Category: dog

Syringohydromyelia in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS)

Syringohydromyelia is also known as 'Chiari-type malformation' (a reference to the human disease) and 'caudal occipital malformation syndrome'. Affected dogs develop a cyst-like lesion in their spine and this causes pain, and movement abnormalities. CKCS are genetically predisposed to develop this neurological abnormality but it can also be seen in other breeds. The diagnosis of syringohydromyelia... Read more »

BVA/KC/ISDS eye scheme

In the late 1960's the British Veterinary Association (BVA), in conjunction with the Kennel Club (KC), started a scheme to assist dog breeders in the eradication of the inherited eye disease, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Later the International Sheepdog Society (ISDS) also became involved because of their concerns about inherited eye diseases in Border collies.... Read more »

BVA/Kennel Club hip dysplasia scoring scheme

Hip dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club (KC) introduced the hip dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so that... Read more »

Separation anxiety

We ask a lot from our dogs when we expect them to fit into our hectic modern lives. Happily most dogs adapt to our lifestyle with seeming ease but there are a few dogs out there for whom the modern way of life can get a bit too stressful at times. Some of these dogs... Read more »

Noise phobias

If your dog is afraid of sudden noises then life can be miserable for both of you. Summer thunderstorms can become a major trauma and unless you live in a remote part of the country there is almost no way of avoiding the fireworks. These loud sounds can turn your pet into a nervous wreck. There... Read more »

Fear of fireworks

Firework fear is a common problem in dogs and although it appears to be rare in cats, it is thought that they can often be afraid of fireworks too. Fear behaviour in cats is often more subtle (eg retreating and hiding) and may go unnoticed. However, hiding is an adaptive response for cats and allowing them to... Read more »

Behavioural problems: destructiveness and chewing

Having a young puppy in the house brings much pleasure but puppies also bring with them many undesirable behaviours. Early training is important to ensure that your puppy grows up understanding the rules in your house and fits in with your lifestyle. All dogs chew at some point in their life and this is only recognised as problem behaviour... Read more »

Behavioural problems: boredom

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo. Why do dogs get bored? A lack of mental stimulation can result in boredom but it is often related to a sense of frustration. For example,... Read more »

Behavioural problems: barking

Dogs bark to communicate their emotions. Different barks can mean different things and variations in bark sounds are also caused by individual characteristics. A Great Dane's bark sounds somewhat different to that of a Chihuahua even when they mean the same thing. All dogs bark at sometime but if your dog is a persistent barker... Read more »

Training your dog

A dog owner is responsible for their pet in public places, so if your dog misbehaves you can be responsible for the consequences. A poorly trained dog can also be a danger to himself. Imagine the consequences if your dog ignores you and runs across a busy road. In order to have a safe and... Read more »

Samples – how they help your vet

Laboratory tests are used by vets to help them diagnose disease in animals that are ill. Increasingly, they are also used as part of a routine health check to detect hidden disease before the development of obvious symptoms. This allows your dog to be treated earlier and more effectively. A very important use is to... Read more »

Permanent identification of your dog

Stray dogs and cats are a big problem in many countries. In the UK alone it is estimated that more than £250 million a year is spent by local authorities, police forces and animal welfare charities rounding up and looking after stray cats and dogs. It is much harder to calculate the emotional cost to... Read more »

Neutering

It is a sad truth that the number of puppies born every year is far greater than the number of good homes that can be found for them. As a result, thousands of healthy animals are destroyed and many unwanted dogs are left to fend for themselves. Having your dog neutered will not only help to reduce... Read more »

House training your puppy

House training is the term we normally use for the process of training a puppy, to go outside to urinate or defaecate (toilet) rather than toileting in the home. Once puppies have been house trained they should remain clean in the house throughout their life. If your dog has been house trained and then starts... Read more »

Health insurance for your dog

In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of dogs that would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical treatments are often expensive so that a vet's bill for intricate surgery or a prolonged... Read more »

Giving your dog medicines

For most veterinary treatments it is important that medicines are given correctly. In the hospital, trained staff give medicines and it is important to ensure that you are able to continue to give the medicines once your dog has been sent home. If you have any doubts about how to give the medicine your pet has been... Read more »

Complementary therapies

Some forms of alternative or complementary medicine such as osteopathy and physiotherapy are widely used in veterinary medicine alongside conventional treatment. However, owners of dogs and cats as well as other smaller animals, are increasingly looking at other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy to help with a wide variety of common... Read more »

