3.10.21

World Animal Day 2021

It's World Animal Day! Grab your fur friends and give them a kiss to show your appreciation for them. Held annually, World Animal Day is an international day celebrated for our animal friends. On this day, we acknowledge both the diverse roles and enrichment that animals play in our lives. It is also where we call to action the welfare and rights of animals. 

We couldn't agree more with this celebration of animal-human relationships here at HOPE Dog Rescue. True to the spirit of enhancing animal welfare, we love helping (and have a particular soft spot for) senior and special needs dogs. We are firm believers of giving rescues a second chance at life and are always there to love and care for our rescues, allowing them to be loved and cherished. Our rescue dogs never fail to inspire us with their resilience and determination despite living a life on the streets, to live their lives to the fullest. 

We are always on the lookout, 24/7 for our rescues. It is our greatest wish for them to find and settle in loving homes to live out their lives with a family to call their own. Here's a spotlight of our amazing rescues still waiting to be adopted!

Matilda

Mathilda is still waiting for a home after 6 years 


Our brindle coat beauty is a playful one. Rescued from a vacated factory, she has come a long way to where she is today. However, due to her past trauma, she is rather skittish and gets easily spooked outside. Nevertheless, her gentle nature never fails to put a smile on your face.

Read about Matilda here


Adora

In a boarding facility, Adora is still waiting for her forever home

From being abused, abandoned, and neglected, Adora has seen the negative. Coming to us emaciated, Adora has since healed and become her true self. However, her anxiety and distrust still take centre stage due to her previous experiences. With enough love and care, she will soon find her way to how every dog should be: happy, and loving life.  

Read about Adora here.  


Harper

Harper has taught us so much about positivity, living in the moment and dogs with special needs

Our poster girl. What more can be said about her? Born with a severe handicap, she now takes life's little blessings and has become so much happier. Sweet natured, affectionate, and loving, what's there not to love! Our precious Harper puts a smile on anyone who meets her. 

Read about Harper here


Sharpei

Sharpei is still waiting for his forever home 

This gentle natured boy melts even the coldest of hearts. A previous victim of bullying by other strays, he tends to defend himself as a first instinct whenever he meets other dogs (he needs to be slowly introduced). He is however, great with humans! A very friendly companion to humans, he now waits in his boarding facility for a new home.

Read about Sharpei here


Chloe

Chloe the small grandma is waiting for her forever home

Affectionately called 'ajumma' here at HOPE, she remains jovial despite being blind and deaf. Living in the moment, she loves playing with other dogs and spends most of the day catching her well-deserved beauty sleep. 

Read about Chloe here


Zeus

Zeus, the miracle dog, is waiting for his forever home

Usually seen with his trusty wagon, this gentleman underwent a spinal surgery to treat multiple slipped disks. His sweet nature would charm anyone who meets him. The dearest dog anyone could lay their eyes on. He could even be a motivational speaker if he wanted to! 

Read about Zeus here.


Chelsea

Chelsea is waiting for her forever home

Starry eyed Chelsea is a true sweetheart. Despite making very regular trips to the vet for various concerns, she takes them like a champ! Getting all the love and care she needs is our utmost priority, and it is surely appreciated by her as she returns our affections.

Read about Chelsea here


Mantou 



Our resident trooper. Also, a frequent face at the vet, he doesn't let that affect his quality of life. He lives every day to the fullest surrounded by love. The epitome of putting his best paw forward, Mantou will definitely find his way into your heart. 

Our exemplary eight, our pride and joy, our family, are in our hearts this World Animal Day. We call for everyone to demonstrate what you can do to stand up for animals.

Read about Mantou here

"The love for all living creatures is the most noble attribute of man."

