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Everything posted by Sticks1977

  1. My wonderful chocolate labrador, Fraser would have been turning six years old today. You were a wonderful companion and friend and I could not have asked for a better introduction to caring for another four legged pal. You were my responsibility and it does still cut deeply that you had to go... 15th September 2009 is still a hard day to revisit but I am really glad to know that all the wonderful memories and experiences we shared outshine that day. I remember going on long adventurous walks with you - one in particular remains etched in my memory. Walking along a path at the local football oval on a winters night - Thursday... you stopped being alerted to something in the distance, turns out it was the shadow of both of us reflecting off a back fence from the floodlights on the football oval. You looked up at me and I said "that's you... and me..." Still have small reminders of you when I least expect it - driving and seeing a sign pointing to 'Longwarry' and remembering this is where you were born. I now have Henry in my life... another chocolate labrador - he will never replace you Fraser but he is a good boy and I'm sure you are proud that I am giving my heart and attention to ensure Henry has a great life, he's three years old now and will be four in November. This day is about you though mate - it's your birthday and a day to celebrate your life and remember all the wonderful times. Have a great day up at the 'rainbow bridge' - make sure you get some "tucker". Lots of Love... Shaun xoxoxoxoxoxo
  2. Will probably be worth you shopping around... I rang PIA (current insurer) the other day, have only had the policy for 1 year and it has gone up to $354 for annual coverage on the Major Medical Plan with $500 excess ($15,000 in bills will be covered for the year) Shopped around and Medibank Private have a plan - Silver Paw Cover - which is around $250 for annual coverage, with $12,000 in bills covered and again $500 excess.
  3. I did a search for this topic but did not find anything specific so I'm hopeful some of the people here at DOL are able to assist... How soon before or after food can I exercise my dog? Henry is just over 1 year old and I gave him a dried pig's ear to eat as I arrived home from food shopping for the week. I have forgotten a few things from the shopping list so I would like to take him for a 20 minute walk (10 mins each way) back down to the supermarket to grab the additional supplies. Is the rule much like humans that we can't swim for 1 hour after a meal? Also does the amount of food consumed have a bearing on the amount of time after the meal until exercise? (for example, eating a pig's ear versus having his afternoon meal). Thanks for reading and look forward to some replies, I'm itchin' to get out there and give Henry his daily walk Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  4. Sorry for yet another pet insurance thread... but I would like to get a fair idea of which insurance company to be going through. When I brought Henry home almost 12 months ago as a 8-week old pup I immediately took out pet health insurance (Major Medical Cover through PIA) as I had a lucky experience with Fraser and taking out pet health insurance 6 weeks before he became sick. I contacted PIA late last week to enquire about my premium that I have to pay for this year and was told that the premium has gone up from approx $180 last year now to $350 this year. I did not enquire or ask why there has been such an increase, perhaps because I claimed with Fraser in Sept. 2009? I did some shopping around and some online quotes through other pet insurance websites and have found Medibank Private to be one of the better insurance companies as far as the premium goes - approx. $250 for the year for Silver Paw Cover. If you could please vote on the poll and especially let me know if you have had any experience with Medibank Private pet insurance, I have dealt with PIA and found them rather efficient to deal with and they paid out Fraser's claim within days... just want to make sure that I will still get a similar level of care and cover through Medibank. Thanks for reading and look forward to some replies and feedback. Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  5. I had previously had Fraser insured through Pet Insurance Australia. The policy I took out on him was when he was just over 2 years old in late July of 2009. By mid-September the same year he became sick and we took him up to the AEC in Hallam. He was admitted on Sunday evening and was given "the needle" on Tuesday morning. The entire vet bill for his stay there including the operation (which found the bowel obstruction - a knotted piece of rope!) was over $7,000. I was initially unsure whether PIA would pay out the claim since the policy had only been 'active' for 2 weeks (30 day waiting period when I took out the policy in late July). Fortunately for me they paid out the claim in full minus the excess I had to pay ($500). Now that Henry is in our lives, I took out Insurance again through PIA for him from the moment we got him home. You never know what can happen with pets and I would never go without health insurance again for any dogs that will become part of my life. My brother has an alaskan malamute, she is 10 years old and she may end up being put to sleep today - she has ruptured a disc in her spine and is unable to support her hind legs - they could operate but the bill would be over $8,000 and it is money my brother just does not have... so I think there is only one option left for him...
