Archive for March 23, 2015

Does the mother dog remember her puppies?

We had a fascinating day, yesterday, here at Kensington Tibetan Terriers.  Mac & Teddy (Coppi x James, November 2011) are boarding with us – and Oliver, Georgie Girl and Billie Jean are in permanent residence.  So, we have five adult Tibetan Terriers in the house and a play date scheduled with fifteen week old Abby (nee Vivi), one of Georgie Girl’s puppies from her December 2014 litter.  And we have a question: Does the mother dog remember her puppies, after they’ve left and gone to their own forever homes?

031415 Abby with ElissaAbby has been working with her humans, as well as Elissa, a dog trainer from Zen Dog Training.  She can ‘down’, ‘sit’, ‘roll over’ and comes to her name being called by anyone.  Remarkable!  and a fine example of how smart this breed can be.  She is sweet & gentle in disposition – and respectful, when meeting new humans and dogs.

032115 Georgie singsAnyway, Jodi, Joe and Abby arrived around noon and we brought the puppy up to the upstairs living room.  It is clean and isolated – good for social experiments!  Abby knew me immediately and when Gigi came in, they seemed to recognize each other immediately, too.  Abby rolled onto her back in complete submission and Georgie began this very funny play jumping up and down and side to side over the puppy’s body.  Along with play movements with her snout, in a dance.  I’d never seen anything like it.

Next, I removed Gi and brought Billie Jean in, instead.

032115 Mac and Teddy with J&JThe play behavior was also immediate but totally different in style.  It was subdued ‘normal’ TT play behavior, as if in recognition and evaluation between the two girls.  Once they were clear that they knew each other, the play became more athletic.  After a few minutes, I removed Billie and thought it might be time to take Abby outside into the fenced-in dog play area, along with its two feet of frozen snow.

032115 Abby flies through the airWe brought Abby out and reintroduced her to Georgie.  We saw the same style of interaction between them out in the snow, as we had indoors.  Ten minutes into the play, Georgie became less interested and the puppy stood up and began an exploration of the area on her own.  At that point, we brought Billie out – then, Mac and Teddy out and Abby was ready for action with these older and larger boys!  Here you see her, flying through the air and hoping to goad one or the other into a chase.

Abby has her first day at puppy school in a couple of weeks and we think that she is PERFECTLY ready to meet other puppies, now that she’s proven her maturity with a pack of Tibetans – and had her last course of puppy shots.

And the answer to the question?  Yes!  This mother dog does seem to remember her puppies, as well as the other way ’round.

Ask the Vet Tech: How to decide whether your dog needs to see the vet

072113 Henry Ava and CoachToday, we have the pleasure of a visit with our Vet Tech Jen from Vermont and we’ve asked her how to determine when to take an animal to the vet who is sort of out of sorts . . .  but maybe not unequivocally so.

And why do you think your dog might need a trip to the vet?

‘I woke up this morning and Rocket wasn’t at the bottom of the bed.  I called and he didn’t come.  I found him on the couch looking depressed.  He got up and went outside and did his morning business normally.  But I still wasn’t convinced all was well.  He picked at his morning breakfast but not with his usual gusto.  I felt comfortable enough to start my routine for work but when I got out of the shower, I found that he’d vomited.’

The questions: Do I call into work and take him to the vet?  Can he wait the two hours, until the vet opens, or do I need to rush to the Emergency Clinic?  or do I just wait it out, trusting that he’ll be fine and go to work?

Our vet tech offers the following: There are a LOT of things that have to be considered, before rushing to conclusions.  Is this an isolated incident or a pattern of incidents?  Did he vomit once or multiple times?  Might he have consumed something he shouldn’t have?  What was in the vomit and how much?  How is he acting, since the incident?

Vomiting can be very scary but sometimes, it is an appropriate response by the dog’s body to rid itself of what shouldn’t be there.  A good conversation with a vet tech or DVM can help determine whether a trip to the vet and medical intervention is necessary.

This particular story is a true account in which the conversation with the technician revealed that the young Tibetan Terrier had been eating pine needles and vomited up a ‘hairball’ of pine needles and was acting fine, once he rid his body of the foreign material.

No appointment needed.Rocket and Henry Happy 031115

However, when in doubt, call your vet.  Have a conversation and follow their advice.  Better to be safe, than sorry.  It’s never a problem to call!