Wednesday, May 29, 2013

When Little Dogs Pick Big Dog Fights...

They come home with a bandaged nuzzle.
And a wounded pride!

Read More

Monday, May 27, 2013

Chooey's Past Dog Tricks in Pictures and Fracture Update

Chooey Update: Chooey's doing better. We had her bandage replaced at the vets. Surprisingly, her vet didn't even ask how Chooey was doing... she simply replaced the bandage, did a failed attempt on shaving Chooey's muzzle  and was done with it.

Anyway, here are some of Chooey's past dog tricks in action.

Dog Trick 1: Leave It

Dog Trick 2: Paw

Dog Trick 3: Dead Dog (Zombie Style)

Okay, I was just kidding about dog trick 3. Although she does look like a canine that's risen from the dead (especially when dog biscuits are involved).

Read More

Monday, May 20, 2013

Benefits of Owning an Aspin / Askal

Chooey Update: Chooey's doing a lot better. She's recovering pretty well. I've taken off the Cone of Shame during day time as she's no longer fighting the bandage tape muzzle that was made by the vet for her jaw bone to recover. She's on strict dog soft diet and she's crated every night.

You must be wondering what I am talking about.  Seeing as most of my bloggy friends are non-Filipinos, I'll be giving  a short definition of an askal/aspin.

Brother dog is a full-fledged, 100% genuine aspin. He's been with us for a long time now. He's probably 7 or even older.

An aspin or an askal is a dog native to the Philippines.  They are often found in streets and homes of the average Filipino family.  They are independent,  cunning and street smart (literally speaking).  Askals/ aspins are often categorized as mongrels, mutts and mixes, but I still personally like calling them street dogs because of their intelligence (and persistence) in finding their own food and evasion skills as escape artists. You don't normally learn that in a sheltered environment.

Literal Translations:

Askal -  asong kalye -  street dog
Aspin -  asong Pinoy -  Filipino dog

Why should you adopt an Askal or Aspin from your local pound? 

1. Most askals/aspins are food-driven. They're not picky on training treats. 

2. Aspins/ Askals normally thrive on people food, but dog food works wonders on them. I give mine Bow Wow dog food and their coats have turned extra shiny. 

3. Aspins make great models for photography. 

The camera may have the wrong settings, but dear Ginger's pictures will always be perfect.
4. Since the askal / aspin family tree is so diverse,  the tendency for them to have genetic diseases are slim to nothing. 

5. A little training goes a long way. Food rewards are highly effective. Saver the Wonder Dog is one of Philippines' most famous askal.

Note: Don't be discouraged by their stubbornness.  You'd  be surprised how easily they learn the rest of the tricks once they've gotten the first one right.

6. Most askals/ aspins have survived without vaccinations through  the years.  This means that most of them have built an immunity against highly contagious diseases.

Note: Fortunately,  due to government programs providing free anti-rabies vaccinations,  the rate of rabies infection in cities have decreased.

7. They're far cheaper to adopt.  Some Philippine pet shelters already have their dogs and cats spayed / neutered and vaccinated. 

Note: The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) charges an adoption fee of 500 php for cats and 1000 php for dogs. These pets are all neutered/spayed, rabies vaccinated, groomed and dewormed before adopted out.

8. They require less maintenance than purebred dogs. 

Bottom line,  aspins / askals are great dogs to take care of. And some city pounds are teeming with them. So do VISIT THEM before you buy that puppy in the pet store or online ad.

Read More

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Top Tips in Caring For an Elderly Dog (Guest Post) and Chooey Update

Today, I am privileged to post an article written by Grace Sumrall. It's about caring for an elderly dog. She shares her experiences as well as her tips on how to keep your elderly dog happy and healthy.

Update: Chooey's doing better. She has a bandage tape (sticky Leukoplast tape) on her doggy nuzzle. It minimizes the movement of her jaw (maxillae and mandible). After doing some research on dog jaw fractures, I was amazed to learn how often these incidents happen to dogs.

Top Tips in Caring for an Elderly Dog

Just like many families out there, dogs are an important part of our home. We got our three Labradors, one for each of our kids, seven Christmases ago and still enjoy quality bonding time with them. Gunther, Snow and Knight have become a part of our family. As they get older, certain changes can be observed in their demeanour.

