Causes of Puppy Death

dogtipsonline death in puppiesDeath in puppies may involve one or two puppies, or the complete litter. Generally speaking, the nearer the puppy is to the exit, the greater is its chance of survival, if there is nothing to retard delivery. Nevertheless, this first puppy to be born is the one least likely to survive if it is badly out of position, and especially if surgical interference is needed to effect delivery. The greatest risk, however, to the first-born results from undue panic on the part of the attendant.

If, instead of making frantic efforts at midnight to effect the delivery of a living, normal puppy before the cervix, vagina, and uterus have reached the state of readiness, the owner were to go to bed and sleep soundly until morning, he or she would probably find on awakening that the first puppy presented, as well as others, would be comfortably sucking.

In any case, a few hours’ delay in the case of the untouched and uninfected vagina will not impede the efforts of the veterinary surgeon, if his services are finally required.

The exception is when the puppy is dead, swollen and partly decomposed a very unlikely state of affair or when it is lying in such a position that it entirely precludes the possibility of normal birth. Even then, waiting a short while entails very little extra risk, provided no outside infection has been introduced by unclean fingers.

The retention of normal puppies for a few hours, within a healthy uterus, does little harm, since they are receiving oxygen and nourishment through the placenta, and have not yet inflated their lungs. Undue hurry is far more likely to be dangerous.

Now let us consider why one or more puppies should arrive dead among an otherwise strong and healthy litter. Firstly, take into consideration the size of the dead puppy. Is it a large, well-developed specimen, as usually is the case, or is it a small one, thin, shrivelled, and almost mummified?

During the early days of pregnancy it is usual for more eggs to be fertilised and implanted in the lining of the uterus preparatory to development and growth than finally survive. The defunct embryos undergo a process of resorption. As there may be insufficient time for this to be completed, the puppy is eventually delivered as a small specimen, not actually decomposed but apt to give this impression on account of its partial mummification. Sometimes it will be embedded in, or surrounded in its membranes.

When several puppies, or even the whole litter, are involved in this way, the underlying cause may have been either lack of vitamin A in the diet of the bitch at the early critical stage of embryonic development; or, alternatively, inability on the part of the bitch to make use of the vitamin A available. One reason for this may be the administration of wheat-germ oil, or vitamin E (the so-called ‘fertility hormone’) in excessive dosage. Too much vitamin E is capable of rendering the bitch unable to absorb the essential vitamin A. On the other hand, the lack of development may have been due to infection, possibly by E. coli.

There may be a variety of other causes of the death of a large, well-developed puppy prior to birth. The matter of sex may play a part since a large male has far less chance of survival during a somewhat prolonged parturition (in which uterine inertia may be involved) than a smaller female.

The other common cause is obstruction to the circulation of blood, involving an insufficient circulation of oxygen within the puppy’s bloodstream. This often results from entanglement of the umbilical cord (carrying the blood vessels) around some part of the puppy’s own body, or by its becoming imprisoned by the limbs of another puppy. Sometimes a rotation of the body of a puppy carries the cord, which is fairly long, around the abdomen, thereby diminishing or cutting off the circulation.

Another cause is that, frequently, puppies arrive in `posterior presentation’, in other words, ‘tail first’. This may apply to alternate puppies but sometimes all, or almost all, arrive in this way.

The passage of the puppy is impeded, and the bitch makes strenuous ‘forcing’ efforts to keep it moving. Fluids are then squeezed down the nostrils and open mouth of the puppy and pass into the lungs. The result is that when the puppy eventually makes an effort to breathe it fails because the lungs are full of fluid; or in other words, the puppy is drowned.

A complete litter ‘dead at birth’, from a bitch that has been watched and not neglected, and has delivered her puppies without undue effort, is often the result of infection, frequently by a virus (distemper or hepatitis possibly) or sometimes by leptospira (rodent infection?) and even by common bacteria such as E. coli, a normal inhabitant of the intestine which, in certain circumstances, may become highly virulent.

The infection may result in death of the puppies and premature birth, or they may be retained until full term and delivered dead.


Gun Dog Training Equipement

dogonlinetips-gundogFirst you will require a wistle of the rather shrill type which the dog can hear even if he is hunting in kale or roots. The noise of his tail beating about the wet leaves makes it very difficult for him to hear You when you are training your gun dog and in all probability he will not be able to see you either. The human whistle is not penetrating enough.

Teach your puppy to come immediately, when he hears a few short blasts on the whistle. If in the early days you are dog training your puppy to come to a whistle and he stops at some distance and looks at you, but does not come because he does not understand what vou require of him, crouch low to the ground and continue to blow short sharp notes on the whistle. It always seems to intrigue puppies to see humans looking like dogs and they come at once to investigate. Once he understands what the whistle means this of course will not be necessary.

Your Gun dog puppy should also learn the word ‘come’ used in conjunction with the whistle. Always insist that he does come when you call him and never call him back unless you really mean it. Do not let him get away with half measures.

When punishment is necessary through deliberate disobedience then it is better to take him by the scruff of the neck and shake him, scolding at the same time, rather than resort to a beating. And make sure this was a deliberate act. If you punish and your puppy didn’t understand that will leave a burden on your relationship and make your dog training efforts that much harder.