  6. Thanks to all for your replies so far - this forum is always very supportive and always lends a hand when I have a few questions. Have had Henry in the ensuite the past night or two and we do not hear a peep out of him. After talking about it with my wife she prefers Henry to stay in the ensuite anyway. As some have mentioned at least I know he is safe and will not be getting up to any mischief during the night either in the laundry or outside. It is actually comforting knowing that he is near us at night - last night as I dozed off to sleep I heard him in the ensuite give a big sigh and a huge exhale of breath before he settled for the night. One last question, should I have a bowl of water in there with him during the night or can he go the night without water? Thanks again everyone for your support, I might look into getting a crate for the laundry as we are going away on our overdue honeymoon in late September and will be having a house sitter (wife's sister) looking after the house and Henry while we are gone for two weeks. Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  7. I briefly covered this topic a few weeks ago and initially there was some success. But in the last few weeks it has progressively become worse! Henry is around 8 months of age (chocolate labrador puppy) and I find that he barks often at night - minutes after he is put to bed in the laundry. His bedding in the laundry is a raised Snooza bed which did have a multi-mat on it - before he chewed through the velcro straps and took it outside...! He also has access to the backyard through a dog door on the external laundry door. We leave the main laundry door open (internal door) and there is a baby gate across the doorway so that he is able to see into the rest of the house. Unfortunately I am unable to block off the dog door with a cover (which I was able to do a few weeks ago) due to Henry chewing the top of the frame of the dog door where the cover latched onto. I have asked some neighbours whether Henry barks during the day while myself and my wife are at work and they hardly hear anything out of him. Yet at night it is a way different story. He will bark and carry on for over 30 minutes - our bedroom is at the front of the house and we can still hear him in the backyard! Firstly I do not condone his barking or am surprised that he does... I get that dogs bark and I am happy for him to do so if someone is walking past (like an alert bark?) but his barking at night is constant... The only way around it so far has been to move him into our ensuite (there is also a baby gate covering the doorway to the ensuite) and have him sleep in there - once he is in the ensuite and indoors we do not hear a peep out of him all night. He is also allowed on our bed when we are watching television and is also allowed up onto the couch if we invite him up. If he gets up onto the couch himself we correct him and give a stern "No!" and tell him to get on his matt that is between the two couches in the living room. So far I am at a loss as to what to do in regards to his barking at night - I have tried taking him on a walk just before bed, ignoring his barking completely, feeding him dinner before he goes to bed, having a big play and training session before bed, giving him a bone to chew on as he goes to bed (which he takes outside), and also staying up for 10-15 minutes once he has gone to bed and I have shut the baby gate (he is still able to see me in the living room from the laundry). I am thinking to help what I have mentioned above to record either a video or audio recording of him barking once he has been put to bed. He has a rather loud and deep bark (something he got from his mother, his father had a high pitched bark for a labrador...) and I would rather address the isuse now that he is young than let it continue and annoy the neighbours further... Any advice would be appreciated - I am open to trying anything and even advancing my training or techniques to combat the problem. I have tried to teach him "speak" but so far there has been no progress. I have even wondered whether I should be looking into getting a behaviourist around at night to combat the ever increasing problem. Thanks for reading and hopefully I will have a YouTube clip or something up soon! Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  8. I had Fraser insured with Pet Insurance Australia (PIA) and I had only taken out the policy 6 weeks before he became sick. He ended up passing away in September 2009, and I took the cover out in late July that same year. He was treated at the AEC in Hallam and the total bill came up to $7,500+... PIA paid out the claim in full (minus my $500 excess) and when Henry came along I took out cover as soon as it was available to him (I think at 12 weeks of age). I highly recommend PIA, they were easy to deal with and even though I was worried that I had only taken out cover on Fraser 6 weeks earlier I had no problems with the claim or refund on payment. Just be aware with pet insurance that you are required to pay for all the costs especially if you visit any Emergency Vet Centres... and then your insurance policy pays you back once you lodge the claim. I still remember when PIA sent out the final invoice to me, the last line read "we are so very sorry for your loss"... I have never forgotten that... seems some insurance companies DO care! Regards, Shaun
  9. Congrats on the new pup... they grow up quick though so take PLENTY of photos while they are small and adorable (although being adorable never really leaves any dog... hehehe) I had Henry on Artemis Fresh Mix dry food and he did not do too well on it, ended up with a bad case of the runs and I switched him over to Holistic Select - so far that has been going well and the stools are a lot more firmer. Just keep an eye on what is coming out the other end and if it is appearing runny or he has an upset stomach you may want to consider switching. That said every dog will be different and will do well on a certain food that another dog may not. If you are going to switch the dry food at some point though you should always do this gradually over a few weeks so that the sensitive tummy of your pup can get used to a new food. Lastly I would also suggest to wet the dry food that you are giving your puppy. Henry started to choke or cough when he was eating his dry food... as I found out - was because the dry food was dry and as soon as it went down his throat (of course he takes large mouthfulls being a lab...!) it was sometimes getting caught. Now I boil the kettle and add a little water and wait for it to cool down... so far no problems...
  10. I have been debating in my own mind for a few weeks now whether to get Henry desexed or not. Initially I thought to breed from him but figure it will be more involved than what I originally thought (for the record, I would not 'backyard breed' him...) What is the best age to get a labrador male puppy desexed? He is currently 33 weeks of age (around 8 months... DOB 30/11/09). I remember reading on the forums quite a fair few months back about growth plates and if desexing too early it can cause some joint issues and the proper growth of his body after being desexed too early. Both his testes have descended so I think it would be a pretty easy operation for him to have. Our last labrador was desexed with a local vet and would not eat for 2-3 days after the operation so I am a little worried that a similar stressful experience may happen with Henry. Any advice would be appreciated and welcome - especially from those who have or have not got their labs or puppies desexed. I have been away from this forum for a fair few months now - keep your eyes peeled for some updated photos of Henry - it's about time that I frequent this forum and community more often. Regards, Shaun (sticks1977)
  11. Over the last fortnight I have noticed that Henry has started to bark especially once the sun goes down and it is approaching time for bed. I walk Henry each day (varies from between 3-5pm) and we go on a short 10-15 minute walk around the local estate. He is fed in the morning before both myself and my wife head off to work and then again around 7pm after we have had our dinner. He is given plenty of attention but is also left alone to do his own thing - such as if he wants to sleep on his mat beside the couch we will let him do so. His bedroom is in the laundry and his bed is placed next to the washing machine on the floor. While we are at work he happens to get his bed and takes it outside his dog door and into the backyard - something that he is getting quite good at! We will be heading down to purchase one of those metal framed beds (bet he won't be able to get THAT through the dog door!). I have also set up a baby gate in the laundry doorway so that the laundry door can remain open and Henry is able to see into the rest of the house. Anyway to the point of my post - lately he has started barking at night especially when both myself and Gaylene (my wife) head off to bed. He will go out his dog door and appear to bark at 'something' in the backyard. We do have some cats that roam around the area but when I go to investigate what he is barking at there is nothing that I can see that is out of the ordinary, and I don't spot any cats... Are there any steps or methods I can use to prevent him barking at night? I am unsure whether he barks during the day as I am at work but when we are at home on weekends I will not hear him bark that much and yet still on weekend nights he will continue to bark when left alone when it is time to sleep. As mentioned in the title of the thread he is six months old and is starting to really get a personality and is quickly growing into a dog and leaving the puppy stage behind. As an example I was ready to go to bed at 9.30 pm tonight and put Henry into his room, then did some internet banking and he started to bark. At first I ignored it yet after 10 minutes went to investigate and there is nothing again that I can see that is setting him off. To prevent the barking from continuing to happen I took him out to the other area of the backyard for a toilet break, then back into the laundry and I placed the cover over the dog door so he is unable to get out during the night and therefore not bark and wake up neighbours... In some ways I do not want to stop him barking as it is in his nature to do so, but to just limit his barking espcially during the evening. If closing access to the backyard once he goes to bed is the answer then I may have to look into doing this on most nights but I like to give him the freedom to either be in the laundry or venturing out into the backyard at any time he wants to do so. I walked past the laundry just before starting this post (1 hour after putting him to bed) and he is lying down on his bed matt but is not actually asleep as of yet. If anyone has any recommendations especially to help with the barking at night (it seems more like a warning bark or territorial bark that he is letting something know that he is there)... I would love to hear from you. At the moment I am at a loss and unsure whether I should be closing off access to the backyard at night and confining him to the laundry when it's time for bed or to ignore the barking all together and hope that he will grow out of it. Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing from you. I have also recorded him barking on the camcorder so I may upload a Youtube video in the next day or two (if I can figure it all out...) Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  12. The only thing I can suggest at the moment is to perhaps give your dog a diet of plain chicken breast fillets and rice. Henry is about 20 weeks of age and had a rather awful case of diarrhoea and the vet mentioned to give him a very bland diet. I just purchased some breast fillets from the supermarket and steamed them for 20 minutes and boiled up some rice. It took a few days for it to pass through his system but I have seen a pretty good improvement since. He has been on the chicken and rice for around a week and just today have been slowly re-introducing dry food. Hope that all goes well - sure is frustrating when they get the runs and that they can't tell you what it's from...
