Tony Buckwell

Tony Buckwell

Your gundog’s health is a primary concern. Our resident expert, Tony Buckwell, is a retired veterinary surgeon who now acts as an advisor on animal welfare, breeding and husbandry.

If you are concerned about your dog’s health, always seek veterinary advice.

old black labrador

New injection for arthritic dogs: could it help?

Q:  I have heard that there is a new injection for arthritic dogs available. Is this very different from other treatments and how effective is it? A: Arthritis is a condition that leads to pain and progressive degeneration of the joints. It affects many aspects of a dog’s outlook, causing…

springer spaniel

Just how serious a threat is lungworm to dogs?

In April and May, with the weather becoming warmer, slugs and snails become much more active which increases the risk of lungworm in dogs. Dogs that eat slugs, snails or frogs, even tiny ones eaten by accident, can catch lungworm from them. Your vet should be able to advise you…

Cocker Spaniel

Removing anal glands from a dog: is it recommended?

Q: I am having to take my dog to the vet quite often to have his anal glands emptied. I have heard removing anal glands is possible in a dog. Is this something you would recommend? A: Each time a dog passes a firm stool, it voids an amount of…

Black Labrador

Dealing with tapeworms in working dogs

Q:  What’s the best of dealing with tapeworms in working dogs? I have recently had to treat my dog for tapeworms. How do dogs get tapeworms and how can I prevent them in future? A: Tapeworms are flat, segmented intestinal parasites. There are several types of tapeworms, but the most…

gundog puppies

Socialising puppies – top tips from a vet

Q: I am a first time breeder and mindful of all the negative comments about the temperament of ‘Covid puppies’. How can I ensure my kennelled bitch will produce well socialised offspring? What can you advise me about socialising puppies? (Read how to use a slip lead correctly.)  Socialising puppies…

gundog on slip lead

Urinary incontinence in dogs: which breeds suffer most?

Q: Regrettably, my dear old matriarch labrador bitch is leaving a wee damp patch on her bed from time to time. I have heard that urinary incontinence in dogs is common in the breed. Is this true?” (Read our guide to the best dog beds.) Urinary incontinence in dogs –…

bleeding dog paw

How to bathe a dog’s wound

A reader recently asked me: “Should I bathe a dog’s wound myself? If so, what should I use? (If your dog has swallowed something harmful, here’s how to make a dog vomit.) Bathe a dog’s wound The purpose of bathing a wound is to clean the surrounding skin and hair,…

Dogs on shoot day

What should I feed my gundog on a shoot day?

On a shoot day you obviously want your gundog to perform at his best and remain fit and healthy. So what should your feeding programme for the day be? What’s the best time to feed before energetic exercise and how much? And what happens after the shoot day is wrapped…

itchy labrador

How do you treat an itchy labrador?

Let’s take a look at itchy dogs in general, which of course include an itchy labrador. It must be said that itching, or pruritus, is simply a clinical sign that something is not right. Setting aside those few dogs that scratch due to boredom or anxiety, there are three main…

working dog diet

Feeding dogs: before or after exercise?

Feeding dogs – before or after exercise? So should you feed your dog before or after a walk? There is no scientifically established “safe” time for feeding dogs, but in general I tend to advise the longer before exercise the better. I would suggest allowing at least one and a…

black Labrador puppy

Worming working dogs – here’s what you need to know

Responsible gundog owners know that worming working dogs regularly is part of the routine. But what about puppies? I recently received this query from a gundog puppy owner. (Read our tips here on choosing a gundog puppy from a litter.) Q: I have heard of young puppies dying after they…

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…