Don’t Make A Dog’s Dinner Out Of Your Puppy’s Upbringing

Training your puppy

Teaching your new puppy certain rules can be the most challenging thing any owner will face when it comes to their dog. Actually, training your dog to be obedient could be the most challenging thing any owner will ever face when it comes to life. It can be such a tedious process and one that you didn’t account for until you came home to find a fully chewed sofa and your best chews being used a dog toy. Somehow your puppy had even found a way to make your shoes squeak. As such, we have come up with a list of ways to help you in your search for obedience and manners, whatever the task at hand (or paw) may consist of.

Straight Off The Bat

The most crucial piece of advice we can give any puppy-owner is this: remember that a dog is a loyal companion. They love being with you, they love spending time with you and socialising with you. As such, any extended periods of confinement, including ignoring them, can have a negative effect on what you are trying to achieve. In fact, these type of ‘training’ will probably just lead to more destructive behaviour, louder barking and increased hyperactivity. In short, it will see them become a nuisance.

Basic Tips

Certain pieces of training advice are universal when it comes to training your puppy, or dog. The most universal is consistency. Always be consistent with your commands, and your rewards. What we mean is, don’t change up the word for sit, or heel, or anything like that. It will be confusing.

Another great tip to remember is that dogs love hearing their name, as such you should try using it a lot and often. However, don’t use their name whenever you are trying to reprimand your beloved pooch; only use it alongside actions that will grand a positive result, like rolling-over, albeit sitting is much more achievable.

When we say reward, be aware that this doesn’t necessarily mean a treat, or a doggy biscuit. It means attention and love and affection. Dogs will often crave this more than a little nibble on something tasty. Trust us. On this note, try and avoid giving your dog lots of attention whenever it misbehaves because, well, it will see this as a positive result to something naughty.

Do not reprimand your dog for urinating when it gets excited. This is a common trait in most dogs and it is involuntary. They’re simply recognising ou as their owner, and they love you so much they can’t contain themselves; so reprimanding them will only have a negative effect.

Try A Professional

If you’re having real problems housebreaking your pup, there are alternatives to stressing out and losing your mind. A great way to do this is to look out for any professional services that may be able to help you in your quest for good behavior, services such as a puppy daycare. Professionals have trained dogs before, lots of dogs, and so they will be able to communicate with your pup and inform you of what tricks seem to be most effective.

Training your dog professionally

My first castration surgery – a massive milestone… (Day 420)

First castration surgery vet student

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Vet School Success

A quick diary entry today as it is a very big milestone in my journey to becoming a veterinary surgeon, I know I need to catch up on my diary however have exams both tommorow and Friday to study for as well.

So today I performed my first castration surgery on a living breathing animal!!! Whoooop!

First castration surgery vet student

Ok, now thats over with here are the details! I’m taking a class on small mammals which is a elective class (aka non-compulsory) as I believe these smaller creatures to be just as important as the larger ones. Today we were given the task of castrating some pet rats, now I know that its a common assumption that these are too small to operate on. However if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting a (uncastrated) male rat, I am sure that you will agree in terms of their body size they have relatively large balls.

So now talking in terms of castration it is a relatively simple and common procedure which is why I believe it is one of the first we learn. From a surgical perspective it is similar to that in cats. So diving off topic for a minute here something I feel important to highlight is that the surgical procedure between dogs and cats (and rats) is different. This is because of the position of the testicles in relation to the penis. In dogs there is space in front of the testicles to make an incision, whilst in cats (and rats) there is not.

The procedure in cats and rats therefore is different in that the incision is made directly into the scrotum over the testicle. Now anatomically there is a septum (or divider) within the scrotum mean each testicle sits in its own compartment which requires a seperate incision for each testicle. Once this cavity is opened and the testicle is exposed the vessels leading to it are ligated and then the vessels are cut. This is basically the ultimate test of the entire surgical procedure as if this is not done correctly then the vessels which are like elastic are pulled up into the abdomen and will bleed inside causing the death of the animal. Now once this is done, as rats are close to the ground the surgical site is closed with sutures to help prevent infection.