  13. Firstly a big thank you to everyone for the replies - I have just finished a small training session with Henry where we did a few "downs". I purchased some new dry food for Henry and figure since he has been on chicken and rice for a week that it would be safe to gradually switch him over to a new food. Artemis may have been fine for him but I would rather not take the chance that he may end up with the liquid squirts again... So what did I get? I ended up purchasing a 7kg bag of Holistic Select for Large/Giant Breed Puppies. I think that they have bought out Eagle Pack as the packaging is now different and I can't see any reference to Eagle Pack on the packaging of the food. So far Henry has had 1/4 of the food mixed in with the chicken and rice. Hopefully his stomach will agree with the food. Was still in two minds whether to choose between this food and Royal Canin Lab Junior. Will wait and see.... Thanks again for the replies and will keep you all updated on his progress Regards, Shaun and Henry
  14. Thanks for the reply tornsocks - I have been giving a bit of thought to Royal Canin as they have a labrador specific food. Our last labrador (Fraser) was on RC and seemed to do well on it... Do you know if the puppy version of RC (from memory for when they are 15 months or younger) is smaller in size when compared to the adult kibble?
  15. Henry finished his antibiotics today and his #2's are a lot more firmer and solid which is a relief after he had an awful bout of diarrhea or as I prefer to call it - the liquid squirts! He was first being fed Supercoat Puppy Formula when we picked him up from the breeder and I read some reports that the food was not of the greatest quality so did some research and found a food by the name of Artemis that had some rave reviews and was highly recommended by a fair few people here on DOL and also on dog food review websites. He has been on Artemis Fresh Mix Medium/Large Breed Puppy. During his medication and over the past week, he has been on a diet of plain chicken breast and rice. As of later this week I am going to be re-introducing dry food back into his diet gradually. So now I'm wondering which direction I should be heading down... whether to reintroduce him back to Artemis gradually and see how his stomach handles it (I am unsure whether he had a minor infection or the food was causing the runs...) or whether to switch him onto another dry food that may be more suited to him. Would it also be suitable that I could switch Henry gradually onto another dry food (different food than Artemis), since he has been on a diet of chicken & rice for a week? Would it upset his stomach that he would be going onto another dry food other than Artemis when switching back from a chicken & rice diet? Also should there be any additional food or treats that I should be adding to his diet, bones? treats? new foods (he is currently 19 weeks old)? The food choices in front of me are: - Royal Canin, Eagle Pack, Nutro, Proplan, Eukanuba. I realise the food debate and recommendations have been covered numerous times on forums, but I would be interested to hear - especially from other labrador owners - what food they would recommend. I am not ruling out keeping Henry on Artemis but I feel that it may have had something to do with him having an upset stomach and don't want to take the chance again if there is an equal or better alternative out there... Thanks for reading and look forward to any replies! Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  16. Update: Have just been to the vet and currently steaming chicken breast fillets for Henry - read on for the whole episode... He was being seen to by the vet and as I explained his symptoms and why he was not eating (or reluctantly wanting his food), Henry spun around and did a very liquid diarrhea with some gas. He seemed to feel awful for doing it and did not leave my side afterwards. The vet has given me "Metrogyl" tablets and has instructed me to give him 3/4 of a tablet twice a day. She took his temperature and it was 39.2 - she did not rule out parvovirus but she said he is fully vaccinated (C3 at 8 weeks of age, and C5 - a needle then injection in the nose - at 12 weeks), she said if he did happen to have parvo that he would be vomitting and would be very lethergic. He is not dehydrated at the moment and is keeping up his fluid intake, he has had another bout of diarrhea since being home and currently is resting on the kitchen floor. Henry is now on a diet of plain steamed chicken breast for the next few days - hopefully his stomach and intestines (and what comes out the other end) will be on the improve over the coming days! As mentioned Henry is on Artemis at the moment and I am wondering whether the food is not agreeing with him. I may end up switching his dry food to another brand. If I was to do so, could I introduce a new food when weaning him off the plain chicken breast? Thanks to all for your replies - will keep you updated on his progress.
