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TOPd THE North West Pedigree Magazine Spring 2014

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TOPdog Focus


Canine Cancer

Grooming with Fiona Mackay


2014 Steven Terry’s Experience

Nutrition: What’s inside your dog’s dinner?

GRAIN FREE SENSITIVE RANGE 100% Grain & Cereal FREE Ideal for Adult Dogs with Sensitive Skin Suitable for Delicate Digestions Puppy & Adult Available Hypoallergenic High Meat Content

With added: Glucosamine, MSM and Chondroitin Cranberries Prebiotics MOS & FOS Nucleotides


Welcome... Editor’s Letter

This month’s thought...

Welcome to the first edition of TOPDOG, the North West’s magazine for your Pedigree dog. This month’s issue features highlights from Crufts 2014, a couple of handy homemade recipes and top tips from professional North West groomer, Fiona Mackay. Our TOPDOG focus, this month investigates in to the issue of Cancer in Canines featuring a very inspiring five year old Shih Tzu, Samson and his team of experts at Vets4Pets in Speke, Liverpool. Enjoy the issue!

Browsing through Facebook this week, I found something quite inspiring and handy for us dog owners. The website - has been launched and aims to match local dog lovers to help take care of dogs for walkies, playdays, weekends, and happy holidays. So if you’ve been working too much lately and feel a tinge of guilt that you’re not giving enough love and attention to your pooch, do not For any questions or queries on anything in TOPDOG, please email fear! Sign up to the website, create a profile and you will be matched with a local person All images, unless otherwise stated are who is willing to spend time with your four ©Elen Crean legged friend for free. You are encouraged by the site to meet in a mutual place to have a ‘Welcome Woof ’ before any borrowing is arranged! The wonders of technology!

Elen Crean

What’s Inside... 4-5

ally W hat’s re g’s in your do dinner?

Expert 10-11 grooming with Fiona Mackay


ocus: TOPdog F Cancer in Canines


Crufts 2014

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TOPdog recipes


What’s really in

Big Brands or Independent Natural Foods?


ecently in the media there has been a backlash against the big dog food brands found in supermarkets and the ingredients found in their dog food. Many dog lovers have been shocked at the findings, especially after “The Truth About Your Dog’s Food” was aired on Channel 5 back in January. There has been plenty of coverage in the media and also on social media in reaction to the programme, and it seems that almost everyone was shocked at what it had to reveal.

When looking at the ingredients within canine food, the meat content should be the first thing that is considered. The dog food brand, Applaws says: “Don’t give your dog anything less than 75%” and by selecting a dog food that has a good quality protein it will be easier for your pet to digest. If the pet food has a decent percentage of a selected meat/fish protein it will mean you will feed them less and have far less waste through faeces. Also a selected protein and a more natural diet usually causes less waste, no wind or smelly breath. Foods with a minimal amount of meat, such as 4% with meat and animal derivatives, cereals and vegetable derivatives will mean you require to feed more per day and as it will be less digestible for your dog, there will be more waste, usually wind and smelly breath. Natural, hypoallergenic cooked wet and dry dog food were explained in the programme as the alternatives, as they eliminate beef, soya, wheat and diary that are known ingredients that dogs can develop intolerances too. However raw food has become the true talking point in dog owners and experts in the canine nutrition field and there is plenty of controversy

“Don’t give your dog anything less than 75% It was exposed that some brands of dog food have huge amount of additives and colourings that are not essential to a healthy diet and also the minimal amount of meat that the foods contained were sometimes as low as 4%. The brands highlighted were generally pet foods that many consumers have perceived to have a good percentage of meat but have ingredient listings of meat and animal derivatives, which although may be stated as chicken can be a mix of chicken along with other types of meat.

surrounding the dietary option.

Know The Labels...

