Friday, March 13, 2009

Navey, the lion heart.

Navey (pronounced nav-vee) came to Pug Rescue Sydney one very hot Sydney Saturday afternoon in the first few days of February this year. Sydney was experiencing a heatwave at the time with temperatures reaching above 40 degrees (celcius).

He was blind and was suffering with keratoconjunctivitis sicca and his eyes were irritated, very dry and covered in gunk. Navey was also almost completely deaf. He was not desexed, vaccinated or microchipped and his age was unknown. Navey’s mouth emitted a foul smell and it was obvious he had a mouthful of rotten teeth to add to his woes.

We guessed him to be around 8 years but as he had lived his life outdoors, on his own, in his own little world without being able to see or hear, he may have looked physically older than his years.

Navey was lost and stressed in his new environment. I settled him in the dog room, treated him for his fleas and wormed him, gave him some fresh bedding and tried to indicate to him where the water bowl was. He cried on and off for hours at a time and then slept in between. Every few hours I took him outside to toilet, but given that the heat was so unbearable if you were outside for more than a few minutes, we didn’t spend long out there.

On his arrival I had noticed one of his front paws was red and inflamed and as time went on, it was obviously causing pain as he began limping.

When he discovered the water bowl he would promptly stand in it and I guessed that this was his way of making his red inflamed paw feel better, and a left over of him having worked out how to deal with the extreme high temperatures living outdoors in his former environment.

His hearing was almost non-existent or he simply didn’t know ‘how to listen’. We experimented with different ways of calling his attention, shouting his name, whistling, clapping but he wasn’t very good at following the faint sounds he was hearing. He always turned in the wrong direction and it seemed that this form of communication would be futile.

His sense of touch and smell were his only means of real communication and he was visibly excited when he could smell one of the other Pugs beside him and when they came over to sniff him and say ‘hello’ to the newcomer.

When I sat with him and patted him he made ‘woo woo’ sounds of contentment and mouthed my fingers in play. With the knowledge that someone was beside him, he would begin to investigate his immediate surroundings and, being entire, he would mark every thing he sniffed much to my dismay. In time we would start toilet training him but now was not the time and so we patiently cleaned up after him and restricted him to the dog room until his training began.

To make life alittle less complicated, we decided to introduce scent training very slowly. From our knowledge, Navey had no training at all for his disabilities. The first scent we introduced him to was Vanilla. Vanilla signalled his water bowl and the location of his water bowl was important for obvious reasons.

Within a few days I was beginning to doubt my ability to rehabilitate Navey and to turn him into a happy and content Pug dog. He was still crying all the time and seemed to be very, very unhappy and bewildered. I decided to push any thoughts of failure aside and make a decision on his future after his Veterinary assessment. His eyes greatly concerned me and I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to find a home for a Pug with so many issues.

We booked him in for his desexing and Vet work within his first week. The initial assessment of Navey by our Vet was more positive than I had thought it was going to be and I was beginning to see a future for this little Pug. Navey was desexed, tested for heartworm (which showed he was heartworm clear), had several of his teeth removed and the others cleaned and his ears, eyes and foot were assessed.

He came back home a little sore and sorry and still very bewildered but now with a treatment plan and light at the end of the tunnel. His eyes would require regular maintenance after the initial antibiotic therapy and his paw was diagnosed as a type of contact allergy.

After his first week at the rescue, I thought I'd start crate training him. I thought he might feel 'safe' in a crate.....he almost SCREAMED the house down!! Needless to say I gave up on that idea very quickly.

Navey began his toilet training with the assistance of a belly bands. A belly band is a width of material, with velcro at either end, that is wrapped around the waist of male dog. The band holds a sanitary napkin and the idea is that it is covers the penis so when he attempts to lift his leg, he urinates into the band of material and pad, rather than on the wall or your furnishings. If you regularly have to house train male dogs, I highly recommend these!

Navey was introduced to the house and the routine. His first few days were spent investigating the layout of the living room, kitchen and laundry. He tangled himself up or got stuck in corners and between furnishings on more than one occasion and was quickly rescued when his cries of distress were heard.

We were beginning to understand his crying and the sounds he made. He was a vocal dog and the cries and sounds he made were one way he had figured out that he could communicate with the people and animals around him. His crying was also becoming far less frequent as he became more comfortable with his surroundings and the routine of the household and our family.

Navey began to play with toys we held for him. It was hard to play with him without him being able to see what you were holding, or even hear it, but once he got the bone or toy in his mouth he had the time of his life. A grey elephant became his favourite and if he accidently stumbled across it as he wandered about the room he would bend his head and immediately start to play with it.

Navey’s front paw once more became inflamed and he began limping again. We also discovered a lump on his side and with trepidation; we visited the Vet once more with him. Aside from his foot, his mouth and desexing wound had healed perfectly. Now that his rotten teeth were removed I could cuddle up close to him and not retch from the smell of rotten and decayed teeth. The lump was diagnosed as a gland that was up, most likely due to his foot, and after an injection for his foot and armed with medication we were off back home.

