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Hi de Hi Campers!

As you know, I attended the Animal Love Canine health and first aid course on Monday last week, run by the extremely capable, entertaining and brilliant vet, Sophie Bell. Should you ever get the opportunity to attend one of her courses (or do one of her online webinars) I highly and STRONGLY recommend it. 

We covered
  • Dealing with an RTA dog (Road Traffic Accident) - the immediate aftermath of a trauma.
    • Don't use a parcel shelf as a stretcher (dog can roll off)
    • Do use a towel or blanket as a stretcher to get the dog to a vehicle to get to the vet
    • Signs of shock. The "norms" were given out on a key fob at the end of the day so you'll always have them with you which is a brilliant idea
      • Temperature goes down (normal - 37.5 to 39.2)
      • Pulse rate goes up (normal - 60-100bpm - up to 140 for cats/small dogs)
      • Respiration goes down or is laboured (normal 10-30 breaths per min)
      • Pale gums
  • How to put a compression bandage on an internal bleed
  • How to take a dog's temperature, no longer requiring a rectal temp (though that was covered) you can use the armpit or ear temp if you know what to add on to make it correct.
  • Assessing Mucus Membrane colours
  • How to deal with the choking dog, including
    • how to remove an object like a tennis ball obstructing the airway.  
  • How (and where) to give CPR
  • Signs of pain
    • compresses and when / how to use them
  • Heatstroke
    • Symptoms and Management
  • How to deal with a dog that's having Seizures or Fitting. 
    • The major cause of death from the fitting dog is overheating - you MUST cool it down, often before you call the vet
  • Animal Poison Hotline (one for your phone contacts, right now) 01202 509000 
    • Will cost you £30
    • May well save your dog's life.
  • Alabama Rot - cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy
    • lesions are the size of a 5p piece
    • they do not heal
    • damages blood vessels in the skin and kidneys
    • Anderson Moores are researching it - get your dog checked for MDR1 - Multi Drug-Resistant Gene
Vet Sophie Bell showed us the varying positions used for CPR in dogs.  There are different positions for different sizes, weights and shapes of dog.  Eg the labrador here would be compressed above the heart, a puppy or small dog would be massaged either side of the heart and a bulldog would be laid flat on its back like a human...
Sophie showed us how to perform mouth to mouth, holding the mouth closed and breathing through the nostrils of the dog.  She reminded us: 
  • CPR is more important than the breathing
  • It's not a numbers game! 5 breaths in 5 seconds / 1 breath every 2-6 seconds (she does 1 every 3 seconds) but none of this is any good if the oxygenated blood is not being pumped around the body...
In a nutshell - as we're moving towards warmer weather the chances of an accident occurring outside involving shock, trauma or heatstroke increase.  Please do a first aid course or refresh your knowledge if you've done one but some time ago.  It probably won't be your dog that gets pulled out of an overheating car - but you may be present when it happens and knowing what to do may save that dog's life.
Moving on - this is a photo I took this week, so we're already into grass seed season. 

This dog was tightly matted on her sternum (breast bone) where her harness rubbed.  The grass seeds had penetrated the matts and, being barbed, continued their lethal journey forwards towards the skin.  Of course, nothing was visible from the outside, it wasn't until the clippers hit them that I saw them.  Once they hit the skin they do not stop.  They will work their way in (like splinters can) and each time the dog moves they move on, forward, through skin, fat and muscle.  I have already written about this before but the damage that can be done by a simple grass seed must not be underestimated.

Migrating seeds have been found all over dogs' bodies, but of course, cause the most damage when they pierce a vital organ.  

  • Do not let your dog become matted anywhere.
    • If you struggle with a long coat - go short.  If your dog is made naked after every visit to every groomer you take it to, you're struggling. It's not the groomer's fault, nor is the groomer being lazy. If you don't check your dog with a comb daily and it has a high maintenance coat, be prepared for that. No groomer worth their salt will cause your dog pain by brushing out your neglect. 
  • Check your dog's FEET after every walk
    • in between each toe there is a "pocket" which is a normal place for these seeds to become lodged. 
    • keep the feet short and tidy. No long whispy toe hair and for spaniels or cockapoos especially, get everything clipped out underneath. 
  • A summer "Belly Clip" not only allows dogs to benefit from cool surfaces when they lie down, the very short hair from armpits to groin doesn't matt, even if the dog is wearing a harness, therefore there is no purchase for these damn seeds.
How to make a girl happy.
The latest iteration of "Polo" on Dura-lah Drafting Film using Polychromos and Luminance pencils. I may get him finished today. 
How to make a man happy
Happy Birthday Steve
(No, I didn't buy it for him, but I did give him permission to buy it - and increased his life insurance 🤣🤣🤣). She is a Triumph Bobber, called Betty and will be gracing our driveway soon. 
It's available in both the App Store (iPhones) or Play Store (Android).  Just remember to use the same email address as you get your appointment notifications from! 

Looking forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Many thanks and kind regards
Katie Rourke Dowding
International Certified Master Groomer
T: 01344 291465  M: 07767 341424 E:
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