Pet Advice Guides for Pet Owners

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Coping with problem pets can be daunting without good pet advice. If you have encountered aggressive behaviour in dogs, cats who refuse to use their litter trays, overweight pets, nervous behaviour and fear of loud noises, excitability, skin ailments and general poor health, help is at hand. Our Pet advice pages are based on years of work with all sorts of animals. Through our dog adoption services, we have seen all sorts of behavioural problems. Sadly, this usually results in owners getting rid of the problem, often due to many months (even years) of trying to cope. Our aim is to educate, rehabilitate and create harmony between owners and their pets. We provide assistance, help, maybe just a shoulder to lean on, so you can enjoy a balanced, healthy relationship with your pet.

If you have a specific pet problem and would like some advice, let us know.
All our pet advice pages are provided as a free service for you to enjoy. If you find them useful, a small donation is always appreciated.

Derbyshire Times Featuring the Sanctuary

derbys times Dec 14

‘Cats are not just for Christmas’ is the headline in today’s Derbyshire Times – it’s a feature about the dozens of stray cats who have been brought in or dumped here in the run-up to Christmas.  The photo shows volunteer Jodie (on the left) with Leo (a Maine Coon) and Jo, who is a Sanctuary Manageress and also Adoptions Co-ordinator.

Jo is holding Sapphire who was left for dead in our yard a few weeks ago.   Thankfully both cats are recovering now.   A big thank you to the Derbyshire Times who have highlighted the plight of the unwanted cats and featured our need for cat food and donations to help care for them.

Lonely Pony Rescue

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This little pony is in a dreadful condition.   We’ve recently rescued him and will try to improve his well-being.   Yes, he has been sadly neglected, but no, it isn’t a cruelty case.   His owner has had dementia for some years and it’s worsened, she is now in hospital.  She loves horses and all animals but hasn’t been able to care for them.   Sally, the little Westie we took in, is from the same home and is now safe with us and on the road to recovery.

Rufus may not look too bad at first sight.  He has many serious health problems though and it will be a long time before recovers.   One of the most distressing aspects is that he’s lived on his own in a back garden for many years – he’s 18 years old now.   When we were alerted to his plight he’d been shut in a stable for a long time.  He couldn’t see out and was knee deep in muck.   It seems that his owner, who is ill, had not allowed anyone to help her look after him or give him the treatment he so badly needed.   Perhaps she didn’t want him to go outside because she feared he would be taken away from her if anyone saw his terrible condition.

So, what’s wrong with him?   He is very thin except for a huge ‘pot’ belly.   Looks as though he is full of worms.   (we wormed his straight away).   He can’t walk properly – his feet are deformed, the front hooves are like ‘slippers’, the hind hooves are even worse, he walks on the tip of his hooves and doesn’t seem able to put the sole of his feet to the ground.   These problems are caused in part because he hasn’t been allowed out to get any exdercise.    We have a very good farrier and our first call was to him, then it’s x-rays of his hooves to see what can be done.

Is that it?   No, sadly it isn’t.   Rufus is a stallion, he was never gelded as a youngster.   So, does this matter?   Yes and no.   He has an undescended testicle, probably this is why the operation to geld him never took place.   It can be done but it is major surgery, dangerous and is very expensive.

Because he is old and frail and unwell, he couldn’t be gelded at this late stage.   The problem is that stallions, even little ones like Rufus, are difficult with other ponies.   They want to get the girls in foal and fight with the boys.   The idea of eventually turning him out in the fields with the herd is unlikely to happen.  Perhaps we can find him a single pony friend he will get along with – ponies are herd animals and we don’t like the idea of a solitary life for him.  But we’re a long way off that – one step at a time and we have to tackle the other problems first.

pony - rufus hooves‘Slipper’ feet.

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ponies - rufus on grassFreedom, fresh air and grass – that is so good.

 

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He’s walking on the front of his hooves.

Poorly Westie has a haircut

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We all feel better for a wash and brush up and having our hair done and Sally is no exception.  She had a quick wash in warm water and then we trimmed her hair – and doesn’t she look much better?   We don’t do too much with dogs or cats when they first come in and are in a frail condition.  It’s better to let them settle for a day or two.  Just moving to a new home is stress enough, even if they are in much better circumstances.  Sally has settled in well and is much more confident, she knows us all now and loves a fuss and a cuddle.  She has a walk round and is beginning to explore.   She lets us put her cream on and then she goes back in her room and snuggles down in her duvet.

Sally is a sweet and well behaved little girl.   Can we see tiny hairs beginning to grow through the leather skin?  Too soon to say, maybe it’s wishful thinking…

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Thanks to Kate and the rest of the team who are giving Sally so much love and care.

Another abandoned cat

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Isn’t it cruel to just dump a cat somewhere he doesn’t know and where he might not be found?   Last week we had a young cat left out in the rain in our yard.  She was thin and soaking wet, close to death when we found her.   This one has fared a little better, at lest he was put inside.  We found him shut in Reception.   He’s very thin, starving hungry and completely bewildered – Where am I?

Wr urgently need help to feed all these extra mouths – donations of cat food would be very helpful.  Alsoi we have so many cats to take to the vet – vaccinations, health checks, neutering and spaying – even a small donation would be a great help.  Many thanks

He shot up onto a high ledge when we put him in a pen – then came down and began to eat ravenously.   He’s a lovely cat, massive, as bit fluffy, magnificent whiskers.   He has a friendly (although a bit scred at present) temperament.   He looks like a Maine Coone, very handsome and especially lsrge feet.   We’ve called him Leo – he looks a king of the jungle – although not in temperament.  He’s a bit of a wimp!  Where did he come from?   We’d love to know.

 

Little Billy doing better

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It’s early days but there is already an improvement in Little Billy’s condition.  He isn’t howling or shaking or looking so doped.  Being off the medication will help his system to heal and him to recover.   He’s beginning to be a happy little chap, we’ve had smiles and fuss from him, he loves attention and although he is still sleeping a lot, when he’s awake, he’s a sweetie.   Little Billy likes food and has ate everything we’ve put him front of him, so appetite isn’t a problem.  We’re feeding him natural food only and with lots of herbs.

His eyes were pits of blood when he first came in, now the inflammation is going and they are beginning to heal.   This little dog is as good as gold to treat, he lets us put his Aloe Vera gel on the sore places, without a murmur.   It’s soothing and will feel good.

We’ve even been for several small walks today and he’s enjoyed the fresh air and sun – not too far though.   Most of all he likes the love and attention we’re giving him.   And when he’s ready for a nap he puts himself to bed!

Where’s Billy?   When it’s bedtime this is all you can see!

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A poorly little dog

dogs - little billy 4In dogs, as well as humans, health is everything.  We take it for granted until it breaks down.   This is Little Billy, an elderly and poorly Jack Russell, who has been brought in to us because his owners, who have their own health problems, can’t cope with him any more.   He’s been unwell for a long time and has been treated with tranquilizers (diazapam) and steroids.   He’s been getting worse and becoming more distressed, he’s started to howl for long periods and has become incontinent.

Little Billy has Lupus which is a disease of the immune system.  His body has broken down and the skin around his eyes is raw and looks horrific.  When he first came in he looked very miserable.  Lupus can cause the nose and skin in other areas to be raw too.   Little Billly’s condition is challenging but he is such a sweet little chap and we have seen other dogs improve dramatically with a holistic approach.  The other option was for his owners to have him put to sleep, the howling especially was a big difficulty and a sign of extreme unhappiness.   They have another dog and the two of them do not get on.  This may have been making Little Billy worse.  Feeling unhappy can be a cause of ill health.   We’ll make him comfortable (one of our specially cosy duvet beds) and put him on an organic diet.  We’ve stopped the tranquilizers, they aren’t doing him any good anyway.  He’s having lots of love and holistic treatment – it may not work but we’ll give it a try.dogs - little billy 2

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Get well Little Billy ……..recovery prayers please …….

