Tag Archives: dogs

It’s a Dog Eat Dog World: International Rescue Dog’s in the UK

Every Life Matters.

This is a fact not an opinion and before a mob chase me down with pitch forks i completely appreciate that the amount of dogs abroad facing life on the streets or in a “shelter” (where the conditions are often more appalling than the streets themselves) is significantly larger than here in the UK. I cry at every YouTube or The Dodo video i come across that is showcasing an extreme case that breaks my heart as much as the dogs in our own rescue.

So why are all these dog lovers and rescuers kicking up a fuss about dogs being rescued from abroad and coming into the UK?

Well for starters in 2016 the average amount of dogs put to sleep every day in the UK was 18, hence #18DogsADayUK, now in 2017 that average is 19 per day. 19 dogs being needlessly euthanised on a daily basis because there are no available rescue spaces, adoptive families or responsible owners. UK rescues are scrambling for foster families and kennel space as it, so surely it is irresponsible for us as a country to begin committing ourselves to saving the lives of dogs from abroad when almost 20 dogs here in the UK already are still being killed everyday?

However, this can and usually does, lead to a lengthy, volatile and deeply political debate that takes tangents like a firework and leaves a group of once-friends-dog-rescuers in an angry-no-longer-speaking-dispute. So a reason we can all agree on: the spread of disease. In the last 2 years the UK has seen a significant increase in reported fatal canine diseases such as Parvovirus and the newly arrived CRGV aka. Alabama Rot. The dogs from abroad are rarely vaccinated, do not go through proper quarantining and many become sick during travel. They then immediately join their new foster or adopting family who unknowingly spread the disease like wildfire.

alabama rot map 2

An often overlooked factor is the lack of Home Checks for the adoptive families taking on these dogs. To adopt a dog from abroad with an extreme story of abuse or neglect has become somewhat of a strange fashion for social media posting and general attention seekers. The fees to adopt from abroad are often triple those of the UK rescues due to transport fees, however, there are many who ship the animals en mass and raise the funds online for transport making adoption fees much lower. This attracts an unsavoury type of adopter who may take dogs on for puppy farming, dog fighting and bait dogs. It also means any well meaning but utterly clueless family can adopt any dog without even meeting first and having no option but to take their new friend home from the airport with them.

Last but not least, these dogs often arrive into the country with behavioral issues that may not have been fully or even remotely disclosed to the unwitting but charitable family. 100’s of these dogs are now being seen being sold online or given away for free, or more often that not, end up in the UK pounds and rescues. They have no “rescue back up” (or RBU to those in the biz), so when the family can no longer cope with the dog; there is no team of staff to support with training or finding a new foster or adoptive home. The already swamped rescue system in the UK is involuntarily taking on an international animal rescue crisis.

dogs intnl.

Now of course there are good international rescues that usually have their team here in the UK, ready and on call to support fosters, home check adopters and ensure things run properly with correct isolation and vaccination procedures. These guys are doing an amazing job and with them i have no qualms.

Please remember to #AdoptDontShopt #StopPuppyFarming and #EndBSL

To support our work at Broken Souls Rescue saving poundies from deathrow please visit: www.broken-souls-rescue.org/donate.html 

The Lepto 4 Crisis: To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Canine vaccinations are an important and vital ingredient in your dog’s health schedule as well as their monthly flea and worming treatments. Once a dog has had it’s initial vaccinations from 10-12 weeks old, they are only necessary to boost every 12 to 36 months, or extras if you’re planning to travel to certain countries with your canine companion (Rabies, kennel cough etc).

Your puppy’s veterinary visit for their first vaccination will usually occur around 10 weeks of age and at this visit your puppy will be vaccinated against:
Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis (Adenovirus), Parainfluenza and Leptospirosis.
2 weeks later, you will return for a second round of vaccinations, these are like a booster against:
Distemper, Parvovirus, Hepatitis and Leptospirosis again.

vaccine schedule

So What Is The Issue?

Lepto 4 is causing adverse, parvo-like and fatal effects across the UK with dogs becoming extremely ill almost immediately post vaccination. Dog’s temperatures rise, they can have appetite loss, sudden behavioural changes, diarrhoea, vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, renal failure, heart failure, blindness, brain damage and death. The amount of reported cases are mounting, yet the vaccination is still on the market with many vets across the country refusing to even acknowledge, never mind discuss the issue with concerned and confused owners.

