A fairly mild strain of Kennel Cough is doing the rounds mostly affecting unvaccinated dogs visiting day care type centres. Highly contagious, the classic 'whooping' cough starts 4-6 days after contact with an infected dog. Uncomplicated disease does not need treating with antibiotics and some will settle with a bit of cough mixture (DO NOT USE ANY PRODUCT WITH XYLITOL) but if your dog becomes nauseous, not eating, lethargic or with any breathing difficulties, they should be seen.
All lilies and members of the lily family including day lilies are extremely poisonous to cats. Fatal poisonings have been known in cats that have only brushed against the pollen in the flowers so if you have cats, please don't buy lilies.
The FABCATS have a 'Keep Cats Safe' campaign to try get plant growers and nurseries to label the poisonous plants.
It is now law for your dog to have a registered ID chip as well as collar and tag. If you would like to have your dog's chip checked, we can read it and check the 3 main data bases for the current information. We cannot change any information but can give you the contact details of which database has your chip details if you have lost the information.
We have had a very sad fatal case of a cat from the High Holme area in Louth in October 2016 which had been poisoned with anti-freeze.
Antifreeze causes severe kidney failure which by the time anyone realises something is wrong is already causing extreme pain and often the kindest treatment is to put the cat to sleep.
Cats like the taste and the poison dose is very small so if you are working on filling car radiators, windscreen wash bottles or treating indoor fountains with antifreeze or products containing ethylene glycol and there has been some spillage, clean up any puddles and rinse down any residues with large amounts of water.
If you suspect there is someone deliberately putting down poison baits, this is against the law and will need reporting to the police and RSPCA for cruelty to animals.
We do not support the current trend or fashion to 'rescue' dogs from foreign countries. We have already seen too many disaster stories of aggressive or diseased dogs to think anyone is acting in the dog's welfare by trying to give a home in the UK.
If you are thinking of rescuing a foreign dog, here are a few things to consider:
1. These are not pet dogs being sent over - many are semi-feral and are not socialised to what we are used to in the UK. They are often street dogs used to fighting to survive and this aggression is not going to go away when you bring them into your home.
2. There are diseases present in these countries that may be brought into this country and have the potential to affect you or other dogs in the UK. The worst being rabies which is NOT always visible when the dog is checked and if already incubating, the vaccine will fail to prevent a disease which may kill you or your family.
There are a number of dog diseases not present in the UK but which are common on the continent - tick borne diseases such as Babesia, Ehrlichia and Lymes may have a successful outcome if the vet recognises and can get the medication to treat in time. Leishmania is a fly transmitted disease present in the Mediterranian countries which causes a long term debilitation, losing weight and the treatment is prolonged, expensive and needs to be imported and worst of all the treatment only suppresses the disease - the dog is not cured. A 28 day course to start treatment costs about E100.00 if you can get it.
3. By taking on a foreign rescue, the supply is often a van at a motorway station. You may have in fact helped an industry of very dubious origins where there are already reports of vans stuffed with dogs from 'puppy' farms coming over and then the un'rescued' dogs being ditched along the road before the van returns for another load.
The need to help may have started for the best of reasons but the worst of care is already taking place.
4. If you wish to help the plight of dogs in foreign countries, please support charities trying to improve the situation in the indigenous country. Many vets go on 'spay' holidays organised by charities to help get the unwanted breeding under control and there are ways to support similar projects to get diseases under control and basic care in place.
5. Our own UK rescue dog picture is not much better - most rescue centres are overflowing and are desperate for dogs to be re-homed. Many dogs in rescue are the result of family break-ups or losing of accommodation so are closer in temperament to what you would expect and if you are working the reputable rescue organisations such as Battersea or Blue Cross, proper checks for health, aggression and suitability for rehoming will have been done. Even if you cannot take on a local dog needing rescue, most rescue centres welcome volunteers to help with fundraising, walking, fostering and socialising of the dogs.