These can be made in various ways and need not be elaborate. To begin training a puppy a sock filled with nylon stockings is as good as anything as it is both light and soft. On no account should a heavy or hard dummy be used. A plastic detergent container is excellent for size so long as it is well padded and not filled with anything too heavy. I usually keep one dummy with a rabbit or hare skin wrapped round it or a pair of duck’s wings attached by means of an elastic band to make the dummy more realistic.

You will also need a dummy for use in water and the best type to have is a cork-filled one which is both light and buoyant. These can he bought ready made from some gunsmiths. Canvas dummies are frequently used but are inclined to be too heavy for a young puppy.

Equip yourself with at least three dummies for land and two for use in water.

One more thing which you must have is a slip lead. These can be obtained from most good pet stores but can be made quite easily and effectively from nylon rope. Cut the rope to the length you require and seal each end by burning it. Buy a small ring about an inch across. These are easily obtained at a hardware shop. Attach the ring to the cord. A shoe mender or saddler will make a very neat job of it for you. You can also have a loop made the other end if vou wish. Now thread the rope through the ring and adjust it to fit your dog by putting a knot either side of the ring.

I have found these leads most useful and they are light and easily put into one’s pocket as well as being cheap and easy to make.


Canine First Aid Kit

Canine First Aid Kit

What you need to have handy at all times in case of emergency involving your dog. Here are my essentials for what need to go in a first aid kit

Antiseptic;. Dettol, T.C.P. or similar mild antiseptic are a must for a first aid kit for dogs and are excellent for general purposes but

                   Cetavlon is less stringent for bathing cuts and wounds. It is a wise precaution to wipe over the feet and head of a dog at a show with either T.C.P. or Dettol, particularly at indoor shows where infection is so easily picked up.

                   Boracic powder. A good general stand-by, used dry or as a lotion.

Canker powder. This is essential in a first aid kit for dogs for any sign of ear problems and should be used regularly if there is any sign of canker, but the occasional dusting is usually sufficient to keep the ears in perfect condition.

first aid kit for dogsClinical thermometer. This is a most necessary adjunct to any medicine chest or first aid kit. It is best to buy one marked thirty seconds as it requires a shorter time to register. First of all see that the mercury is shaken down to read below about 35°C(98°F). Carefully insert the thermometer into the rectum. On no account should it be forced; a little liquid paraffin smeared on to it will help. Leave the thermometer in place for half a minute and then withdraw and wipe clean with some cotton wool. The normal temperature of a dog varies slightly in different individuals as with human beings but it should be about 38.6°C(101.5°F). Variations in the same dog do occur for no apparent reason, but anything above 38.9°C(1029F) should be regarded as a fever.

After use remember to shake the mercury down and clean and disinfect the thermometer thoroughly before returning it to its case.

Flea treatement. For use against all external parasites. Insect repellant collars or strips are an alternative. The collar is suitable for adult dogs and if the instructions issued with it are followed it is most effective. It need only be worn at night. A Vapona strip placed in the kennel will insure against any parasites, but I would not recommend its use where there are puppies, or if the kennel is a very small one, as the vapour may be a bit overpowering for the dog unless there is good ventilation.

Kaolin powder. This is useful to have in your first aid kit and can be sprinkled alternatively be mixed up with some milk, but if the puppies are off their food more drastic measures must be taken, and I always keep a supply of tablets for this purpose, so that if a puppy has diarrhoea and is off his food he can be dosed at once.

Puppies can have diarrhoea for many reasons such as change of diet, too much food or too rich a diet, as well as the more serious disorders which can arise. Prompt action can avoid a lot of trouble and the puppy can be back on his food and fully recovered the next day. Like children they can go up and down very quickly but if neglected serious conditions can result.

Liquid paraffin. This is a very cheap but necessary item for your first aid kit. Used as an occasional laxative, e.g. at whelping time or if a dog becomes constipated through eating too many bones. Frequent or excessive doses should be avoided.

Milk of magnesia. For all digestive troubles, and can be given to a bitch after whelping should her milk for any reason be too acid.

Lubricating eye ointment. Obtained from your vet, and if kept cool is always useful in a first aid kit just in case of eve trouble. Inflammation caused by a foreign body or damage to the cornea can be relieved and rapidly cured by the application of a little ointment night and morning. A damaged cornea can he serious if neglected, whereas it can be healed within two or three days if treated at once.

Hibiscrub solution I find this invaluable at the first sign of a patch of wet eczema. Dilute in warm water, using about a dessertspoonful to half a pint of water. Bathe the affected part and if necessary cut off the surrounding hair so that the air can penetrate. Dry thoroughly and dust with boracic powder or dress with calamine lotion. Repeat three times a day, which will prevent the eczema from spreading and will dry it up surprisingly quickly. If neglected this type of eczema can spread alarmingly and professional help will then he necessary.

Travel sickness pills. There are several kinds which can be obtained either from your veterinary surgeon or from a chemist. If a dog is a had traveller this is usually due to nerves, and once he finds that he can travel without being sick he will get over the trouble completely.