Leptospirosis is a cork screw shaped bacteria that drills through the skin into the system and slowly infects the urine and blood. It is a zoonotic bacteria, meaning it can be passed from canine to human through bodily fluids such as urine, blood and semen. It attacks the liver and kidney as well as other organs and depending on how quickly it is diagnosed and treatment is begun, it is a nasty infection causing life changing problems and is fatal in 20% of cases, mainly due to the subtle nature of its development. It can cause organ failure and blindness in more severe cases but more common symptoms are:
raised temperature or fever, stiff or sore muscles and reluctance to move, shivering, weakness, lethargy, loss of appetite, depression, increased thirst and rapid dehydration, excessive urination, dark speckled gums, yellow eye whites, increased breathing rate, runny nose, cough, vomit and diarrhoea possibly with blood.

So now we know how awful Leptospirosis is, where does it come from? Well mainly tropical climates with areas of water in humid temperatures, however let’s just say for the sake of the UK, large unclean bodies of water such as warm canals, marshes and bogs. It can also be transmitted in the urine of other animals such as rats and cattle. However, it is rare to actually be contracted in the UK, with the last official statistics of human contraction having been done in 2012 with only 25 cases reported to be contracted without occupational or international cause and only 72 cases in total with 80% of them being traceable back to another country of recent travel or having been in water or on a farm. It should be noted here that people are not vaccinated against Leptospirosis in the UK. There is no official report of cases of Leptospirosis in dogs in the UK, only a estimate from a veterinary game of Chinese whispers, however we can assume it is extremely small, especially if it has not been significant enough to bring about an official report.

However, there is an official report that over 2,000 cases have reported severe adverse affects from the Lepto 4 vaccine and over 150 deaths since 2013 when the new Lepto 4 was brought in.

What’s New & Why Now?

Previously up until 2013, the vaccination against Leptospirosis used was a pharmaceutical called Lepto 2 and protected against 2 strains or ‘serovar’ of Leptospirosis, where as it is claimed that the new Nobivac Lepto 4 vaccine protects against 4 serovars (types) of Leptospirosis.

The noteworthy pharmaceutical components in Lepto 4 compared to Lepto 2 are interesting as they both contain Thiomersal (mercury) which is known to have adverse effects on the brain in both canines and humans, having been found to cause autism and other neurological development issues. However, Lepto 4 also contains a multitude of new noted ingredients; Sodium Chloride (adding a high concentration of salt to our dog’s injections…hmm) causes a sudden increase in thirst, dehydration, vomitting, disorientation and even coma can be caused by this. Potassium Chloride, a key player in the human lethal injection to cause cardiac arrest, can also cause gastrointestinal issues,  and too much potassium in the blood causes hyperkalemia which is the weakness and pain in muscles and movement. Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate which can cause; renal failure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, high blood pressure and death. Now none of these have anything to do with actually vaccinating your dog against Leptospirosis and were either not present in Lepto 2 or were sneakily not displayed on the ingredients list…


What Are the Regulator’s, Manufacturer’s and Veterinary Surgeon’s Saying?

The manufacturer (Merck Animal Health) Nobivac have claimed to have done all the necessary testing on this vaccination and the veterinary pharmaceutical regulators in the UK “Veterinary Medicines Directorate”(VMD) have listed the ‘adverse side effects’, (under statement of the century), in alongside the side effects of the overall vaccinations. They claim there is no way to connect the apparent reported cases of reactions and fatalities to the use of the Lepto 4 vaccine despite the obvious direct relation to dogs who have had the vaccine recently administered.

Yet, the  European Medicines Agency (Eu MCA) managed to find and publish in their report in 2014 that Merck Animal Health should compare the adverse effects of their new L4 to the previous L2 and felt it had significance enough for a mention in the EU report.

Veterinary practices across the UK are rightly facing confused and worried owners, who the majority seem to be subduing with simple reassurances of scare mongering and scientific jargon.

What’s My Opinion?

