Shell-shocked cat reunited with family 11 months after Knysna fire

Shell-shocked‚ missing a tooth and a lot thinner‚ a cat that went missing when its family fled the devastating fires in Knysna 11 months ago has been reunited with his owner.

Kietsie is finally home.

When the fires broke out in the coastal town on June 7‚ Nina de Beer packed and left her home.

“Very early that day I decided to start packing. I was warned that the fire might come our way‚” she said. “I wasn’t going to wait it out so I started to pack. We went to my ex’s house: three rats‚ two dogs‚ two cats‚ three children‚ myself and my partner.”

The family then moved to the Knysna Yacht Club‚ because they were told it was the safest place to be. As the fires engulfed the town‚ they went to nearby Sedgefield.

“At midnight we went to Sedgefield because it was starting to burn everywhere in Knysna. Two days later the fires started to approach Sedgefield so we had to go again.

“We went to George to stay at a family member’s house. This is where Kietsie went missing.”

De Beer and her family searched high and low for the missing feline. Months passed. “I put up posters everywhere I could think of‚ at the vet and at shops. Everywhere I could. I put some of the pamphlets in post boxes in neighbourhoods. Everywhere imaginable. I searched on various Facebook pages whether someone had spotted Kietsie but nothing.”

The breakthrough came when De Beer was tagged in a Facebook post about a stray cat in George that had a striking resemblance to Kietsie.

“The lady had spotted him for two months in the area. She had managed to take him in‚ caring for and feeding him.”

On Thursday‚ De Beer was reunited with Kietsie. She described it as a very emotional moment. “You are so desperate. You do anything to get your animal back. I felt so bad over the months that I lost him. I started to give up that I would ever find him but the animal communicator said I should continue [to send] love and positive thoughts to him.

“It was so traumatic seeing him again. You expect the same animal but he is so shell-shocked. He lost so much weight and lost a tooth also in these 11 months. It will take a long time for him to get back to his normal self again. But I am very happy that he is back home.” 

Source: Sunday Times

Distemper outbreak kills 80 dogs in Knysna: What is it and what are its symptoms?

An aggressive strain of a fatal disease in dogs, distemper has broken out in Knysna and has claimed the lives of dozens of canines.

The Knysna-Plett Herald reports that 80 dogs have had to be put down in May alone, as the outbreak was detected in Charlie Lawack Street, Hornlee and spread at a rapid pace.

“It is really bad, for this month alone we have had to put more than 80 dogs down that already had the aggressive distemper,” Knysna Animal Welfare Society (KAWS) official, Retha Havenga was quoted by the publication.

What is canine distemper?

Distemper is a highly contagious viral disease that affects dogs and some other animals in the canine family. It has no known cure and often leads to death.

The virus can also affect humans, but hardly ever causes any illness and has no symptoms. However, humans who have been vaccinated against measels are protected from distemper

It’s airborne, but it can also spread from dog to dog through direct contact of an infected dog’s saliva, blood or urine.

Distemper symptoms

Early symptoms of distemper in dogs include a spike in temperature, a change in eye colour and a discharge from the nose and eyes.

When a dog is infected, it usually becomes weak and lethargic, and can also suffer from loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.

How do I protect my dog from distemper?

As with most diseases that affect cats, vaccination is always key.

Small puppies vaccinated after 12 to 16 weeks are more than likely protected for life with just one shot.

If you are unsure whether or not your dog has been vaccinated from distemper, it’s best to check with your vet, especially with the more aggressive strain going around.

As the old cliche goes, rather safe than sorry.

Author: Siviwe Breakfast 

Source: The South African 

NSPCA to lay charges against defence force for starving horses

The National Council of SPCAs (NSPCA) says it will lay animal cruelty charges against the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) after the discovery of starving horses at an army unit in Potchefstroom.

“The NSPCA is in the process of laying charges against the SANDF regarding the neglect of horses,” said NSPCA communications manager Meg Wilson.

“We will be laying the charges this week. The reason [for the delayed laying of charges] being, we do not simply go into a police station and lay the charges, we form an entire docket for the SAPS.”