More to come - stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Whoops, where did that month go?

I am obviously not a successful posts are few and far between.

I promise to update soon though and tell you of the wonderful world of Navey, the blind and almost deaf rescue Pug that has the heart and faith of a lion.

Stay tuned. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The NSW Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill

Pug Rescue Sydney supports the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill.
To read the Bill, click here:

Details of the Bill;
Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill 2008
Private Member's Bill
In Legislative Assembly, Awaiting "Agreed in Principle" Debate, 14/11/2008.

Long Title
An Act to regulate the sale of certain animals; and for other purposes.

Explanatory Notes
Explanatory note

This explanatory note relates to this Bill as introduced into Parliament.

Overview of Bill
The object of this Bill is to protect the lives and well-being of cats, dogs and other mammals (but not livestock) as follows:
(a) by prohibiting the keeping of cats and dogs at shops or markets for the purposes of their sale,(b) by prohibiting the sale of cats and dogs at or from shops or markets,
(c) by prohibiting the display of mammals other than cats or dogs in shop windows or in parts of shops visible to passers-by,
(d) by regulating the advertising of the sale of cats and dogs,
(e) by requiring any person who offers a cat or dog for sale to inform prospectivepurchasers of the basic care requirements of the animal,
(f) by restricting who can carry on the business of selling cats or dogs, or breedingcats or dogs for sale.
The Bill also amends other Acts and Regulations to make it an offence to fail to collect a mammal from a council pound, or to fail to either claim or surrender a companion animal at an animal shelter, after being notified that it is there.

Outline of provisions
Part 1 Preliminary
Clause 1 sets out the name (also called the short title) of the proposed Act.
Clause 2 provides for the commencement of the proposed Act on a date that is 3 months after the date of assent, or on an earlier proclaimed date.
Clause 3 states the object of the proposed Act, which is to protect the lives and well-being of dogs, cats and other mammals (but not livestock).
Clause 4 defines certain words and expressions used in the proposed Act.
Clause 5 provides that the proposed Act does not affect any provision of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 or any other Act or statutory rule that regulates or prohibits the keeping or sale of amammal.

Part 2 Regulation of sale of cats and dogs
Division 1 Regulation of sale of cats and dogs at shops and markets
Clause 6 regulates the keeping of cats and dogs at shops or markets for the purpose of selling them.
Clause 7 regulates the sale or offering for sale of cats and dogs at or from shops or markets.
Clause 8 regulates the negotiation of the sale of cats and dogs at shops or markets.

Division 2 Provision of basic care information about cats and dogs
Clause 9 requires persons who display cats or dogs for sale, or cause or permit other persons to display cats or dogs for sale, to provide prospective purchasers with written prescribed basic care information, that is, with a written statement about the basic care requirements of the animals prescribed under proposed section 21.
Clause 10 requires an authorised seller who sells a cat or dog, or a person who sells a cat or dog on behalf of an authorised seller, to provide the purchaser with written prescribed basic care information about the animal.

Division 3 Regulation of advertising of cats and dogs
Clause 11 regulates the advertising of the sale of cats and dogs at shops or markets and elsewhere.

Division 4 Regulation of business of selling or breeding cats and dogs
Clause 12 prohibits the carrying on of the business of selling cats and dogs or breeding cats and dogs for sale. Neither of the prohibitions apply to a recognised breeder, and the prohibition on carrying on the business of selling animals does not apply to an approved animal shelter, a council pound, the practice of a veterinary practitioner or an approved animal welfare organisation.

Part 3 Regulation of sale of mammals other than cats and dogs
Clause 13 prohibits the display of mammals other than cats or dogs in shop windows or any other part of a shop that can easily be seen by a person outside the shop.

Part 4 Regulation of recognised breeders
Clause 14 provides for the regulations to prescribe standards that are required to be complied with by recognised breeders.
Clause 15 makes it an offence for a recognised breeder to fail to comply with the prescribed standards.
Clause 16 provides that an inspector under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act1979 may exercise certain powers under that Act if the inspector believes on reasonable grounds that a recognised breeder has failed to comply with any of the standards prescribed by the regulations that apply to the breeder.

Part 5 Proceedings for offences
Clause 17 provides that offences under the proposed Act are to be dealt with summarily before a Local Court or by the Supreme Court in its summary jurisdiction.
Clause 18 deals with offences by corporations.
Clause 19 provides for the issue of penalty notices for offences under the proposed Act.

Part 6 Miscellaneous
Clause 20 provides for the making of regulations under the proposed Act.
Clause 21 provides for the regulations to prescribe basic care information in relation to cats and dogs. The information will be required to cover such matters as the usual life-span of the animal, the minimum requirements for the humane shelter, accommodation, exercising and socialising of the animal and the costs associated with feeding, registering and keeping the animal and obtaining veterinary care for the animal.
Clause 22 provides that, in certain circumstances, there will be a presumption that a person carries on a business of selling cats, dogs or other mammals.
Clause 23 provides that the proposed Act binds the Crown.
Clause 24 gives effect to the amendments to Acts and regulations specified in Schedule 1.
Clause 25 provides for the review of the proposed Act.