With 100’s of dogs and puppies in the rescue to initially and booster vaccinate throughout each year, i also face the decision of to vaccinate or not to vaccinate? I have opted to speak with my vet firmly but politely to inform them that my own personal dog will be receiving his annual booster vaccination against; hepatitis, parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza and kennel cough, but that i do not consent for the Lepto 4 vaccine.

Lepto 4 is not a required or ‘core’ vaccine that dogs must receive in the UK (unlike the others, which i would never skip or advise against). The fact that there are over 300 serovars of Leptospirosis, and the majority of the few cases brought into the UK come from abroad meaning they could be any of the 300 strains, this coupled with a lack of Leptospirosis cases across the country; versus the extremely and significantly high amount of reported illnesses and fatalities directly following an L4 vaccine leaves me with no choice but decide that the negatives outweigh the positives.

In my opinion, the Lepto 4 vaccine should be taken off the market and owners should refuse consent to apply.

If the Merck Animal Health and the UK VMD are so sure that the Lepto 4 vaccine is safe and not the cause of the sudden outbreak of adverse reactions and deaths, then fresh primary screening tests should be done for Lepto 4 alone with particular attention paid to the follow up results in a wide variety of dogs from the isolated vaccine and have the results openly displayed. Currently with no official statistics on reported cases of Leptospirosis in dogs, a lack of information purely on Lepto 4 and an avoidance of the subject from all parties involved, dog owners can’t help but feel like our pets are being used as guinea pigs with devastating effects.

Simply put: refuse the Lepto 4 vaccine.

To support our rescue work with pound dogs across the UK please visit:
or like us at www.facebook.com/brokensoulsrescue 
Follow us on Twitter @souls_rescue. 

Donate via Paypal “Friends & Family” to: broken-soulsrescue@outlook.com

3 Amazing Reasons to Neuter Your Dog

Oh here she goes again, another boring lecture from another animal welfare advocate about getting your dogs reproductive bits removed. Well you can stop rolling your eyes at me because not a day passes that i don’t see a whole pack of dogs with their wedding tackle dangling or in heat when I’m out and about walking the rescue dogs, so clearly some of you haven’t heard yet….

Neuter & Spay: The Basics

Neutering is a general term for the surgical removal of reproductive organs from your pet, spay refers only to the female procedure. Every veterinary surgery across the world offers neutering options and the prices do vary from around £60-£150 (male dogs) £88 – £220 (female dogs). Cats and smaller animals are much cheaper as the surgery tends to take less time and require less anaesthetic drug. Animal charities such as Cats Protection and Dogs Trust (UK) and SPCA (USA) often offer free neuter and spay months or weeks and for those in financial difficulty the PDSA in the UK offers a low cost neuter. If you think these costs are outrageous, let’s see how you feel about the costs of problems that could be found later on in the animal’s life as discussed below…

The Surgery

The surgery for your pet doesn’t actually take that long and is a routine operation with minimum risks unless your pet has underlying medical issues which may be affected by anaesthetic. A sedative is given which takes around 5-8 minutes to kick in and then your pet will be shaved in the area of the operation to avoid any hair making the surgical site dirty. A male dogs surgery will take only 20-30 minutes usually as an external removal is much simpler than the female internal organs. The female surgery usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour depending on the size of the dog. Your pet will be observed in their vet kennel as they come round from the surgery and can be picked up just an hour or so post op! A follow up will be required a few days after to check the site for infection and again in 2 weeks to remove stitches. Your dog will probably be sent home with a few days worth of pain killers and either a vet cone or body grow vest.

Ok so why am i telling you to do this?

The Good Bits

  1. Prevents any accidental puppies being brought into the world from risky rendezvous in the dog park and adding to the over population problem. 

2. Prevents multiple types of cancers developing in your dog which are becoming more and more common such as; testicular, ovarian, uterus and cervical. These cancers if left untreated can spread through the hormones, blood and lymph system to grow and could develop into other types such as lung or even bone cancer which will be fatal. 

3. Prevents negative behaviours in both male and females such as: increased energy levels and hyperactivity, possessiveness, territorial, aggressive, resource guarding, humping/sexual behaviour, lack of attention, difficulty training. 

