Monday, 30 June 2014

Summer Series Part 5: Pests and other pesky things!

In the final post of this Summer Series, I want to discuss pests and other pesky things!  Creepy crawlies come out in force in the summer months, plus there can be other dangers abound.  Don't worry, I haven't included squirm inducing pictures!

Fleas, ticks and mites
I am sure we are all aware of fleas, and a responsible pet owner will take steps to protect their pet with a suitable treatment.   A good program should include both a worming treatment, and a flea / tick / mite remedy.  This could be anything from spot on treatments, collars, sprays or natural remedies - my Hooman uses Frontline Combo once a month (once every two months between October and April), plus Milbemax worming tablets once a quarter.

Ticks can still be picked up, particularly in the longer grass this time of year, and even more so where deer and sheep are prevalent.  A lot of spot on treatments will kill them after they bite, but it is worth removing the little blighters if you spot them, as they can carry Lymes disease.   DON'T SQUASH THEM OR PULL THEM OUT!  You risk them regurgitating their stomach contents into your pet, or separating the mouthparts from the body so they stay embedded in the skin which can cause a nasty infection.

My Hooman has only had to remove one tick off me, but she swears by the O Tom Tick Remover, which allows you to twist the tick gently from the skin.  She then spent a worrying amount of time looking at it in a fascinated kind of way.  Strange Hooman....

The O Tom Tick Remover

Grass Seeds
Though not strictly a pest, these barbed seeds can be very unpleasant if they get embedded into your pet -  they are formed in such a way, so they can only travel one way, and if left undetected, can work themselves further and further into your pet, leading to a nasty infection, or worse.  Look out for your pet licking a paw, shaking their head or an eye watering, and get a vet to check it out.  We have heard of a dog losing an eye because of a grass seed....  Check your dog regularly, particularly after a walk through long grass, try and avoid long grass if possible, and keep the coat shorter especially around armpits, paws and ears,

Slugs & Snails
Unfortunately, certainly here in the UK, although it is summer, it still rains.  A lot.  And when it does, those slugs and snails come out in full force!  I am partial to bringing my Hooman a snail or two, but luckily I don't eat them.  However, eating them increases the risk of a nasty disease, Lungworm.  Signs to look out for include coughing, reluctance to exercise, depression, weight loss, fits, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, paralysis and persistent bleeding from even small cuts - see your vet immediately.

Wasps & Bee Stings
I do love to try and play with flying critters, but they aren't always friendly!  Wasp and bee stings are not usually dangerous (though you will need to carefully remove a bee sting with tweezers, as they lodge in the skin), but some dogs can react badly, especially if they suffer multiple stings.  If your dog has difficulty breathing, becomes weak or has a large amount of swelling, seek veterinary attention.  Otherwise you can help ease the pain by bathing the sting area in a water / baking soda or bicarbonate  of soda mix.

Garden hazards
Lastly, be aware of what is going on in your garden.  You Hoomans get a bit gardening crazy (well Hooman doesn't, she detests it), but be careful of what you put down.  Most of you know about the dangers of chocolate - a lot of mulches can contain cocoa bean shells so make sure you read the contents!  The shed door is going to be open more - make sure dangerous chemicals like antifreeze are kept safely out of the way - they taste sweet to us animals, but are deadly toxic.  Lastly, make sure that any pest treatments (slug pellets, greenfly sprays etc) you use the garden are not toxic to animals.

Just a few things to look out for, to keep us safe during the summer months!

Lottie x

Summer Series Part 1:  Recognising and treating heatstroke
Summer Series Part 2:  Keeping dogs cool
Summer Series Part 3:  Open water and dog safety
Summer Series Part 4:  Does your dog have hay fever? 

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Black & White Sunday: Catching a sunbeam

A Spaniels Tail Black and White Sunday Catching a sunbeam

Catching a morning sunbeam!

Lottie x

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Sepia Saturday #2

A Spaniels Tail Sepia Saturday

Just a little pawtrait!

Lottie x

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Product Review: Gor Pets Cuddle Soft Giant Tortoise

Hooman and I were lucky enough to be sent some cool things to try out from the lovely people at Gor Pets this week.  First up is this HUMUNGOUS pink furry tortoise!

