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,…

Raw chicken wings for dogs

Why raw chicken wings are perfect for dogs

Raw chicken wings for dogs are ideal It’s often claimed that chicken bones are brittle, liable to splinter and are thus dangerous for a dog to eat. That’s certainly true of cooked chicken bones, but raw chicken bones are rubbery and make ideal food for a dog whose digestive system…

dogs in snow

Hypothermia in dogs

I’m often asked whether dogs suffer hypothermia. The answer is yes and there are some particular signs that owners of working dogs – in fact owners of all dogs – need to look out for. In fact, under the right conditions any warm-blooded mammal, including dogs, can suffer hypothermia. Responsible…

Gundog anxiety

9 gundog health tips that vets wish their owners knew

Gundog health tips 1. Why you should never give your dog ibuprofen Canine under the weather? Never be tempted to give something from the family medicine cabinet. Here’s why and what you should do instead. 2. How to make a dog vomit Scrounging dogs (we’re particularly thinking of the ever-hungry…

Limber tail syndrome in dogs

What is this ‘limber tail’ my dog is suffering from?

Q: My 19-month-old undocked Hungarian vizsla developed limber tail after attending a working test. The condition came on very quickly and caused him considerable pain. We gave him Metacam and he recovered in about three days. Though he did swim in the working test, it was 
in relatively warm water.…

old black Labrador

Why you should never give dogs ibuprofen

Stiff legs in the morning Q: I notice that our Labrador, as he gets older, is starting to have difficulty getting up on his legs first thing in the morning. This was especially noticeable after he had been for a long walk the previous day and we are now limiting…

gundog puppies

How to give your gundog puppy the best start in life

Over the coming months, many gundog bitches will cast off the lissom figures they acquired during the shooting season. They will take on a more matronly demeanour of pregnancy as they are given the important job of producing a litter of spring or summer puppies. But how prepared are first-time…

Roan springer spaniel

Can you prevent arthritis in dogs?

Q: Is there anything that can be done to delay or prevent the onset of arthritis in older dogs? Controlling your dog’s weight 
by feeding a healthy diet and keeping your dog fit by providing regular exercise are probably the most significant things you can do to prevent or delay…