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Up ] Addisons Disease ] Agility, Energy & Injuries ] Arthritis is an Active Dog Issue ] Booster Vaccinations ] Brave Amber ] Canine Pancreatitis ] Canine Vision ] Do Medical Conditions Influence Dog Behaviour? ] Competing with a Pregnant Bitch ] Dog Oral Health ] Doping in Agility ] Ear Powder ] Elbow Dysplasia Explained ] Facts about Fleas ] Give the Dog a Bone ] Going to the Vet ] Hair Today Gone Tomorrow ] Hind Limb Lameness ] Hip Dysplasia in Competing Dogs ] It's a Wormy World ] Kennel Cough ] Leptospirosis ] Liver Shunt ] Lungworm ] Omega Oils ] Orthotics for Agility Dogs ] Single Dose Vaccinations ] Skin Deep ] Skunk Bath ] Sky's the Limit ] Strains & Sprains ] Sudden Death of a Collie ] Torsion: The 15 Minute Killer ] Total Hip Replacement ] Veterinary Thermal Imaging ]

 

Dog Health

Contents

Addisons Disease
Despite having had a broken vertebrae as a youngster and then contracting Addisons Disease, Lesley Harpley dog Star has just gone Senior. This is a story of tremendous courage and hard work. Lesley says thank you to those who helped along the way.
Agility, Energy & Injuries
Dog agility clearly provides huge benefits for dogs, such as increased cardiovascular fitness, musculoskeletal strength, flexibility, weight control and mental stimulation, not to mention the fitness dog owners benefit from by running with them! However, intensive exercise with lots of twisting, turning, jumping and landing presents a challenge to a dogís joints as well as a drain on energy resources. We asked vet James Howie of Lintbell's to explain more about the most common injuries in dog agility?
dog arthritis Arthritis is an Active Dog Issue
For agility dogs, arthritis can be a real problem. The stresses and strains placed on the joints by dogs hurtling at speed, twisting or turning, can lead to wear and tear on the joint cartilage. Psychological make up can have an influence, too. Their very nature means that Spaniels and Border Collies, for instance, have only two speeds: very fast and stop Ė  Prevention and early detection with treatment are key if you want to keep your dogs flexible and active for an extended period of time.
Booster Vaccinations
Recently an interesting article appeared in The Veterinary Record, the vetís professional magazine, about the duration of immunity in dogs after vaccination or naturally acquired infection. In other words, it discussed what is known about the protection against infectious diseases after having been in contact with them, or vaccinated against them, and how often we should be giving booster vaccinations. Vet Peter van Dongen summarises.
Brave Amber - Saved by Surgery
Amber is a very special five year old Springer Spaniel who, until recently, was enjoying a lovely life with her family especially attending weekly agility training sessions. Being a Springer, she loved doing the contacts for those yummy liver cake treats. All that fun stopped last November when Amber had to undergo major surgery for a serious life threatening condition. Thanks to the vets at Summerleaze Veterinary Hospital in Maidenhead, she is now back at training.
Canine Pancreatitis
Twiggy had been a very fast little agility dog, so fast that her handler Kay Westgate could not keep up so they both retired from agility in 2010. Then in October 2011, Twiggy became seriously ill with immune mediated thrombocytopenia and nearly lost her life. The vets did a wonderful job and, against the odds, she got through it. Not long after, however, she got sick again and was diagnosed with pancreatitis. Kay tried everything and turned to the Internet to find a way to control the condition. She has written this article in the hope that she can help other owners with pancreatic dogs.
Canine Vision
Understanding what your dogs 'sees' could mean the difference between a clear round and a dropped jump bar or missed contact. If you want to better understand canine vision, therefore, first you need to recognise that dogs see like a colour-blind human. This does not mean that dogs can't see green or red objects! It only means that they can't distinguish green, yellow or red objects based on their colour so you had better work on your obstacle discrimination as well as contacts.
Do Medical Conditions Influence Dog Behaviour?
Some months ago Sarah Gardner, an experienced agility competitor, posted a survey on Agilitynet FB to gather data for her undergraduate dissertation: ĎTo what extent do medical conditions influence the behaviour of the domestic dogs (Canis lupus familiaris)?í The research project itself was completed in April 2015 and she attended a conference at the University of Lincoln, presenting her research in May 2015. Sarah has written this summary of her findings.

Competing with a Breeding Bitch: A Pregnant Pause
If you compete with an intact female and would like to breed, what is reasonable and safe to do with her during pregnancy? K-9 Vet Dr. Henry de Boer wrote this article in response to a request from Clean Run Magazine about working with a breeding female.
Dog Oral Health
It is very reliably estimated, 70-80 % of dogs older than three years old have some form of gum or mouth disease. This accounts for untold pain and illness most of which is treatable and nearly all is preventable. More to the point, how would you like doing agility with toothache? In the first of a series of articles, vet dentistry specialist Gerhard Putter explains more about this important and oft forgotten aspect of your dog's health.
Doping in Agility
There will always be people in sport who will try and gain some advantage over the next person. Agility vet Peter van Dongen asks the questions the rest of us dare not think - does it happen in agility?

Ear Powder - Hear Here
Caroline Hair has been using this formula I've been using since she got her first Standard Poodle in 1959. It was given to her by a breeder of cocker spaniels - and she can honestly say she has NEVER had an ear infection in one of my dogs. She have given it to others to clear up existing infections and given us permission to reprint it on Agilitynet. It is especially good at drying up the black gunk and may help you next time you shout tunnel, tunnel, tunnel!
Elbow Dyslasia Explained
All you wanted to know about ED and more by vet Peter van Dongen. (29/03/04)

Exercised-induced Hyperthermia
Now that our weather has turned warmer, have you noticed that your dog overheats rapidly? Does it put everything into every jump, tunnel, weave poles and after five minutes, it starts panting dangerously hard. Your dog may suffer from a disorder known as Exercise-induced Hyperthermia (EIH) or Border Collie Collapse (BCC). Not much is known about this occurrence except that it is common among highly driven dogs. Mary Whorton thought she had one. When she looked further into this condition, she discovered that her dog did not, in fact, have EIH. This is what she learned.

Facts about Fleas
If your dog has ever had fleas, you will know just how difficult it can be to treat them. The National Canine Defence League answers some of your questions to enable you to take appropriate action to avoid your dog suffering with a flea problem.  Some flea control products can be toxic to people and pets, if used incorrectly. Here are some safe natural alternatives.
Give the Dog a Bone... Or Not
Dogs naturally love to chew bones and we know that they are a good way of keeping canine teeth and gums healthy. Picking a good dog bone is not as easy as it sounds. By choosing the right dog bone - whether it be a real bone or a commercial  alternative - you provide greater safety for your dog while also granting him the supreme satisfaction of chewing. Before giving the dog a bone, follow these few simple rules to learn how to reduce the risk of bad consequences from chewing dog bones. So what are some safe options for your dog?
Going to the Vets
Many veterinarians are not familiar with the special needs of agility dogs. For most of your requirements, as long as you communicate clearly, your local  vet should be perfectly capable of dealing with the needs of your dog or dogs. It is, therefore, very important to point out to your vet that you do agility and that your dog is a canine athlete and needs special handling. Clinical vet nurse Frances Gaudiano gives you some pointers on what to say when you get to the surgery.

 

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow
If you work a Border Collie or thick-coated dog in the heat of the day like at a show, what is the best way to avoid overheating. Is wetting him down and having him lay in the shade any better than just resting and cooling off naturally. In the UK, it might seem a radical idea but what about shearing his coat. Dr. Nicholas Carter of Border Collie Rescue goes through the pros and cons on this subject.
Heat Stroke Revisited
In his experience as a veterinarian and a working dog trainer/handler, Dr. Henry de Boer has attended to far more cases of heat stroke in the spring or fall than he did during the summer months. Most people are conscious of the risks and predisposing causes of heat stroke in the summer and take appropriate precautions. Many people, however, drop their guard during other seasons, which can lead to a possible disaster. Heat stroke is most likely to occur when we are less conscientious about how heat, muscular exertion and confinement can affect our dogs.
Heat Stroke Survival Guide
In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don't sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e.panting). If a dog's respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur. Robert Newman, a recognised authority on American animal law, explains about heatstroke in dogs and what you can do about this life-threatening and often fatal problem.
Hind Limb Lameness
As a veterinary orthopaedic surgeon, Mike Guilluard finds that the Border Collie is one of the few breeds not plagued by inherited lameness problems. Hip dysplasia occurs in the breed but infrequently causes a clinical problem; and elbow dysplasia, so common in retrievers and shepherds, is non-existent. Likewise cruciate disease in the stifle joint, our commonest orthopaedic condition, is very rare. However, in March Sue Duncan's dog Teddy needed an operation for this 'new' condition in the breed - Tarsal Lameness.

Hip Dysplasia: Quality of Life is What's Important
What happens if you find out that your young agility dog has hip dysplasia. You're instructed to wait a month and then have another x-ray done. However, the vet believes it is rather bad and that you need to consider surgery. What should you do? Is this the end of fun for you and your dog? Dr. De Boer, the Working K-9 Vet advises on competing with this relatively common but disturbing disorder.

Hot Weather Warning!
When the temperature soars and it feels like 85 degrees in the shade, don't forget your dog. You may be able to stay cool in a t-shirts and shorts, but your dog can't change into something cool. Common sense and a few simple steps can save their lives and make hot weather competing worth the trip.

It's a Wormy World
To a certain extent, ignorance is bliss and indeed, the vast majority of well cared for pets in the UK and Ireland will never suffer the serious consequences of a massive worm burden. However, an appreciation of what we are actually preventing when we cajole Rover to consume 'this yummy tablet' is a vital piece in our armoury to a long-lived, healthy and happy pet. Parasitologist Dr. Jacqueline (Jackie) Boyd explains.

 

Kennel Cough
Kennel Cough has been doing the agility rounds. Dogs of any age or breed are susceptible. It makes them feel under the weather, miserable and will bring on other underlying problems in older animals. It is spread vigorously through all forms of social contact including agility classes or meeting other dogs at shows. One club, at least, has stopped training for the moment. Peter van Dongen explains about this highly contagious infection.

Leptospirosis: A Re-emerging Problem
Leptospirosis is considered to be a re-emerging disease of companion animals. This disease has been recognized for over one hundred years, and there has been an effective commercial vaccine available for approximately the last thirty years. Until recently, the incidence of the disease was relatively low. However, in the last few years the incidence of this disease has increased.While leptospirosis is not a problem specific to agility dogs, the information contained in this article by Dr. Henry de Boer, is relevant.
Liver Shunt
Portosystemic shunts formerly a common topic of conversation amongst breeders and owners of small and toy breed dogs are now being diagnosed with in dogs of all sizes - from the smallest to the largest - including Maltese, Dalmatians, Irish Wolf Hounds and even Collies. Kim Bailey has lived with this dreadful disease and lost to it. She has agreed to share her experiences in the hope of sparing other people the heartbreak of losing their best friend.
Lungworm - A Growing Threat
Lungworm has been known in the UK for some 20 years, especially in hot spots such as Surrey, South Wales and Cornwall, but in the last two years, it has become a more widespread and common threat, due to a variety of factors. These include global warming, an increasing and more urban based fox population, as well as the decrease in the use of slug bait and other poisons. This article by vet Peter van Dongen describes the life cycle of the worm, the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of this serious threat to your canine friend, and, more importantly, how you can avoid the disease affecting your best friend!
Omega Oils
When choosing an Omega supplement, many owners face the dilemma of not knowing what is best for their dog. Conflicting advice from the many suppliers along with a lack of overall understanding of this complex health issue makes it hard to see the wood for the trees. Omega 3 research has shown it to be beneficial to humans and, more recently, to dogs as well - and for all the same reasons, because, after all, we are after both mammals. So where and why has nature gone wrong and landed us in a position where we and our dogs need extra Omega 3? Why hasnít evolution protected us and what has changed? Jon Szegota of March Laboratories Ltd (Ace Canine Supplements) explains...
Orthotics for Agility Dogs
Itís bad enough if your dog has a problem relating to its joints especially when a surgical solution isnít an option, or has been tried and failed. But what if that dog is a sporting dog and enjoys Agility, Flyball or being a Working Gundog etc., what happens then? Orthotics are commonly used by agility dogs in the US to protect injuries, in some cases whilst still competing, and sometimes negating the need for surgery. Rod Hunt explains why he feels that agility dogs generally would greatly benefit from this.

Practical First Aid
Every dog owner will at some time or another come across a situation where it will be beneficial to know how to perform first aid on their dog. Often this requires only common sense, but sometimes it is important to know just that little bit more for the highest chance of recovery or even survival! Peter van Dongen outlines some basic information to help you make the best choice when first aid becomes necessary. (21/04/02)
Single Dose Vaccinations
Do you know anyone whose healthy dog has suffered an inexplicable illness shortly after a routine vaccination? Does your club insist on annual boosters? Following his request on the Desperately seeking... page to find 'single vaccinations,' Keith Powell set out to find the right vet to help him. His search makes interesting reading.
Skin Deep
Would you believe that 36% of general veterinary practice cases are skin cases. Therefore, it is very likely that at least one of your dogs will suffer from a skin problem sometime in its life. Having a bit of knowledge about canine skin problems can help you help your vet come to a speedy diagnosis and resolution of the problem. Clinical Trials Nurse Frances Gaudiano deals with dermatological problems on a daily basis and has written this short article to help you identify those little buggers...

Skunk Bath: A Smelly solution
When Carlos Cordiero's dog Maggie got sprayed big time, he was glad that he remembered one particular discussion on the AGILE email list about how to get rid of the smell. Poor Maggie! Her white chest was all yellow from the spray, and she smelled like burned rubber. Carlos used this formula and says it worked a treat. Since then he's had more than 80 requests for the recipe, so here it is. (06/10/99)
Sky's the Limit
When vet Peter van Dongen suspected there was something wrong with his young JRT X Sky, he put his knowledge and experience together to treat her. This is the story how she recovered from a seriously debilitating developmental joint problem in her early life and a spinal problem in later life to become a successful agility dog.

Strains & Sprains: One of the Most Frustrating & Troublesome Types of Injury
At trials we see many dogs doing these very sudden stops on contact points. You know, one moment they're flying over the obstacle then SLAM, they stop dead. Did you ever wonder how mach potential for damage to joints there is in this method especially with all the stress that comes from rapid acceleration and deceleration from jumps, stops and tight turns. (12/9/99)

Sudden Death of a Collie
Since her four year old collie's sudden and unexpected death, American Ericka Skinner has been tirelessly searching for answers. Her dog Sadye was the love of her life and the perfect companion. When Ericka saw an article on Agilitynet about Border Collie Collapse Syndrome, she decided that she wanted to share Sadye's story in the hope of providing an insight for others into this devastating problem.

Torsion: The 15 Minute Killer
Urgent - If your dog's abdomen becomes swollen and hard with gas, this is an emergency. Death may follow from torsion or twisted stomach. Do not poke or probe. the distended abdomen. There is no effective first aid for this acute condition. Take your dog to the vet at once.
Total Hip Replacement
Jackie Bromwich remembers that bitterly cold afternoon at the end of December 2011 well. She was standing on the start line, looking down at her collie Fern who was sitting there, eagerness etched into every line of her muscular little body. Every ounce of her saying 'Okay, let's go. I can do this.' As Fern sailed over the last jump, she grabbed her lead and danced about, her eyes alight, but Jackie was crying. She couldn't stop the tears. She knew that this was going to be their last run together for many months, possibly forever. It could be the end of a glittering agility career that was only just beginning and possibly of life itself.

Vaccinations: To Boost or Not to Boost?
Recently an interesting article appeared in The Veterinary Record about the duration of immunity in dogs after vaccination or naturally acquired infection. In other words, it discussed what is known about the protection against infectious diseases after having been in contact with them, or vaccinated against them, and how often we should be giving booster vaccinations. Peter van Dongen summarises.  (29/11/01)
Veterinary Thermal Imaging
Is your agility dog suffering from poor performance, behavioural problems or temperament changes? There could be an underlying cause. Thermal imaging can be used as a diagnostic tool, but can also be used as a management tool to monitor a performance animal, or can be used to assess the efficacy of a treatment. Stephanie Godfrey of Veterinary Thermal Imaging Ltd, the only thermal imaging provider to caters for all warm blooded animals, explains how it works...