Dog Owners Warned Over Toxic Blue Green Algae
It’s always wise to take care when walking your dog and keep your ears to the ground so you know if there is anything that could put your pooch in danger in your local area.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has warned people who may be going for a stroll with their precious pups in the Lake District, Scotland, East Northamptonshire and North Lincolnshire, among other areas, that there may well be toxic blue green algae present.
If ingested, your dog could be struck down with vomiting, drooling, disorientation, diarrhoea, have trouble breathing, experience seizures or have blood in its faeces. If left untreated, exposure can result in liver damage and be fatal within days.
This kind of algae will appear as green or greenish-brown scum on the surface of water and it can be harmful if ingested in even small quantities. If your dog is keen on swimming, do be extra careful when out and about this summer.
Gudrun Ravetz, BVA senior vice-president, said: “We know that some dogs enjoy nothing better than a paddle in a cool lake while on a walk in this hot weather, but my advice to pet owners would be to keep your dog on a lead during walks near water confirmed to have toxic algal blooms. While not all blue green algae are poisonous, it is impossible to tell the difference visually, so it is better to be safe than sorry.
Also look out for Alabama rot and use the dedicated website set up to help you identify areas near you that could pose a risk to your pet.
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From sugar-free chewing gum to toothpaste, sugar free peanut butter, sweets and cereals, these many products are perfectly safe for humans but because of different metabolisms can be deadly for your pet. Xylitol if ingested by pets causes a massive release of insulin from the pancreas. This, in turn, results in a dangerously low blood sugar level and symptoms such as weakness, trembling, seizures, collapse. At higher dosages, xylitol can cause massive liver destruction (known as necrosis) in which large numbers of liver cells die abruptly. This produces an acute health crisis and, in many cases, death.
KNOW THE SIGNS
Vomiting, weakness or lethargy, depression, unstable on feet, trembling or tremoring, seizures, a racing heart rate, jaundiced gums, black-tarry stool, diarrhoea and bruising.
Immediately after eating, vomiting may occur. Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) develops within 30 to 60 minutes, resulting in lethargy and weakness. These signs may quickly develop into walking problems, collapse, and seizures. Within hours skin and intestinal haemorrhaging may occur and may mean a very poor outcome.
What to do…
If you think your dog was accidentally poisoned by a sugar-free product, stay calm, read the ingredients to see if the product contained xylitol. The general rule is that if xylitol is listed in the first 3-5 ingredients (typically in order of the amount that they appear in the food or product), it is going to be poisonous. (remember it’s only Xylitol that is poisonous NOT other sweeteners)
With xylitol poisoning, it is very important to calculate whether a toxic dose has been ingested. In dogs, doses > 0.1 g/kg are considered toxic and result in sudden problems. Higher doses (> 0.5 g/kg) of xylitol have been linked with acute hepatic necrosis. Many sugar free candies and chewing gum contain various amounts of xylitol ranging, on average, from 2 mg/piece to 1.0 grams/piece. Unfortunately, not all sources are disclosed by the company (e.g., how many grams of xylitol may be in each piece of gum) so sometimes it’s hard to calculate a toxic dose.
If, unfortunately your dog did eat a poisonous dose of xylitol, treatment includes the following:
If blood sugar when tested by a vet is normal and ingestion was recent (within a few hours), your vet may induce vomiting.
If your dog is hypoglycemic, a stat bolus of intravenous (IV) dextrose (i.e., sugar) is a must, followed by hospitalization. Treatment will include IV fluids with sugar supplementation (e.g., dextrose) for a minimum of 12-18 hours. If your dog is able to maintain his blood sugar as the dextrose supplementation is weaned down over time, then your dog can go home!
If your veterinarian induced vomiting in your dog, make sure they skip the charcoal – no need for your veterinarian to give activated charcoal (i.e., a black liquid product that binds up some poisons). Charcoal does not reliably bind to xylitol, so it’s not necessary with xylitol poisoning.