  17. Yeah he is teething at the moment, his two front teeth on the top and bottom have come through and some of his other teeth are just starting to come through as well. I just gave the vet a call and have booked him in for 3.15 this afternoon, hopefully it will be nothing but good to at least get him checked out. Thanks to all for the replies so far!
  18. Since last night my labrador puppy (Henry) has been leaving his food and being very slow when eating his meal... I have never experienced this problem with a pup before so I am a bit bemused as to what action to take or what to do. I realise that if he is hungry he will eat but in the back of my mind I am starting to worry that it may be something more serious. At the moment he is 18 weeks of age and 5 days ago I gave him his first Sentinel Spectrum chew tablet to cover him against fleas, worms etc. Recently he was at the vet due to having diarrhea and they told me to put him on a diet of chicken & rice and once his poo had firmed back up to slowly put him back onto his own dry food. He has been back on his own dry food for just on a week now and previous to last night has always been eager to eat his meal. He has started to wait for a verbal command before eating (the word used is "yum yums"), he will sit as the food is poured into his bowl and will then begin eating once the word has been said. When I arrived home last night after a quick bite to eat some of his food was still there - I said the command to him and his tail wagged but he did not get up out of a sit and only advanced to his bowl and started to eat when I was down at his level pretending to eat his food. Currently he is being fed Artemis Fresh Mix Medium/Large Breed Puppy dry food. I am wondering whether it is not agreeing with him and to perhaps switch to another food (although the reviews I heard about Artemis were quite good)... if it turns out to be the food could some people recommend any reasonable dry food to purchase? Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading some replies - will keep you updated with Henry's progress over the next few days. Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  19. Yeah he is loving the chicken breast and rice - the tail wagging is out of control when he is eating this new and wonderful food... I wonder if he will end up wanting to go back to the Artemis after this?!? He was just out in the backyard before and had a small poo - and it's good news! - it was not an entirely large one but the main thing is it was a solid stool and he seems to be much happier in himself...
  20. Ended up visiting the emergency vet centre tonight as Henry's diarrhea was becoming a little worse with a very runny (almost liquid) poo around 5.30 this afternoon. We went to see the vets at AEC and they checked his heart rate, felt around his stomach and took his temperature - all OK. She also stuck her finger up his rear end and said that there was a little evidence of a sandy type substance so the vet mentioned that Henry may have swallowed some sand at the beach. Henry is now home and feeling a little tired - he is to be on a diet of boiled chicken breast and rice for the next few days to see if his condition and bowels will improve. After he was out of the vets (we arrived at 6.30pm and were out at 8.30pm) he had another diarrhea episode outside and then had another squirt when he arrived home around 9.10pm. The vet also took a blood test to get a reading of the protein levels in his blood and everything was fine - hopefully as of tomorrow morning he will be on the way back to recovery... it's never nice when you suffer from the runs!