So what are you waiting for? The main culprits of the anti-neuter brigade, and i’m not being sexist i’m being honest, are the men who feel they are being cruel to “take away their man hood” or end their favourite hobby of licking their balls… Well guys if the Big-C wasn’t enough to scare you and you still want to argue that you are a responsible dog owner who will never allow an “accidental litter” to occur, let’s put it like this;

Imagine your dog is allowed to keep his “manhood”, and you are a responsible dog owner who never allows him to mate….Your dog is running around pumped full of hormones and no way of releasing them! You cannot allow  a dog to mate with a spayed female because the female will not feel the urge to mate and therefore you will be technically raping the female dog… There is no justification for allowing your dog to remain un-neutered. Get it done.

balls lick neuter

Many dogs who are found in the county pounds left as unclaimed strays appear to once have been well loved family dogs, and we often wonder why they haven’t been found, what happened? More often than not, after a full vetting, we find the dog is riddled with cancer and instead of the previous owner taking the difficult but responsible road of euthanising or treating the dog, it has been dumped.

18 dogs are euthanised in the pounds alone every day across the UK. Let’s end this now. To support our efforts pulling dogs from deathrow go to http://www.broken-souls-rescue.org

#AdoptdontShop #18DogsADayUK

CRGV (Alabama Rot) – The New Incureable and Unpreventable Deadly Canine Disease

“Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy” is otherwise known as CRGV or ‘Alabama Rot’, and is in the simplest terms a disease causing small blood clots to form in the blood vessels of the skin and kidney in dogs. These clots form blockages and damage to both the skin and kidney resulting in ulcerations, lesions and renal failure.

Symptoms are initially thought to be ulcers and lesions on the skin, in particular, the paws, legs, under carriage and mouth and tongue. Now obviously dogs cut their paws and legs running around the park or garden quite often, so let’s not all rush to the vet with every minor skin issue. Other symptoms from more progressed cases are lethargy and tiredness in your dog, a loss of appetite, vomiting in general, diarrhoea and both of the latter may contain blood. However, i feel it is extremely important to note that the skin ulcerations and lesions are not always present! Your dog may just suddenly seem not themselves and begin presenting with bloody fluid from both ends…It is an almost dreaded ‘Parvo’ like disease shutting down the kidney function causing havoc across the entire system of organs. A dog can go downhill in a matter of 12 hours and in 9 out of 10 cases: it is fatal.

alabama rot leison.jpg

So how do you prevent your dog from getting CRGV? Well to be honest; the vets don’t know. There is no vaccine against CRGV currently as the exact cause and specific bacteria causing this outbreak is unknown. The only tips available is to wash your dog down thoroughly after every walk paying attention to the paws and legs and in particular, to dry these areas thoroughly. Other than that, the areas of known cases in the UK is currently at 56 and i suspect many more cases left uncounted.

If your dog appears to be showing signs of or to have contracted CRGV what should you do? Get to your vet. The most important thing is topical treatment of the lesions, IV fluids, nutrients, electrolytes and vitamins as well as glucose. A dog who is not eating and is vomiting and excreting blood needs to be seen immediately to give the dog a chance of fighting off the disease. However, it really needs to be noted here that even once in the care of a vet, they will be dumbfounded as their is no cure or treatment for this disease. Application of antibiotics will negatively influence the already failing renal system and may push the kidney beyond its toxin limit.

There are cases of dogs becoming ill with bloody excretions and vomit across the country with outraged owners suspecting the vaccination “Lepto 4” as the cause. We ourselves as a rescue lost a mama dog and 5 of her 7 puppies and another 4 month old pup to an unknown “infection or disease” that caused loss of appetite and severe sudden weight loss in a matter of 12 hours followed by extreme bloody vomit and blood coming out of the back end like a tap had been turned on…. The antibiotics seemed to make the situation worse and we lost all of them. There was no raised temperature present in any of these cases which would be a usual indicator of infection and illness.

CRGV, Alabama Rot, what ever you wish to call it, is fast becoming a deadly disease with absolutely no information or medical aid to battle it. Anderson Moores Veterinary group are currently the leading UK researchers on it and need urgent funding.

Forget Parvo; CRGV is here UK. RIP Miami who we lost to “Unknown” January 2017.