If a toxic dose was ingested and not vomited back up, your veterinarian will recommend hospitalizing your dog for IV fluids, dextrose supplementation, and symptomatic supportive care.
Careful monitoring of blood work (including the liver enzymes, electrolytes and blood sugar) is very important and should be undertaken by the vet.
If your dog ate a dose approaching the liver-toxic amount of xylitol, the use of liver protectants (e.g., SAMe, milk thistle, n-acetylcysteine) is warranted. Most dogs are sent home on liver protectants for several weeks, while rechecking liver enzymes frequently at your vet to be on the safe side.
When in doubt, if you think your dog has eaten xylitol, contact your vet right away for life-saving care. They can help calculate and determine whether or not the amount of xylitol eaten was poisonous or not.
Remember, with any pet poisoning, the sooner you recognize the problem and seek the vets attention, the less expensive and less dangerous it is to your pet!
THE UNFORTUNATE FACTS…
The prognosis for dogs with hypoglycaemia is good with immediate and proper treatment, while the prognosis for dogs that have developed liver toxicity is poor. Large ingestions of xylitol (a relatively small amount of the product) that are not caught immediately can unfortunately result in liver failure and death despite aggressive supportive care. This can occur in less than 36 hours in dogs that are otherwise young and healthy.
Remember to always make sure you keep these products and foods (don’t forget the drinks) out of the reach of your pets.
Staffies Will Not Be Added To Dangerous Dog List
Staffordshire Bull Terriers won’t be included on the dangerous dogs list, despite animal rights charity PETA submitting a proposal to the consultation on the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 concerning the breed, saying its inclusion would help protect it from abuse.
According to iNews, PETA’s argument was that adding Staffies to the list would help to protect them from gangs, abuse and crime. According to the charity, the breed is the most likely to be abducted and used by gangs, either as guard dogs or for fighting rings.
A statement from PETA read: “Staffies are currently flooding UK animal shelters and have become by far the most commonly abandoned breed of dog in the country. They’re also one of the most abused – in fact, the RSPCA has confirmed that 80 per cent of its cruelty-to-animals prosecutions concern Staffies.”
Staffie owner Steve Quinn launched a petition after PETA submitted its initial proposal, calling on the government to reject it – with his petition quickly garnering 160,000 signatures in support. He explained that there are many people in the UK who have the pleasure of owning this type of dog and from his own personal experience he can say that they’re “loving, loyal and caring, far from dangerous they are great companions”.
He went on to observe that people “are the problem” since people “create dangerous dogs”.
Currently, it is against the law to own certain types of dog here in the UK – pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, dogo Argentinos and fila Brasileiros. It is also against the law to sell, abandon, give away or breed from a banned dog.
But interestingly, whether or not your dog is banned depends on what it looks like, instead of its breed or name. So, for example, if a dog matches lots of the characteristics of a pit bull terrier, it may actually be banned.
Should you have a banned dog, be aware that the police or your local council dog warden can take it away and keep it even if a complaint hasn’t been made or if it isn’t acting dangerously.
If the dog is in a public place, the police don’t need a warrant but if it’s in private property, they will do. Either the police or a council dog expert will judge what kind of dog you have and decide whether it is, or could be, a danger to the public. It will either then be released or kept in kennels while the police apply to a court. You will not be allowed to visit your dog while you await the court decision.
Another point to bear in mind is that you can give up ownership of your dog but you cannot be forced to. Should you choose to give up ownership, your dog could be destroyed without you even having to go to court.
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217 RSPCA Calls About Dogs In Cars Over Bank Holiday
There’s nothing like a mini heatwave and a spot of much-needed sunshine to put a smile on the faces of everyone, is there? But if you’re a dog owner, you do need to be aware of the dangers of leaving your pooch in a hot car all by itself.
Over the last Bank Holiday, the RSPCA received 217 calls from concerned members of the public about dogs left locked in hot cars across England, approximately three calls every hour.
Holly Barber, RSPCA campaign manager, explained that dogs can die in hot cars, yet people think it’s fine to leave their pets in vehicles for a minute or two… when this is all it takes for temperatures in a car to reach dangerous levels.