Last month NSPCA inspectors found 169 horses, some of them starving, at the South African Army Special Infantry Capability unit. 

“Twenty-five horses on the army base were in such an emaciated condition or compromised their state of health that to prevent further suffering they had to be destroyed,” lamented the NSPCA in an earlier statement.

Responding to the matter, the SANDF said its chief, Solly Shoke, had ordered the relocation of 80 of its horses from the Potchefstroom-based army unit and also confirmed that 25 of its horses were euthanased “due to compromised health”.

The SANDF said it had roped in the Military Veterinary Institute to assess the conditions the animals are kept in. A board of inquiry was established to determine who should bear responsibility “for the mistreatment of the four-legged soldiers”.

However, on Wednesday, the NSPCA said it was not aware of the inquiry.

“The chief of the SANDF, to whom we addressed the letter, has neither acknowledged receipt thereof nor has he responded in any way to the serious concerns that we raise. So we haven’t been involved in that process,” said Wilson.

The South African National Defence Union (Sandu) said “the issue of the horses is kept very secret”.

“Animals are vulnerable to the poor supply chain management of the South African army, which is legendary in either paying suppliers late or not at all. This leaves the soldiers on the ground unable to tend to animals and places them in a precarious position,” said Sandu national secretary Pikkie Greeff.

“Command and control mechanisms are poor, and therefore everyone down the chain of command suffers, including the animals.”


Dramatic drop in rhino poaching as KZN private owners chop off horns

There has been a dramatic drop in the number of rhino poaching cases on privately owned game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal following an intensive de-horning project in the last three years.

Chris Galliers‚ head of the Project Rhino anti-poaching umbrella group‚ says an analysis of poaching statistics shows that nearly 25% of all rhinos poached in KZN between 2010 and 2015 were killed on private reserves. However‚ only 5% of rhinos poached in KZN over the last two and a half years were killed on private reserves – coinciding with a concerted effort to dehorn rhinos at regular intervals.

Galliers said it was more profitable for poachers to kill animals with larger and heavier horns rather than risking their lives to shoot and chop off the small horn stumps left on animals that are dehorned regularly.

While Kruger National Park has borne the brunt of the poaching onslaught for nearly a decade‚ tougher security measures in the country’s flagship Big Five reserve has seen poaching syndicates putting increasing pressure on KZN rhino reserves over the last five years.

Last year‚ horn poachers killed 222 rhinos in KZN – the highest toll on record – mostly in the Hlhluhuwe-Imfolozi Park and other provincial game reserves‚ where most rhinos have not been dehorned.

Galliers‚ who also chairs the Game Rangers Association of Africa‚ said the downward trend in poaching in private KZN reserves appeared to be continuing this year‚ indicating that the deliberate removal of horns was proving to be a significant disincentive for poachers.

“This is not something we want to do. It is expensive and invasive but we believe it is a ‘necessary evil’ as a temporary measure‚” said Galliers.

It can cost up to R10‚000 to dehorn each rhino.

This price is largely based on the cost of hiring helicopters so that animals can be darted from the air by skilled wildlife vets‚ who then chop off the horns of the immobilised animals.

Because rhino horns grow back if the growth plate is left undamaged‚ Galliers says many private owners now dehorn the animals at intervals of between 15-24 months to reduce the risk of poachers killing them.

Dr Mike Toft‚ of Kifaru Wildlife Veterinary Services‚ said that chopping the horns off rhinos is “no more painful than chopping your fingernails” – provided that vets take precautions to avoid cutting into the horn growth plate on the base of the skull.

Toft chopped off at least ten rhino horns at the Somkhanda Game Reserve last week‚ carefully marking the cutting point before using a portable chainsaw to remove the upper portion of the horns from several adults and calves. Somkhanda is a 12‚000ha community-owned reserve in the Phongola area which is also home to the more threatened black rhino species.

So far‚ rhinos in the 96‚000ha Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s main rhino reserve) have not been dehorned‚ partly because of the major costs involved in removing horns and questions around tourist perceptions of viewing dehorned animals.