-Charles Darwin


Written by: Gabrielle

15.9.21

Darling Milo

HOPE not only cares for our street dogs, but we also provide assistance to low income seniors with their pets. Milo came to us through one such case. On 16 July, the uncle who was looking after Milo for a friend texted us that Milo was bleeding profusely from the mouth. With that text came horrifying pictures that looked like it came from a crime scene! We immediately arranged for Milo to be brought to the vet. 

We received this photo from an old uncle, asking for help

At 12 years of age, Milo had a whole host of issues that were partly due to age, and partly due to negligence. His bleeding was due to teeth that were so rotten they had become infected. His teeth even had fur and food stuck in them and when the vet tried removing some of the fur, a tooth came out with it. He had pancreatitis that seemed to come and go. His testicles were enlarged and lumpy and he had a wart in his eye. He was also overweight and could not walk or stand on his own. At that time though, we thought that his most pressing issue was the state of his dental health and booked him for dental surgery to have his rotten teeth extracted.

Blood clots that came out of Milo's mouth



Even that vets had never seen such atrocious teeth


Alas, we quickly found out that he had other serious issues that needed attention. We realized that Milo was dripping pee and could not pee on his own. We also could not express his bladder so he had to be fitted with an urinary catheter. X-rays showed that he had several slipped discs and a compressed spine, which most likely were causing the paralysis in his hind legs as well as his inability to pee. Spinal surgery was the only option that may help him regain bladder function. So despite the risks of surgery due to his age as well as the prolonged condition of his spinal issue, we scheduled him for the spinal surgery that may be his only hope. 


Milo fresh out of dental surgery

Milo required an MRI prior to the surgery to assess the severity of his spinal issue. The wait for an MRI is 10 days long as there are not many vet clinics with an MRI machine. Thanks to the resourcefulness of our vet, we got a call in the middle of the night to say that a slot had opened up at one of the clinics the very next morning. So it was a mad rush overnight as our volunteers sacrificed sleep to coordinate transport, volunteers and payment to ensure Milo gets his MRI the next day.

Milo was at the MRI clinic the whole day and was only returned to his regular vet at 9.30pm that night. He was still groggy from the GA then and did not appear well. Our hearts sank when the vet informed us the next morning that Milo was not doing well. He refused food and his breathing rate had increased and he seemed to be in pain. He was given more pain meds and gradually started to improve.

Milo back from his MRI scan

The MRI results came back after 48hrs and showed that he had severe compression of his spine and slipped discs in L2 to L4. Our main priority was to regain function in his bladder, or at least soften it so that it can be expressed. Our vets worked tirelessly to explore the various treatments to help Milo. The senior vet said that there was a sliver of hope that the spinal surgery would work Milo still had some feeling in the area which meant the nerves were still working. Even though, by this time, we had received many messages suggesting we put Milo down, given this sliver of hope, we were determined to do all we can to try and save his life. We also do not believe in prolonging his suffering, but if there even was a chance that he might recover from this and live out the rest of his days pain-free, we were going to take it. We owed him that much to try. 


Teeth before and after dental 

So we booked him for both dental and spinal surgery, both of which had to be postponed twice due to his fluctuating conditions. He started deteriorating over the next few days and we made the decision to go ahead with the dental surgery as it was likely the bacterial infection in his mouth that was causing his condition to deteriorate. Again, the senior vet saved the day by agreeing to do the surgery the very next day even though it was his day off. Not only did the senior vet work on his day off, he also managed to save all but 5 of Milo's teeth. Post dental surgery, Milo started to improve and could eat, drink and sleep on his own. He had a hole in his gum which needed to be flushed with water after every meal to make sure no food gets stuck, but all in all, he seemed to be on the mend.



Unfortunately, that did not last very long. His health readings started to deteriorate soon after again and his testicles became inflamed. The vet suggested we proceed with the spinal surgery quickly even though his health readings were not ideal. By this time, Milo had been warded in the vet for a month.


