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Hooper2

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  1. I didn't see any beds listed on at Petsathome in the UK that looked particularly chew resistant. You might try this link https://k9ballistics.com/chew-proof/ I have a bed similar to the rectangular cushion one they show (the one I had came from Foster and Smith but they apparently don't sell it anymore), and it's held up well for a dog that loves to eviscerate any toy/pillow/cushion with any stuffing. I'm not sure it would survive a really determined chewer, but it works great for my dog that went through several more conventional beds. The cot that k9ballistics sells looks about as indestructible as you could get.
  2. Hooper2

    Drug sensitivity - MDR1?

    Here is the list of drugs that dogs that carry the MDR1 mutation have been shown to be sensitive to, along with a list of other drugs that the human form of the MDR1 gene interacts with but have not been shown to be a problem in dogs. http://vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/problem-drugs Regarding surgery, your two biggest concerns would be acepromazine and butorphanol, which are sometimes given before anesthesia. The MDR1 mutation is not very common in border collies, but neither of those drugs is essential for surgery, so, as a precaution you can ask your vet to not use them. I don't want to downplay the importance of the MDR1 mutation, but also keep in mind that dogs (and people) can have adverse reactions to all kinds of drugs even if they don't carry the mutation. Not every drug reaction or health problem is MDR1 related even in dogs that do carry the mutation. On the other hand, the cost of the genetic test is $60, which as veterinary expense go, is not terribly expensive (the cost of one Starbucks latte per month for a year), so if you are concerned, here's how you can get the test done http://vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/pricing
  3. The article you posted is a summary of a commentary published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, authored by five research veterinarians affiliated with 4 veterinary schools (Tufts, UC Davis, U of Illinois, and North Carolina State). One of those five authors has received grant money from two companies that produces dog food (including several grain free formulations), the other four authors have not. Which information in this summary morphs from "helpful and informative" to "invalid" and "unreliable" based on the fact that one of the five authors has done research sometime in the past three years that was partially funded by a company that produces dog food, including grain free formulations?
  4. Hooper2

    Occasional lameness/limp

    Yes, I did have a dog with systemic lupus once, and the first symptom was that one day we were out on our usual walk, and he suddenly stumbled and almost fell, and then limped a bit. Then he was fine at a faster trot and at a canter/gallop, so I figured he had just stepped in a hole and momentarily tweeked something. A few hundred yards later, same thing. Next day, same thing. Day three he seemed to not be feeling well in general, so I finally thought to take his temperature and it was above 104 F. It took a few days of first antibiotics (did nothing) and then prednisone to get his temp below 104, and the response to prednisone was what clued my vet in to do an antinuclear antibody (ANA) test for lupus. There is no one specific definitive test for lupus (at least there wasn't 20 years ago when I had this dog), but the positive ANA test along with other symptoms (recurring lameness, scabby areas on the face, hot spots, recurring fever) made lupus the likely culprit. That dog lived a pretty good quality life for about 6 years on a low daily dose of pred, but it definitely affected his vigor and resilience. By all means have your vet check for TBD, because the symptoms can be similar. But as I recall, the ANA test was not outrageously expensive, so if you have to have blood drawn for the TBD test, you might as well test for ANA or whatever newer tests for lupus may be available now. Best wishes, and if it does turn out to be lupus, feel free to PM me if you want more information on my experience.
  5. Hooper2

    Underweight Dog

    No advice on feeding, but I had to comment that you are obviously a person of exquisite taste - you have the same style cover over your heater vent as I have, as well as having a border collie.
  6. Hooper2

    The Hall Carpet

    Brihop, if by "fake hard plastic bones" you mean Nylabones and similar products, I wouldn't give those to a dog either. I couldn't find any very scientific references, but if you google "nylabones tooth damage" there is no shortage of sites, including at least some affiliated with veterinarians, that discuss the potential for breaking teeth with these types of chew toys. As one site said, if you can drive a nail with it, it probably isn't a safe thing for a dog to chew on. Like I said, I gave leg bones to dogs for decades and thought I was being a great owner for providing this much-enjoyed treat as a way to keep teeth clean. One broken canine tooth and a $1700 root canal bill convinced me otherwise, and as I think back, I had two other dogs that had to have abscessed carnassial teeth extracted, and a couple other dogs that ended up with "dead" teeth that I never did anything about, but I now wonder if those were related to bone-induced damage as well.
  7. Hooper2

    The Hall Carpet

    Ditto what Gentle Lake said about not feeding leg bones. I fed them for years to multiple dogs without a problem. Then one $1700 root canal for a broken front canine tooth was enough to convince me that antlers and leg bones are not good dog toys.
  8. Hooper2

    When to switch puppy to adult diet?

