Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How Old is Old for A Dog

They say "you can't teach an old dog new tricks", but when do we need to start thinking of a dog as "old"?

We all know that older dogs need special attention, but what consitutes "an old dog" can very. A great deal depends on the breed and overall health of your dog, and there is no one size fits all answer to the question "is my dog old?".

Dogs have been recorded as living in to there late teens and even early twenties, and there are unofficial reports of dogs living as old as 29 (human) years.

Life expectancy by dog breed


Accidents aside, life expectancy of dogs usually varies within a range. For example, a Beagle (average life expectancy 13.3 years) usually lives to around 12 - 15 years, and a Scottish Terrier (average life expectancy 12 years) usually lives to around 10 - 16 years.

A random-bred dog (also known as a mongrel) has an average life expectancy of 13.2 years in the USA .


Various statistics and dog life expectancy tables are available, but you might find the following table of average dog life expectancy by breed helpful (table compiled from various sources and indicative only).

Afghan Hound  Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12

Airedale Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.2

American Staffordshire Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.3

Basset Hound Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.8

Beagle Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.3

Bearded Collie Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.3

Bedlington Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.3

Bernese Mountain Dog Average Life Expectancy in Years - 7

Border Collie Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13

Border Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.8

Boxer Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10.4

Bull Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.9

Bulldog Average Life Expectancy in Years - 6.7

Bullmastiff Average Life Expectancy in Years - 8.6

Cairn Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.2

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10.7

Chihuahua Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13

Chow Chow Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.5

Cocker Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.5

Dachshund Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.2

Dalmatian Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13

Doberman Pinscher Average Life Expectancy in Years - 9.8

English Cocker Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.8

English Setter Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.2

English Springer Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13

English Toy Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10.1

Flat-Coated Retriever Average Life Expectancy in Years - 9.5

German Shepherd Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10.3

German Shorthaired Pointer Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.3

Golden Retrievers Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12

Gordon Setter Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.3

Great Dane Average Life Expectancy in Years - 8.4

Greyhound Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.2

Irish Red and White Setter Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.9

Irish Setter Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.8

Irish Wolfhound Average Life Expectancy in Years - 6.2

Jack Russell Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.6

Labrador Retriever Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.6

Lurcher Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.6

Miniature Dachshund Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.4

Miniature Poodle Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.8

Random-bred/Mongrel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.2

Norfolk Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10

Old English Sheepdog Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.8

Pekingese Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.3

Pomeranian Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.5

Rhodesian Ridgeback Average Life Expectancy in Years - 9.1

Rottweiler Average Life Expectancy in Years - 9.8

Rough Collie Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.2

Samoyed Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11

Scottish Deerhound Average Life Expectancy in Years - 9.5

Scottish Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12

Shetland Sheepdog Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.3

Shiba Inu Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14

Shih Tzu Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.4

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13.2

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14

Standard Poodle Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12

Tibetan Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.3

Toy Poodle Average Life Expectancy in Years - 14.4

Vizsla Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.5

Weimaraner Average Life Expectancy in Years - 10

Welsh Corgi Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.3

Welsh Springer Spaniel Average Life Expectancy in Years - 11.5

West Highland White Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.8

Wire Fox Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 13

Yorkshire Terrier Average Life Expectancy in Years - 12.8

Monday, June 13, 2011

Common Ear Problems in Dogs and Cats

Avoid dog ear problems by keeping them clean
The most common ear problem signs in cats and dogs are:
  • Head shaking and ear scratching.
  • Ears sensitive to touch. 
  • Discharges and powerful odours.
  • Blood blisters on the ear flap.
  • Swelling and skin redness.
  • A head tilt.

 If you observe any of these signs you should consult your veterinarian so they can diagnose the cause of the problem and provide an appropriate treatment program for you. One of the ways to avoid these ear problems in pets is to keep your pets' ears clean.

You will generally need to clean dogs ears with a special dog ear cleaner. This is particularly important in floppy ear breeds such as Golden Retrievers & Spaniels.


If your dog swims regularly, you should take care clean their ears immediately after swimming using an appropriate ear cleaner to remove excess moisture and ensure the ear is clean.


It is generally not necessary to clean a healthy cats ears.


However if you notice excess wax, debris or smell an odour coming from your cat’s ear you should consider cleaning their ears with a ear cleaner for cats.

Always read the directions before using any ear cleaner and if in doubt consult your veterinarian.

Ear problems are less common in cats than dogs, although they can occur, particularly in: 
  • Kittens with mite infections.
  • Cats with yeast infections in moist humid environments.
consult your veterinarian for further information.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Top 5 Cat Myths Exploded

There are literally hundreds of million cat lovers world wide (there are more than 60 million cat households in the USA alone!) but it appears that there are still many cat myths and feline misconceptions out there as well. Our vets explore the 5 most common cat myths and answer your questions.

"Can Cats See In The Dark?"

A cat has vertical pupils that expand to let him see in near darkness and about thirty whiskers which help him find his way around at night, even in strange surroundings, but no, he can't actually see in the dark.

"Will a Cat Always land on its Feet?"

Cats are one of the most agile, surefooted, graceful animals in the world, but its not safe to say they "always" land on their feet. Some cats end up with broken bones even from short falls, especially when they are kittens.

"Does the term "Fraidy Cat" mean all cats are cowards?"
Most certainly not. There are many stories of cats scaring away poisonous reptiles, scorpions, and other unpleasant wild animals. Most cats will take on danger to protect itself or its family.

"Cats aren't as clever as dogs, right?"
Wrong!  Research has shown that cats can open doors, lift latches, leap many times their own length over walls. It appears that most cats simply don't have the temprement to be trained to do tricks like dogs and other pets often are.

"But Cat's are not affectionate!?"
That's another mistruth. A person who thinks a cat is an unloving animal has probably never held one on his lap. However, a cat’s affection does appear more subtle and each cat varies in the amount of affection he wishes to put forth, and in the ways he wishes to show it.