Swedish Vets and SKK Lead The Way

stenotic nares pug This summer, Swedish judge Åke Cronander awarded a pug an Excellent rating at a show in Sweden in spite of the fact that it was evidently in respiratory distress. He also participated in a televised debate where he stated that he had never seen a dog with breathing problems in the show ring. Following the posting of the video on social media and subsequent complaints, some Swedish owners of show pugs have attempted to claim that the dog was making “anxiety sounds” – as if that would be a good thing! They also list “pug-friendly” judges on their web site – one assumes that will be judges who are prepared to accept a gasping, snorting (and often overweight) dog as normal and award the owners an “Excellent” accolade.

Our own KC is keen to remind potential judges that they are not vets and consistently talks about lameness as if it were the only health problem that was patently evident. They seem also prepared to ignore the fact that surgery for stenotic nares in barchycephalic dogs is not uncommon and does not prevent them being shown and bred from. The UKKC lists the pug in its highest category for concern (Category 3 Breed Watch) and makes veterinary checks and reporting of concerns by judges compulsory. This does not seem to have resulted in a significant move away from distressed dogs.

To its immense credit, the Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) has made breathing problems a specific focus for concern and is currently investigating Åke Cronander’s decision, having also published a statement expressing their concern. They are also revising breeding guidelines and health advice for all bracycephalic breeds, including revising the puppy health certificates which must accompany all dogs sold by SKK members to put more emphasis on dogs’ constitution. The SKK are working in conjunction with vets and considering whether to make their breeding prototcol and veterinary certificate mandatory. In addition, they are embarking on a training programme for their judges and on an education programme for the public.

Free Microchipping West London

Hounslow Dog Warden services and the DogsTrust are offering free microchipping, health checks and vouchers for neutering, vaccinations, fleas and worming at Edensor Gardens in Chiswick, London W4 2RF on November 18th, 2015 between 11.00 hrs and 15.00 hrs.

Remember, all dogs will be required to be microchipped by April 2016 and it is owner’s responsiblity to keep their details up to date on the database.

Routine health care helps all dogs in the community stay well by providing ‘herd immunity’ and preventing the build up of worms such as toxicara canis.

Eighth Day Dogs

The Dogs Trust has just released the results of its latest Stray Dogs Survey. The figures make disheartening reading.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to look after stray dogs for seven days (five days in Ireland). “Eighth Day Dogs” can be rehomed, passed to a welfare organisation or euthanased. Some local authorities have their own kennels, others tender kennelling to private companies or charities.

102,363 stray and abandoned dogs were handled by Local Authorities between 2014 – 2015 (an 8% decrease from last year). That represents an average of 1 stray for every 617 people (actual numbers vary by region).
47,000 owners abandoned their dogs

75% were seized – 1% under the Dangerous Dogs Act
1% were brought in by police
Fewer than 1% were transferred from vets, the RSPCA and dog wardens etc
16% were brought in by members of the public

Between April 1st 2014 and March 31st 2015:
An estimated 50% of stray dogs were reunited with their owners by being reclaimed during the statutory local authority kennelling period (36%) or returned directly to their owner without entering a kennel (18%)
9% were re-homed by local authorities
22% were passed on to welfare organisations or dog kennels after the statutory period
5% were euthanased (4,880 dogs)
Approximately 5,142 dogs were euthanased across the UK between April 1st 2014 and March 31st 2015
1,367 dogs were euthanased due to behavioural problems or aggression (390 under the Dangerous Dogs Act) and 717 due to ill health

1% were still in the local authority kennels after March 31st 2015
134 strays were retained by the finders
21 dogs were either dead when found or died in kennels

17,789 (20%) of the dogs taken in were already microchipped – a 4% global increase on the previous year, although it varies by region
8,833 of these dogs were reunited when the owner contacted the local authority or pound directly
Microchips alone accounted for 9,430 reunions; ID disks for 1,018 reunions and a combination of the two for 1,066 reunions
817 dogs were reunited due to already being known to the dog warden
Facebook was used to reunite 173 dogs and owners
Local/council registration schemes to reunite 98 dogs and owners
1,380 (3%) dogs taken in had no identification

306 authorities responded to the questions about dog warden services.
283 had services that were operational during working hours on Monday to Friday and 85 during working hours on Saturdays and Sundays
127 authorities had a dog warden service which worked on-call out of working hours on Monday to Friday and 119 authorities operated an on-call service out of hours on weekends

345 authorities in Great Britain reported 18,535 ‘status dogs’ (bull breeds including Staffies and Mastiffs, Rottweilers, Akitas or crosses of these) representing 21% of all strays handled.
1,023 of these (6%) were euthanased due to aggressive behaviour.

If we do not find solutions to irresponsible breeding, purchasing, selling and ownership, the year on year figures will continue to spell misery for the vast numbers of unfortunate dogs that they represent.

Hooray For Crowdfunding

quill box The Guardian today reported that generous donors have helped to fund a Canadian man’s vet bills totalling $11,000 via crowdfunding.

The poor dogs encountered a porcupine with predictable results. Porcupine’s quills are barbed and usually need to be removed under sedation. They can also migrate inwards in a similar manner to grass seeds.

Luckily, they are not a problem for those of us living in Europe.

It’s good to know that our fellow human beings are capable of such altruism and there is one ray of sunshine for the downer – he has enough quills to make a lovely box!