Now I did get very excited when I saw this toy - Hooman wanted to take a pic of it before I got my paws on it, and she had to shut me out of the room while she did so - I was a whirligig!  This is my expectant face....

A Spaniels Tail Gor Pet Cuddle Soft Giant Tortoise Review

The Cuddle Soft Tortoise is a huge pink, very soft, furry tortoise, with long legs.  It is marketed as follows: 

"This gorgeous cuddly tortoise crinkles, scrumples, honks and squeaks and the legs are perfect for shaking and flapping."

A Spaniels Tail Gor Pet Cuddle Soft Giant Tortoise Review

When Hooman finally let me loose on it, they were quite right!  The legs all have a great crinkly sound, the feet have squeakies in, and the belly has a big goose honk like squeaky!  It certainly kept me occupied for quite a while! 

A Spaniels Tail Gor Pet Cuddle Soft Giant Tortoise Review

Now, I am not really a "Destroyer of Toys" like some canines I know.  One doggy friend chews those extra tough rope toys into shreds quite happily - this toy wouldn't last two minutes with him!  However, this is a well made quality toy, and if your doglet is like me, who loves their soft toys (I've put a small hole in one since being a tiny pup, and that is the limit of my destructive career!), then they would absolutely love this gorgeous soft tortoise, with its honking, squeaking, crinkly sound effects.  It would also be awesome as a comfortaer for a a puppy, due to being so big and soft - this tortoise is a big girl at 22"!

Lottie x

To find a Gor Pet stockist, click here.

This product was provided for review. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

Summer Series Part 4: Does your dog have hay-fever?

Spaniels tail summer series hay fever

In this summer series, so far we have talked about heatstroke, keeping your dogs cool and safety near water.  But as the temperatures increase, something else is on the increase.....pollen.

Now we all know that Hoomans can get hay-fever, and there are a vast array of over the counter remedies to treat it with, but did you know that dogs can also be highly susceptible to hay-fever too?  As many as one in ten dogs can suffer.  

So how can you tell if your doglet is suffering from pollen excess?  It can be difficult to determine the difference between uncomfortableness from the higher temperatures, and hay-fever symptoms, but here is what to look out for:

  • Weeping and / or inflamed red eyes 
  • Runny nose and sneezing 
  • Increased scratching or biting, particularly around the ears, sides, bottom and armpits
  • Recurring ear inflections 
  • Oily or flaky skin
  • Increased licking of paws
  • Shaking head and / or rubbing their face on the floor or furniture 
  • Becoming more sluggish 
  • A rash on their face and feet

The symptoms though on some level can be similar to a Hoomans, generally they are different, due to a dogs allergen receptors being located in their skin, rather than the eyes or nose like you Hoomans, hence the itching. 

If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, obviously it is a good idea to ask your vet to give your dog the once over to rule out anything more serious.  But once hay-fever has been diagnosed, what can you do to help your pet?  The vet may prescribe anti-histamines or steroids, but there are things you can at home to provide some relief.

  • Keep the dog inside during the hottest part of the day - this is when pollen is at it's highest.
  • After the dog has been outside, wipe the paws down with a damp cloth to remove pollen. 
  • After a walk, wipe the whole dog down with a damp towel.
  • Brush regularly to remove grass seeds and pollen from the dogs coat.
  • If you have a fan or air conditioning, use them to keep the dog cool rather than opening windows.
  • Vacuum regularly to remove any allergens from the carpet that may have been brought in from outside
  • Similarly, wash the dogs bedding frequently to reduce allergens.
  • Bath your dog regularly in cool water.  Oatmeal baths can be particularly soothing, or you can buy shampoos particularly for irritated skin.
  • Keep the coat shorter in the summer months
  • Bathing the dogs paws in Epsom salts can be helpful (always wash them off well afterwards - the dog could develop diarrhoea after licking the salts)
  • Omega 3 and 6 supplements, such as Yumega Plus, can be helpful in improving skin health.