Extremely hard & swollen testicles 

Aug 17 was a day we are not soon to forget as this was the day of Milo's spinal surgery. Our volunteers took time off their busy lives to transport Milo from his regular vet to the hospital where the spinal surgery would take place. The surgery took 4 hours in total, in which his eye wart and swollen testicles were also removed. Our volunteers spent all 4 hours around the vet vicinity, waiting with bated breath. We were all so relieved when Milo woke up after surgery from general anesthesia.

The 2 days after his surgery were rough. His blood pressure increased and he was in pain. His hind leg was swollen from the IV solution and poor circulation. However, that is now in the past and while Milo still has ways to go given the many issues he has from years of neglect, he is slowly but surely recovering. 

The scar from his spinal surgery

We often say we can't take any more dogs in. Zeus left us with a hefty bill due to his spinal surgery. But Milo dinosaur came into our life and we just could not say no to this old sweetheart. He may never be able to prance around like a puppy again, he is a senior dog after all, but we look forward to the day we can take Milo out to the park in Harper's wagon.


A happy Milo <3 

We would like to take this time to thank the vets and vet staff who did not give up on Milo, even when so many others were telling us to just put him down without trying. We would also like to thank our volunteers for their time and dedication in caring for Milo. And we would also like to thank our supporters, who have supported and contributed to our efforts so that we may continue to help Milo and dogs like him.



Update : Milo passed away peacefully in his sleep on 12 September 2021.


Volunteer Chris from Team Milo, spending the final moments with Milo, on the way to cremation



Farewell Milo, you fought a brave fight



Sweet child <3 



Written by: Samantha

13.8.21

Urinary Tract Infection: What It Is And How to Prevent It

 Dog owners know all too well the struggles of seeing their dog in pain. And that is why it is so important to look out for signs of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) in our dogs.

UTI refers to the infection of the urinary tract and is a common occurrence in dogs -- about 14% of dogs will experience a UTI in their lifetimes. Thankfully, UTIs are relatively easy for dog owners to spot. This means that the quicker it is recognised, the quicker it can be treated and the quicker our dogs can return to their former state of comfort.

How do I tell if my dog has a UTI?

Some of the symptoms of UTI in dogs include straining during urination, inability to control the bladder, excessive licking of genitals, dripping urine and fever. One of the more tell-tale signs to look out for, however, is bloody urine. In this case, your dog has likely contracted a UTI. The dog's urine would also have a fishy odour.

What causes UTIs?

Generally, UTIs are caused by bacterial infections, such as E.coli. Did you know? Female dogs are more likely to get a UTI as their urethras are shorter, making it easier for bacteria to access the bladder.

But that doesn't mean that male dogs are immune; Other less common causes of UTI include kidney disease, prostate disease, cancer, diabetes and bladder inflammation.

How is a UTI treated?

If you suspect that your pup has a case of UTI, do take a trip to the veterinarian. The veterinarian will usually conduct a urinalysis to determine the exact cause of the UTI. Following this, a set of antibiotics will be prescribed. In more severe but less common cases, the veterinarian might even suggest surgery to remove any bladder stones or tumours.

But as the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure! To prevent your furry friends from contracting a UTI, do ensure that your dog has a constant supply of fresh, clean water. In addition, make sure that your dog is let out frequently enough to do its business! An extra precaution to take is also to use antibacterial wipes (sold at pet stores) to ensure that your dog's genital area is clean and safe from harmful bacteria.

While "bloody urine" and "bacteria infections" might sound alarming, fear not: UTIs are usually not serious and can be treated with proper care and advice from your veterinarian. In rare cases, however, UTIs may lead to damage to the kidney. It is thus always a wise choice to consult your veterinarian to ensure your dog's health in the long run.

Written by: Erin

IQ Toys and Mental Stimulation

 “Argh! It’s raining again!” 

Do you often find yourself in such situation where your plans for a walk with your dog are dashed by the sudden downpour? 

