Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Videos of the month






Top 10 Pet Ops of 2010 by PDSA

Counting down from 10, here are PDSA’s most memorable cases from 2010:


10. Diabetic Dolly (10), a Staffordshire BullTerrier from Nottingham, was given a new ‘leash’ of life thanks to an ingenious solution, when she struggled to cope after becoming blind. Resourceful PDSA vets fitted plastic cable ‘whiskers’ to her collar to help her find her way around. Dolly quickly learnt to use the specially adapted collar, becoming quite a talking point in her local park in the process, and is now back living life to the full.

9.   Greedy Labrador Leo acquired some extra socks appeal when he wolfed down three items of hosiery earlier this year. PDSA vets in Sunderland removed the garments from one-year-old Leo’s stomach during life-saving surgery. This was the second time the excitable pooch had an emergency op: he got a pork chop bone lodged inside his bowel in 2009.

8.   Seven-year-old Dalmatian, Cassie, astounded vets at Brighton PDSA PetAid hospital when they rushed her into surgery to remove a suspicious object in her stomach, only to find a whopping 600g (1.3lb) of blanket inside her. She had eaten sections of the blanket over several months after suffering from separation anxiety following the death of one of her owners.

7.   Eighteen-month-old Houdini the cat had a miraculous escape after she was shot in the face with an airgun, injuring her left eye and leaving a pellet embedded close to her spine. Vets at PDSA in Bristol performed life-saving surgery, although sadly her eye was damaged beyond repair and had to be removed. The pellet was too close to her spinal cord to be removed safely but the lucky cat has recovered well and is back on all four paws.

6.   Plucky Jasmine, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier from Scotland, suffered from ‘fowl play’ after swallowing a rubber duck. Astoundingly, Jasmine spent nine months with the bath toy inside her stomach before it shifted and created a near-fatal blockage. Luckily PDSA was here to help and vets at the charity’s Shamrock Street PetAid hospital removed the duck during emergency surgery.

5.   Two-year-old Springer Spaniel Samson’s health really ‘hit the rocks’ earlier this year after he gobbled down an incredible 2lb of stones from his owner’s garden. The poorly pooch, whose stomach was full to bursting, was rushed into surgery at Edinburgh PDSA. The stones could easily have caused a fatal obstruction, but luckily they were removed in time, and Samson made a full recovery.

4.   Cinderella the cat from Gravesend nearly lost her ‘fairy-tail’ ending after a horrific road accident. But the fearless feline dragged herself home despite suffering some of the worst injuries vets at PDSA’s Gillingham PetAid hospital had ever seen. It was touch-and-go during the operation, but the veterinary team managed to fix her shattered pelvis and ruptured internal organs. After months of treatment she is back to her old self and is finally living ‘happily ever after’.

3.   Playful Labrador Jet from Gateshead nearly choked to death after accidentally swallowing another dog’s ball in a park. Unable to remove the ball and with two-year-old Jet gasping for air, his owner rushed him to the local PDSA PetAid hospital where vets, seeing that he had minutes to live, rushed him in for emergency treatment. The ball was removed and, despite his near-fatal ordeal, Jet was back on all four paws just an hour later.

2.   Curious kitten Garfield, from Glasgow, used up one of his nine lives after a terrifying 120ft fall from a 12th floor flat. His owner feared the worst, but incredibly the eight-month-old kitten was still alive, suffering from a broken front leg and a collapsed lung. PDSA vets in Tollcross used a metal plate and six screws to fix his leg, and he went on to make a full recovery.

