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The heat is on..

There are warning everywhere…next week is going to be VERY hot. So how are you going to keep your pet safe in the heat?

As well as the ambient temperature the humidity levels are also important.  I will be up early walking my dogs but even then, I will be limiting their exercise as they are oldies and a bit chunky too! Remember that animals pant to evaporate moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, they are unable to cool themselves, and their temperature will skyrocket to dangerous levels—very quickly!

So as well as limiting exercise, remember to take water with you, even on short walks. Make sure that your walk is shady and don’t forget how warm pavements and tar can get. Let your dog walk on the grass, it will be much cooler.

Keep them cool form the inside out…pop some doggy lollies/ ice cream in the freezer now or try the licki mats which my dogs love.

So what products can help keep your dog cool? There are cooling body wraps, vests or mats. You soak these products in cool water, and they’ll stay cool (but usually dry) for sometime. If your dog doesn’t find baths stressful, see if they enjoy a cooling soak or even a hose down in the garden.

How do you know if your dog is too hot? Take their temperature! Dogs’ temperatures should not be allowed to get over 104 degrees. If it does move your dog to the shade and watch out for signs of heat stroke.

Some signs of heatstroke are heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness. If your dog is showing any of these…..Apply cold towels to their head, neck and chest or run cool (not cold) water over them. Let them drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes and get then to a vet asap!




Adoption of Caramel….

It was hot at the refuge but nevertheless, we had a lovely adoption. Today puppy Caramel left for a smashing life with a couple of early retirees who will be around all day to socialise, train and exercise her. This is exactly what a puppy wants and I feel much comfier with such a family than a family with young children and a hectic household. Caramel has not spent much time at the refuge at all so is a very lucky pup!

Caramel adopted!

Next week is going to be scorching. Tomorrow we will look at ways to keep your dog safe and well in the heat but for tonight I am off to see to lovely Arizona who is with me in foster for a few weeks tlc..



Hurah for Humphrey!!!!

I have to say that I was pleasantly shocked when I got tonight’s update from the ScPA . Humphrey was adopted!!!!  This poor chap has been with us off and on since about 2014…..now I bet everyone is thinking , what on earth was the matter with that dog and the truth was…not a lot!

When he arrived he was typical of many young under socialised Malinois boys, a bit of a handful and needing an active training minded home and for that he had to wait. He waited nearly 2 years and then came back several months later!

This time he has been with us since October 2107 but although he has had a long wait, he has come on leaps and bounds and has even been sharing his kennel with lovely Poma!

My memories of Humphrey will be the emm ‘fun’ we had getting his lead on. You had to have his kong at the ready, jump into the kennel, stick the kong very quickly into his mouth……and then he was the perfect walking companion! Where ever  Humphrey went his kong went…..I do hope he has left with it!

Humphrey will make a loyal friend for his new owner. Having spent much of his adult life at the refuge he will need time and patience…..please be a good boy Humphrey, we don’t want you to come back!

Be happy Humphrey!!!

We also have an update of how Lilas is doing. She was adopted a week ago today and here is what Lou her mum has said ‘ So this time last week I came to pick up the very nervous Lilas. Having fallen for those amazing flappy ears whilst walking the dogs as a volunteer.
I have no idea where her fear of men comes from but Lilas will take treats from Steve my husband…….. on her own terms. She doesn’t go near him in our kitchen or basement but the rest of the house she will. She is a funny one. Captain our timid whippet is accepting of Lilas and given time I am positive they will play together. To be fair, Captain has been under the weather because on day 2 of Lilas arrival Captain was attacked by another dog on our walk. Which required a trip to the vets. He seems to be more himself today.
All in all we are very happy and Lilas tail is wagging more and more each day 😊😊😊

Lilas learning to relax at last!

So a great adoption and a nice catch up….what will tomorrow bring?


Adoption of Gordon, Fiona and Mexico!

Today was a great afternoon at the refuge. It was warm with a nice breeze and I was just coming back from walking Ernie when I noticed a lovely couple who came to have a look around on Monday.

Its always positive when people come back for a second time.  They were interested in Nimo who behaved very well with them on a walk but Nimo is a bit of an escape artist and he is easily bored so we thought that he would benefit from having another dog in the household.

We suggested that they try walking Gordon our Gordon Setter and they loved him. They popped to Jardiland to buy supplies whilst we sorted our his vet certificate and gave him a brush!

He jumped in their car happy as anything and we will soon have news of how he is doing!

Gordon adopted!

Many thanks to both the UK adopter and an association in Belgium who offered Gordon a home. As he arrived as a stray he couldnt travel for 3 months as is the law when travelling via TRACES.

Next to leave was Fiona who had hardly spent any time at all with us. I dont even have a decent photo of her!

Fiona adopted!

Last to leave was messy Mexico. He arrived as a scruffy stray but instantly became a real favourite with staff and volunteers. We loved the scruffy look but he was a bit smelly and very matted so we appealed for a groomer to give him the once over. We could hardly believe our eyes when he came back!  Today was his lucky day and off he went to his new home!

Mexico adopted!

So a lovely afternoon with three adoptions and tomorrow I think another one of my favourites is leaving!




Tick Fever

Today we heard of another dog who was very poorly with ‘tick fever’. The main tick borne diseases of south west France are known by several names – Babesiosis, Piroplasmosis or  tick fever.

Lots of  people coming to France are not aware that many of the French ticks carry parasites which cause potentially fatal canine diseases called piroplasmosis or  babesiosis!  These ticks are more active in warmer, wetter weather, so spring and autumn tend to be the danger periods.

So, what are the symptoms of tick fever?