Caring for your pet before and after surgery

Most pets will have an operation at some stage in their life, eg for neutering (spaying or castration) or to treat a disease. Nowadays most operations in dogs and cats are fairly safe but the success of treatment and recovery depends to some extent on the quality of care that the owner gives before and after the operation. What do... Read more »

Caring for the older dog

A puppy is endearing to everyone but puppies grow up all too fast. By one to two years of age dogs of all breeds will be mature. Although individual dogs and some breeds age at different rates, most 10 year old dogs can be considered to be in old age, and many breeds show signs... Read more »

Basic training for dogs

A dog owner is responsible for their pet in public places, so if your dog misbehaves you can be responsible for the consequences. A poorly trained dog can also be a danger to himself. Imagine the consequences if your dog ignores you and runs across a busy road. In order to have a safe and well... Read more »

All about worms

It can be alarming to discover that your dog has worms but it should not come as a surprise. All pets are affected at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Except in rare cases, worms are unlikely to cause serious harm. Getting rid of... Read more »

Neuromuscular disorders

Neuromuscular disorders in pets can be very frightening for owners. Apparently healthy animals may collapse at exercise or become paralysed over a period of a few hours for no apparent reason. An accurate diagnosis is important as, with appropriate early treatment, many conditions can be managed such that the animal makes a full recovery over... Read more »

Myasthenia gravis

Myasthenia gravis (MG) literally means grave (gravis) muscle(my-) weakness (asthenia). It is an unusual cause of generalised weakness in dogs and occasionally cats. What is myasthenia gravis? Each muscle in the body is controlled by its own nerve, but this nerve does not connect directly to the muscle. At the junction between the nerve and the muscle (also known as... Read more »

Managing pain in pets

Long term (chronic) pain is as debilitating in animals as it is in people. Constant pain significantly reduces pleasure in life and can lead to sleeplessness and a poor appetite. Simple measures to control even mild pain can result in a happier healthier pet. What conditions are painful? Animals, like people, are prone to many different... Read more »

Lyme disease

Lyme disease is a condition that was first described in people in Lyme, Connecticut, USA in the 1970s and discovered in dogs in the 1980s. It is an example of a tick-borne disease (see below) and is one of many diseases that are passed between animals using intermediate hosts or vectors. How is the disease... Read more »

Joint problems in young dogs

Puppies continue to grow and develop for months or years after birth. Giant breeds may not reach full adult size for 18 months or 2 years. During this growth period they are at particular risk from bone and joint disorders. Some of these are inheritedsuch as hip and elbow dysplasia. Damage can also result from traumatic injury. What is... Read more »

Intervertebral disc herniation or “slipped disc”

A slipped disc (also known as intervertebral disc herniation) is the most common cause of paralysis in dogs. Cats are much less often affected. What is the intervertebral disc? The spine is the name given to the collection of bones (vertebrae) inside which the spinal cord is contained. The spinal cord is made of cables... Read more »

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. What is an inherited joint disease? Inherited diseases are genetic conditions passed from parents to their offspring. Sometimes the puppy inherits... Read more »

Cruciate ligament rupture (torn knee ligaments)

Cruciate ligament rupture is the famous knee injury of professional footballers. It is surprisingly common in dogs too. If the ligaments are damaged they need to be replaced during an operation on the knee. After the operation most dogs return to full athletic fitness. What are the cruciate ligaments? There are 2 cruciate ligaments in each knee... Read more »

Cauda equina diseases (back problems)

Back problems in dogs are not uncommon. Many breeds are affected by 'disk disease' but diseases of the spinal cord itself are also a problem. These diseases are painful and affect a dog's mobility. Medical management may help some dogs, but in severe cases surgery may be needed. What is the cauda equina? The cauda... Read more »

BVA/KC hip dysplasia scoring scheme

Hip dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club (KC) introduced the hip dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so that... Read more »

BVA/KC elbow dysplasia scoring scheme

Elbow dysplasia is a common and often debilitating joint disease affecting many larger breed (usually pedigree) dogs. Affected dogs have a genetic tendency to develop the disease but the severity of the disease can be influenced by other factors. The Kennel Club (KC) introduced the elbow dysplasia scoring scheme to identify affected dogs at an early stage so that they could... Read more »

Bone problems in young dogs

Puppies continue to grow and develop for months or years after birth. Giant breeds may not reach full adult size for 18 months or 2 years. During this growth period they are at particular risk from bone and joint disorders. Some of these are inherited such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Damage can also result from traumatic injury.... Read more »