Reading the labels on any food product is easy, but knowing what the ingredients are is the important part. Manufacturers of dog food have become clever over the years using technical jargon and finding ways to disguise ingredients that most dog owners would avoid. • Products that state cereal as the first ingredient contain a high percentage of cereal which can be bad for dogs as it contains a high sugar content often resulting with an upset stomach. • Avoid ‘meat and animal derivatives’ that do not state the meat. Look for a high meat content (70%+) for better quality.


your dog’s dinner? TOPd


spoke to Sian Roberts at Pets Pantry in Cheshire to find out more about the raw food diet “Raw diet is fantastic and I completely recommend it to any dog owners. Dogs aren’t designed to eat biscuits, it takes a long time to digest them. With the raw food, a dog’s body will digest what it needs and that’s it. So when it goes to the toilet there’s not much there! The dog gets loads of good nutrition out of it, they tend to be better well behaved and have better skin and coat. Generally it is just a better option of food for them because they can digest it much better. If you want to consider a raw diet, it is definitely a good idea. You’ll find there are always arguments on the internet and on social media about raw food. A lot of people say you shouldn’t do it, and apparently it is banned in some countries although I don’t know how true that is. A lot of people think dogs shouldn’t be fed raw food, but in the wild as wolves, they wouldn’t eat biscuits they would eat a raw diet. Natural Instinct is a high-end raw food product that we supply to our customers, and we are one of the main distributors in the North West and we have people coming from far and wide to get the food. Raw food does have a sell-by date and the food is stored frozen. Once the food is defrosted, you have four days to use it and any left overs must be discarded. Another option is the wet-food, which is similar to the biscuits however tend to have a higher meat content usually around 80% and the rest is rice and vegetables.

Pedigree Food: Do’s & Dont’s •

• • • •

Buy better quality products as choosing the cheaper products with less meat and more additives, usually results in paying more by the quantity. You will also have to feed your dog more per day of the cheaper product than a better quality product. Buy the cheap pieces of meat from your butcher Use scraps of veg to create some nutritional casseroles Look at the small independents who are really making some brilliant products for your dogs! Always read the label on pet products and introduce new food slowly over a week.

• •

• •

A lot of pedigree dogs tend to have problems. For example, German Shepards tend to have stomach complaints and Westies have bad skin and bad stomachs. If its got colourings, artificial flavourings, and lots of preservatives & additives in there your Pedigree is going to have problems. With a pedigree dog you want to feed it as natural food as you can get. We have a wide variety of natural foods, including brands that you will never find in the big supermarkets. We promote one especially named Quantum that is made in Stoke. It is a completely natural dry food, hypoallergenic and it is our best selling food. Other brands such as Simpsons, James Wellbeloved, Heights Farm and Burns are all hypoallergenic foods and suitable for Pedigree dogs. A lot of vets don’t have much nutritional training and tend just to promote foods that they have heard of, so if you want advice surrounding your dogs diet I recommend going down to your local pet shop and asking the staff for help. My personal opinion for dog nutrition is to go down the raw food route. There are good natural dry food and meats but there’s nothing more natural than raw, and at the end of the day that’s what dogs are designed to eat. Dry food is always the more cheaper and convenient option to take, as raw food needs to be defrosted and stored in the freezer.”

Avoid anything with meat and vegetable derivatives in it. There are a few foods for dogs that can be toxic; these include chocolate, grapes, raisins, coffee, alcohol, avocados, onions, macadamias and xylitol (the chemical added to food) If it smells bad, don’t feed it to your dog Never feed cooked bones to dogs, particularly chicken bones, as these can splinter and become a choking hazard or cause internal rupturing. Don’t give your dog normal cows milk, specialised milk for dogs can be sourced from pet shops.


