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.

old Labrador

Spaying an older dog. Should you?

Q: What is your advice on spaying an older dog? I am unsure of what to do. I have an eight-year-old bitch I was a bit concerned about because she started being a bit slow with her food. This was unlike her so I took her to the vet, who…

diet for working dogs

What’s the healthiest diet for working dogs?

I’m often asked by owners of gundog breeds what they should be feeding their dogs. They want to know all about the healthiest diet for working dogs. Here are some of the questions I’m asked and here’s what I say. Are all brown kibble diets bad? You simply cannot lump…

cocker spaniel

Spaniel ears – what a new owner needs to know

Q: I’ve acquired a spaniel, a breed I believe that is prone to ear infection. Should I clean his ears regularly or how else can I best prevent problems with his ears? A: The opening to a dog’s ear is unlike ours and the anatomy of the ear canal tends…

Blue Merle Border Collie

Are blue merle dogs prone to health problems?

Q: Is it true that blue merle dogs have health problems? I was told this after acquiring a blue merle collie from a dog rescue centre but as far as I can tell, so far, he seems to be perfectly sound and healthy. A: A blue merle is a black…

spaniel spaniel in cover

What can I do about the scratches on my spaniel’s face?

Q: One of my spaniels has so many cuts around her eyes and over her muzzle from having to retrieve birds from deep cover that it doesn’t take much to make them start bleeding again. Is there anything I can use to prevent spaniel scratches and stop them reopening? Treating…

black Labrador

What you need to know about hip dysplasia and gundogs

A good question and well done for admitting that you don’t know about it or understand what hip dysplasia in dogs is. Explaining hip dysplasia in dogs The hip joints are at the top of the hind leg in dogs and are ‘ball and socket’ joints, so that flexion (lifting…

Slug pellets

How to protect dogs from poisonous slug pellets

Dogs and slug pellets don’t mix and are in fact a lethal combination. Losing a fit and healthy dog through poisoning is dreadful, as illustrated by this story I heard. Watch out on walks During a walk on farmland in Kent a lagotto Romagnolo bitch discovered a small pile of…

Dog eating grass

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…

food allergies in gundogs

Dealing with food allergies in gundogs

Q: My three-year-old red Labrador bitch is pretty much itchy all the time. I am considering trying a low allergy diet. Is this worthwhile? How can you deal with food allergies in gundogs? A:If your Labrador is permanently itchy (as opposed to the sort of seasonal itch that you might…

dog raw bones

Is it safe to give your dog raw bones to chew?

Is it safe to give my dog raw bones to chew? This is one of those subjects where opinions differ. Some dogs will chew bones their whole lives and never experience a problem. Others will require emergency surgery after being given only one bone. The complications of giving a dog…

Lame dog

What should you do about lameness in a dog and what causes it?

Lame dog Q: My working lurcher is on/off lame on her right foreleg and there appears to be swelling around the wrist. Any suggestions? A: Lots. Most importantly, I would immediately confine her to barracks until the problem has been diagnosed. Continuing to exercise your lame dog now may jeopardise…

gundog puppies and COVID-19

Puppies and umbelical hernias – what you need to know

Umbilical hernia on puppy Q: My puppy bitch has an umbilical hernia that the vet intended to repair when she was spayed after her first season. However, we are having second thoughts about neutering her and wanted to know if this means she still needs an operation to repair her…

Dewclaws

What should I do about my dog’s dewclaws?

Dogs and dewclaws Q: My dog still has his dewclaws, but I’ve been told that these are usually removed soon after birth. Is it too late to have them removed now? What would you advise? A: It is legal to remove dewclaws from puppies whose eyes have not yet opened.…