Different dogs react to the infection in different ways, and symptoms will differ according to the individual dog and the stage of the disease, but the most common signs are:

  • lethargy and loss of appetite
  • fever, shivering and elevated temperature
  • dark urine
  • anaemia (to test for this, press a finger against your dog’s gum. When you release the pressure, the blood should return immediately. If the spot stays pale for a few seconds, it can indicate a problem).

Dogs bitten by an infected tick typically start to show symptoms within 24 – 48 hours, and the disease can be rapidly fatal. The dog’s kidneys try to filter out the infected blood cells, and are themselves damaged in the process. It’s important to catch the disease as quickly as possible to limit the possibility of kidney damage, so play it safe and take your dog to the vet.

How can you prevent them?

  • If your dog is long-haired, keep him trimmed and well-groomed. The best prevention is to find and remove the ticks before they can bite. All French vets and pharmacies sell a tick removal tool.
  • Wait several days after bathing your dog before applying the anti-tick treatment, and don’t bath him for a couple of days after application.
  • Make sure the treatment is applied directly to the skin, not the hair.
  • Keep a close eye on your pet.

In addition to applying the anti-tick treatment, we also advise a Scalibor collar. This is impregnated with an active ingredient that gives six months of protection, and can be used with the Advantix without fear of overdosing to give maximum protection.

If  you catch the infection very early, there should be no long-term consequences.  In 80 or 90 percent of cases, dogs develop a degree of natural immunity after being bitten. This means that most dogs have the disease once, then never again.

So prevention with Advantix, a Scalbor  collar and quick action should you notice the symptoms, keeps your dog safe and sound.


Adoption of Dionysos!

Today at the refuge it was scorching. I am not usually there in a Monday  but popped in for an hour or so. I did manage to miss the one adoption of the day and that was our Greek God, Dionysos!

This is not his fist adoption but i hope its his last! He is a really super dog, friendly. good with dogs, cats and children. So why was he returned?

Well just because you have a garden it doesn’t mean that your dog doesn’t need walks and lots of activities and a bored dog will try and escape. He never actually escaped but the family were upset that he tried!

This family have been pre warned, told about the breed and we hope that this is the last time we see this lovely lad at the ScPA!

This week is going to be hot. That means early morning walks for your dogs and resting inside in the cool during the worst heat of the day. If your dog is older, unwell , a bit over weight…don’t risk walking over 30 degrees. It just isn’t worth it. Far better  to miss a walk than risk heat stroke!



What breed is that?

A very common question! Its the vets that give us there best guess but sometimes we are very wrong!

So here  is little Sugar ( ex Venus) who we said was a podenco cross…..oophs!

Sugar..ex Venus…podenco cross????

Here are the Wisdom panel DAN results!!!


Why dogs end up at the ScPA and Snatch is adopted!

This is a question that we are often asked and most of the time the dog is not to blame. Arrivals generally fall into 4 categories.

Abandoned – When a family can’t or won’t keep their dog, it is brought in for rehoming.

Strays – The Police Municipal or the public often bring in stray dogs.

Owner is ill and goes into hospital – this is happening more and more and the dogs are often elderly too.

Cruelty -Sometimes our cruelty officers remove dogs from unsuitable conditions and bring them in.

When a dog is abandoned, we have the opportunity to ask the owners about its likes, dislikes, if its housetrained and who it has lived with. This is very useful information and allows us to select a suitable family for the dog. When a dog arrives due to hospitalisation of the owner, we sometimes have the opportunity to ask about the dog but not always.

With stray dogs we often have no information and so its very important that we gather as much as possible as we get to know the dog in kennels. After its initial pound time the dog is tested with other dogs, cats and its behaviour on walks is observed.

Dogs brought in by the cruelty officer have not had a good start on life. These dogs need time, patience and love to recover from the past.

So, as you can see when dogs arrive, they have often been let down by their owners and really do deserve a second chance of happiness. Dog move on incredibly fast and they usually settle really well in their new homes.

What if you experience problems after adoption? – Don’t worry, we can provide advice and support from our behaviorist or trainers so you are never alone!

Our one adoption today was Snatch, a handsome 18-month-old berger x. He arrived as a stray at the beginning of June. This meant that he had 10 days pound time before he could be adopted. This didn’t mean that he couldn’t be reserved and lucky Snatch left today just as his pound time was over.

Snatch adopted!






Adoption of Lilas and Suzy

Today we were all delighted to see four-year-old Lilas leave with our volunteer Lou and her lovely whippet Captain.

Lilas first came to the ScPA at the end of last year. She had an abscess on her side which was removed by the vet when she was being sterilised and she left for her new home all wrapped up in bandages.

Unfortunately, the abscess reappeared and a MRI scan revealed this was caused by a grass seed that had migrated near to her spinal cord.  A big operation by our vet failed to remove the seed so Lilas came back to the ScPA for nursing and further treatment.

The further treatment had to be at the vet hospital in Toulouse so Darcey and I were on drop off and pick up duties. The initial scan in Toulouse was inconclusive as there was so much swelling so tlc and antibiotics were prescribed for Lilas.

The abscess opened which scared us but delighted the vets and it then healed up very quickly, so we are sure that the body expelled the nasty seed itself!

Lilas was a timid girl and to help with her socialisation she lived in the ScPA office. She was very happy and had a string of needy doggies sharing her space.

A few weeks ago, Lou, one of our volunteers noticed her and was looking for a buddy for her whippet Captain.  Lou got to know Lilas, introduced Captain and of course her hubby and today Lilas left for her new home!

This couldn’t have been a better ending for Lilas and as Lou is a volunteer we will have lots of updates!


Lilas and Captain…

Next to leave was a lucky little girl called Suzy. She had only turned one and being small and cute spent very little time at the refuge at all.

Oh that all the dogs could be so lucky!

Suzy adopted!