If you do see a dog in a hot car and you think it’s an emergency, dial 999 to report the matter to the police. The RSPCA may not be able to get to the animal quickly enough and the charity also doesn’t have powers of entry so police assistance may be required.
Should the dog be suffering from heatstroke (signs of which include excessive drooling, lethargy, collapse and vomiting), move it to a shaded area once it’s out of the car and pour small amounts of cool water over them. Never use cold water as this could send the animal into shock. Allow the dog to drink small amounts and once he’s cooled down, rush him to the vet as soon as you can.
If you decide you need to break into the car yourself, make sure that unless you have proper justification it could be considered criminal damage. Always tell the police what you intend to do and why, and take photos or videos of the dog, as well as names and numbers of any witnesses to the incident.
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How To Care For Your Dog In A Heatwave
In summer, especially in the heat we've had so far, it's not always possible to walk your dog during the day, so having a supply of healthy dog treats to keep them stimulated is really important. If you don't, their behaviour could deteriorate through boredom alone!
It’s important you keep walk times to the cooler parts of the day in the morning or evening when the sun is down, avoiding midday when temperatures will be at their hottest, but this isn't the only way you should care for your dog during a heatwave – check out these tips from BT.com for more ideas.
Make sure plenty of fresh water is available to your pet and pop some ice cubes into their bowl to make sure the water stays cold and refreshing.
Dogs do love to sit in the sunny spots in the garden, but if you can encourage them to sit in a shady spot by laying out a damp towel to keep them cool and avoiding excessive exposure to bright sunlight.
Another great way to keep your dog cool is to put a paddling pool in your garden that they can go in and out of – they're sure to have a lot of fun, but check there are no water restrictions in your area before filling up.
Dogs can still get sunburn so purchase a pet friendly sun screen and apply to the hairless areas of your pet such as nose, and exposed area of the ears.
When you do choose to walk your dog on a hot day, even at cooler times, it can still be very warm. Avoid pavement that has been exposed to direct sunlight as it may burn paws. Always check the temperature of the pavement with your hand before heading out on a walk.
What Does Your Dog Or Cat Really Want To Eat?
There is a lot of information available about what dogs and cats should be eating on a daily basis, and also on what they want to eat.
Now researchers in the US have carried out a study designed to find out what kind of food dogs and cats prefer when flavour is taken out of the equation. The team at Oregon State University (OSU) offered canines and felines four food choices: high fat, high carb, high protein and balanced, all of which were designed to taste the same, KTVZ reported.
Each of the dogs and cats was allowed to eat all they wanted up to a predetermined calorie intake, and the results were interesting.
On average, cats chose to get 43 per cent of their calories from carbs and 30 per cent from protein. Dogs, meanwhile, typically chose to get 41 per cent from fats and 36 per cent from carbs.
However, author of the study and professor in the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine at OSU Jean Hall explained that the age, lean body mass and fat body mass also played a part in the animals’ dietary choices.
Professor Hall commented: “Because the choice of macronutrients was influenced in both dogs and cats by age and either lean body mass or fat body mass, that suggests a physiological basis for what they chose to eat.”
When you start looking at your pet’s diet, don’t forget to consider the benefits of natural health supplements for pets.
Markets Insider recently offered some advice to dog or cat owners who have picky eaters, noting that you should make sure you’re not offering your companion too much food at meal times and that they’re not getting more than ten per cent of their daily calories from treats.
Designer Dog Thefts On The Rise
If you have a prized pooch at home, do make sure that you leave your house secure when going out and leaving your pup home alone, as thefts of expensive dogs are on the rise in the UK – and we here at Broadreach Nature+ would hate to think that one of our lovely customers’ pets has been dognapped.
A new Direct Line Pet Insurance study has found that one of the most popular targets for thieves at the moment are French bulldogs (now the UK’s favourite breed of dog), as well as Labradors, Staffordshire bull terriers and crossbreeds. Experts say that these pets are now being pinched for either selling on elsewhere, breeding or illegal dog fighting – which is why such cases are on the climb.
