May issue

May issue
May issue

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Allergic reaction

Has anyone had any success with taking medicine or other treatments for allergies to dog fur?

Snr Giz, via Facebook

Friday, 23 August 2013

Getting shot of a cough

Has anyone ever had any problems with their dogs after vaccinations?

My rescue Staffie always got a terrible cough every time he had his vacs and was quite poorly so I now get him tested to see if he needs them and to see if they were linked. So far he hasn't and he hasn’t coughed at all and has been healthier than when he was getting vaccinations annually.

I've done the same with my Labrador but I wanted to take him to training/activity clubs for more stimulation and no training school would accept the vets report stating tests had been done and he was fine so I had him vaccinated and he now has a cough.

I have done some research and understand they can react after the vacs but I'm interested to know if anyone else has experienced the same problem as two separate vets are saying they've never heard of that kind of side effect.

Helen Gordon, via Facebook

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Grieving for a lost friend

Hi my doggy friends, can anyone give me advice please.

I lost my faithful old friend Ryan a couple of weeks ago. He was nearly 14, the most beautiful Lab/Ret you could ever wish to meet, but I also have a young two-year-old Lab/Ret and she is grieving terribly. She is not eating properly and is so lethargic.

Does anyone have any tips on how to deal with this? I know how I feel, I still cry for him myself, so I can’t imagine how she feels.

Amanda Beevers, via Facebook

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Second opinion


Recently we were approved by a well known Golden Retriever rescue society to adopt a dog from them, and a few weeks later I went and viewed a castrated Golden Retriever, which was a four hour round trip away. This dog was described as 'good with other dogs', and although in his write up it was stated that he had been put into rescue because he had reportedly bared his teeth at somebody, the rescue and foster carer didn't think that this was an issue.

When I went to see the dog, I took our four-year-old chocolate Lab bitch with use, who has been spayed. The two dogs were walked together and seemed to get on ok, and in actual fact, didn't take an awful lot of notice of each other once the initial sniffing had finished. After the walk we returned to the foster carer's home where the two dogs were allowed to play in the garden. The foster carer doesn't have another dog, but the assessment on this Golden's temperament was presumably carried out during his meetings with other dogs while on lead. I thought he was a beautiful dog, though didn't think he was pure Golden, but possibly had some collie in him as well, but if the dog was the right one for us then this wouldn't matter. His play was a little rough, but I know that this sometimes happens and that dogs will settle down after a while. Ruby, my Lab, went indoors though to 'escape' his attentions and he was put on a lead for a while, then later he was let off-lead again, and things seemed to become settled.

I decided to adopt this dog, and take him home. He travelled well in the back of the estate car with Ruby, and two hours later at 10.30 pm we arrived home. The dogs went into the garden first for a toilet break, then we went indoors. This is when the new dog turned into an animal that I hadn't expected. Within minutes, he had gone for Ruby when she took a toy from her toy box. He flew across the room to get to her to do this. I didn't think any damage had been done to her, but took the toy box up anyway. Then the dog turned his attention to his bed, which he 'bonked' so much that I took this up as well! His attentions then turned again to Ruby, who was by now on her bed. His play was lively to say the least. Anyway we eventually went to bed, and the new dog decided to join me on the bed, which I don't generally allow, but it was late and we were tired. Ruby has her own bed in my bedroom, and I hoped that I would be able to do the same with the new dog. We slept until 4.30am, when the new dog woke up and decided that he was going to 'play' with Ruby. She didn't want to do this, so I ended up putting new dog on lead and keeping him on until 7am when I fed the dogs their breakfast.

What followed was a total nightmare. New dog made continued dives onto Ruby with what at first looked like he was playing, then losing control of himself and going for her. He was put on the lead again. They later went into the garden and because new dog seemed calmer I let him off again, where he made several unprovoked aggressive attacks on Ruby. I couldn't see any immediate damage, but my main concern after checking Ruby out was to get in touch with the rescue and tell them I wanted to return the dog. I told them all that had happened, this dog was literally hanging off the side of Ruby's face, neck and head. We had to wait until the evening before the foster carer could be there to take him back, so at 6pm we left to do the two hour trip to return the dog. Ruby was on the back seat, looking more than a little traumatised after her day. The other dog screamed the place down and scratched to be let in when he was shut in the kitchen for a short while! Ruby just wanted to be near me all the time.

