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    Cumbria North UK
  • Interests
    I used to like travelling but somehow I keep ending up with a dog...

pineapple's Achievements


Newbie (1/14)

  1. Cheers folks. I'm wondering if he was trimmed before because he looks like a different dog. Will upload some up to date pics. Probably will just have a go at the shaggy bit underneath his tail!
  2. Do people give their dogs a 'hair cut'? Poppy my last border collie was short haired so it wasn't an issue.. Ben, when he came to me over a year ago, had a slightly fuller coat than Poppy but now he has thick, long wavy fur - particularly round the rear end! His coat is lovely but we are getting into warm weather now and he is not very heat tolerant due to his heart condition. So I wondered if it would help to thin it out and trim it?
  3. Hi thanks The dog is actually a mild mannered labrador but in any case Ben can't see him or the man, so he is going by scent. I reckon it's because the labrador is an intact male - I've heard that sometimes dogs who have been 'fixed' can perceive that as a threat. What we need is lots of intact males to practice with!
  4. Thanks folks. I think I found out why Ben reacts to THAT MAN in particular. That man owns THAT DOG - ie the one Ben doesn't like. I never realised that as when we encountered the dog he was with someone else. So it is not that random really and a little reassuring in that the cause of the behaviour is probably the smell of the other dog. Of course it still needs dealing with. By reinforcing that I am in charge, I meant aspects of 'no free lunch' - like sitting before being fed etc - nothing dodgy like alpha rolls. When we had our encounter with the man, he did try throwing some food in Ben's direction. Ben took it but was very guarded and on edge. I realised it was far too early for that and backed off. Will do as suggested from now on. Just got the kindle edition of Click to Calm! Cheers
  5. I say 'random' but in his head there is clearly a specific trigger. Ben has issues with two men in our village. He is wary of one of them but if the other comes anywhere near he will run towards him, barking and lunging to 'see him off'. I don't know what it is with this kindly old gent - except he keeps chickens and maybe Ben associates the smell with bad things that happened previously. This happens while out on walks - ie not at home which would be more understandable. I get a lot of deliveries and he doesn't react at all to strange men in the yard or even in the house! He is the same with dogs too - just two specific local dogs. I thought of a 3 pronged attack 1) Reinforce the fact that I am in charge so he doesn't feel he has to react to protect either of us. 2) Make more effort to socialize him to new sounds and smells (it WILL take an effort as we live in an out of the way spot). 3) Practice just being in the vicinity when this man walks past (with Ben under control of course) and give rewards to distract him and so that he associates the man with good things - though presumably this has to be done before he actually displays aggression, otherwise I might end up just reinforcing that behaviour? I've co-opted the gentleman concerned. We will be around when he goes to feed his chickens but he is to ignore us. We had our first 'run' today. As soon as Ben got a whiff of the man and started 'paying attention' to his presence, I got him to focus on me and take some treats. You could see there was a battle going on in his head though. Deal with the man threat or eat the treats? Tough call.... In a way it would be easier if it was an issue with all men/strangers or something that just happened at home rather than with one individual while out and about. Am I missing anything? Cheers
  6. Thanks folks. I've taken Ben off that med till I get his heart imaged. Also - I might be imagining it but it seemed that when on it, he was a little less lively at home, though walks were no different. I'm afraid cardiologists are out of my remit however. We have no insurance. I wish dog rescue organisations here would help with that when you take an older dog with pre-existing conditions, but you still even have to pay them a fee. .
  7. Awww bless..... Happy Birthday Kit!
  8. Yes it is expensive here too. Getting it from the vet would cost me around £70 per month - though fortunately you can get it for half that online. I'm a bit worried now as we haven't had an ultrasound done to check the size of the heart. But the vet and I thought there had been some functional deterioration. Plus of course I've read scare stories on the net about possible effects including long term liver damage and the dangers of giving it too soon.. I've seen no difference in him so far. If anything, he is sitting down with his ball earlier. It has been less than a week but I am tempted to chicken out. Good tip about the breathing rate. I'll start monitoring!