Ezemvelo spokesman Musa Mntambo said the organisation preferred to focus its efforts on protecting rhinos without removing their horns.

“Our view is that a rhino is a rhino because of its horns – and that tourists prefer to see them that way.”

Rhinos in some state-owned reserves‚ such as iSimangaliso and Spioenkop‚ have been dehorned for security reasons.

“We may have to consider de-horning in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi in future‚ but not at this stage‚” Mntambo said at the weekend.

Nevertheless‚ it is understood that Project Rhino has offered to raise funds to support dehorning in other Ezemvelo reserves.

Galliers said Project Rhino has also been leasing the Hluhluwe airfield to support helicopter and light aircraft anti-poaching patrols on several private reserves.

Known as the Zululand Anti-Poaching Wing (ZAP Wing) the unit conducts aerial patrols over several private reserves‚ including Phinda‚ Thanda‚ Manyoni‚ Phongola‚ Thula Thula‚ KZN Private Reserves‚ Zimanga‚ Zulu Nyala and Ubizane.

Project Rhino was set up in 2011 to support anti-poaching operations by rhino owners and non-government rhino conservation organisations.

“Several organisations were starting their own separate projects so we decided to come together and work collectively to make a bigger impact‚” said Galliers. “We think it is better to have one organisation that helps to glue people together.”

Source: Sowetan Live

Pets: An investment case

Global trend towards humanisation of furry friends.

About two years ago, there was a picnic at Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg.

While everyone was exchanging pleasantries, and playing on the grass, a couple – let’s call them Nick and Jen – came walking towards the party with a stroller. The group fell silent.

“When did Nick and Jen have a BABY?!” someone asked the host.

The host – as well as everyone else – seemed to be in the dark about this exciting development.

It turned out the “baby” was the couple’s elderly dog, who had trouble walking, but who was – according to his vet – perfectly fine otherwise.

And this is not an isolated incident. The “humanisation” of pets – a global trend where people’s furry friends are increasingly being treated as if they were humans – has gone hand in hand with improvements in buying power. While cats and dogs used to sleep outside, many pets are now living inside the house, become part of the family and may even share a bed with their owners. As part of this process, owners are spending more money on medicine and vets.

One practical example of the trend comes in the form of Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiary NetJets, that allows pets on their private charters. In a recent interview with Sky News, Europe chief executive Mario Pacifico revealed that around 2 300 of the roughly 80 000 passengers it chartered last year, were pets.

Pet ownership also seems to be on the rise locally. According to Insight Survey, South African households had roughly 9.2 million dogs in total in 2016, placing the country in the ninth position globally.

Could there be an investment case hidden away here somewhere?

Gerrit Smit, fund manager of Stonehage Fleming’s Global Best Ideas Equity Fund, invested in Zoetis, a global manufacturer of drugs and vaccinations for pets and farm animals about a year ago. Zoetis, which was previously spun off from Pfizer, is the fund’s third-largest holding, at 5.5%.

While Smit is a bottom-up investor, which means he doesn’t invest based on macro trends, but picks companies based on fundamentals, he says healthcare is a solid industry from a sustainable organic growth perspective – one of the four pillars of his investment strategy.

Yet, he is fairly sceptical about the prospects for traditional human medicine as an investment for three reasons. The first is patent issues – as global patents expire, generic drugs come to market, competition intensifies and margins drop. Moreover, governments tend to be the largest clients worldwide and their concentrated buying power puts even more pressure on prices. Finally, legal risks are significant – ultimately human life is involved.

With animal drugs, most of these arguments disappear, Smit says.

At the same time, population growth and increases in wealth fuel organic growth with regard to human as well as animal drugs. But as wealth grows, people in the emerging world consume more dairy and meat leading to large-scale livestock farming, which in turn fuels improved growth for animal drugs, he adds.

He also points to the humanisation of pets, an “absolutely phenomenal” development. While people are living longer and have “companion animals” for a lengthier period, younger individuals are also taking longer to settle and start a family, and opt for a pet instead.

At the same time, many international celebrities have been spotted with a pet – almost as a type of fashion accessory.