  21. I have recently noticed when on "poo patrol" in the backyard that some of the #2's that Henry does have been a little runny... On Wednesday afternoon it was rather warm so I took him for his first visit down to the beach and he dipped his paws into the water breaking into the shore line - he did follow me in at one point and was up to his chest in water before being hit with a few small waves where I think he may have swallowed some sea water. Over the last few weeks his diet has been the same (Artemis Fresh Mix Medium/Large Breed), I am just wondering whether the visit to the beach has made his stomach upset? Should I perhaps be more worried and pay a visit to the Vet...? It has been just over two days now and his poo is still a little runny! If anyone has any advice it would be appreciated - I am just not sure whether it was the beach (or perhaps a 'virus' that he has picked up), or whether he started well on Artemis but is now rejecting the food?!? Thanks for reading and look forward to some replies Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
  22. I can vouch for Ventral being the belly or under-side of the dog. I did a printing job at work the other day for Gribbles Vet Pathology, they had a small illustration of the Ventral and Dorsal views of the dog - the picture is very basic if you ever come across it...
  23. I spent considerable time a month or two back wondering what food to switch Henry onto (a chocolate labrador) as he was fed Supercoat Puppy from the breeder when we picked him up at 8 weeks. I left him on the Supecoat Puppy food for his first 2-3 weeks at home and then decided on Artemis Fresh Mix - Medium/Large Breed Puppy dry food. I have slowly switched him over to Artemis - over a three week period - and so far he seems to be doing well on it. I am wondering though - do any other DOL forum peoples feed their dogs this food? are you happy with it? I notice with Henry - his #2's are mostly solid when they come out but seem to have a bit of a caramel light brown colour to them. I have noticed recently though that his last #2 before dinner (around 2-3pm when dinner is at 6pm) is a little bit runny and soft and he is given nothing else to feed on through the day - although Henry is a bit of a cattle grazer eating grass every now and again! Henry is fed 3 cups of Artemis per day (1.5 cups in the morning and at night) With the previous labrador I had (Fraser) he started on Advance, then I switched him over to Hill's Science Diet (before I knew much about dog food, and was a retail pet shop buyer), then lastly onto Royal Canin Labrador. Should there also be anything else that I should add to Henry's diet? perhaps some vitamin or oil supplements? Thanks for reading - I just hope that I have Henry on a decent food as the reviews on Artemis have been positive from what I have seen.
  24. Unfortunately this is one thing that many pet owners are not aware of - private pet health insurance. I never knew it existed until one day at my local vet they mentioned it - I took out a policy on Fraser and 6 weeks later (2 weeks after the 30 day waiting period) he became ill. In total the cost of his treatment and emergency hospitalisation was approx. $7,500. The amount to pay per year for the insurance policy was approx. $200 with a $500 excess. I am very grateful that I took out the policy as the vet was able to do everything they could to try and help Fraser and manage him through the difficult time - at least I was able to do all I could for him and in the end find out what caused all the issues with his health. The costs involved for Ralphie will not be covered, but anything in the future (as long as it is not a pre-existing condition) will be covered. I would suggest that you take out private health insurance as it can save a lot of financial problems if your pets ever become seriously ill again...
  25. I feel for you at this time... I had a similar experience with Fraser (pic in signature)... Fraser was very lethergic and we took him into AEC in Hallam - they diagnosed pancreatitis and tried to get fluids into him through an IV drip. Unfortunately what went in came straight back out... from what you have mentioned in your post it does not sound like a foreign blockage. Fraser had swallowed a knotted piece of rope and it never came up on x-rays due to it being a material. His pancreas had gone into overdrive to dry and digest the rope, but since it did not digest he was diagnosed with pancreatitis. It is not a death sentence for your dog at all - however the diet will have to be managed and looked after and from my experience at AEC they said that if Fraser did make it through, he would have to be on a low fat diet. Hopefully Ralphie pulls through - but if you suspect he has swallowed any material based toys I would let the vets know ASAP. I never thought Fraser woudl chew off the end of a rope toy and swallow the knotted piece on the end... sometimes wish that if I had my time over again I would have searched the house for anything missing or out of place... All the best and I wish Ralphie a safe and healthy recovery. Regards, Shaun (Sticks1977)
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