I hope if your dog suffers with hay-fever, that there are a few helpful pointers in there.  What else have you found helps ease the symptoms? 

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Dog & Pup Store.....and a giveaway!

Hooman and I are very excited to announce a new Giveaway starting today, sponsored by a brand new store in the UK - Dog & Pup.   But before we get onto the giveaway, let me tell you what I have found out about this fabulous new online store, from the owner, Jane, who is as lovely as the stuff she sells!  It really is fascinating hearing about how a new company gets founded.  Hooman debates it every day she goes to the office!

Dog & Pup was founded in May this year (less than a month!), and it was conceived, developed and launched in just three months, with an initial investment of just £3,000.   It has been the work of one person, excepting the photographer, videographer and one business dog, Jester the Tester Dog (edit. I want that job!).  Jane doesn't actually have her own dog - this was the reason Dog & Pup was set up, so she could have more time to devote to a dog!!  And did I say videographer?  Yep - they have this PAWSOME video!  There be cocky spangles in it too! 

Jane's mission is to become a thoroughly modern store, but keeping those old fashioned values for customer service that are so hard to find now.  She also works with small manufacturers and startups, such as the The Little Barker Bakery who make delicious treats for us doglets, and the store also uses a really innovative way of partnering with dog charities, to give equal opportunities for fundraising to any charity that wants to participate.

Now onto the important stuff, the shopping!  Now this will cause Hooman a few problems.  She loves shopping and there are so many gorgeous things on Dog & Pup, she is going to be penniless before long. Dog & Pup is the FIRST supplier in the UK to stock Diamond Collars (Hooman nearly hyperventilated at that one), plus they are right on trend with top quality brands such as Hugo & Hennies (a pawsome bandana collection about to be added any day now!), Mutts & Hounds and Urban Pup.

Here are just a few items that the Hooman went misty eyed over.... (click on the images to take you to the website).    Products include everything for your dog (toys, bedding, bathtime, clothing, collars and leads, and treats), gifts and home accessories.  Although I don't know why Hooman would need home accessories to make her house pretty - I do that all on my own,

Natural Rattan Wicker Dog Bed  Felli Pet Kaleido Good Manners Dog Bowl  Danish Design Cleo the Caterpillar dog toy
Hugo & Hennie Designer Scottie Dog cushions  Diamond Dogs Random Swarovski Crystal Straight Collar   HENNESSY & SONS SAFFIANO COLLECTION DOG COLLAR

So please help support a new business, and sign up to the Dog & Pup newsletter - it's actually a fun read, rather than the normal boring roundup!  Even the product descriptions on the website are superbly entertaining - Hooman read one about the amazingly high IQ of Shakira!

And onto the last part of this blog!  I am running a giveaway in conjunction with Dog & Pup, to win a pawsomely cute (and ginormous!) Danish Designs Cleo the Caterpillar dog toy!   Closing date will on the 6th July - I am afraid this is only open to UK residents, but if any of you non-UK lovelies have a doggy friend in the UK, then that would be perfectly fine. 

Good luck and thanks for entering!

Lottie x 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Summer Series Part 3: Open water and dog safety

Summer Safety Part 3: Open water and dog safety spaniel's tail

Now we all love a good splash around in the summer time when it's hot.  I actually like a splash around at any time of year, the muddier the better, but that's another issue.  And splashy areas can be anything from little puddles, to ponds, lakes and rivers, through to vast ocean.  As with Hoomans, there is always a few safety precautions that you can take, to keep your furry friend safe!