Smit says the humanisation of pets is becoming an everyday phenomenon – it is not a fad that is expected to vanish. Apart from the basic pillars used to inform investment decisions, there needs to be a conviction that there will be a sustainable demand for a firm’s products and services and the valuation needs to be attractive, as was the case with Zoetis.

Author: Ingé Lamprecht

Source: Moneyweb

Tips to Care for Your Cat After Surgery

Nearly every pet cat, at some point in his life, undergoes some type of surgical procedure. If you’re lucky, the only procedure your cat will ever need is a spay or a neuter. Unfortunately, our beloved feline friends occasionally require additional surgical intervention, with some of the more common procedures being skin biopsy, tumor removal, bladder stone removal, laceration repair, tooth extraction and pinning or plating of a broken bone.

Once your cat is out of surgery, the recovery process begins. Some surgeries require a period of hospitalization after the operation. Others are outpatient surgeries that allow the cat to be sent home the same day. Most veterinary hospitals provide clients with both written and verbal instructions for post-op home care when the cat is discharged from the hospital. The period immediately following surgery is when most complications occur, so it’s critical to carefully follow your veterinarian’s instructions. Check out these important tips for how to care for your cat after surgery.

1. Make sure your cat takes it easy after surgery

Most veterinarians prefer to perform surgery early in the day, so there is adequate time for your cat to recover from anesthesia. Many cats may still feel the effects of anesthesia hours after the surgery and may be a little uncoordinated. If your cat is still a bit woozy, confine him in a safe area, on the floor, with no steps that he could accidentally tumble down. If his litter box is not already in the vicinity of the recovery area, move it so he can get to it easily. A comfortable, cushiony bed is a nice place to recuperate.

Cats recovering from surgery may need to be isolated from other pets or small children while healing. Anesthesia can also make pets feel queasy afterward, so ease your cat into his regular diet routine by starting with small amounts on Day One and working your way up to his normal routine. Confinement is even more critical in cases of orthopedic surgery. Cats who have had a broken bone surgically repaired may require restriction to an appropriately sized cage for several weeks, to foster proper healing. Provide food and water bowls, a litter box, and a bed in the cage for the cat’s comfort.

2. How to give your cat his post-surgery medicine

Many cats require medicine after surgery, such as antibiotics or pain medications. It’s important that cats receive the proper dose. Antibiotics occasionally cause diarrhea in cats, so don’t be alarmed if this occurs. Some vets prescribe a probiotic to be given concurrently to reduce the risk of this occurring. Some pain medications (narcotics, for example) can make cats sleepy and occasionally uncoordinated. Again, confine your cat to an area configured to minimize the risk of injury (no stairs or slippery floors). It should go without saying that indoor-outdoor cats should be denied access to the outdoors until fully recovered.

3. How to care for your cat’s stitches

The surgical incision site should be monitored. A little swelling is expected immediately after surgery; however, promptly bring to your veterinarian’s attention any discharge or oozing, pain, excessive bruising or foul odor.

  • Do not apply topical ointments or creams to the incision site.
  • Do not pet, brush or groom the incision area or bathe the cat while he has sutures in place.
  • The skin in that area will be tender and sensitive, and the incision should not be allowed to get wet.
  • Use an Elizabethan collar on your cat, as felines are notorious for their ability to quickly chew out the sutures that are holding the incision together.

Most sutures can be removed 10 to 14 days after the surgery. This allows your veterinarian to observe the incision and see how well the patient is doing in person. Because the first 24 to 48 hours post-operatively are the most important, it’s imperative that you know where to take your cat if a problem develops after hours. This is not a problem if your veterinarian’s facility is open around the clock; however, if your vet’s office closes in the evening, know where the nearest 24-hour emergency facility is. Bring to the emergency clinic any medications that you’ve been administering and a copy of any written discharge orders given to you by your veterinarian.

Source: Catster

We’re Going to Kitten Kollege with Whiskas®

SOUTH AFRICA, MAY 2018: Adopting a tiny kitten is a magical experience, it literally takes seconds after introducing the curious little feline to your home that you realise two things: firstly, cats are Laugh Out Loud adorable, and secondly, you’re needing to learn a whole lot more about your little kitty. That’s why WHISKAS® has made the Kitten Kollege syllabus available to all South Africans.