1.   The number one spot belongs to four-year-old Collie Lassie whopulled off a miracle worthy of her name-sake after surviving a 200ft cliff fall while on holiday with her family. She suffered extensive injuries including broken and dislocated legs, requiring months of treatment at Bristol PDSA. Despite fears that she would never walk again, she defied the odds and has now made a full recovery, becoming something of a local celebrity in the process.
Article by: K9 Magazine

Monday, 20 December 2010

Dogs At Greater Risk Of Injury During Christmas – Survey Reveals Top Five Festive Hazards


Pine needles, glass decorations, left over food and an abundance of chocolate – this might sound like your average family Christmas but for dogs and their owners it can be an extremely hazardous environment. A survey carried out byChurchill Pet Insurance and dog rehoming website Dogsblog.com has revealed Christmas to be a hazardous time of year for dogs and their owners. With alcohol, bad weather, crowded homes and Christmas decorations contributing most to the problem.
Almost half of all dog owners admitted over-feeding their dog during the festive season. Normal table scraps, that are fine in moderation, soon mount up over Christmas and Boxing Day and dogs are often the grateful recipients of the overspill, but DogsBlog.com founder Ryan O'Meara warns against giving your dog anything extra from the table.
Ryan continues, “It can be hugely tempting to give into those big puppy dog eyes, but remember, the leftovers from Christmas aren't best suited to dogs. Find something equally tempting and rewarding to give your dog while you tuck into your Christmas dinner to keep their attentions focused.”
But no matter how disciplined dog owners during the holiday season, there is no legislating for the 31% of dogs that manage to help themselves. Dog owners are being advised to curb this problem by ensuring that their dog is banished from the kitchen when food is being prepared. The smell of the food coupled with the proximity of that turkey leg can often be too much temptation. Almost half of all dog owners surveyed reported (45%) that their dog has been involved in or caused an accident in the kitchen on Christmas day. Crowded kitchens and the extra food coupled with the excitement of Christmas dinner make the kitchen a dangerous environment for curious dogs.
Top Five Christmas Hazards
1) Chocolate  
2) Antifreeze on the ground  
3) Pine needles  
4) Glass decorations  
5) Crowded kitchens
But the kitchen isn't the only cause for concern during Christmas. 81% percent of dog owners that participated in the survey reported that their dog had destroyed at least one Christmas present. A similar amount (79%) said that they avoided putting up a real Christmas tree due to the potential for injury. Almost half of those that did favour a real Christmas tree reported that their dog had been injured at least once by pine needles, mostly when they become lodged in the dog's paw.
Just under a third of participants reported that their dog had at one point, been injured or come to harm as a direct result of Christmas festivities. Alcohol and decorations were the main causes, while theobromine poisoning caused by chocolate consumption was a major worry. House guests leaving doors to off-limits rooms also posed a problem to cautious dog owners, with some reporting that canine escape attempts during the Christmas period were higher.
Christmas Safety Tips For Dog Owners
1) Dog owners with nervous pets should avoid using crackers in the presence of their dog  
2) Chocolate should be kept out of your dog's reach 
3) Bins should be emptied regularly to prevent foraging 
4) Dogs should be provided with a calm area away from foot traffic to escape the hustle and bustle 
5) Dogs should be banished from the kitchen when food is being cooked
6) Fake trees are safer than real ones. Keep the lights away from ground level and consider putting the tree on a table
Adam Whiteley, Head of Churchill Pet Insurance, said: “It’s no surprise so many owners like to treat their four-legged friends as much as the rest of the family over the festive season. We're certainly a nation of dog-lovers. However, we want to raise awareness of the potential risks facing pets this Christmas.  We’d advise pet owners to keep human goodies and other potentially hazardous items well out of the reach of their hungry and inquisitive four-legged friends, as treating pets for illness or injury can be very costly.  
  
“We strongly recommend pet insurance being put in place to cover any unforeseen vet bills and to give owners peace of mind in the event of a pet needing veterinary treatment.”

Distributed by petbuzz :: social media for pet brands
Outdoor dog products: www.scruffmacduff.co.uk

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Scruff MacDuff now stocks Vibram K9 dog toys



The Vibram® K9 Ball is probably the toughest rubber toy we've tested, but don't take our word for it: Kansas City Zoo uses them to keep their Wild African Dogs occupied; it’s also been tested by the Wayreth pack of Siberian Huskies. As well as the balls, we have Vibram’s discs, sticks and Shooey-Chewies.

All products come with a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee for a one-time replacement or refund.

