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.

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…

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…

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…