A puppy with problems

Lovable Laddie – When a stray dog comes in to us there is always a period of time when we evaluate them, assess their personality and find out if they have any health problems.   Laddie, a whippet x shown above, looked fine except for being very thin and underdeveloped.   He certainly has a lovely temperament and is a real fussy, friendly boy.  He’s between four and five months old and when he first arrived he slept for five hours non-stop.    We were worried until he woke up and said ‘where’s my dinner?’

Laddie loves food and needs carefully balanced nutrition to help him develop.  His legs are a bit spindly for a puppy his age.  Feeding puppies is a skilled job, they need the right vitamins and minerals and play exercise rather than long walks, also plenty of rest time.   We feed a puppy diet until a year old, longer, up to 15 months with larger breeds.   The aim is for the dog to develop a sound conformation with strong bones, what is missed out in the first year of life is difficult to put back.

You can see the weakness still in his back legs although he has put a lot of weight on now.   Laddie has plenty of energy too and loves to play.   He is one of the most friendly and lovable pups we’ve ever had in.

Sadly, being skinny isn’t his only problem.    He is all white, apart from a few grey flecks, and we soon discovered that, like many white animals, he is deaf.    Whether he is completely deaf is hard to tell, the vet has checked him over and will do a further evaluation when he is older.   It’s doubtful that anything can be done.

Because he is so alert his deafness doesn’t seem to bother him.   He’s watching you all the time, looking for fuss, play, walks, titbits so he doesn’t miss a trick.    When he’s asleep it’s a different matter.   You have to wake him if you want his attention!   We let him sleep as much as he likes though as he was so exhausted when he first came and he is a growing boy.

Of course there are problems associated with having a dog who is deaf.   Communication has to be by sign or touch.    This works out fine.   Laddie hasn’t known anything other than deafness so he won’t be bothered by the lack of sound.   He’s likely to get into danger though without extra care.  No shouting him back if he wants to dash across the road.   Establishing a set routine of signals is essential.   It will be easier for him to pick up than for us.  Dogs communicate with each other in this way already.

But will there be a special person out there for this very special youngster?    Laddie is up for adoption and a sweeter and more handsome puppy will be hard to find.   His eyes are lovely, a pale grey colour with such a melting expression – ‘another chewie, pleeeze?’   Oh, go on then!

If you have the extra time needed for this dog with a disability, please get in touch and come and meet him.  Laddie will be a forever friend, you’ll find the special care he needs will be more than repaid with love.