Now my procedure went fine, I did not have any additional bleeding and the closure was neat, with that I now need to study anatomy for tommorows test.

A vet students (non)summer – Part 1

My first day in the Small Animal Clinic

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by Spikes World Wildlife Foods

Now this really is a post that I don’t know where exactly to start, I’ll apologise in advance if some details are vague however I do have to protect client confidentially for some patients. So over here in Slovakia, when it comes to summer exams you can schedule your own timetable within 2 periods (15th May-15th July and 15th August-31st August) and its your responsibility to ensure that you pass everything to be allowed to progress to the next year of study. With the fundraising I have been doing for tuition last year I’d let some of my revision slip, and did very few exams at Christmas so was left with nearly a years worth of exams to do within this period.

Now at the same time I also wanted to get as much practical experience as possible, so I decided to attempt to do an exam a week along with as many clinics as I could get into. Knowing nothing about equine I decided this would be a good start if I was ever to get over my fear of horses (they have a reputation of dying very easily) so started with equine. I was told to get some dark scrubs and then come – apparently white coats freak the poor animals out – this wasn’t easy though as nowhere in Kosice sells scrubs (I even tried the hospital) and I had to order from the UK in the end. It is about working your way up here, and for the first couple of weeks I was solely watching and handing things over. This suited me fine as I was trying to pass Anatomy at the time so gave me time to study as well.

So fast forward a couple of weeks, we had a horse arrive for some dental treatment. Basically within the horses mouth you have a large gap between the front teeth (incisors) and the (pre)molars at the side which are used for chewing. Sometimes a horse may have a small tooth in front of the molars in the top row known as the wolf tooth. Now this extra tooth which does not really have a purpose now can get in the way of the bit when riding so is usually removed. To be honest I was pretty surprised that the roots of these teeth were so small as I know the other teeth have very large roots (the entire tooth was around the size of a 5p!). The next stage of a equine dental is to make sure all the surfaces used for chewing and grinding line up properly, and that there are no sharp edges which can cause damage to the tongue and cheek – this is where the rasp comes into play! It’s really important to remember that horse teeth keep growing, and that if the surfaces wear down unevenly then the tooth will also grow unevenly. And finally once finished with the molars(cheek) teeth it is time to look at the incisors which are the teeth at the front.

Incisor overbite in equine dental examAs you can see with this horse the upper teeth protrude in front of the lower teeth which is known as a overbite which is where the incisive bone is slightly longer than the mandible (jaw bone). This causes uneven wear on the upper teeth which increases the bite and so these have to be ground down by a equine dentist or vet on average every year. The opposite which is a underbite is where the mandible is in front of the incisive bone and is most common in brachycephalic dog breeds! I was lucky to see a few dental cases over the summer, including one which had a retained part of the root after a previous fracture which made its way to surface a few months later.

During this time I was also popping in and out of small animal clinic as equine only operates during the morning unless it’s a emergency. I got thrown in the deep end here as well with a crash course in the common procedures over the first few weeks such as managing IV’s, canula’s, giving meds, doing clinical exams and more. This was where I learnt one of my three biggest lessons from the summer, never make any assumptions. Just because a patient has a history or is being treated for one problem does not mean that there is not a more immediate life threatening problem that is still undiagnosed. Definitely is a lesson that I will remember for ever, and I am taking every chance I get to examine every animal as thoroughly as I know how. Animals cannot tell us what the problem is, or where the pain is, so even when presented with a case that I have seen already I will do a complete clinical exam.

My first day in the Small Animal ClinicNow that I’ve covered my first major lesson this summer I think I will leave this diary entry here for now. Obviously trying to write about everything at once is difficult and is enough to fill a book, however in my next post I will introduce you to my first experience with a foal, some experience with artificial insemination, and some of my surgical patients!