May issue

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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