Can you help?

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    I’m trying to encourage people with lots of different experiences of dog ownership to contribute to our Think Tank blog which then goes on to form the new Think Tank section of Dogs Today magazine.

    I’ve copied and pasted a selection of the questions which as yet haven’t had an answer and I’m wondering if you’d mind having a look if there’s any you could help solve – or indeed if you’ve got any questions you’ve always wanted an answer to.

    We have a few experts dipping in and out – but often personal experience of a similar issue can be invaluable.

    I’d be really grateful if you’d stop by and have a read to see if there’s any you could help with.

    here are the questions

    Retraining a deaf dog
    I rescued a seven-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff with severe ear problems about a year ago. He has had a number of chronic ear problems in the past, left untreated by his previous owners, which have now caused abnormalities in both ear canals. Yesterday the vet had to perform a bilateral TECA/LBO and he is now completely deaf.
    Does anyone have any experience of retraining an older dog who has lost his hearing? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Kim Stock

    Manic Morph
    I’d like some advice regarding my recent family addition; a two-year-old neutered male Border Collie called Morph, who’s been living with us for seven-and-a-half weeks. I know very little of his history as he was a stray.
    We discovered he was microchipped, but when we spoke to the people he was registered with they told us they had lost him four months previously, had seen him walked by someone else and he looked so happy they didn’t want him back, which sounded a bit suspicious to me.
    I decided to give him a trial and he hit it off with my Border Collie bitch, Ebony. It has become evident, however, that he has received very little training or stimulation of any sort. He pretty much has every problem an under-stimulated collie could have. He chases everything (including my cats), he stalks cars and sometimes he tries to catch them, throwing himself at them. Ebony also had this problem when we first bought her and I managed to stop it, but she was younger and a lot easier to hold on to than Morph!
    He also takes food from the worktops and barks constantly when he’s in the car. I’ve tried a humane collar that shoots out air when he barks. It was fantastic at first, but then he discovered that it was just as fun to bark at the air coming out of the collar. When he’s not barking he’s licking the windows or grating his teeth on them. I don’t know whether this is because car journeys are stressful for him or whether it’s because he wants to chase the cars.
    When excited, Morph tends to use us as springboards. He also fixes his sight on various things (quite often light bulbs) and just stares at them and jumps straight up at them. He also chases his tail; in fact he’s chewed the end of it off.
    I love him to pieces and I know that he hasn’t been with us very long, but I’m wondering if I’ve taken on a dog that’s too much and if he would be better off with someone who had more time to devote directly to him. I’m self-employed and the dogs are with me as much as is possible. They also have a three-hour (minimum) walk each day.
    I know he’ll be the most fantastic dog once he’s trained. I just want what’s best for him. I’d rather rehome him sooner or later if I have to, but directly, and not via a rescue centre. Is there any advice you can give me with his multitude of problems?
    Amy Britcher, by email

    Ashes to Ashes?
    I’m wondering if anyone else has read what’s in their dog food and has gone ugh!
    I feed a really top notch food that’s meant to be really healthy – yet even that has 5% Ash in it.
    What is Ash and why is it in seemingly in every prepared dog food? Is it just something to bulk it out – surely it can’t be healthy eating ashes?
    Will Holmes, Weybridge

    What’s a Belly Band?
    Just heard that the KC have concerns about the misuse of belly bands, I’d never even heard of them before then. What are they, what are they meant to be used for and how could they be abused?
    Sarah Stevens, Slough

    A Belly Band seems to be an American invention – it’s a wrap secured by Velcro that goes around a male dog’s middle stopping them weeing or even mating! Correctly used they stop dogs from scent marking – particularly useful for hard to housetrain dogs or dogs that may be incontinent. Incontinence pads can be used inside the wrap. The KC are worried about these wraps being too tight or being left on for too long.

    Heavy Price to Pay
    I had to change vets recently due to having no transport to travel to the practice I have used for 20 years, which is 10 miles away.
    The medical records were transferred for my dog Millie who has a heart problem. She has been taking Fortekor 5mg, for which I have been paying £26.54 for 28 tablets. After a consultation (as a new patient) I was given the usual tablets but was charged over £42 for them. When I questioned the price difference I was told that this was the price they were charged from their supplier. I explained I would find it difficult to afford this price and she then said that perhaps they could do a ‘deal’ and suggested £31.50.
    Is it a common thing for medication to vary so much in price between different vets? I find it quite shocking.
    Deborah Lyons, Leicester

    Reprogramming Needed
    I have a five-year-old Westie bitch who has increasingly taken to attacking the television whenever a programme or an advert comes on that has a dog in it (sometimes other animals too) – in fact there is one advert in particular that really sets her off – the Specsavers sheep shearing one! She actually launches herself at the television, barking and growling and trying to paw at the dog or animal. I have tried to use a distraction but to little avail, even the odd food treat when she leaves it alone has no impact; I have even shut her in another room until she calms down as advised by another dog walker. If I put her on the lead she does calm down and settles almost to watch it but I do not want to keep having to do this to her every time I have the television on. Any suggestions would be most welcome!!!