    Everyone has a different opinion on diet, but at least many people will tell you that there is no need to ever feed special "puppy food", and there is some evidence that in breeds prone to hip dysplasia, the faster growth rate that puppy chow is meant to promote actually increases the risk of hip problems. All I can tell you from my own experience is that I have always fed my puppies "adult" dog food from the day they arrive (a couple as young as 8 weeks), and they've all been healthy, active, robust little buggers. I wouldn't hesitate at all about switching an youngster that is nearly a year old to adult food.
  9. Hooper2

    Thinning hair

    Has Lola been in season in the past couple months? Bitches can really blow their coat a month or two after coming into heat. If she's blown coat due to being in season it will grow back over the next couple months. Fun fact: the reason they used a male collie to play Lassie in movies and on TV was for exactly that reasons - to avoid the dramatic change in appearance due to seasonal cycles in coat growth and loss.
  10. Hooper2

    Sudden behavior changes

    If your Fern is coming into season, it would be best to at least wait until this estrous cycle passes before you spay her. Spay surgeries are more difficult for a variety of reasons when a bitch is in heat, and most vets strongly prefer not to spay under those conditions without some compelling reason to do so. So, if you wait until this cycle passes, then you might as well wait three or four months after that before you have her spayed. If her crankiness diminishes once her season is over, that would suggest that it's related to the doggy version of PMS, and you can decide how many cycles you want to put up with before you spay her. But if her crankiness persists, that would suggest that she's just become less fond of other dogs as she's matured (and yes that can be quite sudden), and spaying may not make much difference. That's not to say that you shouldn't decide to spay her eventually, but you can make a more informed decision about how long you want to wait.
  11. I agree with Flora/Molly that you dog probably doesn't like the sudden noise or perhaps thinks your slaps are threatening, rather than that she's reacting to the actual mosquito. You can test this pretty easily by making random slaps/swats when there are no mosquitoes around and see if Gogo reacts the same way as when you are actually swatting a mosquito. Assuming it's the swatting that Gogo objects to, I suggest you do something similar to what Flora/Molly did, and teach your dog to accept you making slapping or swatting sounds and motions separately from actually waiting for a mosquito to show up. First make sure that Gogo has a solid sit/stay under "normal" conditions. Then have him sit, and very lightly clap your hands together while reminding him to stay, and reward for the successful stay. Practice sit/stays with very gentle claps in the air or on various surfaces, in various locations just as you would if you were swatting mosquitoes except with much less force, and with the command to stay given ahead of time, followed with a reward for correct behavior. Once Gogo is reliably accepting these very calm gentle swats at pretend mosquitoes you can start doing them without the stay command (you might give some quick warning that a swat is coming with a quiet "shhh" or something) and reward for not barking or jumping. As Gogo gets consistent about accepting these very calm quiet gentle fake swats, you can start very gradually upping them to something more realistic, always acknowledging good behavior with praise, sometimes a treat, or sometimes a quick toss of a toy if Gogo likes that.
  12. Hooper2

    Foster dog

    Great photos! Makes me want to go to the beach. With a Brittany . I've only known a couple Brittanys but they were both great dogs, and I've always liked the breed. For me the true working bred ones might be a little too into going off in search of birds when on walks, but I love that there is nothing extreme about them - medium size, moderate coat, "normal" body proportions, and the couple I've known have had the same lovely personality that you describe for Josh. I'm glad you found each other.
  13. Hooper2

    Help?! chance of pregnancy?

    If your dog sitter is telling the truth, and the physical contact between your girl and the male was only for a few seconds, and if you are certain that there was no other time when your girl was in contact with a male, then your girls is just experiencing a false pregnancy, which is bothersome, but not a disaster. False pregnancies are reasonably common, so I wouldn't panic unless you are worried that your pet sitter isn't being completely truthful or accurate, or if there is any possibility that your girl was around a male at some other time. If you are worried I would skip the ultrasound, which isn't completely reliable at detecting puppies, and wait until a few days before the possible due-date and have an x-ray.
  14. Hooper2

    Centenary of Armistice - we will remember them.

    I know nothing of what any of my ancestors may have done in WW I. I'm the descendant of Irish potato famine refugees from the 1840's and German woodworkers and dairy farmers who migrated to N America in the late 1800's. Although there were stories from WW II, no one ever talked about the first great war. But I wanted to tell you how moved I was by your post. The debt we owe to those who fought in those wars is immeasurable.
  15. Hooper2

    Styles of training

    Well, true, a lot of what's involved in training dogs for conformation is weird, and you do have to associate with people with weird priorities . . The puppy socialization class I thought I wanted to sign up for was full, and the person at the dog club in charge of registering for classes suggested the conformation class the next hour as an alternative. Maybe I just lucked out with my experience, but the instructor understood that I was not interested in actually showing in conformation (to put it mildly), and provided exactly what I described - an opportunity for my pup to practice focusing on me when around other young pups and practice in walking/trotting on a loose lead admidst lots of distraction while watching where they are going (the show walk you describe is often seen in obedience, not conformation). And I have had to allow the veterinarian (who thankfully is pretty much a stranger to my usually very healthy dog) to run his hands all over my dog, including looking at teeth and ears and palpating in private places and the veterinarian appreciated that my dog accepted that calmly. Yeah, the whole concept of actually showing in conformation is stupid, and I can understand someone not wanting to support it in any way, not even by attending a training class tailored for that activity. But, I found the one I attended suited my goals of giving my pup practice behaving calmly around a bunch of other dogs much better than a class where puppies are required to "play" with each other whether they want to or not, and much better than an obedience class where dogs are actually trained to crane their necks to stare at strings of cheese dangling from the handler's mouth. Plus I got a lot of practice at exercising my eye-rolling muscles
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