Sunday, 14 December 2008

Tips for Polish Lowland Sheepdog (PON) owners

Polish Lowland Sheepdogs love to eat. They have learnt every trick in the book to enable them to pursue this goal .Despite being graced with the aerodynamic properties of small furry locomotives they can employ surprising stealth, they can do their best to display heart melting charm together with associated tricks if a treat is at hand, and they can move on unattended food at the speed of light. Sadly, not all food agrees with them - they are particularly intolerant as a breed to excessive protein so care has to be taken to ensure that their scavenging is strictly controlled.
At home in Poland they would survive on a diet of potatoes, pulses, and green vegetables and the occasional portion of cottage cheese. Today most pet stores will sell low protein diets, but even these can be fattening and lead to the development of colitis or allergies in the breed. Since moving to Italy and finding a marvellous vet we've taken to cooking an extra portion of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or whatever green vegetable we are having for lunch / dinner and adding it to the boyz kibbles. This has the advantage of bulking out their meals, reducing yet further their protein intake and maintaining their digestive system in a healthy state.
The move from the cold and damp of Scotland to the warmth of Italy with all the stress and temperature and dietary changes involved has highlighted a fresh problem - ear scratching. Wilf started to scratch his ears manically this summer. It was heart wrenching to watch him claw away at them until they turned raw and red. We tried ear cleaners, injections, and diet changes all to no avail. We saw the vet so often that she used to joke that if she had more regular problem pooches like ours she could retire early. Then we came across an American product called Zymox Otic on the web. Ordering it on-line from the manufacturers was easy , but Italian customs managed to delay its delivery for two months while they processed the paperwork.With a two week course the allergy has been controlled and the scratching has stopped. Non-dog owners will not understand the agony of seeing an animal in pain but allergies among dogs can be heartbreaking. This Zymox product is simply excellent. Will someone in the US please suggest to the management of the company that they appoint agents in Europe and elsewhere?

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