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DogsAndTheMob

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  1. The Mitchell library has two paintings of kangaroo dogs on display. They are well worth seeing if you’re interested in the history of Dogs. There are also several other paintings with dogs in them, including one with a splendid tri-colour border collie. As well as the paintings, the library has a catalogue of the digital images, which you can use to zoom in to examine details. Here is one of the kangaroo dogs: http://digital.sl.nsw.gov.au/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?embedded=true&toolbar=false&dps_pid=IE9482784&_ga=2.263282319.261166646.1554492719-1292079201.1554492719
  2. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    Unfortunately, it’s not possible for me to determine the precise composition and protein sources of the various foods, and I’m finding it difficult to compare them. I’m putting together a spreadsheet summarising the information provided by manufacturers of various dog foods, which I’ll post in the next few weeks.
  3. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    Thanks sandgrubber; that’s very interesting. In particular, I was interested to read that DCM without taurine deficiency has also been diagnosed in dogs fed on grain-free dog foods.
  4. Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

    I’m not sure what study you’re referring to, Kayla. In the study I quoted: 40 dogs were considered for inclusion; 16 were excluded due to inadequate imaging for DCM diagnosis (7 dogs) , no evidence of DCM (8 dogs) or normal taurine (1 dog). The remaining 24 dogs met the study criteria for Dilated Cardiomyopathy at baseline. The 24 dogs were fed 9 brands of dog food in 13 varieties, as summarised in table 2. As indicated by the second last column in table 2, all dog food brands and varieties were grain-free (G). However, the text contradicts this, saying 12 of 13 diets were grain free. Quoting directly from the study: “Twenty-three of 24 dogs had significant improvement in their echocardiographic parameters and normalization of taurine concentrations following diet change and taurine supplementation. Nine of 11 dogs diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) had resolution of their congestion at follow-up with five no longer requiring diuretic therapy and four tolerating diuretic dose reduction by >50%.” “Twenty-one of 24 dogs were switched to a new diet following a diagnosis of taurine deficiency and DCM. For 3 dogs follow-up data including diet information was not available. No dog was switched to a diet that was reported in the baseline diet histories for the group. Seventeen of 21 switched to a grain-inclusive diet while 4 switched to a different grain-free diet. Only one dog was found to have a persistently low whole blood taurine concentration, despite diet change and supplementation. Of interest, this dog was switched to a unique but still grain-free variety of food with legumes within the top 5 ingredients and with a complete and balanced claim substantiated by the formulation method rather than feeding trials”
  5. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI This study investigated 24 golden retrievers with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). All 24 dogs had been fed a grain free commercial dog food and in 22 cases the food had legumes in the top five ingredients. Twenty three of the dogs experienced reversal of their taurine deficiency and DCM when they were switched to another (non grain-free) dog food. One dog, which was switched to another grain-free food, did not show improvement. This is the most compelling evidence I’ve yet seen on this topic. It seems as if golden retrievers are particularly at risk, presumably because of some genetic impairment of their ability to manufacture taurine. However, Golden Retrievers may be more likely to be screened for heart problems than some other breeds in the US, because the breeders’ code of ethics for golden retrievers requires it. My dogs aren’t golden retrievers, but I’m not going to gamble their health on the probability that they’re not at risk; I don’t think enough is known about the problem. I’ve decided to switch them from their grain-free food to foods that don’t have legumes as a top ingredient. (Plant based proteins such as those from legumes don’t have taurine in them.) I’m struggling to find foods that I’m happy with, because quite a few of the foods with grain also have legumes as a top ingredient - presumably to increase the protein content. I’m not sure whether a high protein food with plant-based proteins is preferable to a lower protein food without. I think I’ll select several foods that meet my criteria, and then mix and swap foods, in order to increase the variety in their diet. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI
  6. Comparison of raw, dry, and fresh cooked