  • We know some dogs love leaping into water without a care in the world, but make sure they can also get OUT safely.  When I was a mere 14 weeks, I saw a lake which was a disused quarry with steep banks and leapt straight in.  Hooman was about to leap in after me, but I managed to struggle out.  I might not have been so lucky...  The above pic was about 15 seconds before I leapt in!
  • This goes equally for swimming pools - make sure you have a way your dog can get out.   Even swimming for 5 minutes for a dog is exhausting, so if they were on their own and they couldn't get out, it could have tragic consequences.
  • If your dog isn't very good at swimming (not all dogs can swim!), or you are spending time around deep water (for example, on a boat / narrow boat), you can buy life vests for your dogs.  Additionally they tend to have handy handles on the back, so you can easily lift the dog out of the water.  Though this might not be so easy with a Great Dane...
  • Keep an eye out for warnings in your local area about water quality.  Blue-green algae is a particular danger, not only to dogs but to humans as well, as the algae can produce nerve or liver toxins.  Symptoms to be aware of after swimming are vomiting, diarrhoea, bloody or black tarry stools, seizures, unconsciousness, drooling, tremors, difficulty breathing and pale gums.  Veterinary treatment should be sought immediately.
  • Keep your dog close to you at all times around open water.
  • Don't try to make your dog swim.  Some dogs just don't like getting their paws wet, and forcing them in if they don't want to could lead to a fearful dog.
  • Do not let your dog swim where there are risks of strong currents - there are normally warnings displayed.  Make sure you read them.
  • Where around seawater, stagnant, polluted or chlorinated water, ensure your dog does not drink from it.  Even flowing, seemingly clean rivers can be high in nitrates from agricultural fertilisers that have drained off into the river.
  • If your dog does seem unwell after swimming, seek veterinary advice.
  • After your dog has had a swim, make sure you have some fresh drinking water on hand - important after any type of exercise, but also can be useful for washing your dog down.
  • After swimming, clean and dry their ears carefully to prevent any ear infections (just like Hoomans, dogs can be prone to ear infections and swimming can exacerbate it)

Finally, KEEP YOURSELF SAFE!  If your dog is in trouble, it can be all to easy to throw caution to the wind and hurl yourself in to save your pet.  Don't become a victim yourself.

Lottie x

Summer Series Part 1: Recognising and treating heatstroke
Summer Series Part 2: Keeping dogs cool
Summer Series Part 4: Does your dog have hay fever?
Summer Series Part 5: Pests and other pesky things! 

Monday, 16 June 2014

Summer Series Part 2: Keeping Dogs Cool

A Spaniel's Tail Summer Series Part 2: Keeping Dogs Cool

In part one of my Summer series (link below), I talked about recognising and treating heatstroke.  But before things get that far, there are things you Hoomans can do to keep us cool, from the sensible to the fun!

  • Most important obviously is to keep a constant supply of nice, cool, fresh water available for us 
  • Make sure when outdoors that there is shade for us. 
  • Be aware of us when travelling in a car on hot days, and make sure there is air circulation.
  • If out and about, make sure you carry some water for us.  Hooman has one of these, from Pets At Home.
  • Walk us early morning, or late evening, when it is much cooler.  It really is no fun for us when it is roasting hot.  Exercise is great for us, but when it's very hot, it should be cut back unless at a cool time of day. 
  • A dampened towel is great for us to lie on - cooling our bellies down is so much more effective than putting a damp towel over our back.  And if you're really lucky, we'll drag it all over the house! 
  • Make sure when we are out during the middle of the day that the pavement is not too hot.  Our paws are sensitive, and can burn on hot pavements.  You can even buy little protective boots for us to wear! 
  • Some cool water for us to splash around in is lovely.  A beach is fab, but not everyone can get to a beach - a child's paddling pool is great.  I vote for the paddling pool - my Hooman bought me one last year for a few pounds, and I loved it! 
  • Make a Kongsicle! Seal the end with peanut butter or similar, fill with weak chicken stock and freeze!  You might want to give this one to us outdoors though heehee. 

So a few ideas there to keep your furry friend cool in the hot months.  Any other ideas you would like to share?

Lottie x

Summer Series Part 1: Recognising &Treating Heatstroke 
Summer Series Part 3: Open water and dog safety
Summer Series Part 4: Does your dog have hay fever?
Summer Series Part 5: Pests and other pesky things! 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Summer Series Part 1: Recognising and Treating Heatstroke

A Spaniels Tail symptoms signs treating treatment heatstroke summer

Summer seems to be well and truly here, and while we all enjoy the warm weather and sunshine, please spare a thought for us doglets. Unlike you sweaty Hoomans, us dogs keep cool by panting and only sweating a little through our paw pads.  No wonder that if we get too hot, we can be at danger of heatstroke.

