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.

hearing loss in older dogs

How to help an older dog suffering from deafness

Q: Our old gundog is starting to become deaf, probably due to his age. Is there anything to help hearing loss in older dogs? A: Certainly the most common 
form of deafness in dogs is age-related hearing loss (ARHL). Most dogs experience some degree of ARHL as they get older. Unfortunately,…

pork pie

Why gundogs shouldn’t eat pork pies

Pancreatitis in dogs can be serious. I received a salutary tale from 
reader and regular correspondent Arthur Moore, who had just returned from walking Hadrian’s Wall with his 
wife Ann and daughter Jocasta, plus 
two English springers, Ella, aged 10, 
and Nina, aged two. “We walked the wall, day on…

Labrador gundog

How to help a dog with arthritis

“My eight year old Labrador is a bit slow to get going now and is usually lame by lunchtime, when I rug her up and put her in the vehicle. She seems a bit young to call it a day. How can you help a dog with arthritis?” Many working…

black Labrador puppy

Health checks you must carry out before breeding Labradors

Q: “I am considering breeding from my 
young Labrador bitch but have to confess 
to being overwhelmed by all the advice 
I am getting. Any thoughts?” Thoughts on breeding Labradors A: First I would say that breeding from your only dog can be fraught and is not entirely without risk.…

springer spaniel puppy

My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. What can I do about it?

Q: My spaniel has horrible waxy ears. No amount of cleaning seems to make a difference. Any suggestions? I’m worried they may lead to more spaniel ear problems. A: Neil says: Yes, stop what you are doing. You are probably making the situation worse. We need to go back to…

dog in sun

How to keep gundogs cool in hot weather

Q: With a young dog in training this summer, have you some advice on the best ways to keep dogs cool in hot weather? A: The advice on how to keep dogs cool in hot weather is 
so important. Here’s what to do. Keep dogs cool by providing a cool…

protecting your dog's ears from grass seeds

How can I protect my dog’s ears from grass seeds?

Grass seeds can easily become lodged in a dog’s ears or paws. Grass seeds are a particular problem for spaniels As the hay fever season fades away, 
so the grass-seed season takes over. The first affects me (though not as much as it used to), while the second is a…

beware over-exercising a puppy

The risks of over-exercising a puppy

Q: We have recently acquired a new puppy. Both parents were hip and elbow tested and found to be clear and I’ve been told by the breeder to be careful about over-exercising a puppy while he is young because it could damage his joints. 
I want to start training this…

spaniel in long grass

How to get ticks off your dog and keep them off

A welcome consequence of the recent drought has been an absence of ticks. I have yet to find any ticks on dogs of mine this year. Ticks like nothing better than to lurk in wet, rank grass and they avoid dry areas because of the risk of dehydration. So from…

dog scavenging

How can I treat my gundog’s diarrhoea? What causes it?

Q: “Can you explain to me why my gundog gets a stomach upset? What causes diarrhoea in dogs and how can I stop my gundog getting it? Diarrhoea in dogs – the symptoms and the causes Diarrhoea is defined as increased water content of faeces, leading to changes in frequency…

Pedigree dog health

Will my Labrador’s hips cause her problems in the field?

Labrador hips cause concern Q: I have a four-year-old Labrador bitch that I had intended breeding from, but her hip scores have turned out to be higher than we expected — not too bad but not good enough that we feel we should breed from her. However, I am now…

working dog

When it comes to the crunch

Working dog nutrition is a complex topic. There are many food varieties for a working dog diet out there and all sorts of choices an owner can make for their working dog. When you look into it in depth, even for those embedded in the gundog world, it really is…

disease from foxes

What diseases could my dog pick up from foxes?

Disease from foxes All dogs, including gundogs can get the following disease from foxes: Sarcoptic mange Lungworm Rabies Dogs and foxes do suffer from the same diseases, though, of which the most worrying is rabies. We have been rabies-free in Britain for 98 years — since quarantine for dogs was…

dog drinking water from bottle

Why you shouldn’t let your dog drink from puddles

Q: I have often found my dog drinking from puddles. Is this source of water for dogs safe? Are there any risks and should I prevent her from doing this? A: Rainwater itself is relatively clean, but when it forms puddles it can be contaminated by dirt, leaves, animal droppings,…