Witch hazel or calamine lotion. This is useful if the skin is irritated and the dog is making things worse by scratching, but more specific treatment may also be needed.

Worming tablets. For round worms in puppies I like to use drontal, but there are many proprietary makes of worm medicine. drontal tablets can be obtained from your veterinary surgeon and an adequate supply of these or other tablets should always be kept in hand. They are administered by giving one tablet for every ten pounds body weight, and repeating the dose ten days later.

When you are dosing an adult dog for worms seek your vet’s advice, particularly if it is for a hitch after she has been mated. No matter what brand of medicine you are using, it is important to give the correct dose to suit the size of the dog it is prescribed for and the dog must be accurately weighed.

Yeast or yeast tablets. Both brewer’s yeast and yeast tablets are a great tonic and a quick pick me up if the dog is out of sorts, but they should not be continued indefinitely.


First Aid kit List

  • Antiseptic
  • Clinical thermometer.
  • Flea treatement.
  • Kaolin powder.
  • Liquid paraffin.
  • Milk of magnesia.
  • Lubricating eye ointment.
  • Hibiscrub solution
  • Travel sickness pills.
  • Witch hazel or calamine lotion.
  • Worming tablets.
  • Yeast or yeast tablets.

Dog Behavior Problem: Separation Anxiety

Dog Behavior Problem: Separation Anxiety

dog separation anxietySome of the most common behavior problems in dogs of all ages are the result of being left alone at home. Dogs with separation problems may howl or bark in an attempt to call the rest of their “pack” home again. They can  become destructive, tearing or clawing at carpets, objects, furniture, or walls and doors or they may lose bowel or bladder control. In extreme cases, some dogs have been known to become so distressed at being left alone that they self-mutilate biting at themselves until the affected area becomes sore and infected.

Separation problems tend to fall into 3 Categories:

  1. Separation anxiety or separation distress

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety simply cannot cope when they are left alone at home, and chew or howl in order to make themselves feel better .A little like people who bite their fingernails when under stress. Such dogs are nearly always overattached to their owners when they are at home following them from room to room like shadows, and this is the basis of the problem. Such overattachment can be regarded as an addiction the dog is constantly getting a “fix” through contact with its owner, and goes into “withdrawal” and true distress when it cannot reach them.

Over time, the dog with separation anxiety needs to learn that there are times when it cannot have contact with the owner, even when they are in the house together. Clear signals of reward (you may have contact) and non-reward (no contact allowed for a short period) need to be instigated, and the period of time that the dog is without the owner gradually extended from only a few seconds, to minutes, then an hour.The solution to separation anxiety in dogs always needs to be gradual and carefully structured, preferably with the help of a behavior specialist.

  1. Separation frustration

    dog separtation frustration

Some dogs do not believe their owners have the right to go out and leave them! These dogs then become frustrated, and relieve this frustration through becoming destructive, noisy, or messing in the house.

They tend to be demanding in other ways too often taking control of time, attention, or resources when the owner is home. Reestablishing the rules and boundaries of the relationship can help greatly, but this is best done with the advice of a behavior counselor.

        3 Boredom and lack of Stimulation

In the wild, dogs would be required to solve problems all day long. Finding and hunting for food, maintaining social interactions, ru nning and walking great distances, keeping territory safe, finding places to rest, and watching out for predators or intruders would all be part of an average day’s work.

In a domestic situation, the dog’s food is provided and placed in a dish for him to eat. Its exercise and play times are limited by the owner, who decides the length of time and type of interaction, and few intruders are anticipated. It’s little wonder that so many dogs show signs of boredom, particularly when left alone at home. Given sufficient time and opportunity, bored dogs problem-solve to their heart’s content but usually to the consternation of their owners on return. Many dogs learn how to open doors, turn knobs, open the fridge door to raid the contents, find forbidden items to chew or eat, and generally use the house as an amusement arcade!

If you suspect that your dog is bored when left alone, you need to provide more stimulation for it both when you are at home and for when you go out. Increased exercise is usually recommended, as a tired dog is less likely to get into trouble. However, leaving your dog with some exciting toys to play with and some novelty items to explore may also help. “Interactive” toys, which dispense food while the dog is playing with them, are ideal, as are chews. Even a large cardboard box can be a fun object to play with especially since it won’t matter if your dog destroys it. It just leaves a real mess when you get home to clear up.



How to Choose a Brood Bitch

How to Choose a Brood Bitch

The success of every dog-breeding project centres primarily around the brood bitch. It is desirable to breed strong healthy puppies but it is also necessary for those destined for exhibition to grow into sound animals and to conform with the requirements of an approved standard. Which would be strongly represented in the brood bitch.

It might be imagined by those who have little experience in dog breeding that all that would be necessary would be to mate a champion brood bitch with a champion dog of the same species in order to produce a champion litter.

brood bitch dog breeding

Such is far from being the case, except by a lucky chance, since to produce puppies very like themselves the blood lines of sire and brood bitch have, as breeders say, to ‘nick’, which in other words means that each carries genes complementary to the other, a not very common occurrence.

