Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Coco using Cody as a pillow.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Two Dogue de Bordeaux's looking for there forever homes.

Aggie is looking for a new home with Scottish Dogue de Bordeaux Support

Monday, 14 April 2014

Understanding the Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

The playful Kitty have very kindly gave me permission  to re-post this excellent and very informative post, to help raise Awareness.

We lost one of our cats Oscar to FeLV in 2011, it's an absolutely horrible disease even though we got him vaccinated against FeLV the vet said he had probably probably already had it when we rescued him, it was heartbreaking to see him go down hill so quick, in the end you could just see it in his eyes that he couldn't fight it any longer, and we had to make the decision to end his suffering.


What is FeLV?

Feline Leukemia FeLV Virus

Comparison of FeLV, FIV, and HIV respectively.
Image courtesy of
The Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a highly contagious virus in the feline community (it can not be spread to humans or species other than cats). Just like FIV or its human equivalent, HIV, FeLV is a retrovirus; It produces an enzyme that allows it to create copies of its own genetic material using the host’s cells.  There are 3 different types of FeLV, 2 stages in the progression of the illness, and several possible symptoms.
Types of FeLV:
  1. FeLV-A
    This type causes immune deficiency in the cat – a problem caused by all 3 types.  Cats with FeLV may develop serious or even fatal illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria, or other infectious materials that could be easily fought off by a health cat.
  2. FeLV-B
    This type of FeLV is the most common cause of cancer in cats. They could develop tumors and other abnormal growths. About 50% of all cats diagnosed with FeLV will have FeLV-B.
  3. FeLV-C
    This is the least common type of FeLV. Cats with FeLV-C will develop blood disorders such as anemia.
Stages of FeLV
  1. Primary Viremia.
    When a cat first becomes infected with the virus it will be in the Primary Viremia stage.  The cat may not show any symptoms at all during this stage, but is still capable of infecting other cats. The good news is that at this stage, the cat may still be able to rid themselves of the virus (60% of cats do). A cat may remain in this stage up to 4 months after infection.
  2. Secondary Viremia.
    This stage is reached with the virus has made its way into the bone marrow and other tissues. Unfortunately, once a cat comes to this stage of the disease, it will not be able to rid itself of the virus; They will live with the virus for the rest of their life. When this stage is diagnosed, less than 30% of cats live longer than 3 years.
Symptoms  of FeLV
Since secondary infections are such a huge part of FeLV, there are a lot of possible symptoms of FeLV. There’s no way to definitively tell if a cat has FeLV by observing it. If you feel that your cat may have FeLV, be sure to visit your veterinarian and get a proper diagnosis. Here are a few of the symptoms of FeLV:
Feline Leukemia FeLV Possible Outcomes

FeLV Infection Outcomes
*Click to Enlarge*
Image courtesy of
  • Progressive weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abscesses
  • Poor coat condition
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Behavior changes
  • Pale gums
  • Eye conditions
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Infections of the skin
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Inflammation of the gums or mouth
  • Aborted pregnancies and other reproductive problems
Feline Leukemia FeLV Test

Snap test
Image courtesy of
Your veterinarian will have to do a blood test to diagnosis FeLV. These tests will not give accurate results until 60 days after the initial infection takes place. The ELISA test (or snap test) can be done quickly right in the veterinarian’s office.  This test will detect both stages of FeLV, but it can not determine which stage the cat is in. The IFA test, which is a little more expensive and must be sent out to a lab is very definitive and will only detect the second stage (Secondary Viremia). Discuss your options with your veterinarian as they may want to do other tests as well to rule out other problems.

How Does FeLV spread?

FeLV is VERY contagious. Infected cats can shed the virus in their saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces, and milk. Cats become infected by contact with infected cats – bite wounds, mutual grooming, sharing food/water dishes, sharing litter boxes, etc. Mother cats can also spread the virus to their kittens in utero or through their milk.
Young kittens are the most at risk for FeLV infection. It seems that older cats develop better ways to fight off the virus.  Risk for FeLV infection climbs for cats of any age in multi-cat households and with cats that are allowed outdoors without supervision.

