Blue Green Algae (Cyanobacteria)

There are apparently many different types of blue-green algae which are found in water and which play an important part in its bio-diversity.  Usually they are there in small quantities which are harmless but in still, warm, sunny weather the algae multiply very quickly and become excessive.  They can be seen as a blue-green scum or bloom on the surface of ponds and lakes and even at the edge of the sea in some places.

Heat Stroke

Every year we seem to hear about dogs dying of heat stroke and the upsetting thing is that in most cases it needn’t have happened.  The most usual case is the dog left in a car on a hot day.   Even if the outside temperature is only pleasant, the temperature in the car can rise incredibly quickly and within a surprisingly short time it can be as high as 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit.

Elizabethan or E collars

These are the classic plastic “lampshade” collars used to stop dogs (and cats) scratching, pulling at bandages or stitches, licking wounds or chewing themselves.  When using an E collar try tying it, using a bandage, to your dog’s usual collar as this will stop him from removing it.  Stand in as big an area as possible when you first put it on him so he can get used to moving around without bumping into things.  A few titbits might help to take his mind off it.

Potential Poisons

It is very easy to assume that the food we eat is suitable for our pets.  This is not always the case and some very common foods can cause problems in dogs.  Some of these problems may only be mild, while others can be severe and even lead to death.  Obviously puppies and the oldies are the most vulnerable but, even fit and healthy adult dogs can be badly affected.  Here are the most common foods that cause problems but this list is not exhaustive.

Breed Standard

Reproduced by kind permission of the Kennel Club

First Aid

The pup below had to be taken to the vet when it broke its leg but there are ways you can prepare for emergencies and first aid can often save life.

phoebe leg

1. Keep the name, address and telephone number of your vet next to the phone.

2. Keep a pen and paper by the phone to take down instructions if necessary.  Maybe your vet uses a locum and you need that telephone number and directions to the surgery.

Legal Requirements

The Animal Welfare Act requires anyone who is responsible for a pet, to do what is reasonable to meet their welfare needs.  As a dog owner, it is your legal responsibility to do this.

A Pet’s Welfare Includes

Identification

It is a legal requirement in for any dog in a public place to wear a tag or collar with your name and address on it. It is not necessary to have the name of your pet and some people believe it is not a good idea as it allows would be thieves to call him.

Neutering

Many puppy owners are advised by their vet to spay their bitch puppy or neuter their dog puppy.  Unless there is a valid medical reason for doing so, such as a pyometra in a bitch, or a testicular cancer in a dog, neither procedure should be undertaken lightly or as a matter of course, as both procedures can have long term health effects for the dog or bitch.

Before you decide to go down this road please stop and think about the consequences.

Long Term Health Effects of Spaying Bitches

Positives

Puppy Classes

As soon as your puppy has had his inoculations and can be taken out, it's a good idea start to socialise him by introducing him to other people and other dogs.  An excellent way to do this is to attend puppy socialisation classes where he will meet other puppies of a similar age in a safe environment.  Your vet will probably know when and where these are held if they do not run them at the practice.  You will also probably be given information about looking after your puppy including information about parasites such as worms and fleas.