It is true that some kennels contrive to turn out a champion each year, but they are usually those that contain a number of brood bitches often similarly bred, and their owners have been fortunate enough to discover a sire that ‘nicks’, and they are sensible enough to continue for so long as may appear advisable to use the same blood lines. Even then the proportion of puppies that grow into dogs and bitches capable of holding their own in championship shows is not very high and one might well need to produce a considerable number of litters each year to enjoy any prospect of breeding one specimen capable of winning challenge certificates.

Choosing your Brood Bitch

Regarding breeding, as it is carried out on general lines rather than by established breeders, brood bitches capable of producing puppies that grow well and conform with the standard are by no means always those that have been most successful in the ring, but they are

  • Sound, Healthy, Happy
  • Active, good muscle mass and smooth joints
  • Intelligent, sharp and good temperament

A good brood bitch usually has good pedigrees behind her.

Many of those brood bitches possess some minor fault or faults, a small percentage of which will be passed on to their puppies, but certain good features, such as excellent necks and shoulders, good ribs and the right type of bone, are likely to be passed on also. They should be easy whelpers, good mothers, and possess excellent temperaments. It is true, of course, that the tendency today, now that shows are so plentiful, is to make greater use of winning dams, but in days gone by less attention was paid to the female side and far more to the sire. A winning sire, and particularly one with the requisite number of challenge certificates, will be unlikely to possess many undesirable features in conformation, but his intelligence may or may not be up to standard.

The urgent need to introduce or preserve show points may induce the breeder to overlook temperament and intelligence in the brood bitch and the sire and to produce certain litters that grow up with good conformation but possess a very low intelligence quotient, or nervous or untrustworthy dispositions. It is wise never to use such dogs as sires, and it is possible, when line breeding is aimed at, that they may have near relations not quite so close to the standard as regards conformation but with better temperaments and greater intelligence. One often produces better puppies from a near relative of the champion than from the champion himself.

Years ago it was regarded as essential to look for quality in the sire, for strength and soundness in the brood bitch, and for correct temperament in both. Today most breeders realise that these qualities should exist in both sexes, but many are apt to pay too little regard to temperament. One has always to bear in mind that one is not trying to produce a normal representative of a particular species when breeding dogs.

Brood bitch dog breeding

In no species throughout the animal kingdom are there several hundred breeds or varieties unrecognisable from their original ancestors, as there are in the dog family. Each separate breed of dog is different from all the others in a variety of characteristics, and each breed is an artificial, man-made and man-devised product that has to conform to an intricate standard entirely its own. The Chihuahua, the Great Dane, and the Alsatian have few features in common, and yet it is necessary for the breeder to retain a number of special characteristics peculiar to his own chosen breed; and when he has done this and produced a specimen typical of this created breed it is essential, if it is to win prizes, that certain combinations of artificial features shall be present in the same individual not such an easy.matter as one might imagine, but it constitutes a problem that intrigues the dedicated breeder and creates the Fancy as well as the fancier.

And where does the brood bitch come in? She contributes a half of the inheritance and, in addition, she comes in as the reservoir of all the breed features and as the factory and the milk-bar that can turn out and deliver the goods. The sire is of great importance, too, as the force that can put the operation of breeding into motion and supply an equal share of the genes that will modify the development of fractions of each member of the litter, with a hope that the combinations and permutations of genes presented by the two parents may produce a perfect specimen of the breed.

Breeding is always something of a gamble. The odds against the breeder may be reduced by a knowledge of form, the quality of the brood bitch, but there is no royal road to success. If there were, it would be the end of dog breeding.


Be Prepared For Dog Breeding

Be Prepared For Dog Breeding

The Number one Golden Rule.

No bitch should be bred from before she has finished growing, never before her second heat, and better at her third. Very few breeders will agree with the last statement, mainly because it does not fit in with the general economics of kennel management.

A good many bitches are kept intact until after this age so that they may be shown, and they are often bred from quite successfully, later even than the third season.

Prior to the time when she is expected to come into season the bitch needs regular exercise and suitable nourishment. She should remain lean and active rather than become fat and lethargic.

A bitch should be wormed a few weeks before she is due in season, and following this she should be isolated as far as possible to avoid reinfestation from worm eggs passed out in the droppings of other dogs or puppies. The dosing should be repeated between the 5th and 6th weeks following the mating. The choice of the worming product (anthelmintic) is important. Any veterinary surgeon will supply a safe and effective worming product that will not cause vomiting or bowel irritation. A few of the vermifuge medicines(worming products) in common use may be too drastic for use during pregnancy. In form your vet you are planning on breeding when buying the worming product.

Vaccination is very important in your breeding bitch with whom it is intended to breed. Annual vaccination is cructial and specially in breeding bitches because a bitch that has been immunised as a puppy will, in two or three years, have lost her immunity unless she has been vaccinated or exposed to all viral components in the annual vaccine in the round of shows or mixed freely with other dogs outside the kennels.

This applies principally to those bitches that have received no booster injections since their original vaccination. In such, the re-vaccination or (at the least) a booster dose should be given at least a month before the expected time of mating.