Vibram K9 Professional rubber dog toys
 are made from natural rubber (commonly used for soles of walking and athletic shoes) containing FDA approved ingredients. Tough and durable, they are available in a wide range of great colours.

Vibram K9 toys were formerly known as My Good Dog

Buy them now from Scruff MacDuff toy section: 

Ruffwear Cloud Chaser Jacket


I’m really not a fan of dogs wearing clothes, but I AM quite the gym rat so I think this softshell jacket, with its resemblance to Under Armour gym wear, is really pretty cute. And I do admit that there are times when it’s so cold that even dogs need a little extra help staying warm. The Cloud Chaser is light and streamlined, and fits snugly around the chest and belly to keep intrepid canine explorers warm, dry, and toasty while charting new routes around the planet (or just their own backyards). I especially like how the jacket extends down around the belly without interfering with necessary functions, if you know what I mean. My unscientific guess is that dogs lose more heat from their bellies, since they have less hair there, so I like the design that covers as much of the belly as possible. If you have a lady Geardog, she could have her whole belly covered, but this is a unisex jacket so she’ll have to put up with a bit of a draft. When the day arrives that we’ll need a Grrgeargal web site for all the lady-dog-specific gear out there, we’ll know that dogs finally will have reached their full potential in society.
Shoehorning the Geardog into the jacket was a little difficult until I realized there is a full-length zipper for easy on/off. Poor Geardog. It’s one of the many times I’m sure he wished he could speak English, because I bet he sure thought I was an idiot, and was really sick of getting stuffed into this coat when there was a perfectly good zipper to make it easy. I like (and the Geardog appreciates) the liner on the zipper that keeps it from trapping the Geardog’s coat while operating the zipper. And the zipper doesn’t come loose no matter how much the Geardog exerts himself.
One thing the Geardog still isn’t sure about is the little sleeves. He seems to think they’re a bit restrictive, but once he gets running around, he kind of forgets about it. Still, they are a wee bit long for dogs, since I don’t think their upper front legs really need to stay that warm. I suppose they help retain some of the chest heat, but if your dog is THAT cold, it might be better to stay inside. Geardog appreciates the reflective piping for safety, and the 4-way stretch fabric that lets him romp as he pleases.
Sizing might be an issue, because of the sheer range of dog sizes that exist. 55-lb Geardog seems to fit fine into the Medium, but a little more wiggle room might be warranted. I’d like it to be just a little bit looser to allow for fur fluff and to have a little layer of air to trap Geardog’s body heat. A short-haired dog won’t have the fur fluff issue, but undercoated dogs need to plump up their coats to maximize heat retention. If I ever get my hands on a large size Cloud Chaser, I’ll try it and see what Geardog thinks. In the meantime he’s going to have to maintain his trim figure if he wants to wear the jacket (something I can relate to). He still thinks wearing clothes is kind of weird, but when it’s below zero, he’ll appreciate the Cloud Chaser.

Review by: GRR Gear

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Ruffwear Interactive Lunker Dog Toy

When conducting our reviews of dog toys, the Geargal and the Geardog spend a lot of time carefully assessing exactly what about the toy makes it a success or a failure. OK, fine – the Geardog either plays madly with the toy or he doesn’t, and the Geargal (that’s me) makes wild guesses as to why he does what he does with each particular item. It’s hard to say, because the Geardog’s taste in toys has evolved over the years from “furry and squeaky” to “flying” and finally to “big chunk of something on a rope.” This is what he’s into nowadays, and the Lunker is just the ticket. The Geardog digs the options he has with the Lunker; he can grab the rope and tug or grab the..the…lunk(?) and tug, or run, or shake, or toss, or whatever. Either way, he’s happy. I appreciate the non-slimy surface of the lunk, which, even when coated with dog slobber, wipes off pretty easily. This means I can carry it home in a pocket without having to scrape the slobber out of said pocket when I get home. That is, if I could fit the Lunker in a pocket – the thing is pretty big. Like the Gourdo, it comes in a big size and a small size. For dogs over 60 pounds, the big size is probably necessary, but more compact dogs would do fine with the small size and it’s easier to carry and stow anyway. However, the big size has a really nice, long rope, which would be a welcome addition to the small size, too. Longer rope = more pulling options, which means varied play which means happy dogs.
So, once again, the “something on a rope” formula is a success. If it can be pulled, tugged on, or ran around with, the Geardog digs it, but he digs the Lunker more than most. He likes the substantial lunk because he can get a good solid grip on it, and I like it because it’s low maintenance and easy to clean. Something for everyone, eh?
Review by: GRR Gear