Laddie is doing well

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Laddie was nervous when he first came in – what a difference now!   He’s not put a paw wrong and is loving it here.  A calm routine and lots of exercise, fuss and good food is obviously suiting him.   He is a well behaved dog who is friends with everyone he meets now.   Laddie is a large handsome boy and rapidly becoming a laid back character who is enjoying life.   Good boy!

 

Horse and pony rescue and retirement

ponies - sundance 2Horses and ponies are under pressure.  We get calls every week telling us about problems and asking us to help.  We’ve taken two more ponies in recently, one small, the other medium sized.   The main difficulty people find is being able to afford to keep their pony.  Unless you have your own land you have to pay for livery which is rent for a stable and buying in of feed.   Sometimes we go out to see ponies who are in a terrible condition, it might be lack of knowledge and ignorance of correct horse care.  Horses and ponies need a lot of room to walk around and have natural exercise.  Keeping them in a tiny ‘play-pen’ paddock will only lead to long term problems.

If you have a pony you can’t look after or have an old-stager who needs a comforable retirement please get in touch, we’ll try to help if we can.  A donation is required, which helps with the care of our many horses.

Holly is scared of everything

dogs - holly 7

Holly is a sweet little terruer who was brought in this week  – she is a scared little youngster who cowers and cringes whenever anyone goes near her – mostly she is terrified of men.  We don’t know what has happened to her in the past but it hasn’t been good.  She is also very thin.   When she is on her own in her room she burrows down into her bed or runs and hides in a corner.   We’ve given her a den so she can feel safe but it will be a slow process to get her to feel confident and happy.

She is beginning to be a bit more confident with us and when we cuddle her she is starting to  relax, it’s just a question of gaining her trust.  She’s such a pretty little dog and when she realizes that she isn’t going to be hurt you can see her tail start to wag.  It is distressing to see a dog cower and cringe so much though.

Going out for a walk is fine unless she sees a sudden movement and then she hits the floor and puts her head and her tail down.   She has such a sad face.   She did a lot of shivering at first so we’ve put her a coat on and that is comforting for her.  Dogs like to be wrapped up warm when they are stressed.

If Holly doesn’t know what  something is she won’t go near it – even the feed dishes were a worry for her at first.  Now she’s eating well although it will take a while to get her weight up to normal.

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This is Holly when she first came in.

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They are making lots of fuss of me here ….. but I’m still not sure …..

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I’m cosy in my nice pink coat …..

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Lots of fuss – just what I need …..

Beautiful Tallulah

cats - tallulah beauty

Tallulah is a gorgeous Main Coone cat who came in to us at the beginning of the year.   She was just under a year old  and a skinny and very stressed young lady.  Maine Coone’s need special care and like their freedom most of all.  We thought she had been cooped up and no matter how carefully we cared for her, she was a bit feisty and it was elastoplasts at the ready!   Nothing would do for this Miss but to be able to roam in the great outdoors and it’s been the making of her  We have some safe ‘wild wood’ areas where cats can be cats , still come in to the barn at night and be safely away from cars and traffic.   This suits Talullah perfectly.   She now has her own room and likes to snuggle up secure in the knowledge that she can be off on the hunt whenever she likes.

Talullah has become friendly and affectionate and there are no longer any of the bad tempered swipes we saw when she first came to stay.  She is a lovely cat who likes to be picked up and cuddled – not for long though, there is always another field mouse to stalk through the undergrowth.   She’s a large cat now she’s mature and with a magnificent coat – a real beauty.

Finding the right lifestyle for each cat is the key to feline happiness.   Some of the cats we have here would cringe at the thought of wild wooding – for others, like Tallulah, it’s the only thing that makes life worth living.  Every cat is different.