Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Desexing

Desexing removes the sexual urge from both dogs and bitches. Temporary or semi-permanent control can be effected by the use of certain drugs, however surgical desexing is permanent.
If you do not intend to breed from your dog, surgical desexing has undoubted advantages both in the male and the female. In the male dog it removes the sexual urge so that if the dog gets the scent of a bitch in oestrus he is unlikely to show any interest, which in certain breeds can be an undoubted advantage. Desexing the bitch prevents oestrus as well as breeding. She will not come into heat and therefore will not have to be confined and deprived of her usual exercise and companionship which otherwise will occur usually twice a year when she is in heat (oestrus) for at least 3 weeks each time.
Owners are often tempted to have at least one litter from a bitch. There appears to be a general misconception that having a litter will improve temperament. There is no scientific evidence to support this theory, whereas it has been proved that neutering a bitch not only prevents subsequent, and not uncommon, diseases of the uterus, but also reduces the possibility of mammary cancer.
Once desexed, the bitch will have no oestrus, and will not have unwanted puppies or phantom pregnancies, which in some bitches causes as lot of distress.

It is a common fallacy that a desexed dog will become fat and lazy. Remember that all service animals, Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Dogs for the Disabled are routinely desexed. Judicious feeding of a scientifically prepared complete diet without excessive tidbits should adequately control any problems of obesity, just as it does in the entire animal.
Another common fallacy is that the desexed dog loses character. Admittedly desexing is often carried out, both in dogs and bitches, for certain behavioural abnormalities, and often dogs will become more gentle, but they lose neither their spirit nor their intelligence, and provided they are not allowed to become obese are just as active as the entire counterpart.
Thus there are many advantages and few disadvantages to having your dog desexed.
Both dogs and bitches are usually desexed between 6-12 months of age although the operation can be carried out at any time. Your veterinary surgeon will be more than happy to discuss the details with you.

2. Why is my dog dragging his bottom on the carpet?

There are a few reasons why your dog may be doing this:

  1. If there is faecal matter trapped in the hair around the anus. Check his bottom and clip the hair to remove any mats.
  2. If your dog has tapeworm, these worms crawl out of the anus and are very itchy. Worm your dog with a tablet that contains praziquantel to fix this.
  3. If your dog has fleas they may be very itchy around the base of the tail and sometimes under the tail. Turn your dog over on his back and look for fleas on his belly where there is less hair and it is easier to see them. Fleas are very tricky and can hide well in hair so it is a good idea to use a reputable flea product such as Frontline, either Spray or Topspot.
  4. If your dog has anal gland problems he will try to relieve the pressure of the impaction by scooting his anus along the ground. If he is scooting you should take him to the vet. The anal glands are “scent glands” and are pea sized glands near the anus that produce a foul smelling liquid that your dog uses to mark his territory. Your vet will need to do a rectal examination and can relieve this problem. It is important for your dog not to be left with this problem because if it goes on too long the blockage in the anal gland duct may lead to the gland abscessing and bursting.

3. Should I feed my dog bones?

Cooked bones should never be given to your pet. Cooking (even heating in the microwave) changes the protein and calcium, and the calcium can no longer be absorbed. Cooked bones become sharp needle-like objects that cause constipation. For cleaning pet’s teeth, many dry foods work just as well and are safer, and have dental defence included. Raw bones can be a valuable source of calcium and can be good for your pet’s teeth. However there are some risks, even with feeding raw bones:

  1. Some bones (eg: brisket bones) are very fatty and may cause pancreatitis and gut upsets in susceptible dogs.
  2. Some bones can get caught in your dogs teeth – often rib bones will get stuck across the top of the mouth (commonly American Ribs)
  3. Chicken wings may be swallowed whole, and in rare cases may open up the oesophagus as they go down, and this can be life threatening. Therefore, either cut them up or use chicken necks.

In summary: never feed cooked bones, only ever raw, and supervise your dog when eating bones. Choose bones suitable for your dog’s size.

4. My dog has blood in his poo

This can be serious but not always. If your dog is bright and happy and active this could be a relatively minor problem such as:

  1. Constipation.
  2. Anal gland impaction, infection or an anal gland abscess.
  3. Colitis – an inflammation of the large bowel.
  4. Food allergy or reaction to something eaten.

You will need to get help from your vet with these problems, but if your dog is unwell then it is likely to be more serious and you need to go your vet fast.
The worrying possibilities are:

  1. Intussusceptions
  2. Parvovirus
  3. Haemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  4. Cancer

So as a precaution your vet should check any bleeding concerns.

5. How can I get rid of fleas from my pet?

Fleas are very successful parasites and they are very difficult to get rid of. Often you will check your pet and not find any fleas but remember fleas only jump to your pet to feed. They spend 95% of their time in the environment (your home and yard) and only 5% on your pet. It is very easy to miss them.
It is unreliable to expect all homes to be flea free. Even when you are using effective flea control products, re-infection happens. Fleas will try and infest your pet and home and it may take up to 24 hours for your flea control to kill them after they jump on.
If you are having a flea problem:

  1. Use an effective flea control product such as Frontline Spray or Frontline Top Spot. Revolution and Advantage are also available. It is best to treat every three weeks to break the cycle.
  2. Treat all animals in your home and yard.
  3. Use the correct dose and apply to the skin not the hair. Make sure you separate the application of the flea control from bathing. When you shampoo your pet it washes out the oils in the coat so the flea control product does not work as well.
  4. Identify flea nests and specifically treat those areas where fleas are breeding. Common problems are under the house or deck, under shrubs in your yard, pet bedding, under the furniture, and anywhere there are carpets, mats or kennels. Remember sometimes the flea nest is next door.