Photo: Courtesy of Grace Sumrall
Though there is nothing to worry about senior dogs, like people, can age gracefully, but there are some important aspects that you might want to consider in maintaining their health. Here are some valuable tips to get you started.

Diet and Nutrition

One important aspect in any dog's life that should not be taken for granted is on maintaining a healthy diet. There are quite a number of dog food brands nowadays making it hard to pick out the best one for our pet. What I did (as advised by our friendly vet) is to look at the label. Always make sure that substantial protein is present on the nutritional value of the dog chow. As they approach seniority, dogs needed more protein to fight off the onset of degenerative diseases. I have to make sure also that it has fewer calories as they can easily gain weight. To lessen the effect of aging, I always choose one laden with antioxidants, Vitamin E and beta carotene to help boost its immune system. Senior dogs, like people, easily succumb to diseases during these trying years. To maintain a healthy skin and coat, it is important to choose a dog chow that has omega-6 fatty acid or gamma-linolenic acid content.

Give Some TLC

Through the years, I have learned that we need to be more sensitive to its needs. Senior dogs can be more affectionate as they get older and have an increasing needed for more attention and companionship. To get the best of our time spent together, we usually engage them to outdoor activities. By promoting active play, they can exercise while having fun outside. Be mindful of their ailments and the weather condition though. Steer clear of winter blues by using a heating pad on their beds or letting them rest when they do not feel like going out. Sometimes, all they need is a hug or a cuddle for comfort.

Periodic Vet Visit

Today, more than ever, they needs regular veterinary attention. In the same way as people, dogs ability to ward off diseases and infection degenerates over time. Engaging in routine medical exam with a vet can be a great help in monitoring its hearing and eyesight, dental problems, weight loss or excessive weight gain, arthritis, changes in behaviour, and other notable aspects affecting its health. Vets can properly compare weight measurements and lab results as well as blood tests to easily detect any form of illness before it sets in. This is even more so when you have a picky eater or have arthritis like our "Gunther". He was put on a special diet to ensure he gets the necessary nutrients. Our vet also recommends using a heating pad on its bunk during winter or when arthritis or insomnia kicks in. If you are lucky, your vet clinic might also offer grooming care as part of their package.

Indeed, it can be hard to see your beloved pets deteriorate over the years. But at least you can do something to alleviate their condition and lighter up their load. Keep in mind that as your dog gets older, they will find more comfort in routine, extra attention and reassurance.

About the Author: Grace Sumrall has been working with animals at her local shelter for over five years. She enjoys spreading the word on proper animal care to all her fellow pet owners in hopes that they learn what is best for their loved ones.
Read More

Thursday, May 9, 2013

POTP for Chooey

Dear friends,

We are once again riddled with a stressful problem. Chooey and Rin got into a fight. It was awful. I had isolated them from each other the night before, but it wasn't meant to be. This morning, Chooey was carried back to her area with really bad puncture wounds. Also, whenever she opened her mouth, she would tilt her head sideways. I was dead worried that I decided to bring her to the clinic immediately.

The lady vet removed the fur from the puncture wounds but while they were removing it and she was squirming. They accidentally held the area where her jaw was and she made a piercing scream.

We had her x-rayed to find out that Chooey's right mandible is broken. Of all the places, why should it have been there? The veterinarian said that it had probably been due to the impact of Rin's bite which was supposed to be a through and through (right directly below her eye). She also had two puncture wounds just above her brows and the area between her eyes. 

This is part of Chooey's medication and diet. Soft diet composed of Cerelac and Recovery Food. Tolfine 60mg for pain and Augmentin for infection.
The vet said that we would need a brace to repair her jaw and the surgery alone will cost 9,000 php. That's a lot of money and it just breaks my heart that this had to happen to her. 

I made sure to notify the household that Chooey was to remain at the bottom, but somebody had opened the hatch to which she bolted towards Rin. A fight commenced and I just found out of her wounds an hour later because it happened early in the morning. 

This is the best we could do in the mean time because of the inflammation.
Now, Chooey's not to open her right jaw which makes this even more unbearable.

Read More