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.

dogs good for your health

Just how serious a threat is lungworm to dogs?

Q: How serious is lungworm 
and should I be routinely treating my dogs? An emerging disease A: Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) infection is what we call an “emerging” disease. Initially found mainly in the south of the UK, it is gradually becoming more common. How is lungworm transmitted? Lungworm is not…

protect dogs from horsefly bites

How can I protect my dogs from horsefly bites?

Q: I usually take my two Labradors with me when I tend to my horses and have noticed that there seem to be a lot of horseflies around this year, which can give 
a nasty bite. I generally spray myself with insect repellent to keep them away from me, but…

English setter

Should dogs drink ice-cold water?

Q: I have heard that I should 
not allow my dog to drink 
iced water in hot weather because 
it causes bloat. Can you tell me 
if this is true? If not, can I safely give my dog iced water? A: As far as I am aware there is 
no real…

constipated dog

What treatment can I give my constipated dog?

Q: My Labrador seems to get constipated; she gets into position to relieve herself but 
with no success. What can be 
done to relieve constipation? A: Constipation is a relatively common digestive disorder 
and most dogs can suffer from a bout 
at some point during their lives. Feeding a diet…

heatstroke in dogs

How to treat heatstroke in dogs

Dogs do not sweat like humans; they don’t have sweat glands, except for a few on the foot pads and on their noses. When they become warm dogs pant, exhaling overheated air, breathing in fresh, cool air and lowering their core body temperature. When a dog is confined to a…

Jack Russell hop

Why does my Jack Russell hop, skip and jump?

There are two likely possibilities and I am afraid each might require a surgical intervention, which is not what you will want to hear. Luxating patella The patella, or kneecap, sits in the knuckle-like trochlear groove at the front of the thigh bone or femur. It has an important job.…

springer spaniel puppy

Should I have my springer spaniel puppy castrated?

Q: I have a nine-month-old male springer spaniel puppy that has recently started trying to mount bitches even though they are not in season. I have been 
told it might be best to have him castrated. What would you advise? A: Before deciding on puppy castration, it is important to…

Roan springer spaniel

Spaying an older dog. Should you?

Q: I took my eight-and-a-half-year-old bitch to the vet because she was being a bit slow with her food. It transpired that she was having a phantom pregnancy. The vet advised that 
I have her neutered, but I am wary of this because of her age. What do you think?…

cocker spaniel

Neutering young dogs can be damaging

Veterinary surgeons are not renowned for always agreeing with each other, so I was pleased to hear from gundog enthusiast and vet Roger Bannock in response to my recent article on neutering dogs. He wrote: “I agree with most of the points. Nowadays all graduates are brainwashed into thinking early…

Gundog puppies eating

Why raw chicken wings are possibly the perfect dog food

Fifteen years ago I changed my dogs’ diet to what is now generally termed a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. However, I prefer to call it 
a natural diet, because it is. I’m convinced it is the best way to feed a dog, although of course you have to bear…

spaniel puppies

Should you neuter your dog?

Neutering dogs 
has become such routine practice that I’m sure many people don’t give it a second thought. Bitches always seem to come into season at the most inappropriate time, such as the middle of the shooting season, so unless you want to breed from them there is a strong…

Border terrier

Gluten-free diets for dogs – when are they necessary?

Q: I am thinking about buying a border terrier puppy from a local gamekeeper. My friend tells me I will have to avoid feeding it gluten. But gluten-free diets for dogs are a load of old tosh, right?” A:  Your friend might be right. But he could be wrong. Border terriers…

Gundog breed Labrador

How to help a dog with arthritis

I agree, but many working dogs are affected by arthritis and it can be a very debilitating and frustrating condition. There are a number of steps you can take to help a dog with arthritis, improving quality of life. What is arthritis? Arthritis can be defined as inflammation of a…

BARF diet for dogs

BARF diet for dogs – the risks and benefits

Bones and raw food for dogs I’ve long been an advocate of feeding dogs as natural a diet as possible, which means raw food and vegetables. I was convinced by an interview 
I did 15 years ago with holistic vet Dr Nick Thompson. I feed a raw chicken wing for…