyday needs.

We have already approached Canine Partners but they do not supply dogs unless you are 18 or over, and this little boy is only five years old.

Thank you for any help on this matter.

Kindest regards,

Caroline King, by email

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Latex-free toys

Hi Dogs Today magazine.

You may have been asked this before but I'm wondering if you can help.

As you probably know a lot of dog toys that are durable are made from latex. Usually this isn't a problem unless you have a latex allergy. I am currently hunting for a durable (Staffordshire Bull Terrier-durable) latex-free toy.

I've searched the copies of your magazines I have in the house in hopes of finding an advert or even an article but no luck. I'm hoping that you may have something or may consider doing an article about it as even organic toys can contain enough latex to cause serious problems.
Many thanks,

Carol-Ann Winterbourne-Welsh, by email

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Refusing to walk


I'm a dog walker for the Cinnamon Trust and walk a pair of Dachshunds twice a week. One is an old lady coming up for 15 and the other is about 4 years old. She had limited experiences as a very young dog and is thought not to have left her previous owner’s garden. Consequently she had to get used to all the outside world brings from the age of about 2, when her current owner took her on.

She's done really well until recently but now refuses to walk if I try to go a way she doesn't want to. Instead she becomes completely flat to the floor and if I pull gently on her lead to encourage her she rolls over onto her back. This behaviour started with having to be carried to leave home but once a few metres from the house she would happily walk. Now she will only walk a few metres from being put down and then stops. I used to be able to get her moving again by simply changing direction and taking a different route for the walk but now she will only go a few metres in any direction before stopping dead. I end up carrying her until we're about half a mile from home and then she will walk home.

She appears very anxious when out of her home environment. She will not take food, talk to people or other dogs and likes to walk right by the edge of the path or against the bottom of a wall. She has no physical problems which would stop her walking.

Any suggestions on how to help her to enjoy her walks again would be much appreciated.

Best regards,

Louise Wilkes, by email



I am 13 and own a one-year-old black lab. Even though there is tonnes of dogs in our village (proven by a fun dog show) I normally only see a couple of dogs on my walks. I was thinking about putting up a poster for a group dog walk, maybe weekly or more depending on people's flexibility. It wouldn't be a commitment and no one would be obliged to turn up but I thought it might be a nice idea for dogs and dog owners alike.

What is your opinion? Would you be interested if something like this was advertised where you live?

Thank you,

Emily Mitchell, by email

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Daddy’s boy

I wondered if anyone could explain why my 20-month Golden Retriever prefers my husband to me!

I walk him, feed him, groom him and generally take care of him, and spend most days with him.

Yet when my husband’s not at work, he follows him around, wants to be in the same room as him, lies at his feet, and comes back for him.

What do you think I'm doing wrong?

Wendy, by email

Testing allergies

My dog Cassie is a cross breed, approximately nine years old. We’ve had her from the age of nine months from a rescue centre. Over three years ago, Cassie starting sneezing and producing a copious amount of mucus. The vet did exploratory work and eventually had to refer her to a specialist vet in respiratory conditions. He performed a rhinoscopy to check her airways, and found nothing. He tested her mucus for bacteria or fungal infection and came back inconclusive and therefore he diagnosed her with allergic rhinitis.

Her symptoms are mainly nasal discharge and runny eyes. She has these symptoms all year, being worse at different times of the year, spring and winter being the worse. Antihistamines don’t appear to work. We have tried all sorts of medication including several types of antibiotics and steroids from the vets to homeopathic remedies. At the moment, the homeopathic remedy Pulsatilla really helps her because it thins the mucus down enabling her to sneeze it out, so that she can breath more easily. Before this, we had also tried all sorts of remedies/products to help her with her symptoms, things for allergies, asthma (as the vet thought it might be asthma), including inhalers, dehumidifiers, ioners, we also removed any household products which may trigger her symptoms, i.e. cleaning materials, candles, sprays etc., all of which we feel has not helped. It is difficult to remember everything we have tried over the last three years, but we have run out of ideas.

We have also done food trials, starting with the basic chicken and rice for six weeks. She did not improve. But when we stopped rice, she seemed to improve overnight. We were overjoyed but this was soon short lived, and although her symptoms were slightly better, they have never gone away fully. We did some more food trials and we think Cassie is allergic to starch, so we have cut out all starch. We also realised that starch is present in the makeup of some tablets we were giving her, so had to be careful to chose tablets that did not contain starch. She now mainly eats cooked chicken, beef, and homemade biscuits.

We therefore thought we might be dealing with two allergies, food and environment. Cassie does not suffer from any skin disorders at all; she is otherwise fit and healthy.

Does anyone else out there know what might be causing Cassie to have such symptoms? Or can you recommend anything we can try to ease her discomfort. I would love to find out a cure for her. She is such a lovely dog. I have been told by various vets that Cassie is a special case, we know she is special but just wish it wasn’t for these reasons – can anyone help?

Here’s hoping.
Debbie, Wolverhampton

Monday, 3 June 2013

Healthy renal diet

Any advice on feeding a renal diet for my nearly 13-year-old dog (for early stages kidney failure – that shows in blood, but not behaviour)?
Fat content of prescription diet seems high (22%). For the price I could feed pre-prepared raw (presumably more balanced than I could prepare myself), or other good protein food, but how to lower phosphorous levels?
Happy to research but don't know where to start! It doesn't have to be raw, I am opening my mind to any helpful food.
Any clues please?
Tamsin, by email