Tag Archives: dog health

Feedback on YuMOVE DOG supplements

As some of you may remember, in August this year we started giving George a Green Lipped Mussel supplement to lubricate his joints and aid his movement during his senior years. For those who missed it, we announced the start of this trial here.

Now, three months on, we felt it was time for an update and are pleased to report that the supplement appears to be working. Not only has our little boy shown no signs of stiffness, but he has also demonstrated an increased level of bounciness and a return to his younger self. As a result, we’re doing more walking and playing, which is tiring (for us) but lovely at the same time.

It is also worth noting that the YuMOVE DOG supplement has had no unwanted effects on George, in terms of allergies, indigestion or other stomach problems. He still seems to enjoy the flavour and, being a dog of routines, now comes to ask for his daily tablet if I forget – something I wouldn’t have dared to contemplate in his younger days, when getting him to take anything was a (bit of a) pain.

These YuMOVE treats are yummy, mum!

So, all in all, this has been a very successful trial. We have now restocked and move on to a larger size pack, as it works out cheaper and lasts longer. We intend to continue with these supplements for the foreseeable future and, if you’re interested in trying to help your fur babies feel more comfortable in their ageing bodies, I’d say give it a go. Do, however, remember to read the list of ingredients and check for any allergies first!

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More Freedom of Movement

George is going to be 11 in a couple of weeks’ time, which fully qualifies him as a ‘senior’ dog. I do very much prefer this term to ‘old’, which does not match my boy’s temperament and gusto for life at all. At least ‘senior’ suggests that he’s likely to have acquired a certain degree of wisdom over the course of his fun-filled, reasonably-adventurous and spoilt-rotten whippet life. This wisdom – along with his good judgement – proves questionable at times, but hey, he is ‘just a dog’ after all.

Unsurprisingly, George’s senior status has come with an increased appetite for snoozing and the odd ache after a longer walk. He also gets the occasional stiff neck after a puppy-like burst of rough playing with his dad and/or demolishing his toys. Since we want him to continue to enjoy his life fully with minimal discomfort, I thought it was time to look for a natural supplement to lubricate his joints and aid his movement.

After some Internet research and talking to other dog owners, I narrowed my choices down to a couple of products and picked one of them based on public endorsement. The product is called YuMOVE Dog and is made by a company called Lintbells in the UK. This scores a lot of bonus points from the start, as we prefer to buy local whenever possible. The product presents in the form of tablets (which can be easily broken up or crushed into powder, if necessary) and contains Glucosamine HCl, Green Lipped Mussel (which boasts natural Chondroitin), Hyaluronic Acid, Manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a natural antioxidant. As you can see from the pictures, it is especially designed for “stiff and older dogs” and claims to have ‘magical’ effects on improving their mobility.

George has been taking this for about a week, so it’s early days and can’t yet say whether this product works or not. But we’ve started off on the right foot, with the massive surprise of George actually taking his tablets. By himself. Straight away and without any fuss. I don’t even have to crush or hide the tablet in his food, as he’ll just chew it up as a treat, licking his lips afterwards. Those of you who are not familiar with the difficulties we’ve had over the years in convincing George to take anything (especially in tablet form) can catch up with why this is massive for us by clicking here.

We’ll return with our verdict in a few months, when we would have tested this product thoroughly. So far, things are looking good.

P.S. A little health warning: if you are considering giving any product containing Green Lipped Mussels to your dog, make sure that they are not allergic to shellfish.

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Worming Day Has Come and Gone

There are a few days in the year that I really DO NOT look forward to, and George’s worming day is one of them. To be fair, George doesn’t like it either. In fact, he hates it,  which is probably what makes me so uncomfortable with it.

I am a bit ambivalent about the whole worming theory anyway. I know people who only worm their dogs when and if it is necessary, i.e. when and if the dogs have actually got worms. I admit I can see some logic in it. We don’t treat our kids or ourselves for all sorts of conditions before we’re actually confronted with them – you know, just in case! – so why should we do that to our pets?

I also know people who worm their dogs as much as 4 times a year, as per their vet’s instructions. The justification for this has to do with the incubation and life cycle of various types of worms and the damage that these can cause to the dogs or, potentially, any humans that they may come in contact with. The aim is to provide the dog with all-year-round protection. That makes sense, too.

Having considered both extremes, I find that I sit somewhere in the middle. Although I’m not a big fan of stuffing my dog with chemicals when he can do without them, I’m not comfortable with the idea of no protection at all, either. We live in a city with a large dog population, so George is exposed to whatever the other dogs are carrying. We also live near a nature reserve, so he’s exposed to whatever the wildlife are carrying, too. On top of this, he is a super sniffer/licker…

If we only had George’s health to consider, the above arguments might not have been enough. After all he’s never ever had any worms (or eggs). And believe me, I always check! But we’ve got Brianna to think about, plus her friends and our little nephews. They all love George and like to share cuddles and kisses with him. And we can’t risk infecting them with nasty worms, can we? So we took all these worries to out vet and asked for his advice. 

This is how we came to the solution of worming George twice a year. Two days of hassle are much better than four days of hassle. But I still don’t look forward to them. I’ll tell you why.