So it is important to know the signs of heatstroke in your furry friend.

Signs of heat-stroke:

  • Heavy panting
  • Increased body temperature (104ºf +)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Glazed eyes
  • Anxious behaviour, staggering, weakness
  • Very red gums, possibly turning blue in extreme situations 
  • Drooling
  • Very rapid heart rate
  • Vomiting and bloody diarrhoea 
  • And in severe cases - collapse, convulsions, shock

What to do if your dog is suffering with heat-stroke:

  • Phone your vet straight away and seek advice.  Veterinary attention may be required. If symptoms are serious. 
  • Take the dog out of the hot environment somewhere cool
  • Immerse the dog in TEPID water, cooling gradually, using a shower or jug.  Then douse the dog in COOL water, particularly the head and neck (do not use ice-cold water) or cover your dog with wet sheets.  If you have a fan, that can further help cooling. 
  • Allow the dog to drink as much water as he wants in small quantities at a time.  A pinch of salt in the water can also aid rehydration.
  • Continue to douse the dog in cool water until his breathing starts to settle  
  • Seek veterinary attention as soon as is safe to do so

WARNING: Do not throw cold water over your dog!  The shock could be too much for the dogs heart,

If a dog's temperature is not reduced immediately, heat-stroke can be fatal.

So I hope all you lovely owners have found this useful.  Next in the Summer Series will be tips and ideas on keeping your dog cool!

Lottie x

Summer Series Part 2: Keeping Dogs Cool
Summer Series Part 3: Open water and dog safety
Summer Series Part 4: Does your dog have hay fever?
Summer Series Part 5: Pests and other pesky things! 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Question of the Month: Yucky Pets!

I have decided once a month to ask a probing questchin over on my Faceybook page, and collect the answers for publingcashun here!

The first questchin was inspired by me bringing a HUGE slug in at bedtime, wrapped round my front paw. Hooman didn't notice until she asked for "paw" in return for my bedtime bikkie.  Then she had to pull it off - they have good grip them sluggies!

So the questchin was "Whar is the most disgusting thing you have hexperienced with your pets?"

  • ....will very often eat something she shouldn't. Which sometimes results in her been sick normally all over my bedroom carpet! Little monkey! 
  • One of my cats is prone to upper respiratory infections. She loves to sleep up next to my head, between mine and my husband's head. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up with big, slimy, nasty snot wads in my hair...
  • My doggies bring yukky sluggies in too, but sometimes we don't realise until they climb onto the sofa for a cuddle and we stroke our hands over something horrid and slimy!!! Ick!!
  • Ummm disgusting thing? Nothing really other than him pooping under the table when he didn't know how to let us know he had to go outside to handle his business yet!
  • our 2 cats love to bring us headless mice....then the dog eats them....
  • We live in Florida so we have tons of lizards.  My dogs love to chase them and try to catch them but most of the time they are much to fast.  One day one of my dogs got lucky and caught one.  He brought it to me so proud and dropped the dead and bloody lizard in my hand.  I think I hurt his feelings when I threw it down and started screaming!
  • Our dog Tino was old and blind and got stuck in the back bathroom once and lost control of his bowels...and then walked around in it for 10 minutes before we realized he was stuck in there.
  • It had to be when I had just painted the kennels and Piers went out rolled in cow pats then wiped it all round my new painted walls !!!!! (Editors note, Piers is me daddy!  Like father, like daughter....)
  • Sadie ate a shoelace once and it passed all the way through her, until it got stuck in the exit. I had to pull the entire thing out of her little butt.
  • ....partial to eating the cat poo and litter! She would rummage around in there for a tasty poop and chomp away! Leaving evidence of cat litter in her beard and breath that stank like ........
So what's YOUR most disgusting hexperience?

Lottie x

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Throwback Thursday: Yoda Pup

This was the day Hooman chose me at six weeks old - I climbed her front, nibbled on her chin and then zonked out on her for an hour.

I don't quite fit on her lap like that now!

Lottie x

English cocker spaniel puppy spaniel's tail