Schedule 1 Amendment of Acts and regulations
Schedule 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 make amendments that are consequential on the fact that cats and dogs will no longer be permitted to be sold or kept for sale at pet shops or markets.
Schedule 1.4 provides for the administration of penalty notices issued under the proposed Act to be carried out under the Fines Act 1996.
Schedule 1.5 makes it an offence under the Impounding Act 1993 for a person to fail to collect an impounded animal if the person is notified by an impounding authority that the animal has been impounded.
Schedule 1.6 [1] makes it clear that the prohibition on abandoning animals set out in section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 includes dumping animals.
Schedule 1.6 [2] makes it an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 for a person to fail to claim or surrender an animal if the person is notified by the RSPCA, or another organisation that operates an animal shelter, that the animal has been taken or otherwise come into its possession.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome in the Pug dog

Pugs are a brachycephalic breed and they share this category with several other breeds of canine including the Pekinese, Boston Terrier, Boxer and the British Bulldog.

The term brachycephalic is greek in origin and comprises the terms "brachy" meaning short, and "cephalic" meaning head.

There are three cephalic indexes. Dolichocephalic (long head), mesocephalic (moderate head), and brachycephalic (short head).

Brachephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) is a partial upper airway obstruction characterised by more than one condition that affects the respiratory system. Most dogs with BAS will suffer from two or more conditions, hence the latter part of the name 'syndrome' or conditions that 'run together'.

The brachycephalic skull is only achieved through selective breeding. Compressed, narrowed air passages occur in dogs that are selectively bred for a flat face, round head, and short, thick neck and, because of this, the throat and breathing passages in these dogs are frequently undersized or flattened which creates the conditions that make up BAS.

BAS may be caused by any or all of the following:
  • stenotic nares (malformed and or pinched nostrils);
  • elongated soft palate;
  • laryngeal issues (everted laryngeal saccules or laryngeal collpase); and
  • tracheal problems (deformed/ narrow trachea).

How do these conditions affect brachycephalic breeds and, specifically, the Pug?

Dogs cool themselves by panting. When a dog pants it provides increased air flow over moist surfaces in the upper respiratory tract through rapid, shallow breathing. The increase in air flow causes an increase in evaporation from the upper respiratory tract. This evaporation process cools the dog.

Even in the most well bred Pug, this process is flawed. To produce airflow through narrowed passages, particularly during warm conditions, the respiratory muscles must generate more force than what is required in most other canines. This effectively places the brachycephalic dog at a disadvantage.

Without unrestricted and easy airflow, the Pug has to work harder to cool themselves in high temperatures. In a Pug with BAS, they have to work twice as hard.

BAS worsens in time. The force of air can result in damage to the soft tissues lining the airways, causing swelling, inflammation, and even inward collapse that further narrows the airways and creates secondary BAS complications. Pugs suffering from any or all of the primary BAS conditions (elongated soft palates, narrow/deformed tracheas and stenotic nares) are at risk of developing secondary complications.

The continued and ongoing stress on the walls of the larynx by forced breathing, due to partial obstruction, creates pressure in effect sucking them inward. This inward pressure causes the laryngeal saccules, which are pockets of thin membranes lining the larynx above the vocal chords, to invert or ‘turn inside out’ which then further aggravates the condition and obstructs the airway.

Continued pressure against the laryngeal walls can also cause them to weaken and collapse. Increased vibrations in the airway result in swelling and irritation of the laryngeal membranes, again further worsening the situation.

Tracheal collapse is another possibility in Pugs that suffer from BAS. The trachea in Pug dogs may be hypoplastic (underdeveloped or narrow) or perfectly formed at birth. In Pugs where the tracheal collapse is caused by pressure of breathing it is called an 'acquired tracheal collapse' to distinguish it from a congenital (present at birth) tracheal condition.

Pugs suffering from any number of BAS problems exhibit noisy breathing (especially during exercise or stress) and heat intolerance. A higher pitched sound and sharper intake of air may be be heard under stress.

Exercise intolerance, cyanosis (blue tongue and gums from lack of oxygen), and occasional collapse can occur, especially following over-activity, excitement, or excessive heat or humidity.

The danger of BAS lies in the very real possibility of death from suffocation or heat stroke.

There are many conditions that can aggravate BAS, including obesity, poor health and poor breeding.

*Copyright statement: Please note that this material is copyright to the author - Anne Millard, Pug Rescue Sydney. Copying of this material is not a right and anyone wishing to use this material must first seek permission from the author prior to copying. All copied material must recognise the author - Anne Millard, Pug Rescue Sydney.*

Friday, November 28, 2008

Welcome to Pug Rescue Sydney's blog. :)