Monday, 13 December 2010

Ruffwear Beacon

Ruffwear is kind enough to invest in Geardog’s safety and sent a care package his way. We were excited to see that the package included a Beacon safety light! The Beacon arrived just in time for us; last year’s strobe light had proven itself unreliable as the darkness descended this year. Since we Alaskans usually end up walking our dogs in darkness most of the winter, we have to find a way to keep track of our canine friends in the dark. The Beacon is a completely insanely bright red light that can clip to a collar or harness so you can track your dog from space. Well, maybe not from that far, but the Beacon is really super bright! We switched it on in daylight when we got it, and even then we were blinded by the brightness. This light is, er, noticeable to say the least. It has three modes – slow blink, seizure-inducing blink, and steady light. I usually use the steady mode, but if you really want to attract attention, the strobe mode will do it. On a collar or harness, the blinking light won’t shine in your dog’s eyes so they’re probably OK with it. Geardog never seems to notice the crazy lights I keep attaching to him, so the Beacon has his seal of approval.
The Beacon helps me keep track of Geardog on leisure walks and on searches and trainings, and helps drivers and other trail users spot him in the darkness. It’s another great tool that provides another layer of safety for dogs, so how can you refuse? Grab a Beacon for your dog today. 
Review by: GRR Gear
Buy it now from Scruff MacDuff : 

Friday, 10 December 2010

Cold-Weather Dog Gear


Late fall and winter, when the leaves drop and the air gets cold, can be an optimal time to get outdoors with your dog. I run and hike with my eight-year-old Weimaraner, Rodney, all year ‘round. When the snow flies we skijor and “dogsled” a few times a week. (We put him in a harness and let him pull our kids around on plastic sleds on a frozen lake near our home.)
Don’t let the cold weather or deep snow slow your dog time down. Indeed, many breeds love it when the temps drop and they can run and run without overheating. Ruff Wear Inc., a dog-gear company in Bend, Ore., recently handed out a list of cold-weather dog tips. Take this advice before leashing up your canine in the cold this year. —Stephen Regenold
Don’t fear the chill. Cooler weather provides a great opportunity to get outside with your dog. Some dogs thrive in cool temperatures so take advantage of the seasonal weather! Try a new activity together: trail running/hiking, snow shoeing, or skijoring. If it’s really cold, make the adventure more comfortable for your dog by putting on dog boots and/or a dog coat. This will help the dog stay out longer. 
Leash ‘em in the snow. When snow storms hit, it’s best to keep your dog on a leash. Ruff Wear cites a source that says more dogs are lost during the winter months than during any other season. Dogs can lose their bearings when the weather turns nasty, so keep identification tags on at all times.
Water in the cold. When you’re out on the trail this winter, don’t expect your dog to find their own water source. Eating snow isn’t an acceptable way to take in water either. Make sure to carry extra H20 and a collapsible water bowl in your pack.
Dog booties. During the colder months, outdoor surfaces may contain any number of harsh substances that could irritate dogs’ paws. A product like Ruff Wear’s Polar Trex dog boots not only provide excellent traction on snow and ice, they can protect paws from harmful chemicals like salt and antifreeze on winter sidewalks and roads.
Fur considerations. Short-haired dogs like my Weimaraner often need an additional layer to keep their core temperature in a healthy range. A dog coat is a must-have for breeds not equipped to handle winter’s lowest temps. One option is Ruff Wear’s Cloud Chaser, a softshell zip-on that repels wind and moisture while helping a dog stay warm.
Shop those products from Scruff MacDuff Online Store: http://www.scruffmacduff.co.uk
Article by: gearjunkie






