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Michael Parkey

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Everything posted by Michael Parkey

  1. Thank you! How often did your vet check George's prostate? Our vet suggested a check up in three months.
  2. Levi went to the veterinarian earlier this week for annual vaccinations. Since he is intact, our vet did a digital rectal exam and found a "slightly" or "somewhat" enlarged prostate gland. Levi is asymptomatic and otherwise very healthy. We decided to do another exam in 3 months to determine if there is any change. Of course the normal treatment for intact dogs with enlarged prostate glands is castration. Levi is not registered and we never intend to breed him. We did not castrate him because of concerns about health effects of early neutering, but he is beyond that now. We have had many intact dogs, none of them ever developed the much exaggerated behavior problems predicted for intact males. On the other hand, some of our castrated dogs have had problems with obesity if their diet was not carefully controlled. So we have two courses of action. One, castrate him soon. Two, wait and see if the enlargement worsens and/or he develops any of the possible symptoms or secondary problems. I do not want to castrate him because I want to avoid the risk and pain of surgery if possible. But the big reason is, I really do not want his behavior and disposition to change. Levi's personality is a perfect match for us: friendly, confident, affectionate, curious, athletic, and smart. He is calm when he needs to be and full of energy when the situation calls for it. So, my questions are: 1. What medical experiences have you had with enlarged prostate in intact dogs? 2. If you have castrated a dog of this age, did you see any changes in behavior or disposition? We have some time to make the decision, and the second exam may make it for us. But I would like to have input from experienced BC people. Thank you!
  3. Wonderful! She looks like a different dog, much younger than in the first photo. We went through a similar experience with our Aussie mix Buddy. Now, 10 years later, it was so worth the effort. Congratulations to you both.
  4. All dogs are individuals, and disposition varies greatly even within the same breed. Under good circumstances, most dogs quickly bond with a suitable human. I suggest taking your daughter to a well organized adoption event and the let the dog and the girl choose each other.
  5. The original post is very interesting and made a lot of sense to me. But since I have almost no experience with working sheepdogs I am curious what experienced people think. The only working dogs I've seen in their home environment were Australian shepherds, and they were treated much as alligande describes. This was a working sheep and cattle farm that also bred Aussies and was a venue for training and trials. At a large multi-breed trial held there, the owner's dogs were loose but under command. They were calm, except when told to do their job, which was to clear the arena of tried stock after each run and bring fresh stock in. Their quick, efficient, and gentle stock work was a joy to watch, and made the biggest impression on me of anything I saw at the trial. Thanks to all for an interesting discussion!
  6. She looks great for 13, or really any age. Which genetic testing company did you use? We have 11 year old who "looks like" an English shepherd, but we've always wondered.
  7. I'm surprised no one has commented yet. I have NO experience with this, but the usual advice is to keep the dog or puppy on a long line all the time until she ignores the animal in question all the time. You may be working against instinct here, in which case the long line will be necessary whenever livestock are present.
  8. I am a moderator on another forum which recently changed/updated its format. Suddenly I became a "Super Moderator"! I asked the tech people what my new superpowers are. Turns out they are exactly the same as when I was just a moderator. I think this is called title inflation.
  9. For a fairly balanced discussion of this topic, go to Moose Nuggets. People who are concerned about health effects of early neutering usually recommend waiting until 1.5 or 2 years old so that the bone growth plates have closed. There are alternatives to castration and ovariohysterectomy: vasectomy and tubal ligation. But I've never found a vet who could do either.
  10. Agree with D'Elle, this is what we have done. Also we find that our dogs become more familiar with things-outside-the-fence (TOF) they are less likely to bark. Could you take Katie on leash outside the fence to meet some of the walkers? Once our dogs meet TOF and see us having a normal interaction, they are much less likely to bark at TOF when inside the fence.
  11. For diarrhea symptoms, try feeding some canned pumpkin. Pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling. Obviously this does not address the cause but can alleviate symptoms while you figure it out.
  12. Sorry to hear it, and hope it is nothing serious!
  13. Look at this from the standpoint of risk assessment. If we list all the possible ways dogs can come to harm in order of frequency, where would playing fetch rank? Top ten? Top one hundred? Top one thousand? The risks from playing fetch are extremely low, and easy to prevent.
  14. Every problem you attribute to fetch could have multiple other causes, including stock work.
  15. How many dogs are truly obsessed with fetch? By obsessed I mean to the point of being a significant behavior problem for the owner or a health problem for the dog? In my entire life (68 years) I have seen only one. All of our concern about fetch may be a solution in search of a problem.
  16. Referring to your other thread about balls, apparently this is a much more controversial subject than I ever imagined. Some dogs love fetch, others can't be bothered. Currently we have one of each. Levi is the border collie, and he loves fetch, but only with a ball. Frisbees or other toys simply won't do--throw one of those and the game immediately becomes keep away. We play many different versions of fetch. The simplest is human throws ball, dog brings ball, repeat. But this gets old after a while. One of Levi's favorite alternates is fetch played during a long walk. The human keeps moving, either throwing the ball ahead or behind and Levi has to figure out which way to run. This evolved into field fetch, played in a meadow with tall grass. Levi follows a moving ball by sight and sound, but when it drops out of sight and hearing into the grass, the game becomes nose work. Jungle fetch is similar, but played in wooded terrain where the search is much more difficult. Levi will continue searching for as much as 15 or 20 minutes, with help from voice and gesture directions from me, if I even know where the ball is. Then there is water fetch, with either a floating or sinking ball. Fortunately there is a wonderful creek near our house with gravel beaches and deep pools for swimming after a floating ball. Sinking ball fetch is the most difficult. In good conditions (clear water, gravel bottom) Levi has to find a non-moving ball on the bottom that he can't smell just by shape and color alone. Of course Levi has lots of other games too. He loves to hike and run with me when I ride my bicycle. He "finds" objects, people, or other dogs when asked to do so: "find Buddy" (our other dog), "find blue ring", "find Bruce". He also keeps vermin out of the yard, and we are working on "put the ducks away" but that is a hard one. Levi is too enthusiastic and the ducks are pretty flaky.
  17. Thank you, D'Elle. I resent being called "mindless" by someone who has never met me or my dog, and never seen us play fetch.
  18. beachdogz, for your son's dog that destroys balls, try a lacrosse ball. They are indestructible. They fit in a Chuck-it thrower and are extremely bouncy, which our Levi loves.
  19. I was going to suggest a Jolly Ball, but we always wore shoes.
  20. I agree with Journey. Border collies are smart enough to find a work-around for so-called invisible fences. One Australian shepherd I know learned that if she stayed close enough to the fence that the warning buzzer sounded but not close enough to get a shock eventually the battery would run out and she was free! Another pair of Aussies learned that if they ran full tilt at the fence, the pain was brief but the freedom was worth it. Of course when coming home it wasn't worth the discomfort, so they stayed outside the fence.
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