At the vet’s and some whippet breeders’ advice, we give George Drontal Plus worming tablets. There have been reports of whippets developing bad reactions to other types of tablets, so we decided to stick to what seems to be the best choice. For his weight, George is supposed to take 1 1/2 tablets. And this is where the stress begins.

https://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

The tablets are flavoured, therefore supposed to appeal to dogs and tickle their taste buds. Apparently, some dogs would do anything to get their paws on one of these. Well, unsurprisingly, my dog disagrees. He dislikes the tablets so much that he tries to hide as soon as he hears me open the packet.

In the early days, we tried to offer George the tablets as a treat, trying not to make much fuss about it. He didn’t eat them. Then we broke them into small pieces and hid them in his food. He didn’t eat that day. Next, we crushed them into a fine powder, which we sprinkled in his food. Again, he went hungry. Knowing how much he loves his liver cake, we tried these steps once more, replacing his food with the liver treats. The result was the same. A hungry dog, two stressed owners and quite a few wasted tablets.

In the end, there was only one thing left to try…Shoving the tablets down his throat! Luckily, it worked, so we’ve stuck with it ever since. It’s still not a very pleasant experience, but it does the trick. Here’s what happens when it’s worming time.

I take the tablets out of the packet and George tries to make himself invisible in his bed. His dad nudges him out and sits him on his chair (same chair you’ve seen in many of our photos). I break up the tablets in two and stick 3 of the 4 halves on the tip of my finger, using a bit of water. Then I approach George and ask him to open his mouth, which he doesn’t want to do. So I gently open his jaws myself and shove the tablets at the back of his mouth, as far as I can reach. My husband closes George’s mouth tightly and holds his head back, stroking his neck until he swallows the tablets. If I’ve managed to push them far enough, they go down straight away and the whole process is finished within seconds. If I miss the target, then George will try to chew and spit them out, which makes it a messier job.

https://mylittledog.wordpress.com/

Either way, the whippet gets his right dose of medicine and my husband and I can relax for another 6 months. When it’s all done, George is rewarded with a few ‘good boy’ liver treats (which he checks carefully first) and then spends the next few hours sulking. 

Normally, he’d make friends with his dad by the end of the day, but would continue to be upset with me – “the tablet person” – for another day or two. Last week, however, when we wormed him again, he put up less of a fight and decided to forgive me within the hour. I’m happy. Maybe my boy is growing up. Maybe he’s slowly accepting that he has to take those tablets. Maybe worming doesn’t have to be such a chore after all.

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Meet Wendy, the Bully Whippet

This is a post I’ve been aiming to write for a while. It has sat as a draft on my computer since I started the blog, and today I felt it was the right time for it to come out. It’s the emotional story of a sweet whippet girl, Wendy, trapped in an oversized, overmuscular body.

Although whippets are generally a very healthy breed, there is one terrible genetic disease that can affect them – and only them – the “Bully Whippet Syndrome”. Although it does not affect their general state of health, this syndrome leaves the very few whippets who are born with it looking unusually big and muscular. Labels such as ‘monsters’, ‘freaks of nature’, ‘mutants’ and even ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger of the canine world” have been eagerly attached to these poor creatures by inconsiderate people who would undoubtedly call nasty names to humans suffering from any kind of physical disability or disfigurement.

But what is the “Bully Whippet Syndrome”? It is a genetic disease manifested by a mutation in the myostatin gene, which causes double-muscling. The myostatin gene regulates muscle mass and affects muscle composition, which can increase racing speed. Whilst possessing one copy of this mutation seems to be an advantage for racing whippets and does not seem to be regarded as a defect, dogs that possess two copies are severely overmuscled, well beyond the limits of normality. This makes them look like the cattle suffering from the same mutation, hence the name of the syndrome. Since I am not a geneticist, I will not plunge into the scientific details of this syndrome, which I don’t fully understand. However, if you are interested in learning more about this double-muscling syndrome – which can also affect humans – you will find an interesting article here.

With this, we’ve come to the end and most exciting part of my post. It’s time to meet Wendy and the woman who saw beyond physical appearance and loves her for who she is inside.  

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Herbal Dietary Supplements

George finally got a present today! The first one after Christmas, that is. The postman rang the front door to deliver a small parcel for the dog of the house. Since George is one of those spoilt creatures who LOVE presents, I’m sure you can imagine the excitement with which he ripped open the envelope to reveal the surprise. He was more than delighted to find this:

    mylittledog

As some of you may know, whippets can be fussy eaters and really appreciate fine dining. There is not point presenting a whippet with over-processed food, because he won’t eat it (unless his life depends on it, I guess). Bland food is a no go, too, and George made this clear to us from day one. Therefore, in an attempt to keep him alive and take the best possible care of him, we started what could almost be described as a crash PhD course in canine nutrition. This is how we came to adopt the BARF diet with a good sprinkle of quality herbal supplements for our dog, and how he ended up being a healthy, energetic and shiny boy.

    mylittledog

However useless the above introduction may seem, it is crucial to understanding why George running out of his food supplements a few weeks ago was such a big deal. Being used to yummy food tickling his taste buds, he has missed his “spices” and has been complaining about it ever since. So, yesterday we finally got our act together and ordered some more. We were very pleasantly surprised that they arrived so quickly, but the one bearing the biggest smile of all times was, of course, George:

     mylittledog 

Bon appétit, little whippet!

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