The esteemed and prestigious international institute of feline education offers a broad curriculum for kitten owners. No matter what topic you’re curious about the Kitten Kollege has a class for you.

Currently, the illustrious Kitten Kollege offers classes on just some of the following subject matters:

  • Your kitten’s guide to taking over the world
  • The diverse breeds of kittens and their characteristics
  • Introducing your kitten to other pets in your home
  • Basic cat needs
  • How to care for your kitten’s health
  • Choosing the right kitten and kitten-proofing your house to make it safe for them
  • Why you should train your kitten from an early age
  • Preparing your human child for your new furry family member

So, if you’re interested in graduating in Kitten Care, or getting ahead on Curious Cat Conversations, this tertiary institution has a course to ensure you’re enriching and nurturing your kitten’s curiosity throughout their journey.

Satisfy that cat-like curiosity (and learn a little more about it too) by signing up for the FREE educational and endlessly entertaining Kitty Modules with WHISKAS® Kitten Kollege.

Please see below a link to the 1st Kitten Kollege YouTube video:

Source: Whiskas®

Fun Games to Play With Your Dog

 Use a Flirt Pole

A flirt pole (also called a flirt stick) is a long pole with a rope attached to the end. On the end of that rope is a lure that’s used to entice your dog to chase. Flirt poles provide great exercise, and they’re mentally stimulating. They’re a way to let let your dog use their natural prey drive in a non-destructive way. And they’re a great for practicing some basic impulse control such as letting go on command.

When playing remember to let your dog ‘win’ or catch the lure on occasion as a reward. By letting them win you’re making the game more engaging and fun, and that will encourage them to keep playing. If they don’t get that chance to win they can become discouraged and uninterested in the game. You can make your own flirt pole with some pvc pipe, some bungee cord and a dog toy.

Health Concerns: This is a very high impact exercise that can be rough on your dog’s joints. If your dog isn’t very active to begin with start with short sessions and work your way up. If your dog has any joint or mobility issues don’t use a flirt pole. They can can cause further joint damage, so opt to some of these lower impact exercises instead.

Play Tug of War With Your Dog

Tug is by far my dog’s favorite game. It’s fun, it’s engaging, it’s great physical exercise and it’s a good way for dogs to practice good manners. And if you spent a lot of time training with your dog I’ve found it to be one of most motivating rewards around.

When playing tug just remember to follow this basic rule – the game stops if your dog’s teeth touch your skin. Some dogs may struggle with this more than others since tug gets some dogs (puppies) pretty riled up. If you stop when their mouth touches your hand they’ll catch on that ‘the fun game stops when I mouth my person.’

And contrary to popular belief playing tug with your dog will not make him aggressive, nor will letting him win make him dominant. Letting your dog win makes the game more engaging, and it shows your dog that you’re a lot of fun to be around.

Play Frisbee With Your Dog

 A game of frisbee is great exercise, and it’s a lot of fun for dogs that have a natural drive to chase.

If your dog doesn’t know how to catch a frisbee I’d start out by using a soft disc. Traditional plastic frisbees are pretty hard, so if they hit your dog in the face they can discourage them from trying to catch it. Practice by getting your dog excited about the frisbee by tossing it short distances or rolling it on the ground. Encourage them when they start to follow it around and chase. Once your dog is excited to chase it you can increase the distance and start tossing it.

Create Your Own Agility Course

Another fun game for dogs is creating your own agility course. It’s a fun way to teach your dog some new tricks, and it’s a great source of mental stimulation for dogs.

Using an agility course for your dog is a fun way to give them some mental & physical exercise. It’s that added focus of having to perform one thing after the other that’s really exhausting.

And while you can go out and buy plenty of obstacle course items at pet supply stores I prefer making my own. You can use a hula hoop to jump through, some blankets to jump over and some little mini cones to weave through. If you want to step it up a notch you can can make some agility equipment of your own.