2014 So, it was that time of year again! Crufts madness! Our Editor, Elen Crean went along to the World’s largest dog show at the NEC in Birmingham and this is how she got on… Up bright and early for the biggest and most famous dog show, I was excited to see all the toy breeds in the ring competing to make their owners proud! As a confessed Chihuahuamaniac I couldn’t wait to see the little Mexican beauties do their thing at Crufts. As always there is a lot of walking and plenty of stuff to see, in the way of dogs and also doggy products. You can buy almost everything at the show, from electric pooper-scoopers to boutique beds for your pampered pooches, it really is the place for self-confessed dog lovers. One particular stand that caught my eye was ‘Pets as Therapy’, a charity that allows volunteers and their dogs to visit people in hospitals, care homes and day centres to help brighten their day. Here is where I met Mutley, voted Britain’s most ugly dog 2013. Bless him, he was so well behaved and soft to touch! From there I went to speak to Lisa Horne, the Managing Director of Healthy Paws, a natural dog food brand established in Crosby, Merseyside. It’s nice to see doggy businesses from the North West making their debut at Crufts! A heart-warming stand named the ‘British Chihuahua Club Rescue Association’ shows how popular breeds aren’t always the most cared for. It was clear by the Chihuahua’s obvious love for President Norma Armstrong that she cares greatly for the breed. I later met the police dogs, watched the finalist from Superstar Dogs perform in the arena show ring and saw a comical appearance from John Barrowman. The day was absolutely dog packed and ended with a sneaky view of a Best in Breed winner interview with Claire Balding. I recommend Crufts for all dog-lovers, owners or hopeful owners. If you have any queries on a dog breed there are experts in every breed at the ‘Discover Dogs’ section of the show, with breeders willing to help. My day ended with a cheeky takeaway and a night in front of the television, all that walking and dog-fascination wears you out!



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Steven Terry tells all about showing his Russian Black Terrier, Winston for the first time at this years Crufts…

I’ve been to Crufts for the past 5 years but 2014 was the first time I exhibited my own dog. The event is amazing with some of the most successful dogs from around the world being shown by some of the world’s best handlers. As novices, Winston and I didn’t fare to well. But we had a great day! Preparation for a show is broken down into two parts. The most important thing is to maintain a dog’s physical condition on a daily basis. Regular exercise and a keen eye for their weight are important. You can’t let them get too fat or thin. It’s important they get to be proper dogs too! He gets muddy most days. Obviously he has a lot of coat so grooming is essential and he has a bath every few weeks. The week before the show he gets a full groom. Which can take several hours. He has to be washed thoroughly dried and then trimmed and clipped into shape. And because he’s a mucky dog he gets a bath the night before the show, which makes it a lot easier to do the finishing touches at the show.

Winston qualified by winning best of sex in breed/ reserve best of breed at Manchester championship show back in January 2013. So you can see how organised you have to be to show at Crufts! Although many of the most successful dogs will win multiple high awards in a year! Attending other dog shows is really important for practice. There is also an amazing sense of community within the dog show world. It doesn’t matter where you go around the country you’ll see a face you recognise at a dog show. Walking into the ring can be scary but generally you’ll know the people and the dogs you are competing against. You will be aware of the faults that both your dog and your competitors dog have so it’s your job to highlight what’s great about your dog to make them stand out. Winston is going to have a year off next year. I want him to get muddy and be a normal smelly dog! He worked hard for me last year putting up with me and being bathed so often, so it’s only fair! And hopefully he will be getting a new puppy to play with soon! ©Steven Terry




Cancer In

any people don’t realise that it’s not only humans that can suffer from cancer, but dogs can too. It is perhaps something that would never cross your mind when thinking about buying a dog, or even further down the line if you find a small lump on your pet. Five-year-old Shih Tzu, Samson who is suffering from the disease is this month’s TopDog focus as we explore his treatment and illness with advice from his vets at Vets4Pets Liverpool, Speke. Owners John and Sue fell in love with Samson at a pet shop in 2009 in Marbella, Spain. He began his life with health complications that were diagnosed by a vet in Spain as a Portosystemic Shunt. Symptoms of the Portosystemic Shunt include diarrhoea, sickness and difficulties putting on weight as the Shunt prevented Samson from gaining the nutrients he desperately needed. He was treated with medication and also put onto a Hepatic Diet by Hills Science Plan. This diet is high quality

©Facebook/Les Page Samson, pictured here, after he was diagnosed with Lymphoma by vet, Esther Vergara.