  9. I don't think Ben was very well socialized before I adopted him but some of his issues are probably down to sight - or rather lack of it. His hearing however is acute. So I have to be very careful as he sometimes perceives unknown things as a threat. Could be someone pushing a push chair towards him or a kid running by. He is better than he was at first however. I'm introducing him slowly to busier environments. He can be aggressive if a strange dog runs up to him though even that is improving. My emergency distraction is a squeaky ball. One squeak from that and nothing else in the world matters. However the giddy female cocker spaniel next door can get into his personal space with impunity - he just ignores her. But there is one dog in the village which he has taken a real dislike to - an intact border collie. Fortunately he can smell that dog way before I know it is in the area. He starts sniffing the air then he squares up as if to say 'I'm the man, don't mess with me', then he goes into a sort of prancing trot as he searches for the scent. So I get an early warning to keep him close by and bring out the emergency ball
  10. Yes there is. Poppy my last dog was given 2 months to live due to liver failure but survived and lead a good quality life for another 3 years thanks largely to a Yahoo group. We were prescribed Ursodiol to promote bile flow. It was expensive but Poppy couldn't tolerate it anyway. Most people supplement with SAMe and milk thistle (formulated for dog liver disease and usually available from vets) which are classed as nutraceuticals rather than medication but still expensive. However you can cut costs by purchasing online rather than from the vet or by substituting with good quality human supplements. It's crucial to have the right type of high quality protein and minimise additives so many of us ditched commercial dog food and home cooked. Not as difficult as it sounds. You can batch cook. and freeze A low copper diet is recommended even if it is not a copper related liver condition. There is plenty of advice online and within groups. For example protein like cottage cheese can be helpful as it is easily digested. My vet even recommended tofu! It may go against the grain to give a dog foods like this but non meat sources of protein can be kinder to the liver. One free therapy you can do is to give several small meals per day (instead of one or two) to ease the load on the liver. The other thing is to minimise exposure to chemicals - ie room sprays etc. This includes monthly spot on flea treatments and vaccinations. Talk to your vet about this but also check out the Yahoo canine liver groups. The value of groups like this is you get to benefit from from people's experiences and knowledge on an international scale. Given time and TLC the liver can actually regenerate or partially regenerate. We think this is what happened with Poppy. A lot of our dogs came back from the brink - amazing the vets! Good luck. PS check out this site http://dogaware.com/health/liver.html
  11. Fortunately there is a readily available store brand here with no added sugar or salt or any other potential nasties including palm oil. When nursing my last dog, I was advised all sorts to tempt her to eat. I got into the habit of reading the small print. Even baby food can have undesirable additives!
  12. Thanks It seems as if some heart murmurs don't develop much and others progress in the blink of an eye. He's been with me under a year. Initially he was mostly on the leash till I could trust him running free. Even then it took a while for me to realise that he is really good at fetch (even though he can't see things). So it's been difficult to monitor changes in that time frame but now I am keeping note.
  13. Ben has a heart murmur - grade 3 going on 4. He doesn't cough and he is full of energy but he does seem to get out of breath easily if he has been chasing the ball - so I curtail those activities a little. Anyway we have just started a trial of Vetmedin/Pimobendan. I'm hoping this will extend his life or improve the quality or both. The vet doesn't think he needs diuretics at this point. Just wondered if anyone has experience of the condition or the drug thanks. PS he is around 8 years old.
  14. Thanks folks. Ben needed more than a damp wash cloth the other day. He fell into a deep ditch filled with mud and nasties and emerged like the creature from the black lagoon. Fortunately he was none the worse for wear. I washed him down immediately in the river (he wasn't impressed) then he got his very first shower and shampoo. He isn't keen on water - so much for introducing him to the shower gradually...
  15. Sorry if this is a daft question but is there a set colour for the inside of the ears? I'm pretty sure the ears of my last border collie were a grey/white on the inside. Ben's are more like a pale tan. Just trying to work out if it's muck! Both black and white dogs Cheers
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