Vaccination should not be carried out after mating, or certainly not before the 4oth day of pregnancy. If for any reason it becomes absolutely necessary to vaccinate the bitch after the 4oth day or at any time after this, and before the birth of her puppies, it is essential the puppies should be vaccinated with a modified live virus at the 9th week, and again at their 15th week, with a booster at six months. The reason is that when the bitch is vaccinated during pregnancy her milk will contain antibodies that may nullify any living vaccine that can safely be injected into the puppies. The result may then well be that the puppies will be entirely dependent upon the original antibodies in the milk, and when these diminish and disappear from the puppies’ systems they will be wide open to infection. This is why the second injection at fifteen weeks and the booster at six months become so imperative.

If leptospiral or virus hepatitis should appear in the kennel during the period of pregnancy, the bitch should be injected against these two diseases with a killed vaccine, not with a living one. The veterinary surgeon will, of course, be quite aware of this.

Radiography( Xray), in an attempt to determine the existence or otherwise of pregnancy, will give you peace of mind on if your bitch is pregnant and how many puppies to expect. This usually gets done in the last week of pregnancy when the little skeletons of the puppies are completly formed and visual.

For earlier detection you should go and see a vet with skilled fingers to diagnose pregnancy between the 22nd and 29th days. About the 22nd day in the smaller breeds, and the 24th day in the larger, the miniature embryos can be felt at the pelvic brim and further forward, below the backbone, as a ‘string of beads’. A few days later, fluid will have formed around them, contained within the membranous sacs (allantois and amnion), and the beads will not be so easily felt.

If you are going for an elective Cesearian then toward the last few days of pregnancy you can have ‘progs test’ done at your vets to see if the puppies are ready. When they are they will send a hormonal signal to the bitches body to drop the progesterone level dramatically. That is the sign to organise a cesearian with your vet so you will not have to rush to the emergency vet at 4 am.


Let’s Talk Dog Food

Let’s Talk Dog Food

dog Food vegetables or meatNormally the problem of dog feeding is conditioned by the number of dogs  one keeps; a pack of hounds must be fed with greater regard to economy than a single pet. A small chihuahua will not be as costly as a great dane as far as quantity is concerned.

The basic requirements of all individuals are similar, whatever their station in life. The main difference lies in the amount of energy the dog is required to expend and, somewhat ironically, it is usually the idle lapdog that fares better than the industrious hound.

The fact remains, however, that in the majority of instances, neither is being fed to the best advantage.

One of the common errors associated with nutrition lies in widely-accepted belief that the so-called carnivorous animals, including the dog family, as well as all animals that kill and cat each other, are essentially meat eaters and should be restricted to a diet of meat whenever circumstances and economical circumstances permit.

The truth is that very few animals can, or ever attempt to, live on meat alone. All of them require a proportion of their diet to be vegetable material if they are to maintain condition and remain fit and reasonably healthy. Although nobody would suggest depriving dogs of meat, it is a common mistaken belief among dog breeders that dogs cannot live without a high proportion of animal protein in their diet. This belief has no scientific foundation.

Dr. Walter Schwick, in his well-known book on dog nutrition, quotes Koehn, who composed an all-vegetable ration containing yellow maize meal, wheat shoots and peanut meal as the chief sources of protein, and found that dogs fed on it retained their fitness and health, with a good rate of growth.

Foxes raised on a fur farm where no meat was fed grew as well as those receiving meat and produced furs of equal quality to those from meat-fed foxes.

Research conducted at Wisconsin University several years ago proved that a diet of ground yellow corn, soya bean oil meal, alfalfa meal, cottonseed oil, mineral supplement, niacin and irradiated yeast, was adequate for the growth and maintenance of dogs, although successful reproduction and lactation were achieved only when liver, fish, and certain vitamins of the B group were added as a supplement.

All mammals require:

proteins for body building:

carbohydrates for energy,

fat for warmth.

It is probable that ill-health, unthriftiness, thinness or over-fatness, are due in dogs not so much to the quantity of food supplies, as to its quality and, particularly, to the relative proportion of its essential ingredients. A great deal of money can be wasted on foods in which the various nutritive elements required by the body arc improperly balanced.wolves eating dog food

The vegetable material consumed by the wild carnivores is seldom gathered first hand from the land, although in their natural native environment Basenjis eat a certain amount of fresh green material, while the Mexican Hairless Dogs actually graze after the manner of goats, and seldom eat meat in their native habitat.

The regular source of the vegetable material consumed in quantity by all the wild carnivora is that contained in the stomach and digestive organs of the animals they kill. This has been partially digested by fermentation set up in the warm interior of the animal by the action of yeasts, bacteria, and natural enzymes. The rumen of a bullock, or a buffalo, is capable of holding up to half a hundredweight or more of this partly digested vegetable food material. Fermented vegetable material obtained from this source is more valuable to the dog than actual flesh, since it contains the essential vitamins and a variety of other food materials unobtainable by the dog from elsewhere.

The dog, fox, or other carnivore, immediately after making its kill rips open the skin of the abdomen and at once devours as much as possible of the rumen contents of a deer or antelope, and in the same way eats the stomach contents of a rabbit, as well as its intestines.

