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Dog fights

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In the last few days, I have had a barrage of dogs coming into the clinic with dog bite wounds, varying from a few bites to massive life threatening wounds. In one case that I saw yesterday, a Bequia poodle came in with some of his thigh muscles missing, due to the fact that the attacking dogs actually ate off a part of his thigh. In another case, a dog came in virtually unconscious, with few open wounds, but suffering from crushed neck muscles and severe internal bleeding.

Those of us who have suffered dog bites in the past know how painful a dog bite can be. The sheer pressure exerted by the powerful jaws is enough to knock the daylights out of someone, more so, a dog at the receiving end of the bite.

The following are some steps we could implement to avoid dog fights:

  •  When walking a vicious dog, make sure that the dog is muzzled and on a secure lead and collar.
  •  Avoid walking in areas where there are too many dogs let loose. I say this from experience, because I have found myself sometimes walking in some areas with my dog and a seemingly endless stream of dogs come running out to pick a fight.
  •  If you have a dog, it is your duty to ensure that your property is adequately enclosed to prevent the dog from escaping.
  • If the property is not enclosed, you should ensure that you have adequate facilities to prevent the dog from escaping. By this, I mean, facilities like an invisible fence or maybe a tie out chain or cable. In the same breath, I must hasten to add that if a dog has to be tied, arrangements should be made to make the animal as comfortable as possible in his surroundings. Ensuring that the animal has adequate shelter from the elements, adequate water within easy reach at all times, adequate exercising space, and regular walks etc. In this case, the collar should be checked regularly to ensure that it does not cut into the neck. I say this because much too regularly, I see cases with the collar, especially choke collars, cutting as much as 1 inch into the neck tissue.
  •  Whenever possible, try to select a dog that you are more likely to be able to control as an adult. This should depend on your age, sex, build and ability to relate to dogs.
  •  I personally am not a proponent of giving aggression training to dogs that are aggressive by nature.
  • Some breeds are naturally aggressive towards other breeds. This should also be taken into consideration when having multiple dogs in one locale.
  •  A lot of the cases of dog bites due to fighting that I see emanate from dogs fighting for dominance within their own environment. For example, a new puppy being introduced in your yard/home. Puppy grows into adult and challenges the existing dominant dog for control of the pack. This behaviour is generally controlled by spaying or castration.
  •  If you are introducing a new pup into your existing dog population, ensure that they are properly socialized before fully introducing the puppy unsupervised. This process in some cases could take as long as a week or two.

For further information, contact:
Dr Collin Boyle Unique Animal Care Co. Ltd.
Tel: 456 4981
Website: www.uniqueanimalcare.com

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