Thursday, 31 January 2013

Sebaceous Cysts in our GSD follow up

You may remember our post of 6 October last year, when we said that we had started giving Cairid, our shepherd, cider vinegar and turmeric, in a bid to help with his sebaceous cysts, especially the ‘grape sized’ sucker on his back.

At the time of that post it appeared to be receding.

Well, here we are some five months later………….. and it has COMPLETELY gone!!! Yee-hah!!
Now some people think these sorts of applications/remedies are old wives tales (you know similar to ‘leg of toad, spit from a giraffe, roadside herbs all boiled in a cauldron made of clay’….) but, we researched long and hard on the internet to find that this in fact appears to be the widely accepted ‘cure’ for them. What’s more, Cairid is our living proof that it works.

So, add to your four legged friend’s food a ‘thimble’ full of cider vinegar (in our case, twice a day as that is how many times we feed him) and about a quarter of a teaspoonful of turmeric (the Indian superfood) and see if it helps you too.

One cautionary note however – Cairid has now taken up sitar lessons and has developed an uncanny liking for pakora……………….. !!!!!!!!!!!! tee hee!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


Bloat is a particularly nasty event, even fatal, for dogs.

Dogs Naturally have a wonderful article written by Peter Dobias DVM (written July 2011) that not only explains what this is but gives us dog owners great pointers on how to minimise the risks of our dogs suffering from it.

Read it here :

and as the title suggests - it's done 'naturally' Woo - hoo!!

Saturday, 5 January 2013


The big food debate – well there’s no debate at all as far as the PDSA are concerned.  In their leaflet, “Diet and Nutrition”,  they seem to imply that feeding your dog a “complete commercial pet food” is a legal requirement.  What they actually say is that it is a legal requirement for pet owners to make sure their pet has a suitable diet, then go on to tell us that “feeding your dog a complete commercial pet food is the best way of ensuring they get all the nutrients they need.”  I have to disagree.  Commercial food varies tremendously, so to tell us that all complete commercial pet food is good is to my mind designed to send a long queue of sick animals to the vets.

How astonishing is this democratic civilisation that allows us to stuff our kids with burgers and chips on a regular basis, but does not give us the credit of being able to work out what our pets need.  Food for thought!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Animals Matter by Marc Bekoff

BOOK REVIEW:  Animals Matter, by Marc Bekoff (2007) published by Shambhala, Boston & London, ISBN 978-1-59030-522-5 (above pic from Amazon)

What did I like about this book?  I liked Bekoff’s gentle philosophy, his belief that all living creatures have an important part to play (not just humans) in this world and we should respect that.  Of course I only read this kind of book because I already share this belief, and probably all the animal experimenters, zoo keepers, farmers, and anyone else whose way of earning a living involves looking at animals as separate entities from human animals, will never see it. 
I have always leaned towards vegetarianism since the day I walked into the local market with my children to see the nice animals, and realised I had a pound of animal in my bag.  I was 29 and had never made this connection.  Now I am totally vegetarian and do not miss the meat I was in the habit of eating, although it took many years to cut it out altogether and the support of my vegetarian husband.  Vegetarianism requires you to break habits, but more importantly, form new ones.  There is a huge variety of wonderful vegetarian foods out there, and more and more people are experimenting with it.  Bekoff states that “Twenty vegetarians could live for a year on the amount of grains needed to provide meat for just one meat eater.”  That’s worth thinking about.
This book covers all the ways that humans “use” animals, (and particularly interesting is his chapter on researchers’ observational methods and the effects these might have on an animal population – a practice that is done with the best possible intentions of increasing our knowledge so that we are more aware of what these animals need), and questions the value of these uses.  The people likely to read it probably don’t need convincing, but everyone will find something about this subject that they didn’t realise, so a very worthwhile read.  Although written in 2007, it is still relevant.  It would be a wonderful school text book, but never will be.

And now for something completely different !!

Dog Behaviour Science is a great site for browsing away at. You come across quite a number of differing views.

Brad Pattison - remember the name. Canada's finest???

Just one quote from his dog training ethos is enough to let you make up your own mind,

'Why you should never try to accomodate your dog, but rather force the dog to accomodate you'

W-H-A-T !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We would put up a link to his website, but we cannot condone his practices. But then again, it took the dinosaurs a wee while to die out too, didn't it!!!!