and contains highly digestible protein in moderate quantities to helps to reduce liver workload and contains added L-Carnitine to help maintain normal fat metabolism in the liver. Back in June Samson received a clean bill of health from his vet and made his way over to the UK to move into his new home. owards the end of the week, it was clear to Samson’s owners that he was again feeling under the weather and his prescapular lymph nodes located in his neck, were really enlarged, as big as golf balls. He was taken to Vets4Pets Liverpool-Speke where Esther Vergara speculated between the symptoms being Leishmaniasis (sandflies) or Lymphoma. A fine needle aspiration (or FNA) was taken and it wasn’t good news, Samson had Lymphoma, one of the most common malignant neoplasia to occur in dogs. Susan Crean, owner of Samson said: “If we didn’t do anything, he would have deteriorated extremely fast, Esther explained to us that the prognosis without any treatment was


Sampson around 6 weeks to live. Our onlyalternative was chemotherapy.” Samson received 25 weeks of chemotherapy that was distributed to him in a mixture of methods including oral tablets, intravenous (IV) infusion and intramuscular injections. Since his big move from Spain to England, it’s been a rocky road for Samson, but with the help care and support from vets Esther Vergara, Carme Tordesillas-Olivar and Neus Elias at Vets4Pets Liverpool-Speke, he has been able to lead a happy life. The three Spanish musketeers have 15 years experience between them and they are completely in love with Samson. However they have to have his best interests at heart including the professional opinion of when to stop the treatment if it is unsuccessful or having too many side effects. Jon and Sue would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Vets4pets, Speke, Liverpool for their support, advice and sincerity during Samson’s illness. A special thanks to Esther and Carme for their expertise.

Above - Carme Tordesillas-Olivar Below - Esther Vergara

Canines Esther said:

“The problem of Cancer in animals is exactly the same as in people, except it is sometimes more difficult as the animals cannot tell you what is wrong with them. As there are so many different types of Cancer that can affect organs and cells it takes time, money and effort for a vet to do tests and decide whether a dog has cancer or whether it can be something trivial like a stomach bug. There are also some breeds that are demonstrated to have higher possibilities of developing a specific type of neoplasia due to an ancestor at the beginning of this breed. Side effects of chemotherapy are short to medium term, sometimes dogs can loose their fur although this normally only affects the whiskers, but the side effects aren’t as extreme as in humans since the doses are very reduced in comparison with human chemotherapy. We are not trying to cure the cancer in pets, we are trying to prolong the life and improve quality of life for the animal and for the owners. If a dog does suffer from serious side effects, such as cystitis, we will remove that treatment from our protocol as our aim is to keep the animal happy and not under any suffering”.

©Facebook/Susan Crean

©Facebook/Susan Crean Samson at his homes in the UK and Spain.


I Neus Elias perfoming in theatre at Vets4Pets Liverpool, Speke.

Carme said:

“Lump related cancers are the most common that we see here at our practice. Most of them are only lipomas or fat lumps (this is a benign growth of the fat cells) or cysts, and don’t need to be removed as long as the lump is not growing too much or getting infected or bursting in the case of cysts. The only way to know what a lump is, is by having a biopsy taken, since a lipoma and a mast cell tumour can look exactly the same, but mast cell tumours are high malignancy tumours and must be removed as soon as possible. There are many unspecific symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lameness, anorexia or fever that could be a sign of cancer. It is also important to remember that dogs can also get cancer the same way in which humans do. For example, they can get lung or bladder cancer from inhaling their owners second hand smoke. As people say in England, we play it by ear when it comes to chemotherapy. If the dog is reacting well and they are happy then yes the treatment is working. But if they are just sitting in a corner, won’t play and won’t eat we have to consider stopping the treatment and putting the dog to sleep. We see around 15 cases of Cancer at our surgery each month. Treatments start at around £300 for a simple removal of a small lump, but if you have a dog that needs chemotherapy it can end up being quite expensive, even up to £10,000 in extreme cases. Some owners understandably react in different ways if they find out their dog has cancer. Some don’t want them to suffer, some want to fight. But we have to facilitate what is best for the animals and also what is ideal for the owners as well. As a dog is not just a pet; they are part of your family.