That’s probably ok if your dog has a chill and laidback character and doesn’t mind missing the walk occasionally. For some, the walk could be their daily highlight which they look forward to eagerly as it exposes them to a world of myriad scents which stimulates their senses. In the absence of such physical stimulation, boredom could set in, which could lead to some behavioural issues such as barking, chewing on shoes etc. 

So as a concerned paw parent, what can you do? 

Well, that’s when mental stimulation comes in handy. But first, what’s mental stimulation? 

Mental stimulation can be likened to enrichment activities for our dogs, giving them something meaningful to do, thereby alleviating boredom. The best part of it is, it can be done indoors, at home, so you will never be restricted by the rain again! 😊

To get you started on some mental stimulation activities for your dog, we’ve done the groundwork and put together a list of simple activities. Just remember, start slow and simple to build up your dog’s confidence and take it further from thereon.


Mental stimulation activities:

Have your dog work for his / her food

We all know how food motivated most dogs can be. Instead of just serving their food in their bowls, why not turn it into a game for them by either hiding their food in corners around the kitchen / house and have them sniff it out or using food dispensing toys.


Get an IQ toy

Hide treats in IQ toys such as snuffle mats and have your dog go sniff them out. Keeping them focused on the task on hand helps to stimulate them mentally, and provides that boost of confidence as well when they successfully sniff out that treat. 


Create games at home 

Alternatively you can also create simple games using simple stuff commonly found at home. Here are 2 options. 

Guess the right container game 

Essentially, you invert 3 identical containers / cups and hide (yes you guessed it right, treats) under one of them. Swap them around and have your dog sniff to guess the right container where the treat is in. Of course the prize will be he gets to eat the treat 😃


Tennis ball and muffin tin game

Place small treats (again!) in a muffin tin and cover them with tennis balls. It will be up to your dog to figure out how to remove the balls and get his / her way to the treats.  

 

Create indoor agility course

Place cushions, small stools or towels in a planned course in the house. Entice your dog to overcome then to reach the other side where the grand prize of (food!) awaits.

This is where you can be inventive to decide how challenging you want your obstacle course to be, but it will be good to start simple so that it encourages your dog to carry on. Vary the obstacle course after awhile to keep up the fun factor for your dog. 

We hope you will find the above information useful.

More information can be found online as well, particularly (www.puppyleaks.com) where reference was taken. 

Environmental Allergies for Dogs

Have you ever noticed your dog excessively scratching itself or licking its paw? This could be a sign that your furry friend is allergic to something in its environment! Unfortunately, allergic reactions in dogs have been on the rise in the past decade- having a sharp increase from 2019 onwards.


Inhalant and Skin Contact Allergies

Allergic reactions occur when a foreign particle (allergen) causes an overreaction of the immune system, leading to inflammation, which manifests as redness, swelling and itching. There are 2 ways a dog can be affected by the allergens in their surroundings- by inhaling and skin contact. Such allergies tend to be hereditary in nature. Therefore, they are, sadly, difficult to avoid. They often first show up when a dog is 6 months to 3 years old. You might notice allergies are seasonal, or that they get better or worse if you move to a new place. Most breeds of dogs are affected by this condition. Breeds that are more susceptible include Bichon Frises, Bulldogs, Chinese Shar-Peis, Cocker Spaniels, Retriever and Terrier Breeds, Shih Tzus and Lhasa Apsos.



Common Allergens

A very large number of substances can act as allergens. Most are proteins of insect, plant, or animal origin. Small chemical molecules can also cause allergic reactions. Examples of common allergens are grass or tree pollen, fungal or mould spores, dust mites, dander (dead skin flakes), insect proteins such as those in flea saliva, and some medications. 

Unexpectedly, some fabrics can cause reactions. This is because manufacturing synthetic fabrics requires chemicals and processing. These chemicals, such as flame retardants, are known to be allergenic. Some fabrics also allow the accumulation of dust mites, mould, mildew and bacteria that can exacerbate skin sensitivity. To know more about which fabrics one should look out for, please refer to the tips section of this blogpost.