Thursday, 9 December 2010

CHRISTMAS SAFETY TIPS FOR DOGS

Try to imagine the holidays from your dog’s point of view. Your house is changing on a daily basis. Furniture is moved around. Nothing is where it used to be. There are strange trees and plants that used to be outside that now are inside. There are new sounds and smells. Very little is familiar. All sorts of people are coming to the door, and some are even staying overnight. Here are some tips for a safe holiday season.



You
Food
The Environment
Visitors or guests

KNOW WHERE YOUR DOG IS AT ALL TIMES.
SUPERVISE DOGS AND CHILDREN PLAYING TOGETHER.
Even if your dog is good with children and has never bitten, the added stress may be just enough for that first bite.

You
Stay calm. You can get stressed out during the holidays, and your dog picks up on your stress. He looks to you as a leader. If you are calm, he is calm. And also try to spend a little quiet time with him every day – it will help you, too.
Review your dog’s basic obedience exercises daily. Don’t teach him something new, but reviewing what he already knows will reinforce you as a leader and someone he can trust.
Keep your dog’s regular daily routine. Feed and walk him at the same times as you usually do. Changing his routine can make him stressful, and he can seek attention by misbehaving. According to your dog, any attention, even if you are screaming at him, is better than no attention.
Play with your dog before your party. If you tire him out, he’ll be too tired to get into any mischief when guests arrive. If that is not possible, hire a dog walker or take him to doggie daycare.
Find out the location of the nearest emergency vet in your area NOW. Don’t lose precious moments during an emergency.

Food
Don’t use toothpicks. Try not to use toothpicks for hors d’oeurves because he can eat the toothpicks if they are dropped on the floor and they can get stuck in his throat or puncture internal organs.
Be careful when you’re cooking and baking. If you are serving a roast and it is covered in a mesh that is soaked with the juices from the meat, remember that your dog can eat that mesh and it can cause his intestines to twist and he can get bloat where his stomach swells up like a balloon. If that happens, get him to a vet immediately. Bloat is 100% fatal without veterinary intervention. Don’t wait to see if he gets better by morning. By morning he will have died an agonizing death.
So be careful and put all garbage in cans that have dog-proof lids or are behind locked doors. If you bake or cook and leave things out to cool, put them way back on the countertops. If he steals food off countertops, try to deter him by putting double stick tape on the front and top of the counter so that when he puts his feet up, the tape will stick to the hair on his feet. Or you can get clear vinyl carpet runners and place them with the prong sides up along the countertops. These deterrents may not work, so the best solution is not to let him in the kitchen at all.

The Environment
The Tree: Choose the location for your Christmas tree carefully. Aside from the obvious reasons of not putting it near a fireplace and using lighted candles because of the fire danger, don’t put the tree in the window that your dog always looks out of because he will still try to look out of that window with the tree there, and it can fall over. To minimize that risk, you may want to tie the tree to a ceiling hook. Decorate the higher limbs and leave the lower ones bare, and make sure all ornaments are fastened tightly to the branches. Change the water for the tree frequently. It can contain pine tar which is poisonous and if your dog drinks it, he can be in real trouble.
Keep all decorations, ornaments, ribbons, yarn, and wrapping paper out of your dog’s reach. If you use edible ornaments and decorations such as bread dough, popcorn, and gumdrops not only on your tree but also throughout your house, remember that they still are food to your dog, and the dough and paint you use on them can be toxic. Other ornaments such as angel hair and tinsel are also extremely dangerous if they are eaten, and they can also cause external cuts and scrapes especially to the mouth, eyes, and nose. If you put stockings on your mantle and fill them with food, your dog can still reach them. He’ll probably eat the stocking as well as the food. Don’t put gifts of food under the tree either for obvious reasons.
Plants: Almost all Christmas plants are thought to be poisonous: holly, mistletoe, ivy, Christmas cactus, and poinsettias. Keep them away from your dog. 