f you have a pet in England please insure it! All of us have pets and all of us have previously had big bills from vets, when we came to England we got them insured because in Spain you don’t have the option of insurance. As we say in Spain “cheap goes expensive”, cheap insurances do get dog owners buying into them but you may find that they won’t pay out for many things or the vets don’t trust them. Both of these will end with the owners paying high vet bills or having to put the dog to sleep, as the treatments may be too expensive. Before you choose an insurance company do ask someone who knows about insurance because some policies exclude neoplasia. Also ensure that it is life-long. In our opinion, the best ones are Pet Plan, Tesco, Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury’s, but there are probably some others that we haven’t come across yet. We don’t get any money from the insurance, but we want your pet to be insured, because if they need treatment we want the owner to be able to have the funds to allow us to do it. We’re more than happy to give advice to clients about what to check when purchasing insurance, and I’m sure that all vets in the UK would be willing to give advice if you ask!


Expert Grooming with... ^ y a k c a Fiona M Fiona has over 22 years experience in grooming a wide variety of dog breeds. Her passion began as she grew up at her family boarding kennels, cattery and grooming salon on the Wirral where the seed for grooming was sewn. When she turned 21, her Father, who is also a professional groomer, trained her to a high standard with the aim to begin her own grooming business. She has a keen interest for dogs and owns three of her own, two Lhasa Apso’s named Dylan and Diesel and one Basset Fauve de Bretagne named Daisy. Over the years she has taken part in many junior handling events at Dog Shows including her Afghan Hound Maya, who has also previously won best in breed at Crufts.

Step-by-step grooming with Toy Poodle, Millie 1

Millie is placed on the grooming table with a saftey rope to prevent causing her any harm.


The clippers are kept close to the fur to create a short cut typical for the Poodle breed.


A conventional hair dryer is used as the professional dryer is too powerful for Millie’s fur.



Fiona uses professional clippers by Aesculap to begin tidying Millie’s face and neck areas.


Due to a skin condition Millie has, special care is taken whilst trimming her feet.



Nail clippers are used to clip Millie’s nails, care taken throughout due to her sore feet.

She recieves a bath using Mutney’s shampoo and conditioner, with a thorough rinse.


Rose Line scissors are used to tidy around Millie’s face, paws, ears to create a flawless finish


Millie is now ready to be collected by her owner, sporting a new traditional Poodle cut.

Getting to know you... What is your favourite breed of dog to groom? I would have to say the ‘designer’ dog breeds such as the cockapoo and the yorkipoo. As the breeds are fairly new and becoming ever more popular, I have enjoyed grooming the different breeds.

What is the most difficult breed of dog to groom? I enjoy grooming every dog that comes into my grooming pad, however it is the aggressive dogs that are the most difficult. Usually with time and perseverance a dog will get used to being groomed, but I have to ensure I keep them safe at all times from biting scissors or clippers as it can lead to serious harm to a dog.

Before & After: Yorkshire Terrier, Martha

the matting of a dog’s coat. If a dog comes to the grooming pad heavily matted I have to make the decision to cut their coat short and let it grow back – it is the kindest thing to do. Try to brush through matting can cause a dog a great deal of pain and can also irritate their skin.

What is your opinion on ‘mass dog grooming’? I feel that the grooming process for a dog should be quick, pain-free and stress-free. At my grooming pad, I focus on one dog at a time and allow a 45-minute time slots for each dog. Every groomer runs their business differently, however I prefer to devote my attention to the dog from the minute it is dropped off by its owner to the moment they go home.

What should groomers consider to be the most important methods to grooming? The safety of every dog at all times is key, if a dog isn’t safe and you aren’t considering their welfare then you put the dogs life and your reputation on the line. Another key issue in grooming is

©Fiona Mackay

S P I T TOP Always listen to recommendations. If you see a nicely groomed dog whilst out walking, chat to the owner and ask them where their dog gets groomed. All dog owners love to talk about their pets and you might get a fantastic recommendation for a local breeder.