The flesh may be left alone until the animal’s vegetarian requirements are satisfied, and it is not unusual for the flesh to remain untouched for several hours longer. It is in this way that carnivorous animals in the wild obtain the bulk of their vitamins, particularly those of the B-complex, together with a number of enzymes, and in all probability a selection of vitamins as yet unrecorded.

Later in the day, or even after a couple of clays if it has not been forestalled, the predator will return and eat part of the victim’s liver, melt, lungs or kidneys, all of which contain essential vitamins. Flesh is often left until it is partly decomposed, when it is likely to contain other substances useful to the dog.

A rather interesting story centres around the sheepdogs living on certain hill farms and used entirely for herding sheep on the higher ranges.

wild rabbits dog food

When myxomatosis first broke out and the rabbits temporarily disappeared, many of these dogs began to waste away, and many died. It was immediately presumed that the dogs were ill because they were deprived of rabbit flesh, as without this they were fed only ground barley, maize meal, and pig swill. The fact was, however, that few of these dogs ate the flesh of a single rabbit in a month, but they did consume the entrails of all of those that were systematically trapped or shot and gutted on the hills before being taken off the farm. These rabbit entrails had provided the greater part of the dogs’ vitamins.

On the lower pastures where the cows grazed, the cattle dogs remained fit and healthy although they had also lost their rabbits. The reason was that they had learned to eat dried cowdung, which also contained the same vitamins, and this supplied their requirements. On the higher ground, the sheep pellets were not eaten by the dogs.

Not so many years ago many dog breeders made a habit of visiting the local slaughterhouse or the knacker’s yard and bringing home rumen contents, uncleaned tripe, and melt. These were found to be a valuable pick-me-up for dogs that were not thriving or were out of coat, and were particularly useful in keeping showdogs in tip-top condition. Nowadays, slaughterhouse regulations make it difficult or impossible to obtain such material.

Dog Fits

Dog Fits

Fits in dogs

  • What is a fit?

Seizure dog/fitFits take a variety of forms in dogs, just as in other animals and people. The correct medial term is seizures. The general behaviour described as a fit involves salivation with chomping movements of the jaws, usually followed by the sudden onset of spasmodic muscular contractions involving the head and neck, limbs and, possibly, other parts of the body, accompanied in many instances by interference with consciousness, partial or complete.

  • Duration of a fit

The duration of the fit may be a matter of seconds or minutes only, or the attacks may be repeated at intervals. Sometimes the condition persists for hours or days without any marked periods of remission. The severity of such fits in dogs may be so marked that they continue even when the dog is under anaesthesia.

  • Recurrance

The attacks may disappear and never return or they may recur after long or short intervals during puppyhood, sometimes with occasional appearances throughout the animal’s life. Much depends upon whether the cause can be discovered and is capable of removal, or if it involves irreversible changes that have taken place in the brain.

Fits vary enormously in their pattern, but in individual cases accompanied by frequent repetition the pattern usually remains fairly constant so long as the cause is unchanged.

  • Breed predisposition

Although dogs of most or all breeds may develop fits, there arc in some strains or families hereditary tendencies that may increase susceptibility. The type of temperament inherited may confer greater nervous sensitivity and a diminished capability to compete with the strains and stresses associated with domestication. This may account for some of the fits seen in quite young puppies, and it may be that they are born with a brain defect.

On the other hand, a simpler explanation may be that certain strains may be abnormally sensitive to the migration of worm (ascaris) larvae throughout their bodies and nervous mechanism. The primary infection may come through the dam. This is very unlikely these days considering most breeders are very good with worming protocols. Making sure that the mother is up to date with worming so the puppies are not at risk.

  • The sience behind a fit in a dogsign seizure dog

The point of origin of a fit is situated actually within the brain or its coverings (meninges), or it may arise from increased pressure of fluid present in one of the normal brain cavities. When the brain itself remains normal the fit is produced by abnormal outgoing impulses from the brain being transmitted to the muscles of the body under the influence of ingoing messages transmitted to the brain from some part of the body subjected to abnormal irritation. The local irritation responsible for such messages to the brain may be situated in the ears, in some portion of the alimentary tract, from the skin or the eyes, or in fact, from any part of the body.

  • Chemicals or hormone inbalance

Other causes of brain irritation include the presence of chemical substances within the blood. These may come from poison taken in through the mouth or injected into the animal, or may be associated with the presence of a toxin, or to excess or deficiency of some necessary hormone. Not uncommonly, a hormone imbalance gives rise to a corresponding mineral imbalance with alteration in the blood content of calcium, magnesium or phosphorus, or all three. Sometimes in diabetic subjects the fits may arise from imbalance between blood sugar and insulin.

  • Viral infection

In dogs of any age, but more usually in young dogs, especially those that have not been vaccinated against distemper, virus hepatitis and leptospiral jaundice, fits may be the first manifestation of an attack of one of these diseases already involving the brain cells. Conversely, the brain symptoms may never make their appearance or they may crop up weeks after apparent recovery from the primary infection.

Fits may occur during the course of kidney infections owing to accumulation of toxic products in the blood. In heart conditions, particularly in older dogs, fainting attacks are sometimes accompanied by struggling, recurring at frequent intervals.