Care for Cats with FeLV

If your cat has been officially diagnosed with FeLV, make sure to work with your veterinarian on a care plan. Most likely, you will need to bring the cat in for a check up every 6 months. You will also have to make sure that your cat’s diet is nutritionally balanced. It will be important to protect your cat from harmful bacteria, fungus, mold, etc because of its weakening immune system. Providing a comfortable quiet place for your cat to rest when they are not feeling well is important too.

Preventing FeLV

Since there is no true cure for FeLV it is very important to take steps toward preventing it. As it is said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Here are a few steps you can take:

  • Get any new cat entering your home tested for FeLV before introducing it to your other cats.
    Feline Leukemia FeLV Mutual Grooming
    A little social grooming
    Cinco and Manna
  • House FeLV + cats separately from uninfected cats. Adopting an FeLV+ cat is perfectly fine if they are the only cat in the household or if all of the other cats in the household are FeLV+ as well.
  • Keep cats indoors.  This limits their exposure to infected cats.
  • A vaccine is available, but it is not a cure all. Even a properly vaccinated cat can potentially become infected through contact with an infected cat. The vaccine will not help a cat that is already infected.
  • Disinfect surfaces (including your skin or clothing) that are exposed to a FeLV infected cat before exposing a non-infected cat to those same surfaces. The FeLV virus does not live long outside of the cat’s body (only a few hours) and is killed by normal household disinfectants.

Friday, 11 April 2014

#WOOF Support. What my staff love about me.

I'm sorry to be late joining the party but I forgot all about it.

Today is the third WOOF Support (Working Out Our Fears) Blog Hop hosted by Oz the Terrier, Roxy The Travelling Dog and Wag n Woof Pets. The theme for this month is what I love about my reactive dog.

I asked my staff what they loved about me and they said it would be quicker to say what they didn't like, I take it that's a good thing right? so I will let my staff take over while I sit back and relax with a nice cold water on the rocks.

A lot of people probably would of gave up on Sheba and put her in kennels which are already over crowded or sold her which wouldn't solve anything you would just be passing the problem on, luckily for Sheba I'm a stubborn bugger and would rather work with her to find a solution instead of giving up at the first hurdle, I like a challenge and Sheba's certainly one of them.

The best way to describe Sheba is she's like a Cadbury creme egg once you break through that hard exterior she's all sweet and gooey inside.

One of the main things I like about Sheba is, my better half is a cat lover were as I'm a dog lover we already had 2 cats and Anne said I could have a dog if I promised the cats wouldn't be in any danger so I made that promise and Sheba hasn't let me down, it's been lovely seeing the bond develop between them.

Who said cats and dogs don't get on.

Sheba also gives the best hugs.

Despite Sheba being reactive to other dogs, she's got great manners around wildlife, sheep, horses, cows, ducks, swans etc never bother her. Which is great because it means I can walk her anywhere off lead without worrying about her running off.

Sheba is also very gentle around children and loves meeting new people.

Having a reactive dog does have it's benefits in a strange sort of way, It makes you want to work with them more to help them overcome there fears which helps strengthen that bond, Also with Sheba being better behaved off lead around other dogs we tend to look for walks were we can let her off lead safely, so end up walking were we normally wouldn't go so end up seeing new sights.

A quick update on Sheba's progress.

On last months hop someone recommended a book called Feisty Fido which is a really good read, I can't remember who they are but if you read this thank you very much.

Click on photo for more information.

Also you might know we were thinking of trying a back pack on her, well we managed to get a cheap one off Ebay, I didn't want to spend to much on it in case Sheba didn't take to it there was no worry though she loves  wearing it, we're lucky that she accepts new things so readily.

We just started her off wearing it around the house at first and then progressed to the garden just so she could get used to wearing it. We just tried her with a couple of tins of baked beans in it and it seems to really be draining her energy quickly and making her walk better. We've not tried her around dogs yet.

Out walking on the road.

And finally we've just had a new pet shop just open locally and the owner recommended a trainer to us who's supposed to be brilliant with reactive dogs and will work with us on a 1 to 1 basis instead of a class environment, he's only a young lad but his Dad trained Police dogs for 35 years and he started training when he was 15, we've spoke to him on the phone and he's coming out next Friday hopefully, he's cheap and he said he can guarantee he will solve the problem or at least improve to an acceptable level or we don't pay. his philosophy is he's in it for the dogs not for the money.