    Reaction or just a coincidence?
    Is it possible to have a reaction to other injections – not just a vaccine?
    I have heard of a dog developing a lump on the site of an anti-biotic jab. What could cause that? Is their any other ingredients in an antibiotic jab that a very sensitive animal could have a reaction to? Or could the antibiotic itself set off a lumpy reaction? Or could it just be a coincidence?

    Fading Away
    I’ve noticed that sometimes my dog’s nose and lips can become less brown. It’s usually when she’s about to come into season. Is it an old wives tale or could this be a sign of a lack of iron?
    An old breeder friend says to give her kelp – but where do you get it? Someone else recommended Brewer’s Yeast. But how much and how often? (She’s a Springer Spaniel)
    Should I go to my vet and get her checked out? Could this be a symptom of something more serious? I read on a forum that autoimmune can be linked to fading pigment.
    Sarah Stevens

    Eye Don’t know
    My dog has quite unusual eyes, but they seem to have changed colour as his coat has got lighter and darker. Is this just an optical illusion? Or is it possible for dogs eye colour to change?
    My dog is a Beardie which is one of the few breeds to have the greying gene which means their coats change colour all their lives. Could this be true of the pigments in his eyes, too?
    Beverley Cuddy, Editor

    The Big Sneeze
    Can dogs catch colds? I have had a very heavy cold over the past week and now my dog has a runny nose and keeps sneezing.
    Karen Hughes

    The Lawn Ranger
    We have a two-year-old neutered male Labrador who enjoys the run of our back garden. However, after he wees or poos he kicks up great lumps of turf with his back feet. I understand that he is marking his territory, but how can we stop him from digging up our lawn?
    Megan Owen

    Many thanks


    re: the BC

    sounds like a regular normal BC to me !!

    dog isnt getting enough mental stimulation or training and unwanted behaviours are being re-inforced !!


    The questions are now on the board, the link if anyone needs it is in Ms Cuddys signature – if anyone wishes to reply to a question then you can post here for the answer to be retrieved by the OP or on her blog whichever you prefer.



    Well I for one, have replied on her blog. 

    I was very moved by the BC question because of my intense love of the breed and because so many remain trapped in distressing environments such as this with owners who are not brave enough to speak out before it gets too much for them.  This owner put her trust in the magazine and whatever you might feel about the editor – the mag IS a trusted source for many many dog owners out there.



    The Think Tank is designed for everyone to share their dog experiences and for many shades of opinion to be expressed. Thanks to the moderator for posting all the questions in the body of my first post – as it was so long I thought it might be too much for everyone to plough through, but if it means more people read them then great. Someone may have been through something similar and be able to offer valuable insight – there’s been some great posts today so if any have come from this forum, thank you!

    Best wishes


    I have edited posts – any more talk about who made who leaves and i will lock the thread.


    i am clearly out of the loop here having been away for personal reasons but my take on this….

    i am ‘blogged’ emailed pm’d every day…sometimes dozens at a time…lord knows what the state of my email box is…havnt looked yet…but…what i will say is that in my honest opinion it is unehtical to use a public forum that has an excellent knowledge base to get answers to give to clients 2nd or 3rd hand….and yep a blog page/think tank whatever it is called is a client base…a magazine’s customers are clients…if i posted client problems or potential client problems on here in order to obtain answers for them i would be slaughtered…what i do is encourage the questioners to join the board in order to benefit from the broad knowledge base that is on here….both from those of us that are professionals and those that are loving caring owners with experience and gained knowledge

    i dont know what has been cut or why…all i know is that we have lost some valuable resources partly over what to me is a search for solutions to 2nd hand problems ….as i said unethical in my book

    am back….am going to wade through all this and try to sort it out with colin….

    and if this post fires things off i will lock it…and if that is heavy modding or viewed as bullying so be it…


    And surely that’s what the experts associated with the magazine get paid for.

    I’m happy to make suggestions on a public forum in some cases but not for someone else to make money from them.  As a professional, I’m not sure that my insurance would cover that! I wonder if the magazine’s professional indemnity covers advice from non-experts. Now, if a magazine wants to pay for my expertise, I might give it some consideration.



    I get e-mails directed to myself that I can not answer.  I advise them that they may get ideas from the Forum.  I would have said that it may have been benificial to get the readers to post their questions.

    I do question, do these individuals know they have had their names and locations posted on an open forum?  If they had e-mailed you direct, they may have only expected at the most that it be printed in the magazine.  I do write to anyone in a similar circumstance to gain their permission before posting their question, which is rare.

    Indemnity aside, who holds the copyright on any question replied to on here?  I would say the person who posted it.  So to reprint the answer could be a breach of copyright.


    Is this not simply a case of asking permission to reprint?  And if permission has been granted for the issues to be posted on this forum.

    If both of the above situations are met, would that solve the problem?

    So perhaps if people want to repost the solutions that others have offered on here, they should simply pm them to check??


    Agreed, any reprinting of articles posted here should be done with specific permission of the person making the original post.

    Not sure if Bevers2406 has done that with the original questions.  If I was asked if I could have my question posted elsewhere, I would be careful about having my details added.

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