Category Archives: dogs

The Dangers of Homeopathic Vaccinations For Pets

My two dogs - Rory & Caleb

As an ex-vet nurse and “mum” to my two dogs, there is one thing that can get me to boiling point faster than anything else and that is people who don’t take care of their pets and provide them with adequate medical treatment when required.

Therefore, when @drunkenmadman posted a link to a place selling homeopathic vaccinations for pets my blood began to boil.

Pet Homeopath has for sale homeopathic vaccinations for distemper & parvovirus as well as preventives for heartworm and ticks.  All of the above are deadly, especially for dogs.  With the exception of distemper, I have seen dogs die of parvovirus, heartworm and ticks in my old vet practice located in Sydney.  All because owners did not either vaccinate against parvo or give their dogs heartworm medication (I can’t say anything horrible about owners whose dogs suffer ticks bites because they are damn near impossible to prevent).

So, why am I against these homeopathic vaccinations?  Because homeopathy is complete bullocks.  They don’t contain any active ingredient whatsoever.  It isn’t herbal medication, it is just water and sugar – that’s it.  Water & sugar is not going to prevent your dog during an outbreak of parvovirus which occurs every summer without fail in Sydney.

Parvovirus has a kill rate of about 50%.  It really is pure luck if your dog survives a bout of parvovirus.  The best vets can do is to put your dog on a drip and just watch as it shits and vomits out all the water content in its body.  It is one of the most gruesome ways a dog can die (and I used to watch about 20 dogs die from it each summer) and yet it is totally preventable by one yearly vaccination.

Heartworm is spread by mozzies and I don’t need to tell anyone who lives in Australia that we have a hell of a lot of mozzies.  You can’t prevent stop your dog  from being bit by a mozzie, so why risk it?  Heartworm can be prevented by one yearly vaccination or a once month spot on application.  It’s that simple and easy.  The treatment if your dog does get heartworm is extremely hard on dogs and can kill them.

Yes, there are side effects to vaccinations, but they are extremely rare in dogs.  The vast majority of dogs handle their vaccinations just fine and the once yearly trip to the vet to get them also includes a general check up so you can catch any other potential problems early.

Don’t think that by using homeopathic vaccinations that you are doing the best thing for your dog by giving them something natural. Yes, water is natural & has no side-effects but it is not going to prevent them from contracting deadly diseases.  Do the right thing and get them properly vaccinated once a year, every year.

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There is an exception to every rule

Caleb, german sheperd dogMy dog Caleb is dog aggressive. He hates other dogs. Actually he is scared of them and over the years that fear has turned to aggression. He thinks if he can attack first, that they can’t hurt him. Walking him is an exercise in avoiding other dogs and praying that every dog we encounter is on a lead or we can get far enough away without incident. I must note here that Caleb has never injured another dog and I intend to keep it that way.

We got Caleb from a rescue organisation when he was 5 months old. He was rescued from the pound at 7 weeks, but wasn’t socialised with other dogs until he came to live with us. He was a very scared little boy, who suffered from severe separation anxiety and was afraid of other people and dogs. Rory had to teach him how to play and that the world wasn’t going to end if the humans left. Caleb was progressing okay until our local off-lead dog park closed down and Caleb was threatened by several off lead dogs. We then did a stupid thing and stopped walking him.

We have gotten Caleb to the point now where he can see a dog in the distance and not raise his hackles, but we will need professional help to get him actually socialising with other dogs.

However, as the title of this post suggests, there is an exception to every rule. Caleb hates all dogs (Rory not included) except for our friend Ford’s dog B. Caleb loves B. B is the only dog who Caleb will not do dominate posturing over or display any aggressive behaviour towards. It helps that B is a submissive female and that Caleb has known B since he came to live with us. But B is not a dog that Caleb sees regularly. It may only be a couple of times a year, yet Caleb’s behaviour with her remains unchanged.

B and Ford came over yesterday and it was so lovely seeing all three dogs race up and down the hallway playing happily. There wasn’t the slightest bit of aggression or anxiety from Caleb even B when growled at him for getting in her face too much. Maybe there is hope for my boy yet. I just have to find a decent dog trainer with experience in dealing with aggressive dogs whose methods I approve of. This is harder than it should be. I think I will call the puppy preschool trainers I worked with at my old job and get a recommendation from them as I hold them and their ability as trainers in high esteem. Alas, they are not professional dog trainers, but I am sure they have friends who are.

Party Post

StreamersWelcome to this Ultimate Blog Shindig. There is finger food on the table, cold beer and soft drinks (soda) in the fridge and someone is firing up the BBQ. Come in, sit down and feel free to stay as long as you like. As you wander around this blog it will be immediately obvious to you that this blog isn’t like the others you have visited on the party circuit. I am not a parent and I have no desire to have children, but then again, you have probably seen a few child free blogs in your partying. However, I can almost guarantee that this is the first lesbian blog you have come to party at. The longer you stay, the more I hope you come to realise that everything the media and religious organisations have told you about gay people isn’t always true. My life is very similar to yours; I get up in the mornings, I walk my dogs, I go to my 9 to 5 job, I came home and walk the dogs again, I cook dinner, I watch TV and I go to bed. I am in a long term relationship with my gorgeous girlfriend Lelak that has lasted almost 8 years. We own our own home and like everyone else we are struggling to pay the mortgage. When we get together with our friends – both gay and straight, we tend to have BBQ and dinner parties. There are usually a few kids around belong to both straight and gay parents. As you can see, it is all very normal. Not the sin, sex, drugs and depravity that everyone told you about, is it?