  • Pregnant bitches and lactating bitches

Lactation in bitches, resulting in a lowering of the calcium content of the blood may produce hypocalcaemic symptoms (milk fever), frequently including tetany (muscle stiffness) and convulsions.

  • Accidents

Accidental injury to the brain during puppyhood, as from a fall on the head, may cause fits immediately or at a later date, and in some instances these fits may occur at intervals throughout the animal’s lifetime.

  • Teething ( very rare)

Teething, especially when changing the canine teeth, will sometimes produce fits in susceptible puppies. These usually disappear when the second teeth come down. Such fits may be confused with those produced by round worms, which frequently cause trouble at about this age. At teething time the administration of tablets containing calcium gluconate and vitamin D may be helpful.

In a survey, Dr. Phyllis G. Croft discussed 26o cases of fits in dogs, and recorded electroencephalograms from each. From the results it was assumed that 167 of the 260 affected dogs examined were effected with epilepsy. The ages ranged from one to ten years, more often between one and three years. The incidence diminished from the fourth to the ninth years with a slight rise again atten years. All the common breeds appear to have been represented. Dr Croft did great work on this subject and has always supported a UK based charity for epileptic dogs

  • Fits Associated with the Ears

The more characteristic symptom is the position of the head, drawn usually down on one side or lifted upwards and backwards. Apart from infection conveyed by ear mites, the possible presence of one or more rapidly burrowing barley grass awns ( more commonly referred to as grassseeds) must always be borne in mind.

Fits due to ear mites may be seen occasionally in puppies, only a few months old, that have obtained them from the ears of the mother.

  • Fits Associated with the digestive tract

Overeating, especially at weaning age, may give rise to a fit or fits, usually of short duration, if the puppy is fasted for some hours.

The need to worm puppies is always apparent but great care must be taken in the choice of  wormer (vermicide). Veterinary surgeons nowadays stock efficient remedies that produce no side-effects.

  • Fits Associated with the Skin

Heavy infestation with lice or fleas, and certain allergic skin irritations, have been suspected as being the cause of fits. It is probable that such symptoms arise only when there is an inborn predisposition to epilepsy.

  • Eyes and Fits

It has been recorded that some strains of puppies showing a tendency to fits are less susceptible if kept in the dark, possibly because they see less that is likely to disturb them.

Certain strains of puppies will develop fits if exposed to strong sunlight or when electric lights are turned on after dark. The probability is that these strains have an epileptic background. Like some people.

  • Fits Caused by Chemicals

Chemical substances capable of producing fits or convulsive symptoms resembling them,

lead, derived from drinking water and bad plumbing;

Agene, formerly used in bleaching flour. a very serious cause of so-called ‘hysteria’ in dogs during and before the war

Strychnine, which produces muscular contractions, followed by death.

Slug bait in the form of methaldehyde is commonly laid in gardens and is readily eaten by dogs and cats. In small doses it causes intoxication. Larger doses produce incoordination of limb movements, rapid breathing, muscular twitching, rapid movements of the eyeballs (nystagmus),followed by unconsciousness and heart failure.

Treatment is The hypodermic injection of apomorphine, followed by atropine, usually succeeds if the dose is not too large and the interval between ingestion and injection not too long. This is an emergency were quick response if critical.

seizure response dogI think this goes hand in paw with dogs that help people with epilepsy. Dog can detect the onset of an epileptic fit long before people can. With this dogs can warn people that a fit is coming and make sure people have time to get themselves into a safe situation.

Dogs Chasing Cats, Birds and Children

Dogs Chasing Cats, Birds and Children


I get asked a lot: How do I stop my dog from chasing my cat or birds .

chasing dog border collieChasing is a basic part of most dogs’ normal behavior. Without being ready and able to chase, a dog in the wild would starve to death, because although dogs can eat berries and vegetation, the main bulk of their protein is gained from the meat of animals they hunt and kill. While most domestic dogs have been bred not to try to kill their “prey,” many still retain a high “prey drive” and cannot resist chasing things even if these are not other animals but joggers, cyclists, or cars.

The main culprits for chasing problems usually come from the herding group and the sighthounds. Collies and Shepherds are the most likely to chase, simply because they have been bred for many centuries for their ability to follow a very specialized sequence of behavior: “cycle, stalk, and chase.” This means that the dog “locks on” to an object or animal, stalks it with body low to the ground to avoid being seen, then rushes at the “prey” in an attempt to catch it. Collies, in particular, tend to want to chase people then do one of two things if they manage to catch them: either circle them to keep them still, or keep worrying” them to move them on.

chasing GreyhoundSighthounds, such as Greyhounds and Afghan Hounds, are nearly always aroused by the sight of a fast-moving animal or person, and can be persistent cat and squirrel chasers. Terriers are also prone to chasing. As vermin hunters their drive to chase after and catch small prey is strong and ankles or children are sometimes chased as a substitute.

Chasing is such a basic, instinctive behavior that it is usually impossible to cure the dog of the habit. Management of the problem is nearly always centred around redirection of the behavior to a more acceptable outlet. For those who don’t have a flock of sheep at their disposal to give the dog a natural outlet, teaching the dog to chase toys and increasing training for control can be effective.