I'm finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

National Dog Fighting Awareness Day and Tuesday's Tails Adoption drive.

Today Tuesday 8th April 2014 is National Dog Fighting Awareness Day which we're incorporating into the Tuesday's Tails Blog Hop to help raise awareness of dog fighting and also portray Pit Bulls in a good light and help them get adopted.

I usually like using photos to get my point across as I believe a picture speaks a thousand words, but have decided to refrain from using photos and videos this time as I feel there to graphic and disturbing and definitely not suitable for young readers of my Blog. Sometimes graphic images can do more harm than good and I feel this is one of those instances if someone sees a photo of a dog covered in scars and blood there more likely to press the escape button instead of hanging around reading the post, so any photos used will portray Pit Bulls in a good light instead of fighters.

Don't get me wrong I've got nothing against fighting I like boxing and Judo's an Olympic sport but there's one major difference between boxing, cage fighting and dog fighting It's our choice to get into a boxing ring or cage and we know the consequences that face us, dogs don't have that choice they are forced to do it and there pain and suffering doesn't just end in the pit if there not killed fighting there owners will torture and kill them for under performing and not making them money.

How do you define a dangerous or fighting dog, any dog in the wrong hands is capable of being aggressive even Sheba even though she's a big softy and loves people and the attention, she was brought up that way but things could of been so different if she had ended up in the wrong hands. Which I think proves that the dogs are the innocent victims yet they pay for for it with there life, and the problem carries on because those responsible get away with it.

Dog fighting is not natural, take Wolves for instance if they fought to the death amongst themselves it would upset the Whole pack structure and make them more vulnerable to predators and lessen there chances of finding food.

Most people involved in dog fighting are gang bosses and involved in other criminal activities  ie drugs, guns, prostitution, armed robbery and other criminal activity, however people from all walks of life might be involved such as lawyers, judges, police officers and even vets. And of course I'm sure everyone's heard of Michael Vick's involvement in dog fighting.

Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are nick named Nanny dogs because they are so good around children and also make excellent therapy dogs.

 Dog fighting is illegal in countries including the UK and US. Unfortunately, that does not stop it happening, it just happens in secret, Most people think "Dog Fighting doesn't happen around where they live because they  haven't seen or heard about it. It happens everywhere, probably in your town or city, but because it is a secretive, underground activity, only people involved in it know exactly when and where each fight takes place.

Although legislation was passed in 1835 to ban animal baiting and fighting, enforcement agencies have reported a 400% increase in dog fighting cases in recent years across the UK. 

And the cruelty doesn't just lie with the fighting  there's also the use of bait dogs.

What is a Bait Dog.

A bait dog is a dog that dog fighters make their fighting dogs practise on. The bait dog is made helpless by having it's jaw taped shut and it may also be tied down. These dogs can not defend themselves and are terribly injured or killed. Dog fighters are also known to use cats and rabbits as bait animals too. 

Where are Bait Dogs obtained from.

Dog fighters acquire bait animals in a variety of ways. They steal people's pets, they respond to "free to good home" adverts, they obtain the animals from pounds, shelters, rescues and other re-homing organisations, and they trap wild and feral animals. Dogs that are not willing to fight, or good at fighting, are also used as bait dogs.  

How can I protect my pets from becoming bait animals.

Offering any pets Free To A Good Home is always a risk, as studies by animal charities have shown that these animals can often fall in to the wrong hands and suffer terribly as a result.

It is better for animals to be re-homed through reputable rescues who do thorough checks of adopters. If this is not possible, then to minimise the risk, do extensive checks in to the people who want to take the pets.
People are often not what they seem and will put up a very respectable front and put on a good act.

It is best to keep all animals in the house. When they are in the garden, supervise them at all times, as they could be taken in a blink of an eye.

If you must keep animals in your garden, use security measures to make sure they are as safe there as possible. Make sure your garden is secure so nobody can reach or climb over in to it, or enter it, without you  letting them.

There have been many cases of rabbits and other pets being taken from hutches in gardens, even when they have been padlocked. The only really secure option is to keep animals inside.