Now that the gay acceptance speech is over, that is pretty much as serious as it gets around here. I like to keep things fairly upbeat, unless I am ranting about things, then it can get a little serious. This blog is a reflection of my life. It contains bits and pieces about my daily life, the things I love to do and discussions about things close to my heart or that get me really pissed off. I am your typical thirty something lesbian geek. I work in tech support in an industry very few people understand. I love sci-fi TV and TV that makes me think. Actually, if you want to know more about me, this post explains a few things.

So please wander around, say hello to everyone, ask as many questions as you like and if you want want to hang around for a while, I would be very happy to have you here.

Saturday

Nothing tastes better than a peanut butter sandwich made with fresh bread except perhaps a devon and tomato sauce sandwich made with fresh bread, which is why I had both.

Took the dogs for an hour long walk which included a romp in the dog park. That was followed by a hydrobath care of our fabulous dog wash lady.  The kids are now beautiful and clean and crashed out asleep in the lounge room.  As they say a tired dog is a good dog.

I have been playing around with my blog design.  I definitely like this one better than my old one.   What do you all think of it?

Down She Goes!

I took a fall taking the dogs for a walk this morning.  Rory got spooked by a high pitch buzzing coming from a broken street light and went under my feet.  I went over the top of her and landed heavily on the pavement.  I must have made quite a noise going down cause the lady we passed a minute beforehand came back to see if I was okay.  I was, but I am banged up pretty good.  Both palms, both knees and one elbow has some serious gravel rash. I was able to finish the walk (we were only halfway through) but I have blood all over my shorts and am now feeling some decent pain.  Not entirely sure if I can make it into work today as I am now having problems walking and I can’t bear to put anything over the wounds on my knees – just way too painful. I don’t think work will let me wear shorts rolled up to above the knee

Should cover the wounds or let the air get to them.  Any ideas? I feel I should just let them be.

Working on Training

I am trying to focus more on getting Caleb used to other dogs.  Whilst we may never get to the stage that Caleb will greet and play nicely with other dogs, I am hoping at least to get him to the point where he will not get himself all worked up when he spots another dog.  We have already gotten him to the point where his hackles no longer go up when he sees another dog, but he still jumps around and whines and if a dog gets too close he has been known to snap.  Therefore, I am working on taking more of an active role when walking Caleb rather than just holding onto the end of lead and trying not to get pulled along.  Also I want to try to walk the dogs twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) to see if I can’t wear them out and get them to sleep better during the night.

Today was day one and I am already so proud of my boy.  I tried walking him on a short lead and not letting him wander around and piss on everything.  He did so remarkably well, especially on his walk this evening.  Partway through the walk he stopped even trying to pull me over to a nice looking tree or lamp post.  He actually trotted along beside me, unlike Rory who fought the ‘short lead, Mum gets to decide where we walk’ thing until she wore herself out.

We had three close encounters of the canine kind – one was two dogs being walked past us where Caleb jumped around but soon settled down, the second was a Golden Retriever about 5 meters away who Caleb failed to notice as he was so focus on sitting beautifully for me whilst I put the poop bag in the bin and the third was a dog walking past about a metre away and again we had one jump, but straight into a sit when I told him.  I was so very, very proud of him.

I think I broke Rory though.  As soon as we came home she threw herself onto the couch and promptly passed out.  She woke up for dinner and is now asleep at my feet.  She looks absolutely exhausted.  Caleb also has less energy, but somehow they both seem to find that little bit of extra energy if anything exciting occurs at the front door.

Two dogs, one human

On Friday, I will become a cycling widow for a month as Lelak leaves to cycle from Melbourne to Sydney.  It will just be me and the dogs – for a whole month.  Therefore, this morning we had a practice of going for our morning walk with two dogs and one human.  We have a double ended leash to which I attached a normal leash so that I can walk the dogs without tying to hold multiple leads.  I am now really, really glad that I taught the dogs the command “wait” because our whole walk went something like this.

“Wait” – as I untangle the beagle from the lead

“Wait” – as I yet again untangle the beagle from the lead

“Wait” – as Caleb tried desperately to pee without being pulled over by the beagle

“Wait”  – as Rory tries to poop whilst being dragged along

“Wait” – as I untangle myself from the lead

Eventually we got things worked out and we had a really lovely walk with no major dramas.  We even went for a bit of a run which the dogs loved.

I am not sure how the dogs are going to go with Lelak being away for so long.  I am sure after a week or so, they will be fine, but that first week is going to be rough for us all.  I can foresee two very clingy dogs who will be scared that I am going to leave them too.