According to the Daily Express, 61 French bulldogs were stolen in 2017, a 27 per cent hike year on year. The husky is also proving popular, with a marked rise in cases being seen – perhaps down to the interest in shows like Game of Thrones.
Staffies are still the most targeted dog, with 210 pinched last year, although this does represent a 15 per cent drop. Crossbreeds like puggles and cockapoos are also being targeted, with 82 such breeds taken in 2017. Regionally, London, West Yorkshire and Kent are the places where dogs are most likely to be stolen so if you do live in these areas please do take extra care with your precious pooches.
Head of pet insurance at Direct Line Prit Powar was quoted by the news source as saying: “Having your dog stolen is one of the most distressing things a pet owner can face, particularly as animals are often considered to be members of the family.
“There is no excuse for the theft of an animal but some of the reasons behind dog theft include using the animal for dog fighting, breeding or selling on.” He went on to advise pedigree pet owners to be particularly cautious.
It would be awful for this to happen to anyone but if it does happen to you, head to social media immediately to make your dog too hot to handle. There have been cases where dogs have been returned anonymously and on the quiet to their owners after thousands of shares on sites like Facebook.
In 2016, for example, a cocker spaniel and five puppies were returned to owner Craig Vaughan after the incident was shared hundreds of times on social media all over the UK. According to ITV News, the thieves unscrewed the door of a kennel where the dogs were and made off with them but Mr Vaughan believes that the public outcry online meant the animals couldn’t be sold on because of all the publicity.
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We're Focussed On Green
Broadreach Nature + is committed to the Health and Wellbeing of Pets by not only offering the best possible natural products for Customer’s Pets but because we also care about the environment and want to leave as light a footprint on it as possible.
If you would like to know more about our focus on Environmental Wellbeing visit the page here.
Beach Ban For Dog Owners Comes Into Force
If you were hoping on taking your pet pooches off for a fun stroll on your local beach, make sure you check that you’re still allowed to or you could find yourself slapped with a £75 fine.
Numerous coastal counties around the UK have implemented bans on taking dogs for walks on beaches, including Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Northumberland, Essex and Lincolnshire – with the restrictions in place from May 1st to September 30th, the Daily Express reports.
Local environment services team leader at North Tyneside Council Marcus Jackson explained that the beaches are one of the region’s biggest attractions and they have more awards than anywhere else in the north-east. In order to protect this, a dog ban has to be brought in during the summer, he went on to say.
Chairman of Instow Parish Council in Devon Brian Moores, meanwhile, had this to say: “The beach is an amenity for everyone and this code of conduct is not just about dogs being on the beach. It’s about the whole beach management of it such as people not leaving litter, acting responsibly, and being plastic free. It’s not a ban; it’s just a form of control and restriction.”
It’s a good idea to check with your local council to see which beaches are bringing in bans before you take your pups for a walk, otherwise you could be met with a nasty surprise in the form of a fine. Also have a look at The Beach Guide website which has a list of dog-friendly beaches in the UK, some of which let you walk your pooches all year round.
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Queen’s Last Remaining Corgi Sadly Dies
Willow made it to the ripe old age of 15, which is certainly an impressive feat. The life expectancy of a corgi is between 12 and 13 years, so she really did do very well indeed.
According to the Guardian, Willow was the 14th generation and a descendant of Susan, the first corgi given to the Queen on her 18th birthday way back when in 1944. This is the first time that the monarch hasn’t had a corgi by her side since the second world war – and she’s owned an impressive 30 members of the breed during her reign.
But she does still have two dogs keeping her company – Vulcan and Candy. These are informally known as ‘dorgis’, a cross between a dachshund and corgi, who popped up in the royal household when sausage dog Pipkin (Princess Margaret’s pup) mated with one of the Queen’s woofers.