Use Kong Stuffing & Food Dispensing Toys

Using a stuffed Kong or some food dispensing toys is one of the easiest games to play with your dog. It’s fun, it encourages them to use some of their natural scavenging ability, and it’s mentally stimulating.

Food dispensing toys are great for giving your dog some more mental stimulation at meal time. You fill it up and they have to knock it around to get the food out. If your dog has never used a food dispensing toy you may have to practice a bit before they get the hang of it. After filling it up encourage them to play with it so they can see that ‘oh look food comes out when I move it around.

Teach Your Dog to Chase Bubbles

One of the easiest games to play with your dog is to teach them to chase bubbles.

If your dog doesn’t know how to chase bubbles start by blowing a couple at a time. Point them out to them and encourage them to chase. Catch some yourself to show you dog that there’s nothing to worry about, and that the whole point of the game is to get them before they touch the ground.

We use bubbles made for kids (they also make flavored bubbles specifically for dogs). They’re non toxic, but can upset their stomach if they ingest too much. And be sure to wipe off your dog’s face afterwards because they can irritate your dog’s eyes.

Play Some Water Games With Your Dog

Going to the local beach can be a lot of fun for dogs, especially those that already love swimming. (don’t forget a doggie life jacket for safety) You can bring along some dog toys and play a game of fetch in the water.

If your dog isn’t a great swimmer, or if you don’t have any beaches nearby you can play some water games in your own backyard. Get a plastic kiddie pool and fill it with water. Many dogs love splashing around and having a nice little pool of their own to keep cool in. Toss in some toys and turn it into a ‘bobbing for apples‘ game.

Some dogs go crazy for the hose. The hose may be intimidating for some dogs. If your dog isn’t into the hose they might prefer playing in a sprinkler that doesn’t let off such a strong stream of water.

Play Find the Treats With Your Dog

Find the treats, like all nose work games, are mentally stimulating and a fun way to let our dogs hone in on their natural sniffing abilities.

To play find the treats you’ll want to start by putting some treats on the ground while your dog is in the stay position. Give your dog their release command and encourage them to ‘find the treats.’ Point to them and help them along if they’re struggling. Encourage them along the way by praising them each time they find one.

Once your dog understands what ‘find the treats’ means you can slowly start to increase the difficulty of where you’re hiding them. And once you’ve practiced enough in one room you can move onto hiding treats throughout the house.

Use a Digging Box

Some dogs love digging, and having a dedicated digging box for them is a way to encourage them to dig in one approved area – one that doesn’t include your landscaped garden. You can make your own digging box with some wood and sand from your local hardware store. If you have a lot of cats in the neighborhood you might want to build a top to keep it from becoming a litter box.

Some dogs will be thrilled to have a place to dig to their heart’s content. If your dog doesn’t dig right away you can make it game by burying some of your dogs favorite toys in the box to encouraging your dog to dig them out.

Play a Game of Hide & Seek

Hide and seek lets your dog use some of their natural scent tracking abilities in a fun and stimulating way.

To play hide and seek have you dog stay while you go find a hiding spot. Once situated call your dog and praise them when they find you. If your dog doesn’t have a good ‘stay’ you can enlist the help of someone else to distract your dog as you hide.




Possible Health Issues in Common Dog Breeds

Common health problems in dogs

The fortunes of dogs and humans have been mutually entangled for millennia. Numerous distinct breeds of Canis lupus familiaris exist today, owing to dogs’ remarkable adaptability and genetic fluidity. Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and temperaments, and this diversity has been achieved through selective breeding.

Unfortunately, this practice occasionally yields undesirable results, including a higher incidence of certain hereditary defects, deformities, or infirmities within a given breed. Here are 12 common dog breeds and their potential health issues.

1. Labrador Retriever

America’s favorite dog breed is prized for its high intelligence and affectionate nature. In many ways, Labs are perfect family dogs: loyal, gentle, and playful. Health issues with this energetic breed are relatively few, provided the animal gets plenty of daily exercise. Under-exercised pets are prone to weight gain and an increased risk of joint disease due to obesity. Labs are also often genetically prone to hip and elbow dysplasia. Other inherited diseases can include eye disorders such as progressive retinal atrophy, which can cause blindness.