Never leave your dog outside a shop and do not let your dog out of your sight if outside.
If in your garden, make sure walls/fences/gates are high enough so nobody can climb over them. Also make sure there is a lock on the gate. Cats are more difficult, unless they are house cats, as they like to roam freely. Make sure your pets are micro chipped and wear a tag.  

In this day and age we need to protect our pets like our children and not let them out of our sight.

I've just bought The Lost Dogs which tells the story of the rescue, rehabilitation and re homing of Michael Vick's dogs from the Bad Newz Kennels. Click on the book cover for a review of the book.

And thanks to irresponsible owners we end up with the Dangerous dog law and Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)  personally I think the BS stands for something totally different.

Breed Specific Legislation punishes innocent dogs based entirely on what breed they happen to be born, nothing else.

The legislation can range from certain breeds being legally required to be muzzled in public at all times or certain breeds requiring mandatory neutering, to there being an out right ban on a breed of dog. This is what there is most opposition to, as it results in many innocent dogs being put to death and leaves many families heart broken.

BSL in the UK.

In the UK, Breed Specific Legislation was introduced and owning certain dog breeds was made illegal. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act four breeds of dog are banned - the pit bull terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro.
This is despite the fact that the majority of these dogs are gentle, loving, affectionate and friendly family dogs, and completely innocent of any wrong doing.

On introduction of this Breed Specific Legislation, every one of these breeds in the UK was taken from it's family and put to death. Anybody who did not give their dog up was prosecuted and their dog was taken and put to death anyway.

There are constantly new dogs and and their families becoming innocent victims of BSL in the UK and other countries, despite being responsible owners and their innocent dogs having done nothing wrong.

Why was BSL brought in.

In the UK, a worrying number of bad owners abused their pit bull dogs and the other breeds that have subsequently been made illegal. Many people trained them to be aggressive and treated them like weapons. This resulted in a few high profile dog attacks.

Instead of seeing that dangerous dog OWNERS are the problem that need to be dealt with, the UK Government decided that making these dog breeds illegal and putting them to death was the answer. This is despite the vast majority of these dogs having shown no aggression at all.

Other Governments also have similar legislation, and others are currently considering it.

The trouble with the UK Government is there blind to the fact that a dogs behaviour is governed by how well it is trained and treated.

Many innocent dogs and families have have suffered because of BSL.

Numerous innocent dogs and owners have become victims due to the knee-jerk reactions of Governments, choosing to bring in Breed specific legislation instead of dealing with the real issue of problem owners.
Many more innocent dogs and their owners are constantly under threat of becoming innocent victims.

If your dog is suspected to be an illegal breed by the authorities, it is not their responsibility to prove it is. It is up to you to prove it is NOT. This is often an impossible - and very expensive - task.

You can even end up with a Pit Bull by accident. If you cross something like a boxer and a labrador or a labrador and a mastiff, you end up with a dog that looks like a pit bull.

An example of one of the many innocent dogs to suffer was Lennox from Belfast in Ireland who I wrote about here in memory of Lennox.

Does BSL work.

Simply put No.

Breed Legislation has been a disaster in the UK and completely ineffective against what it was designed for, which was to reduce dog attacks on humans. NHS figures showed the number of dog attacks had tripled since 1991, when the Dangerous Dogs Act was brought in and certain dog breeds were made illegal.

Research by the RSPCA has shown that there are now more Pit Bull terriers in the UK than there were when the Dangerous Dogs Act was passed.

David Grant of the RSPCA said: "It's just a completely out of control situation ...[it] is actually worse than before the Act came in."

The RSPCA has said that The Dangerous Dogs Act needs to be changed to focus instead on owners, but despite the complete failure of BSL in the UK, the UK Government continue to think they know better.

I suppose you could relate BSL to racism and genocide.

If you can snatch dogs off the streets because of the way they look and kill them, does that mean we are going to start arresting all muslims because they might be a terrorist.

I honestly don't know how we can target certain breeds, any dog is capable of biting and being trained to fight that does not make them a danger to the public, the dangerous one is the one who does the training.

I'm sorry about veering of from dog fighting onto BSL but I feel that they are all linked.

Here's a couple of really good links.

Dog Fighting Revealed.