You might well have recognised Willow, however, as she actually featured alongside the Queen and Danial Craig in the James Bond sketch that was put together as part of the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012.
Interestingly, the Pembroke Welsh corgi came off the Kennel Club’s at-risk list of breeds at the start of this year, the first time since 2009. The Kennel Club is putting this down to the popularity of TV show The Crown, with online searches for the breed jumping by 22 per cent after the second season aired.
If you’re tempted to follow in the footsteps of Lizzie and get yourself a fun little corgi, do make sure you do your research first – as you would with any breed. There are several types you could go for – the Welsh Pembroke is small, with smaller ears and straighter front legs than the Welsh Corgi (Cardigan). The Pembroke is traditionally the more popular of the two, but it’s thought the Cardigan is in fact the older of the two types.
Alternatively, you could look into the Swedish Vallhund, which looks a lot similar to the Welsh corgi. It’s thought by some that Viking raiders took some of the Welsh corgis back to Scandinavia with them, while others think that Vikings took the Vallhund with them to our shores and left some of them behind.
Whichever you go for, bear in mind that corgis are very intelligent and highly active, so you’ll need to walk them a lot and keep them well entertained. They’re great with children and with other animals, and they’re a good first pet if you’ve never had a dog before.
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Sausage Dogs Turn Out In Style For Manchester Event
Over 1,000 sausage dogs and their owners took part in a special event to celebrate the dachshund breed last weekend, meeting at Manchester’s Heaton Park for a mass dog walk.
Julie Barbour, a member of the North West Dachshund Owners’ Group, was the one who came up with the idea of getting as many of the region’s resident dachshunds together for a mass dog walk.
She revealed that 1,239 sausage dogs took part, making it the largest such gathering of its kind to date. Looking at some of the photos, a few of them were dressed to impress as well, with some of the pooches sporting bowties, while others came in fancy dress.
Although the event was a fun day out, it was also an opportunity to raise funds for two charities - The Red Foundation, which provides emergency rescue and fostering services for sausage dogs, and Dedicated to Dachshunds with IVDD. This charity offers support for the dogs of this breed who need treatment for abnormal intervertebral discs.
It’s estimated that 25 per cent of all dachshunds develop this condition and need veterinary treatment as a result. Over £5,400 was raised in total for the two charities.
Stuart Lockett, who took part with his family and their dog Lola, told the Bolton News that the event was “crazy”.
“I have never seen so many dachshunds. Before we set off, there were still people registering. There were lots of dogs in costumes. It was a fun day with the family,” he said.
Regardless of what breed your dog is, you’ll want to make sure they stay in the best of health, which is why it’s important to look into what dog health supplements may benefit them.
Black And White Cats ‘Take Longer To Be Adopted’
Although you don’t have quite the same breadth of breeds of cats as you do of dogs, there is plenty to distinguish different felines from one another. Their colouration and markings is the most obvious - and in some cases it means that certain cats spend longer waiting to be adopted than others.
In fact, it’s black and white cats - also known as tuxedo cats due to their striking monochrome markings - that tend to get overlooked by people adopting from shelters.
An article in the Metro noted that cats with black and white fur typically spend ten days longer in an animal rescue centre than those with other markings, while they are also more likely to become strays.
However, the news provider also noted that tuxedo cats make up around 75 per cent of all our feline friends around the world.
It also noted that their colouration is due to cell mutation, with the white patches caused by areas where not enough pigment spread through the cat’s cells in the womb.
Regardless of what colour your cat is, you’ll want to make sure you give them the best possible nutrition, so it’s worth investing in cat health supplements to keep them in top shape.
Battersea Dogs’ and Cat’s Home recently appealed to people to adopt their next cat or dog, with the charity noting that a rising number of pets being put up for sale on social media is making it difficult for them to rehome animals, as well as increasing the number of dogs and cats that are abandoned.