Visitors or guests
Be especially careful opening your front door when you are greeting guests and also with delivery people so your dog doesn’t dash out. Put him on a leash when you open the door. Make sure he is wearing identification tags or is micro chipped so that if he does get out and gets lost, whoever finds him can locate you easily.
This is also important if he is in the back yard during New Year’s Eve celebrations. The sound of fireworks may scare him, and he can jump the fence out of fear. Please keep your dog inside toprevent this from happening. Include your dog in the festivities, but be aware of where he is and let him have an escape route to a quiet place if he needs one.
You can tether his leash to a sofa or other heavy piece of furniture and bring his bed in for him to lie on. Give him a toy or a doggie pacifier made out of a Kong, which is a bell-shaped rubber toy. Smear the inside with peanut butter or cream cheese and then pack the inside with a mixture of his favorite kibble and yummy smelly dog treats. You can freeze it before you give it to him so he can spend a long time trying to get all the goodies out of the Kong. But watch him carefully. All the commotion and stress may make him possessive of his toys and he could snap at anyone who comes close to him.
Another solution is to put him in another room with the door closed. If this is the one you choose, then practice leaving him there before your party and if he is barking, don’t let him out until he is quiet. Make it as pleasant as possible for him, and don’t let it seem as though he is being punished. Put his bed and toys in there and make him a Kong doggie pacifier.
Ask your guests not to feed your dog or let him drink any of their drinks. Tell them that he has been sick and he must be very careful in what he is fed. A small amount of alcohol can put your dog in a coma. A drunken dog is not funny. Do you want to spend your holiday cleaning up after your dog or taking him to the emergency vet? If your guests absolutely must feed him something, give them some dog treats to give your dog.
Ask smokers to be especially careful. Inadvertent gestures with a cigarette in their hand could have disastrous results. Or they may be talking and forget to flick the ashes off their cigarette, and the hot ash may fall on your dog and burn him.

Thanks to Doggie Manners for this Article
http://www.doggiemanners.com/

Now, go on and buy some safety products for your dog at ScruffMacDuff.co.uk

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Paws to Protect



Winter boots are essential wear for humans to provide traction and protection on snow and ice. Our pets need special care and attention for their feet during harsh weather, too. Learn how to minimize injury and discomfort for your pet's paws and be aware of other winter dangers.

Snow and Ice Balls
If your pet is going on a walk or hike with you where there is lots of snow, ice balls can form between the paw pads. This is the number one complaint of my dogs of my life who have had lots of hair between the paw pads that serves to collect the snow and form a nice hard ice ball. Difficult to walk on! This can be helped by trimming the hair a bit and even applying a small amount of petroleum jelly or olive oil to the area prior to the walk. Be sure to use an edible ointment/oil, as dogs often lick their feet and ingest what was applied. Another effective option are boots for pets. This may not work for all pet personalities, but for dogs that will tolerate a boot, this offers the ultimate protection from the elements.
Salt and Deicers for Roads and Sidewalks
Salt and other ice melting granules or chemicals can irritate your pet's paws. Pets often lick their paws when wet or irritated, leading to possible toxicity by ingestion of the ice melting substance. My pets also love eating and licking the snow that falls off of boots, and if you use (or have walked on) a deicer compound, your pet will ingest that as well. Sand, gravel and non-clumping cat litters are the safest option (in terms of not being toxic) for traction on ice and snow, but we don't want pets consuming those products, either. Use caution when using any salt or chemical deicers and if at all possible, buy "pet safe" brands. Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside in snow and icy conditions.
Cut Paw Pads
Injuries happen from stepping on items obscured by snow, sharp edges on ice, and sometimes from snow toys and implements used to remove snow. First aid treatment is to gently cleanse the wound with warm water and a mild soap, and apply pressure to stop bleeding. Paw pads are very thick and slow to heal; deep cuts to the paw pads usually require sutures for proper healing.
Article by About.com

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