Everything you need to know about gundog health in one place, including advice from gundog experts about ailments and illnesses, teeth, nutrition, x-rays and much more, plus your questions answered by vets.

dog tail injury

Help! My cocker spaniel keeps injuring his tail …

Q: I have a four year old cocker spaniel with a partially docked tail. I have used him over the past two seasons and twice now he has damaged his tail, causing it to bleed but not enough to prevent him working. My vet has offered to dock him further…

Labrador gundog

How to stop Kennel Cough

How to stop Kennel Cough! How to prevent Kennel Cough - Kennel Cough is one of the most common diseases affecting gundogs, but is reasonably easy to treat. Read our Kennel Cough advice!

Why are Labradors greedy?

A rogue gene could explain your Labrador’s  insatiable appetite. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a genetic variation in Labradors that, they suspect, makes some obsessed with food. The research was led by Dr Eleanor Raffan, who said: “This is a common genetic variation in Labradors and it…

Labrador gundog

Should dew claws be removed?

Q: We are hoping to have a litter from our springer spaniel bitch and were wondering what the situation is regarding the removal of dew claws. Does this need to be done by a vet? A: No, not necessarily. While the mutilations clause of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 makes…

Pet Blood Bank

What if your gundog needed a blood transfusion one day?

“When my lovely cocker spaniel, Flick, was only five months old, she needed nine (yes nine!) blood transfusions. If it wasn’t for a charity called Pet Blood Bank UK, she would not be here just now. Can you spread the word?”  Steve Finney, North Yorkshire Blood transfusions vital It seems…

Clumber spaniel in sugar beet

How to protect dogs from poisonous slug pellets

I can’t think of 
a worse way to lose a fit and healthy dog than through poisoning, 
as I was reminded by Lyn Monk at the Game Fair last month. Slug pellets can be lethal for dogs Her lagotto Romagnolo bitch ate slug pellets during a walk on farmland in…

when to call the vet

When should you call the vet?

Q: Whenever my dog is unwell 
I take it to the vet, but the practice is usually very busy and 
I worry about bothering my vet unnecessarily (especially if it is out of hours). Can you advise of the situations when I really must contact the vet about my dog? Call…

Gundog anxiety

Dog first aid you need to know

Q:  Until recently I was fairly confident I knew the basics 
of dog first aid, but on hearing 
a friend’s story of how he had to deal with his dog when it got into difficulties recently, I realised 
I wouldn’t have a clue what to do should my dogs have…

dog at the vet

How to reduce stress for your dog at the vet

It is always amusing sitting in the waiting room of a veterinary surgery and seeing the various customers come in. Many gundogs, of course, are petrified of visiting the vet and are well aware of where they are as soon as the 
car arrives in the vet’s car park. These…

English spaniels

Is your gundog a fussy eater?

One of the remarkable things about dogs is that they will apparently happily eat the same thing every day, every week, throughout the year. A skinny spaniel stayed with us recently while its owners were away on holiday. The dog was delivered with its bed, food bowl and a big sack of so-called complete food. “She loves…

Working gundog

How Camrosa can treat spaniels with skin problems

FOLLOWING A RECENT column when I wrote about problems with working spaniels’ ears, I had a charming letter from Edwina Le May, founder and director of the company that markets Camrosa Ointment. It is aimed specifically at treating animals with skin problems, especially those caused by mites. Though I was aware of Camrosa, I’d never tried it, but when I mentioned…

English bulldogs are trendy dogs

Trendy dogs are not always the most healthy

I am a diligent reader of dog stories, 
but one I missed earlier this year 
was a regional map of dog-breed popularity, based on Kennel Club registrations in 2016. As with so many statistics, the results are fascinating but mustn’t be taken too seriously. I wouldn’t mind betting that cockerpoos…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are the perfect dog food

It is close to 15 years since I changed my dogs’ diet from feeding so-called complete foods out of a sack to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, as that is what it is. I’m convinced…

springer spaniel retrieving

Why you should beware of early neutering

David Tomlinson recently wrote about the physical downsides of early neutering for dogs of either gender, but the behavioural effects are less well known. Many people who experience problems with their dogs, especially male dogs, will be on the receiving end of assurances from all and sundry that any issues…

glaucoma in dogs

Why it’s crucial to spot signs of glaucoma in dogs

What is glaucoma? Glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside the eyeball becomes higher than normal, which can damage the eye’s internal structure. The retina and optic nerve are particularly sensitive. Vet Neil McIntosh of Abbey Veterinary Group advises: “Glaucoma is not a specific diagnosis but a general term for increased…

Gundogs

Should we neuter dogs?

Neutering of dogs is something that most of us take for granted. If you’ve got a bitch that you don’t want to breed from then it makes sense to spay her, while castration is also a cure for the randy or aggressive dog, isn’t it? Until recently I would have…

Black Labrador bitch

Elbow dysplasia in gundogs

Q: I have just retired my Labrador after he went lame with elbow dysplasia (ED). I want to get another dog and was planning on buying 
a puppy from a breeder who tests her dogs and only breeds from those clear of ED. However, I was told 
I could still…