Easter Treats You Shouldn’t Share With Your Dog
It’s fair to say that most dog owners now understand the dangers of feeding them chocolate, and that means that Easter eggs are going to be off the menu for our pooches, but did you know that another popular Easter treat can also be dangerous for your furry friend?
iNews recently highlighted the dangers of feeding your dog hot cross buns, with several elements of these baked goods actually harmful to dogs.
The raisins and sultanas can cause sudden kidney failure, for instance, while nutmeg - which is often used to flavour hot cross buns - can also be poisonous to dogs if consumed in a large enough quantity.
Lemon zest, another ingredient in the buns, can also be toxic for your pet, with animal nutritionist at Webbox Natural Jennifer Dean telling the publication that this can cause health problems.
“Citrus fruits are toxic to both dogs and cats and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and depression,” she asserted.
If you want to treat your pet this Easter, it’s much better to buy some dog jerky treats than to share any of your own food with them.
There are a number of foods that we regularly eat that can be dangerous for our dogs, with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) providing a useful list of the most common foods that cause poisoning in dogs in the UK.
Aside from those mentioned above, you should also make sure you avoid giving your dog grapes and currants. Other common household products, such as ibuprofen (and any other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug), vitamin D and snail or slug pellets are also dangerous for our dogs if they’re eaten.
Fancy Holding A Tea Party To Help Cats?
By now you’re likely to have heard of cat cafes, where you can go and enjoy a coffee and some cake surrounded by friendly felines, so hopefully the idea of hosting a tea party for cats won’t seem too far fetched.
The Burton Mail recently reported that charity Cats Protection UK is encouraging cat lovers to host a moggie tea party to support their cause.
While they’re not suggesting that you invite all the neighbourhood cats around, they’re hoping people will host tea parties to raise funds, serving up cat-themed cakes and other baked goods too.
Of course, if you want to include your own cat in proceedings you could pick up some of their favourite organic cat treats to give them something to nibble on too.
Cats Protection’s regional development manager Rob Hall told the newspaper that they’re hoping cat lovers in the Burton area will be keen to take part during April.
“It’s a wonderful excuse to enjoy some quality time with loved ones to enjoy tea, cake and a chat while raising funds for unwanted cats,” he explained.
The charity helps over 190,000 unwanted cats every year, and has over 250 volunteer-run branches, as well as 34 centres, located around the UK.
In Bristol, it was recently revealed that over 350 stray cats were taken to Bristol Animal Rescue Centre last year, with just 15 per cent of them being reunited with their owners. As a result, the organisation has launched a scheme offering free microchipping during 2018.
While dogs legally have to be microchipped, the same is not true for cats, despite vets and other animal organisations strongly recommending that owners have their pets chipped, the Bristol Post noted.
Using Dog Speak Improves Your Bond With Your Pet
Most (if not all) people who own dogs have talked to them in a high-pitched voice, much like the one adults use to speak to young children. But now there’s research showing that this is a good way to communicate with your pooch.
Researchers at the University of York studied owners’ interactions with their dogs and found that using so-called ‘dog-speak’ is important for creating a bond between pet and owner.
After conducting a number of experiments to see how talking to a dog in a high-pitched tone, with exaggerated emotion would affect attention, they noted that even in adult dogs, this improves engagement and can even be crucial for social bonding between an owner and their pup.
Previous studies indicated that talking like this to puppies made a difference, but had little impact on adult dogs.
The researchers got people to talk to the dogs in ‘dog-speak’, using dog-related terms, as well as getting people to talk about non-dog related topics but in the higher-pitched voice associated with dog speak. They also had some people talk about non-dog topics in a normal voice.
They discovered that the dogs only responded if they content was relevant to them, as well as having the high-pitched tone.
So you don’t have to feel quite so silly next time you’re talking to your dog in a slightly odd voice.
Earlier this month, Elite Daily highlighted research showing that it’s not only normal for you to talk to your dog when no one else is around, but also good for you. What’s more, your pooch enjoys it too, so it’s win-win.
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CRUFTS 2018 IT'S HERE AND WE'RE SO EXCITED TO BE EXHIBITING
We've added some highlight in the form of videos and photographs below.