Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Why A Lost Dog May Not Run Back To Us

I read something recently that I wanted to share with you that may not be obvious and could prove helpful if either your dog goes missing or you encounter a dog that is lost.

If you've ever been on social media and seen posts about missing dogs that are sighted several times in various locations and wondered why the dog doesn't simply run to the safety of a potential rescuer then read on.

Many lost dogs can easily go into what is described as 'survival mode'.

When a dog goes missing survival mode can be brought on by way of the dog being frightened, tired, hungry and being in a constant state of alert. In this state is not unusual for a dog to become so disoriented and confused that they become wary and may not take the time to determine if an approaching person may be potentially helpful or even their owner. The longer the dog is missing the more likely that survival mode may kick in.

It should be established that all lost dogs may act differently and although it is more probable that the more nervous dog may be more likely to have their survival instincts kick in, it really could happen to any dog dependant on the conditions and the length of time that the dog is missing.

So is there a 'best practice' when approaching a missing dog?

Yes there is - when encountering a lost dog, even if it is your own dog, the following advice is a good way to try to ensure that the dog feels less threatened and more likely to approach.

  • If possible, sit down.
  • Turn your body side on to the dog or even turn your back to the dog.
  • Avert your eyes and maintain your head in a bowed position so as to look as non-threatening as possible.
  • Remain quiet or silent.
  • Toss treats such as hot dog sausages or cheese (bite size) several feet to the side of you or behind you.
  • Wait for the dog to approach YOU and be sure not to make any sudden movements.
  • Once the lost dog has approached be patient and take the time to build trust. Do not make a grab for them straight away!
  • The dog may still be wary. Speak softly and if the dog backs off a little then stop speaking and gently entice the dog with more treats and resume the trust building until you can determine when a gentle approach to tether the dog can be established.

The Dog Solution

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

This Little Known Thing Can Cause Seizures In Older Cats

I was reading a study published in The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery that I thought may well be of interest to my readers with older cats.

You've possibly read about cats being spooked by high pitched noises but did you know that, in older cats especially, noise sensitivity can lead to seizures?

Until now, many older cats may have these noise-induced seizures put down to old age but research has shown that because cats have ultrasonic hearing they hear things at a pitch that can induce these seizures.

The ultrasonic hearing range of a cat allows it to hear at frequencies that a human cannot detect and it has been found that even relatively quiet and innocuous (to humans) sounds can bring on seizures in more senior cats.

There is even a name for these seizures 'feline audiogenic reflex seizures' although researchers more commonly refer to them by their acronym FARS

What is concerning is that normal household noises such as the crinkling of tin foil, tapping on a keyboard and the jangling of keys, to name a few, can induce this condition in older cats and highlights the importance of understanding as much as we can about FARS

The research was initiated after the cat charity International Cat Care received enquiries about older cats having seizures that appeared to be triggered by noise sensitivity. After collecting detailed information from concerned owners worldwide a study was published which you can read here