This needs to be done in a very structured way. The dog needs to learn that it can chase toys when you allow it, but must also stop chasing on command. An instant “down,” and a reliable recall are also vital. These exercises are best practiced with an experienced and accredited dog trainer, who will be able to structure a training program for you.

Dogs that attempt to round up people, children, or other animals in the house can also be taught to “herd” in a more appropriate way and often require more mental stimulation generally. Many active, working dogs become “self-employed” if they are not given enough to do!

For some dogs, such as ex-racing Greyhounds and some herding dogs, the temptation to chase livestock, other dogs, small animals, or people is just too great to modify. In these instances, it is sensible to maintain control of the dog, by keeping it on the leash. Although this may seem frustrating, many dogs can lead perfectly happy and contented lives on-leash, if a little thought and imagination goes into their daily outings. Walking is as much about mental stimulation as it is physical exercise. Tracking, finding “lost” articles, and retrieving games can all be played on the leash, as can playing with toys and basic “agility” jumping over and walking along natural obstacles.

If your dog cannot be let off the leash for whatever reason, you need to put extra effort into your relationship with your dog and provide extra interaction when you are out for walks. You will both reap the benefits.

Basic Dog Training

Basic Dog Training

Thankfully, dog training has come a long way in the last ten years or so. The days of”I say, you do” are gone, now that most people understand the way that dogs learn.

Puppy Training Basic

The first few weeks of your puppy’s life in his new home are extremely formative in terms of training. Sitting, lying down, coming when called, and even much more complicated exercises, such as retrieving and doing tricks, can be easily taught between 8 to 16 weeks of age, as long as the dog’s motivation is sufficient. This is the fase in a puppies life that they will learn the most. Every experience they have over that time will set them up for life

Training a dog to do what we want, when we want it to, is really about teaching a foreign language. Dogs already know how to sit, lie down, and run around. All we are doing is teaching them that our words for such things can prompt these actions and that rewards will follow.

Just as most humans need the motivation of a salary to go to work every day, so dogs need some kind of reward for learning new behavior. Not many people would work for a pat on the head from the boss and few dogs work for praise alone, particularly in the early stages of training. For many dogs, particularly puppies, food is the equivalent of a month’s salaryit can act as the ultimate reward, and is also useful as a lure in the initial stages of training, too.

However, you don’t want to rely on food forever, so the use of a “conditioned reinforcer” is essential. This means that you give the dog a signal that it has done the right thing and that a reward is coming. To build this signal you can use a small tool called a clicker, or a single sound, such as “Yes” that you pair with a food reward.

Make the sound, then give the pup a food treat. Repeat this several times until the sound makes your pup look around instantly for its reward. You are now ready to begin training.

this signal you can use a small tool called a clicker, or a single sound, such as “Yes” that you pair with a food reward. Make the sound, then give the pup a food treat. Repeat this several times until the sound makes your pup look around instantly for its reward. You are now ready to begin training.

Coming When Called


  • Stand in front of your dog and call in a friendly voice. “Sam, come!”
  • Wiggle a piece of food in your outstretched hand. Start moving backward. Clap your hands or make a noise if your dog ignores you.
  • If the dog moves just one step toward you, make the sound that tells the dog it is right: “Yes,” or click, then give the food.

left: The smaller and tastier the food treat used in training, the better.

Coming When Called

  • Stand in front of your dog and call in a friendly voice. “Sam, come!”
  • Wiggle a piece of food in your outstretched hand. Start moving backward. Clap your hands or make a noise if your dog ignores you.
  •  If the dog moves just one step toward you, make the sound that tells the dog it is right: “Yes,” or click, then give the food.
  • Gradually increase the distance it has to come to get the food. Practice by calling your dog to you at unusual moments in and around the house.


  • Hold a food treat close to your dog’s nose. Now lift your hand up and back, so the dog has to look straight up. The movement of looking upward means its rump has to go down.
  •  As soon as your dog’s rear hits the ground, give the signal and then the treat.
  •  Add the word “Sit” just before the dog’s bottom hits the floor. Ask your dog to sit before it gets anything in life it likesgoing out for a walk, being petted, or groomed, or having dinnerit’s the dog’s way of saying “please” and “thank you.”


• Place the food lure on your dog’s nose. Lower your hand straight down to the floor, directly between the dog’s front paws. Hang on to the treat by turning your palm down, with the food hidden inside your hand.

  •  Be patient! As your dog tries to get the food, its head and body must lower to the floor. As soon as it flops down, give the signal that it has done the right thing, then treat. For dogs that don’t catch on too quickly, pass the food or toy under a low-level chair or table, so the dog has to follow the lure underneath it by dropping down.
  • Add your word command when the dog is lying down reliably for the food.

Gradually ask your pup to do more for each signal of reward and treat. This means extending how long it will sit or lie down when you ask, how far and how quickly it will run when called, and working among distractions. When all these exercises are reliable, reward the dog only for fastest responses, sometimes with food, and sometimes with praise or a toy. Keep the dog guessing about what reward will follow and it will try even harder.