2. German Shepherd

Another contender for America’s favorite dog breed, German Shepherds are exceptionally intelligent and easily trained. They excel at guard duty, but require plenty of stimulation and exercise to maintain optimal health. German Shepherds are prone to hereditary hip dysplasia, a deformation of the hip socket that may lead to arthritis or lameness. Degenerative myelopathy is also a common condition among German Shepherds. This is an untreatable disease that results in progressive paralysis.

3. Basset Hound

With their droopy ears and sad-sack eyes, these adorable dogs are plagued by problems related to their most endearing qualities. Their droopy skin may interfere with vision. Their large, floppy ears are prone to infections and require regular inspection and cleaning. And they have a penchant for constant, enthusiastic sniffing (made all the easier by their short legs). Basset hounds can suffer from intervertebral disc disease, which is a disease of the spine. This condition can make movement difficult and painful if left untreated.

4. Jack (& Parson) Russell Terriers

These highly energetic, intelligent terriers are well known for their relatively good overall healthand notable longevity. While some larger breeds may live an average of 10 to 12 years, Jack Russells (and closely related Parson Russell Terriers) may live 14 to 16 years, provided they receive adequate, regular exercise. Inherited diseases include lens luxation, which may result in loss of vision.

5. Lhasa Apso

Experts describe these elegant dogs as “robust,” but the Lhasa requires regular eye care to maintain optimal health. Constant tearing can be expected in this breed. The runny fluid must be gently cleaned from the eyes on a routine basis with isotonic (mild saltwater) solution. The Lhasa’s long flowing coat requires extensive brushing and combing to avoid snags and tangles. This breed is also prone to a form of hereditary kidney disease.

6. Irish Setter

Although their popularity is presently waning, Irish Setters are still ranked among the top 10 breeds for playfulness and affection. These lovable redheads are considered hardy, but some hereditary diseases do occur. Irish setters can experience a variety of conditions including hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, bloat, epilepsy, and bone cancer.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

Known for possessing outsized personalities in an undersized package, “Yorkies” have flounced into American’s hearts. They are the third most popular breed in America. With silky blue/tan coats and entitled terrier attitudes, they relish their roles as miniature divas. Yorkies are prone to digestive problems. Their diet should be carefully monitored. As with other toy breeds, tracheal collapse is possible. Clinical signs include a cough and can be exacerbated by a collar. A hereditary defect, portosystemic shunt, may decrease liver function and cause toxins to accumulate in the blood. This can lead to behavioral and neurological problems.

8. Dalmatian

Patient, gentle, and hardy, Dalmatians are famous for their association with firemen, and as the fictional heroes in a series of popular Disney movies. The most common hereditary defect in this breed is deafness, although reputable breeders are working to eradicate this problem. Dalmatians also have a tendency to develop kidney or bladder stones, a condition called urolithiasis. This common problem may require special diet or surgery to correct.

9. Cocker Spaniel

These favorites are known for their flowing coats, but owning a supermodel’s tresses comes at a price. Cocker Spaniels require frequent bathing and brushing to keep their long hair free of tangles. Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to eye disorders, including cataracts and glaucoma, as well as heart disease, epilepsy, and liver disease. Their ears must also be cleaned regularly to prevent ear infections.

10. Pug

Familiar for their flat, pushed-in face, pugs are generally a healthy breed that lives a long life. While the flat-fronted face is part of their charm, it can lead to breathing problems, which may develop into snoring at night or difficulty breathing in hot weather and humidity. The pug prefers living its days as a house companion, steering clear of extremely hot or cold temperatures. However, moderate exercise is still essential, as this breed is known to become overweight.

11. Chihuahua

Made famous by Taco Bell commercials, this tiny breed weighs in around 6 pounds or less. A gentle breed that will pair well with an equally gentle owner, Chihuahuas can live a relatively long life for dogs — around 12 to 15 years. The Chihuahua is not exempt from health concerns, however. The most common is patellar luxation, which can lead to arthritis. Other medical concerns include cardiac and eye disease.

