Printer Friendly

Do you know your dogs?


A little extra knowledgeabout the heritage of different dog breeds could save a novice veterinarian from foot-in-mouth syndrome. I'll never forget the reprimand I received for calling Mr. Duroso's new dog, Captain, a black terrier. Captain was the first Schipperke I had ever seen, and had I known that Schipperke means "little captain" in Flemish, I might have escaped embarrassment.

The origins of many moderndog breeds lie far back in ancient times. In Afghanistan, for instance, tradition says Noah chose the Afghan hound (regarded unofficially as the country's natonal dog) as the breed to take on his ark. The Samoyed of Siberia dates back 8,000 or 9,000 years, and the greyhound was racing across the Egyptian desert 1,500 years before the Pharaohs. The chow chow was bred more than 2,000 years ago, during the Han dynasty of China. The name "chow chow" is said to have been taken from the pidgin-English term for "a little bit of everything." Two well-known chow chows, Blackberry and Tiny Tim, resided with President Calvin Coolidge at the White House.

Many breeds have made very specificadaptations to their native environments. One such dog is the Catahoula hound, or "hog dog," a wonderful animal with glass-blue eyes and webfeet adapted to the swamplands of Catahoula Parish in central Louisiana, where I was reared. Other dogs have been bred to perform specific tasks. Sir Winston Churchill, whose constant companion was a brown poodle named Rufus, often referred to his favorite breed as the "truffle dog" because poodles, like pigs, have a talent for sniffing out truffles, a succulent mushroom that grows mainly in France.

Every breed has a heritage that canreveal much about a dog's personality, grooming needs, and disease susceptibility. Learning as much as possible about the ancestry of your canine companion will enrich the lives of both pet and owner.

Questions for the VetDear Dr. Whiteley,

I have a five-year-old black lab,named Andy. For over a year, since October 1985, we have had a real foot problem, or rather a toe problem, with him. At his worst, his toes swell up around his nails the size of marbles, and then the toe underneath is swollen. A thick, stringy discharge around each toe hardens into scales. At different times I have scrubbed his feet in Betadine. For three weeks I kept each toe painted with a strong 7 percent iodine. His feet have been soaked in Epsom salt, then in a Clorox solution. For weeks I cleaned the toes and sprayed each with Desenex--then switched over to Tinactin. At times I tried a triple antibiotic ointment pushed around the nail.

He was given Ceclor inJanuary 1986--15 tablets, 500 mg, $35.59--and got no better at all! In September 1986 he was given Grisactin--725 mg, $23.64, for fungus--no good.

He has had ampicillintwice. The second time, taking four pills a day helped and gave us hope, but two toes still had the stringy matter.

We went so far as to have adewclaw removed and sent to a lab plus have blood work done to see if he has lupus system. No, but the study of the dewclaw showed he had two infections: strep and staph. For this he was given ampicillin and Bactrim tablets--one a day for eight days. His toes quit draining but stayed swollen, and now they are red looking and sore for me to touch. I was told if he takes any more Bactrim it could harm his kidneys. What do I do? Virginia Ungerer Brunswick, Georgia Dear Virginia,

From your letter, I surmise thatAndy has a long-standing fungal infection of the nails and surrounding tissues, complicated by a strep and staph bacterial infection. This type of infection is difficult to treat in both humans and animals. Your veterinarian was correct to have culture and antibiotic sensitivity tests performed on the discharge. Apparently, very few antibiotics will fight the infection. Griseofulvin, an antifungal medication, is usually prescribed for the underlying fungal infection. Treatment for this type of case takes a very long time, and it is quite expensive; you may have to face the possibility that Andy will never be completely cured. My only suggestion is that you consult a veterinary dermatologist at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at the University of Georgia at Athens, Georgia. H.E.W.
COPYRIGHT 1987 Saturday Evening Post Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:history of dog breeds
Author:Whiteley, H. Ellen
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Apr 1, 1987
Previous Article:Tooth or consequences: what to do in a medical emergency.
Next Article:Home, secure home.

Related Articles
Vicious Dogs Taking Bite Out of Homeowners Profits.
It's a dog's life.
Paw prints: how scientists use DNA to learn about the past, present, and future of dog breeds.
It's a dog's life: asking your parents for a dog for Christmas? Here's some basic breed information to help you make a wise choice.
Letter: Mailbag - Proud dog owner.
Dogs may have not become "man's best friend" in East Asia.
African village dogs genetically much more diverse than modern reeds.
Kolkatans enthralled by dog show in the city.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters