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Monthly Archives

May 2019

How serious is my gundog’s eye or ear injury? Signs to look out for…

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

A gundog, by nature, is at higher risk of eye and ear injury due to their active lifestyles. However, active dogs are also incredibly resilient and often mask injuries that could turn more serious if left untreated.

So, what signs should you look out for after a day out in nature?

Squinting – If your dog is squinting and has tears coming from an eye, they may have scratched their cornea. If the eye surface has been damaged, you could also see the third eyelid coming over across the eye.

Saline eye drops can help to reduce irritation but if problems persist you must visit the vet. If the injured eye has a smaller pupil it could be a sign of uveitis and can lead to long-term damage if not seen to.

Swollen eyes with discharge – Running through long grass with dust or pollen can cause conjunctivitis which shows as red, swollen eyes and sometimes with a green discharge.

If the dog is rubbing its eyes, it’s time to step in. Cold black tea or saline drops can help to give the eyes temporary relief, but if the eyes are still producing discharge the following day, it’s best to see your vet.

Cloudy eyes – Cloudy eyes are common in dogs of an older age, but if your dog’s eyes are rapidly whitening it could be due to cataracts and a vet should be contacted immediately.

Surgery can help to recover eyesight from cataracts.

Bulging eyes – Red, bulging eyes are often severely painful for your dog. This can be either one eye or both and can be brought on by infection or a tumour behind the eye.

Glaucoma is another factor which could be either due to damage or an inherited disease in some breeds. Either way, you must seek medical attention as an emergency.

Lots of head shaking – Ears can easily catch grass seeds that can get trapped into the ear canal, causing pain and lots of head shaking in an attempt to free them.

Sometimes the seeds dislodge themselves but if the head shaking continues, then a trip to the vet is usually required for removal. Remember to never poke anything into your dog’s ear.

Bleeding from cuts on ears – Ear cuts seem to bleed more than other areas. The best thing to do is apply pressure and a head bandage, to prevent further bleeding or irritation.

If bleeding persists, it’s time to go to the vet.

If you’re worried about your dog’s health, always seek professional advice from your vet by calling your local surgery. For information on First Aid in the Field.

Why ferrets make wonderful animals

By | Alpha Feeds | No Comments

Sadly, ferrets are very misunderstood animals. There is a common misconception that ferrets can be difficult to care for and are often mistaken for rodents. This, however, cannot be farther from the truth – not only do ferrets make lovable pets, but they are also very effective working animals.

About ferrets

Ferrets originate from the carnivore family of the Mustelidae and their closest ancestor is the European polecat so they are very curious and love to explore, often assessing most items with their mouths and nose. They rely on their senses of smell, taste and hearing as their eyesight is quite poor.

Ferrets use postures and vocalisations to indicate emotions. It is important to explore the behaviours of your breed of a ferret to ensure that you understand key emotions such as when they are feeling excited, an excited ferret will make a ‘dook’ sound.

As well as using smell to hunt, ferrets use scent to communicate with each other. They can tell if another ferret is male or female, strange or familiar and if the mark was left recently or a day ago, just by sniffing a mark left by the other ferret’s bottom.’

They become familiar with their ferret friends by using smell to hunt and communicate with each other. Don’t panic if your ferret sleeps between 18 and 20 hours a day don’t panic, that’s the sign of a healthy Ferret.

Caring for a ferret

A ferret can be both great fun and a treasured companion, but it is also important to realise that they can be quite challenging and a big responsibility and long-term commitment – healthy ferrets can live up to 10 years of age, however, their average lifespan is 6 years.

It is also very important to provide your ferret with a healthy, balanced diet which is why Alpha Ferret Feast has been carefully formulated as a premium complete diet to meet all the nutritional needs of working, pet and show ferrets of all ages.

Why Alpha Feeds Ferret food?

  • 36% Protein
  • Wholesome Ingredients – No Added Artificial Colours or Flavours
  • High-Quality Chicken & Fish Proteins
  • Fish Meal & Linseed for Essential Omega 3 Oils – Aids Healthy Skin & Coat Condition
  • Crunchy Extruded Nugget to Help Clean Teeth
  • Nutritionally Formulated for Health and Vitality
  • Easy to Digest and Highly Palatable
  • With Taurine Added

It is also very important to provide your ferret with a healthy, balanced diet. Ferrets are obligate carnivores, which means they need to eat meat to survive. That being said, they should never be given cat or dog food, which is full of plant matter that ferrets cannot digest.

Be sure to stick to dry food specifically provided for ferrets or indeed, provide fresh meat. Ferrets are also lactose intolerant and dairy can really harm them. Feeding your ferret a healthy, balanced diet will ensure they are fit to endure a full day’s work.

Where to find them:

The best place to find a working ferret is with a reputable breeder. Always be sure to visit the breeder, see how they keep their kits and also how knowledgeable the breeder is. A good breeder will be able to provide advice, support and the equipment you will require.