Here's a post I did last year on Trunking the new wave in dog fighting where two dogs are locked in the trunk/boot of a moving car to fight it out to the death.

Which brings us onto the second part of todays post the Tuesday's Tails blog hop to help animals in shelters find there forever homes, and for this week with it being National Dog Fighting Awareness Day we're going to focus on adoptable Pit Bulls and Dog Fighting to help raise Awareness. Pit Bulls are banned in the UK so I will be featuring Staffordshire Bull Terriers and cross breeds instead.

A big thank you to our usual hosts Lisa from Dogs N Pawz and Sue from Talking Dogs for joining forces with Melissa from Barking from the Bayou, Sarah from Lola the Pitty and Jenna from Love is Being Owned by a Husky.


Image of CHLOE

At a glance

Type: Dog
Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Colour: Black and white
Age: 1 Year (approx)
Ref: UD14010
Chloe is a lovely, friendly, affectionate girl despite her being thrown out of a car on the car park. She loves nothing more than a good cuddle. She is still a little timid so would be more suited to a quieter home, where she can settle down, in her own time. Chloe can be a little unsure of strangers but once she gets to know you, she feels more secure. Chloe really is a sweetie who deserves the best of homes, after her unsettled past.


Preston Animal Centre
Slack Cottage
Ribbleton Avenue

Contact details:

Telephone: 01772 792553

Opening hours:

Open 12pm-3pm everyday except closed Tues. We prioritise animals in need.
This establishment is run by RSPCA Preston & District Branch


<< Back

At a glance

Type: Dog
Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossbreed
Colour: Brown and white
Age: 1 Year (approx)
Alf is a very lively boy. He is only young and still needs alot of training. He would benefit from an active home and someone who can put some time in to training him. He would walk well on a harness as he doesnt have alot of lead manners at the moment. He could possibly live with animals but his history is not fully known he was rescued by inspectors from poor conditions.


Longview Kennels
Division Lane

Contact details:

Telephone: 01253 763991

Opening hours:

Oct-March 11am-4pm Tues-Sun, April-September 11am-4pm Tues-Sun except Wed 11am-6.30pm
This establishment is run by RSPCA Blackpool & North Lancs Branch


<< Back
Image of TILLY

At a glance

Type: Dog
Breed: Staffordshire Bull Terrier crossbreed
Colour: Brindle
Age: 8 Years (approx)
Ref: UD14012
Poor Tilly was returned to the Centre, through no fault of her own, at a point in her life where she should be curled up in front of a nice warm fire. She is a lovely girl, with a lot of love to give, she loves her kisses and cuddles. Tilly is full of life and deserves a nice home where she can relax and enjoy regular walks and have lots of attention. Can you find it in your heart to offer Tilly the loving home that she deserves, she really is a lovely girl.


Preston Animal Centre
Slack Cottage
Ribbleton Avenue

Contact details:

Telephone: 01772 792553

Opening hours:

Open 12pm-3pm everyday except closed Tues. We prioritise animals in need.
This establishment is run by RSPCA Preston & District Branch


<< Back
Image of STAN

At a glance

Type: Dog
Breed: American Bulldog
Colour: White
Age: 3 Years (approx)
Ref: ud13036
Stan is a lovely boy who is looking for a home with experience of dogs. He will need extra training as he has not had a great start to life and may need help adjusting to a normal home life. Stan would need to be rehomed to a family where the children are 18+ so that he can get all the attention that he needs. Stan really does deserve the best of homes after all that the poor boy has been through.


Preston Animal Centre
Slack Cottage
Ribbleton Avenue

Contact details:

Telephone: 01772 792553

Opening hours:

Open 12pm-3pm everyday except closed Tues. We prioritise animals in need.
This establishment is run by RSPCA Preston & District Branch

A quick update from the Dogue de Bordeaux Welfare last night.  Some of you Eagle Eyes may already have spotted the post from Anne, but for those that have not, I am incredibly excited and pleased to announce that HONEY will be going to her Forever Foster on Thursday!!! A huge pat on the back for each and every one of you that has shared the posts and brought Anne and Honey together. Thank you so much. Anne hug Honey for us and enjoy her, as she will enjoy being with you!! xx