Arthritis

Arthritis is a familiar problem for most vets. A large number of dogs, and an increasing number of cats, suffer from arthritis. Arthritis simply means an inflammation of joints and animals with arthritis usually suffer with pain and stiffness in their joints. Although arthritis is typically a problem in older pets, many animals with arthritis have had signs of disease from... Read more »

Leaving your pet behind

Although the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) is now fully operational, allowing limited movement of pets through some countries and the UK, many pet owners still prefer to leave their pets behind when they go away. Will my dog be happy being left behind? Dogs are very much part of the family and usually like to spend time... Read more »

Disease risks when travelling to continental Europe

An increasing number of owners are taking their pets with them on holiday when they travel to continental Europe. This factsheet provides information on the more important novel diseases that your dog may come into contact with abroad. What are the main disease risks abroad? There are a number of protozoal diseases found in continental Europe that... Read more »

Choosing a boarding kennel

It would probably be less traumatic for most dogs to be looked after by an experienced and reliable 'pet sitter'. Pet sitters are individuals who come to your home and stay there when you are away. They look after your dog in his or her normal environment. The majority of dog owners, however, have to... Read more »

Worms – A Wriggly Problem

It can be alarming to discover that your dog has worms but it should not come as a surprise. All pets are affected at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Except in rare cases, worms are unlikely to cause serious harm. Getting rid... Read more »

Worm Control

All pets will be affected by worms at some stage in their life and many will be re-infected unless they are given regular, routine worming treatment. Getting rid of worms is relatively simple and inexpensive so regular treatment is strongly recommended, particularly as some types of worm can be passed onto humans. What sort of... Read more »

Vaccination Protocols And Safety

For a long time all new puppies and kittens were given a standard vaccination, which protected them from a number of infectious diseases. Recently a number of new vaccines have been developed and pet owners and veterinarians have begun to question the value of routine annual vaccination for adult pets. This has led to development... Read more »

Vaccinating Your Dog

There are a number of highly infectious and potentially fatal diseases which can affect your dog. There is no treatment for many of these diseases and young puppies who catch them often die. However, for many of these conditions there is a simple protection in the form of vaccination. Ensuring that your dog completes an... Read more »

Tick Removal

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can affect your dog, especially if it goes out in the countryside or grassy areas during the Spring and Autumn months. What is a tick? Ticks are blood-sucking parasites. Most live in damp areas on plants and climb onto animals from time to time to feed. Your dog can pick them up on their coat... Read more »

Senior Dog Care

A puppy is endearing to everyone but puppies grow up all too fast. By one to two years of age dogs of all breeds will be mature. Although individual dogs and some breeds age at different rates, most 10 year old dogs can be considered to be in old age, and many breeds show signs... Read more »

Saying Goodbye – Options For Euthanasia

Some of our beloved pets are living longer and longer lives. This is due in large part to the amazing care we provide for them. As our time with them grows, so does our bond and devotion. As they approach the end of life, it can be a very challenging time filled with questions and concerns.... Read more »

Routine Health Care

We are all familiar with the phrase "A healthy pet is a happy pet" - but there is probably also something to be said for keeping your pet happy in order to maintain its health. Most owners know their pet very well and can quickly spot if it is feeling under the weather. What are the... Read more »

Puppy Care

Puppies are cute and it is very tempting to acquire one almost by accident. Taking on a puppy is a big responsibility - remember it will not stay a puppy for long. Within a year you will have an adult dog which may be expected to live for 10 years or more. Before getting a... Read more »

Pet Insurance For Your Dog

In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of dogs that would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical treatments are often expensive so that a vet's bill for intricate surgery... Read more »

Operations: Caring For Your Dog Before And After Surgery

Most pets will have an operation at some stage in their life, e.g. for neutering (speying or castration) or to treat a disease. Nowadays most operations in dogs are fairly safe but the success of treatment and recovery depends to some extent on the quality of care that the owner gives before and after the... Read more »

Obesity

In the wild dogs generally regulate the amount of food they eat. However, there is a trend for modern dogs, like modern man, to eat better food and take less exercise than their predecessors. Just as in people, there is a risk that your dog may become overweight. Obesity is an excessive accumulation of fat in the... Read more »

Neutering Your Dog

It is a sad truth that the number of puppies born every year is far greater than the number of good homes that can be found for them. As a result, thousands of healthy animals are destroyed and many unwanted dogs are left to fend for themselves. Having your dog neutered will not only help... Read more »