12. Boxer

Highly athletic, the Boxer is rumored to have acquired its name from the way it uses its front paws for nearly every activity, seeming to bat at objects as if sparring. This compact and muscular breed is susceptible to a number of conditions, though. Boxers are prone to heart-related and thyroid problems, as well as skin allergies. Other medical concerns include cancer, bloat, and elbow dysplasia.


When considering bringing home a new puppy or adult dog, be sure to work with a reputable breeder who is honest and open about the health lines of their dogs. Don’t purchase a puppy without documentation that the parents were cleared of health issues. If adopting from a shelter, be sure to take your new dog to the vet soon after adoption.

Whether bred for their protectiveness and vigilance or their suitability to the pampered life, there is a breed of dog suitable for virtually every environment and type of owner. Learn more about choosing the right dog breed for your lifestyle, and get tips to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Source: Health Line

Dogs and Cancer: Get the Facts

Because mixed-breed dogs come from a much larger gene pool, they would be less likely to get genetic-based cancers. But that doesn’t do anything for spontaneous cancers or environmentally caused cancers.

Q: What can I do to help prevent my dog from getting cancer?

A: The biggest thing is spaying your dog. If you spay a dog before its first heat you’ll reduce the chance of mammary cancer eight-fold, just because of the hormonal influence.

Good oral care can help decrease oral cancers. And if you’re buying a purebred dog, check its line to see if there’s a specific kind of cancer in that breed’s line.

But overall, prevention is difficult because we don’t know the causes of most cancers. I think, rather than trying to prevent cancer, identifying it early and treating it quickly is the better strategy.

Q: If my dog has cancer, does that mean he’s going to die?

A: Absolutely not. Probably the majority of the cancers we see can be dealt with surgically. A lot of the breast cancers, a lot of the mast cell tumors, a lot of skin tumors, soft tissue sarcomas, many of those tumors can be removed surgically and are cured. Even in situations where they have advanced to a lymph node, there are options that can prolong your dog’s life and even cure him.

Q: What kinds of treatments are available for dogs with cancer?

A: We have pretty much all the options that are available to people. There’s surgery, obviously. Radiation therapy is available in about 40 facilities around the country. Chemotherapy has become commonplace. Now some places are even doing research and clinical treatment of patients with immunotherapy tumor vaccines, where we’re using the immune system to stimulate the destruction of the cancer.

Q: The FDA approved the first drug for treating canine cancer in dogs in June 2009. What other advancements will we be seeing in the treatment of canine cancers?

A: There have been several things, like the tumor vaccine I just mentioned. There is a new vaccine against oral melanomas, the most common oral tumor. Radiation therapy and technology is expanding so that the machines that we’re using can now treat brain tumors and nasal tumors and deep-seated tumors that previously we couldn’t access surgically.

Veterinary oncology has progressed amazingly in the past two decades. Twenty years ago, most people didn’t even know dogs got cancer. Today it’s common to find people whose dogs have been treated for cancer. There are so many more facilities for treating canine cancer now, and there are veterinarians who do nothing but treat cancer.

Q: What does it cost to treat a dog with cancer?

A: It varies. There’s the diagnostic testing that’s needed prior to doing any kind of therapy, and that can range from $200 to $1,000. Then treating the cancer can range from a simple surgery for $1,000 all the way up to $15,000 if we’re dealing with something complicated that also needs radiation therapy and chemotherapy along with the surgery. They’re even doing bone marrow transplants for dogs with lymphoma. That can be very expensive.

Q: What’s the cure rate for dogs with cancer?

A: Overall, for all malignancies that we see, it’s probably in the 60-plus percent range. There are a lot of patients out there with just lumps and bumps that are being taken off by their regular veterinarian and they have a very good long-term prognosis.

Now if the cancers are left untreated, we’re talking survival times in the months, not years.

(Note: These are costs for top-level treatment at a specialist hospital. Prices for less involved options at a general veterinary practice may be much less. Costs may also vary a lot depending on where you live.)

Source: Web MD