    Yet another perspective on this study - this time claiming benefits for fresh and raw foods: https://phys.org/news/2018-08-fresh-raw-diets-dogs-health.html#nRlv
  7. I hope so, too. From what I've read, the Guide Dog associations stringently screen clients as well as dogs. Aside from the humanitarian considerations, they have a lot of money invested in the dogs, and reputation invested in their programs.
  8. That's true, RuralPug. It's also possible that some parents choose not to have pets because they're worried about their child's health, and are therefore more likely to observe and report allergic symptoms - although similar results were found in a questionnaire based study and a birth-cohort study based on clinical diagnosis. Here's the link to the journal article: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208472
  9. https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-12-20/pets-allergies-asthma-dogs-cats-immune-system-microbes/10630174 Excerpt from the news story by Belinda Smith: A Swedish study found the more pets in a household in early life, the less likely a child will go on to develop conditions like asthma, eczema and hay fever. For instance, kids aged 7-9 years that shared a house with four pets when they were a baby were half as likely to have a recent allergy compared to their pet-free counterparts: 17 per cent compared to 33 per cent respectively.
  10. https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-26/autism-assistance-dogs-helping-change-lives-of-children/10612064 Excerpt from the news story by Brianna Shepherd: "He would just sort of loosen from my grip and bolt off without telling me." But not anymore. A year ago Blake was matched with Poppy, a black Labrador specially trained by Guide Dogs WA for children with autism and their families. When out of the home he can be tethered to the dog, which is trained to sit down when the tether is pulled, preventing him from running away.
  11. Socialising a dog - daycare?

    Honestly - I wouldn’t. There’s so much that could go wrong very quickly and a single bad experience might leave your dog with issues that linger for life. Before your pup arrives, drop in to a few training classes to find one with small class sizes, careful management of dog-to-dog interactions and kind, effective training methods. Consider a puppy pre-school - if you can find one that manages interactions between puppies without allowing a free-for-all. Play lots of training games with your puppy, so that you become the most interesting person around. There are plenty of websites and web-based classes with good ideas - Susan Garrett and Denise Fenzi are two names to google. Take him out for picnics and walks in the park (but not off-leash dog parks!). If families come up and say hello to the cute puppy, that’s good; otherwise, teach him to relax and focus on your games. If you meet some canine kindred spirits and can set up play dates, that’s good. If not, he’ll meet other dogs at training class. He needs to be happy and calm around other dogs and people, but ideally not obsessed with playing with them. Many dogs won’t appreciate a large, bouncy puppy approaching, and a staffie is likely to get the blame for any altercation, no matter what the facts are.
  12. Is it possible that you have an extremely intuitive and loving dog who is reacting to your anxiety?
  13. What a lovely youngster! Did he have a bath so he was beautifully clean for the vet? Baths tend to make their coats puff out, which can make them look heavier than they would if the coat was lying flat. A simple prescription: lots of hugs and cuddles, so you get a sense of his normal shape and how it changes day to day - then feed him a little less if he’s getting chubbier, and more if he’s getting lean or going through a growth spurt.
  14. Am I correct in thinking you have a Labrador? Here’s a delightful item on Lab anatomy: https://www.salabclub.com.au/lab-anatomy More seriously, labradors seem to vary a lot in body type, so it may be useful to talk to people in your nearest Labrador Retriever Club - and to your breeder of course. You may also find it informative to go to some conformation shows and have a look at pups of around the same age. (In NSW, at least, there are lots of labradors entered.) The Dogsonline Event Diary is starting to display the 2019 events. https://www.dogzonline.com.au/event-diary/list.asp?state=SA&type=CH
  15. Bull terrier puppy mill

    The housing is appalling. No breeder should need to be told those conditions are unacceptable or given time to rectify them. I’ve been involved in the “dog world” all my life (my mother was given her first show dog in 1947, and won best of breed at the Sydney Royal in the 1950s) and conditions like that have never been acceptable. They’re not good conditions for improving the breed or producing well socialised puppies, either. I’m not sure how anybody could keep track of the virtues and faults of so many dogs at any one time, much less know their pedigrees in depth.
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