Daisy, the Basset Fauve de Bretagne recently shown by Fiona at local dog shows in Cheshire

Some groomers will have fancy websites and elegant shop fronts but those are just exterior factors. If you are interested in a particular grooming salon, pop in unexpectedly to see how the dogs inside are being groomed and treated. If you get a good feel for the groomer it will allow you to trust them with your pet.

If you aren’t happy with a groomer once you get your dog home, don’t book for another appointment. Dog grooming isn’t cheap and it is important you are happy with the service you are receiving. In any area there will be many groomers, so if at first you don’t succeed try again with someone else!

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PEDIGREE facts::;=--CHOCOLATE LABRADOR The breed originated in Newfoundland during the 18th century, however during the 19th Century, Chocolate Labradors weren’t hugely desired and were often deemed as the “ugly duckling” as they faced competition from Black and Yellow Labradors. In the 20th Century, Chocolate Labs were recognised by the Kennel Club and written into the Labrador breed standard.

Chocolate Labs have a thick water resistant coat that protects them from harsh winters and also keeps their body or rather fur, dry in the rains. They are excellent swimmers, never missing a chance to dive in! They are large in size, males weigh around 30 - 40 kg and up to a size of 57 to 60 cm. Females weigh around 25 to 33 kg and grow up to a size of 55 to 60 cm. The color of the eyes can be brown, hazel or even blue and like most of the dogs, their eyes speak volumes and are very expressive.

Chocolate Labs might be big, but they are the gentlest of most dog breeds. They are extremely intelligent and sporty dogs, meaning they can be easily trained for any tricks, including agility. One benefit of the breed is that they are unlikely to be territorial or aggressive, making them ideal family pets. They can adjust to things quickly and enjoy the company of humans of all ages. However, they have the tendency, if un-trained, to get out of hand and discipline in training is strongly encouraged especially surrounding eating habits as their appetite is well-known.

As with all Pedigrees, there are some problems that these dogs have inherited from their ancestors, some of them being the hip and the elbow dysplasia. They are also prone to suffer from various eyes and knee problems such as arthritis or maybe even from a rare case of deficiency of type II muscle fiber. Ear infections are not uncommon among these dogs given the kind of floppy ear they have. As Chocolate Labs love to eat, you have to make sure that the dogs do not suffer from obesity. Obesity can lead to various problems in them such as diabetes, or heart problems. With proper care, these dogs can live up to 10 to 13 years.

TOPdog’s Recipes s t i u isc

B r a d Ched

by Fiona Mackay

Dogs love cheese! If you don’t have cheddar, any other will do!

What you will need: 1 cup of all purpose flour 1 cup of whole wheat flour 1 cup shreded cheddar cheese 2 tablespooons butter 3/4 cup of milk Grated Parmesan fpr topping (optional)

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C or Gas Mark 5. Put flours and cheese into a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the butter and milk and mix well, Roll out onto a floured surface to around 1/4 inch thick and prick with a fork, pressing hard enough for the tines to penetrate all the way through the dough. Sprinkle over with grated cheese, Cut into shape with cookie cutters, Place on a baking sheet covered in non-stick foil, Bake for 15-20 mins or until goldren.

Garlic Cr


These can be baked to any size, perfect for biscuits snacks or tiny training treats Preheat the oven to 205 degrees C or Gas Mark 6. Put all ingredients into a food processor and mix to form a dough ball, Knead in some flour if it is sticky, Roll out to 1/4 inches thick. Place on a baking sheet covered in non-stick foil, Cut the dough into desired square sizes, Prick each squre with a fork, pressing hard enough for the tines to penetrate all the way through the dough. Bake for around 30 mins or until the tops are brown, Once brown, turn off the oven and let the crisps cool inside so they’ll be even crispier.

What you will need: 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon of pre-chopped garlic, 1/4 cup of water 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds 2 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 egg 1/4 cup grated cheese



THE North West Pedigree Magazine