A week after all this happened Ruby starting scratching at the top of her head, neck and side of her face, and during the next two days wet eczema developed and we took her to the vet. During the trip to the vet, she tore her face open with her scratching, and it was so bad that when we reached the vet she was kept in overnight, while she was sedated, clipped over the large affected areas and given antibiotics and steroid cream. During the next week it was awful for her, and difficult trying to keep her from scratching, and we returned to the vet as arranged a week later where she was given another week's worth of antibiotics and a steroid injection. Thankfully today she was discharged, but this has left us £170 out of pocket, and last week my husband decided to try and claim off the rescue's insurance for the vet bills incurred. However the vet says he can't confirm one way or another whether a dog bite would have taken this long (a week) to cause the problems that it had, so won't support our claim. We are absolutely certain that as the trauma has occurred in the areas that Ruby was bitten, that damage even if it was to soft tissue was the cause of the problem.

Can anybody with veterinary experience give their opinion on this please? Coincidentally this afternoon we bumped into a walker also with a chocolate Lab bitch, who was similarly attacked a while ago, and developed wet eczema on the bite area a week after the attack.

This has really put us off getting another rescue dog, although our beautiful Ruby is a rescue herself, and came with issues, as most rescues do. However rescue societies need to do a proper assessment of dogs going up for rehoming, and owners handing their dogs over to rescue should be honest with the problems which they are handing over with their dog. I am an experienced dog owner and trainer, but have never witnessed the behaviour shown by this dog, during nearly 30 years of being around dogs.
Many thanks.

Name supplied, by email

Friday, 16 August 2013

Wetting the bed


I have an 11-year-old Westie. He was recently treated for a suspected UTI and seems much brighter but he is still wetting his bed! Every night without fail. He isnt leaving puddles anywhere else. He has never had accidents before. His UTI was diagnosed when he started peeing in the house and also in his bed following jumping in a filthy pond.The vet suspected he'd picked up some infection. Urine tests showed suggested a mild infection, blood tests were negative, but to be sure he was prescribed antibiotics for 7 days. Peeing in the house stopped as soon as the antibiotics started, but wetting his bed hasn't. Now what? I am washing him daily as he stinks and he HATES baths!!!

He is really strong usually, rarely ill and no skin complaints!! I worry this constant peeing and washing will trigger a skin complaint though.

I'd be grateful for any advice.


Janie, by email

Monday, 12 August 2013

My Border's barking

Hello Think Tank,

This is a very recent problem that we have with our three-year-old Border Collie cross. It started whilst we were all on holiday last week and has continued at home. If my husband goes to get out of his chair, our dog goes mad and really barks excessively at him. I then have to shut him in the dining room for him to calm down, which he does do quite quickly.

He has done this to our house bunny when there is a sound in the house he doesn't like and as soon as he has reacted I have sent him to the dining room. His barking at our rabbit has been less and less to almost nothing because of this.

We are just a bit worried that he has now started this with a member of the family as apart from this he gets on well with all of us.

Hope you can help.

Julie Smith, Berkshire

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Choosing puppy chews

Can anyone recommend any good quality, natural, puppy chews for 14-week-old Heidi?

Christine Bailey, Dogs Today

Monday, 5 August 2013

Home from home

I'd like to know what others have done when they go on holiday. I have three dogs and would like to find someone who can either have them or stay in my home. It's such a minefield of websites etc so how do I know who is reliable and affordable?

Any advice welcome.

I live in Surrey.

Roz Kadir, via Facebook

Winter blues

Dear editor,

I was wondering if any of your other readers have noticed their dogs suffering from SAD (seasonal affective disorder)? We have a young Labrador who clearly displays all the symptoms seen in humans.

During the summer months he is full of energy and life, always looking happy and ready to play, well into the late evening. However as the days become shorter he becomes quieter. When winter really draws in he still goes for walks but is much calmer and on overcast days can look quite miserable. Like most of us his favourite place is on the sofa in front of the log fire during the dark winter days. Out other dog, who is the same breed and age, does not seem to be affected.

I would be interested to know if anybody has experimented using a light box for dogs, similar to the type used to help humans who suffer with this condition?

Yours sincerely,

Lucy Hardwick, by post

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Does your pet have what it takes to become Buyagift's Next Pet Model?

Buyagift and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are on the hunt for furry fashionistas!

In association with one of the UK’s leading animal rehoming charities, Buyagift has launched an exciting competition that will see the most photogenic pet win top prizes including a pet pamper day at a top London spa! The lucky owner will also receive £1,500 to donate to Battersea Dogs & Cats, which they will present to the guys at Battersea in person – before going on their very own tour of the shelter!

Simply visit the BuyagiftFacebook page, upload a picture of your pet looking his or her best, and remember – the more creative the snaps, the more likely they’ll win!

For further details, see: