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?
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.
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.
Amber - Saved by Surgery
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.
(OA) affects 20% of all dogs and 80% of dogs over the age of
eight with these statistics thought to be underestimated. It is a debilitating,
progressive disease but noticed early enough, can be successfully managed with a
multi-modal approach in order to slow the progression. Owners are a vital part
of every management plan and play an important role in recognising the first
signs of its presence. Lynsey Tindall, a Registered Veterinary Nurse who runs OA
clinics in Brighton and volunteers for Canine Arthritis Management (CAM) , explains what to look for in your agility dog.
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?
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
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
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
Ear Powder - Hear Here
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 Dysplasia Explained
All you wanted to know about ED and more by vet
Peter van Dongen.
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
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
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?
to the Vets
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
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.
Arthritis Affects Agility Dogs
Agility is a high-impact sport which requires the dog to be powerful,
fast, agile, precise, flexible, responsive and highly focused, not only
during competition but also during the many hours of training that are
required. Because agility dogs have increased wear on the joints
throughout their active sports career, they appear to be more likely to
suffer from osteoarthritis (OA) and it tends to occur at an earlier age.
In an article commissioned by Canine Arthritis Management specifically
for Agilitynet, International competitor and trainer Jana Gams talks
about how to identify it and reduce the danger.
Importance of Rest & Regeneration for Sport Dogs
sport dog handlers, our focus is usually on how much our dogs should be active.
We think about and discuss with other handlers and trainers how many activities
our sport dog needs, how much training, how many walks and fitness sessions etc.
While this is necessary and important, Krystyna Cisak felt like the subject of
activity has been widely explored, while another key part, which she learned is
crucial for human athletes as a physiotherapist, is left out. That vital
part we are missing in our sport dog training program is... rest and
Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation
Canine Rehabilitation is one of the fastest growing fields within the wider field of veterinary
medicine nowadays and it is an integrative part of any recovery process
when a dog suffers from an injury or illness. For sporting dogs, it
makes sense to work with people who have an understanding of the sport
involved as well, as this may guide them towards a greater understanding
of the dog's problem, too! Vet Peter van Dongen, former GB Team vet,
judge and competitor and his partner Rimante Butkute, explain what you
need to know before starting down the rehabilitation route.
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.
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.
club, at least, has stopped training for the moment.
Peter van Dongen explains about this highly contagious infection.
Leptospirosis: A Re-emerging Problem
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.
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.
Living with Canine Pancreatitis
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.
Lungworm - A
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!
is described as an 'emerging' disease which means it's gradually becoming more
common. It can be serious, potentially even fatal if left untreated. Melle
Butler, agility competitor and founder of LAB K9 and LAB Equine, wonders if
agility dogs are more in danger from this killer disease, and she is determined that it won't get
another one of her dogs!
Early one morning Kay Westgate woke to a horrific rattling. She jumped
out of bed only to see her three year old Jack Russell Alfie in his
crate, having a Grand Mal seizure. The vets said it might be a one off
and suggested that she wait and see what happened. Unfortunately it was
not! Kay has written this article to help other who might find
themselves in the same situation.
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.
dogs are usually quite athletic but can be prone to injury due to the
extra stresses put
on their bodies. The most common injuries are soft tissue sprains and
strains but more serious ones like disc lesions that can lead to pinched
nerves do occur. It is important to spot these early to prevent more
significant damage. Chiropractor Petra Langen-Pieters explains how to
tell if your dog has a pinched nerve.
Shoulder Injury in
the Agility Dog
injuries are especially common in agility dogs. The symptoms they present and
the severity of the injury can vary, making it difficult to identify the
problem. Canine massage therapist Karen Young details some of the signs to look
for that indicate that your dog may be carrying a shoulder injury. She offers
one therapeutic solution to help them get back on course.
Single Dose Vaccinations
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.
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...
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
Sudden Death of a Collie
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.
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.
These days, the term Ďcore strength' is a bit of a buzz word in
human fitness and, if you've been to a Pilates or yoga class, you may
have been instructed by your teacher to 'engage your core.' We are told
it is vital for the prevention of injuries in sports dogs as well as
humans. But do you really know what it means? Veterinary physiotherapist
Eloise Collins explains.
Boost or Not to Boost?
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
Peter van Dongen
Veterinary Thermal Imaging
your agility dog suffering from poor performance, behavioural problems or temperament changes?
There could be an underlying cause.
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...
Why Is My Dog Drinking
So Much Water?
all mammals, dogs need to drink water in sufficient amounts to keep their bodies
functioning normally. Water is essential to digestion, circulation and
elimination, and plays an important role in regulating body heat. Without
adequate fluid intake, a dog will become dehydrated and, in time, very sick.
Severe dehydration can even result in death. That said, there are a number of
conditions that may cause a dog to drink more water than usual, and possibly
more than it should. Read on to learn what might be going on.