Harsh cleaning solutions (eg. bleach and Dettol) should also be avoided as they contain chemicals toxic to your furry friend. Your pet will end up ingesting these substances when they lick the floor or their paws! Not to mention, they may even breathe in toxic vapours produced from these cleaners, causing them respiratory problems. To know more about which cleaning agents one should use or avoid, please refer to the tips section of this blogpost.

Please also note that some essential oils and liquid potpourri are toxic to your pet and can lead to poisoning! They have chemicals that are rapidly absorbed orally or through the skin which are metabolised through the liver. Therefore, puppies and dogs with liver disease are more sensitive to such chemicals. While exposure to low amounts only result in gastrointestinal upset, certain concentrated oils can affect the liver (eg. pennyroyal oil), and the nervous system (eg. tea tree oil). They also irritate or burn the skin and mouth. Even a small amount could be harmful to our precious companions. To know more about which essential oils to avoid, please refer to the tips section of this blogpost.


Symptoms

Symptoms can appear anywhere on your dog’s body. The symptoms mentioned above are the common ones to look out for in your furry friend. In general, your pet may show signs of irritation on their skin (eg. scratching or licking) or irritation in their respiratory tract (eg. runny nose and sneezing). If you observe any of these symptoms (could be one or more), especially if they happen frequently, it is enough to consider allergies as a possible cause. Most importantly, it’s best to visit your vet to properly diagnose and treat your furry friend.


Practical tips

Wipe your dog’s paws and belly with a clean cloth after their walks to remove pollen and other allergens.

Use skin ointments or creams for small flare ups. Check with your vet for safe options.

During flare ups, use pet allergy shampoo with soothing aloe and oatmeal, or medicated with allergy-relieving ingredients.

For fabrics for your pet’s bedding, avoid wool, synthetic fabric and those with vinyl coating. Instead, use 100% cotton or hemp which are natural materials, tightly woven microfibre and textured nylon.

For cleaning agents, use natural products such as baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice. To find out the detailed list of chemicals and cleaning products to avoid, please navigate to this page: https://www.rover.com/blog/uk/pet-safe-cleaning/

For essential oils, avoid Citrus, Pennyroyal, Pine, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang oils. Instead, use Chamomile, Frankincense, Ginger, Lavender, Myrrh and Peppermint oil. To find out the benefits these oils will bring to your dog, please navigate to this page: https://wildearth.com/blogs/dog-knowledge/what-essential-oils-are-safe-for-dogs/

 


Let’s work together to be informed and create a safe & comfortable environment for our furry friends at home! ❤️


Sources:

https://www.banfield.com/en/about-banfield/newsroom/press-releases/2021/banfield-pet-hospital-data-shows-increase-in-care-for-pets-in-2020-despite-pandemic

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/allergy-general-in-dogs

https://www.thisdogslife.co/10-breeds-prone-allergies/

https://bondvet.com/b/allergies-in-dogs-common-allergens-treatment

https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/can-dogs-be-allergic-their-beds

https://kuranda.com/faq/dog-bed-fabrics-for-dogs-with-allergies

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/essential-oil-and-liquid-potpourri-poisoning-in-dogs


Written by : Jewel Wee


Bones As Dog Treats - Good or Bad?

We often hear phrases like “give your dog a bone” and see comic strips feature dogs chewing on bones which has naturally led us to associate dogs with bones. Many of us may also have heard about the benefits that come with giving dogs bones. Some say that recreational bones are beneficial as they act like a “floss” for dog’s teeth, breaking tartar down and reducing the likelihood of gum disease. It is also said that chewing on bones provides mental stimulation for dogs and reduces anxiety. 

However, is it really all that harmless to give bones to dogs? 

Can I simply give my dog any kind of bone? 

It is important to note that there are different types of bones, and this distinction is crucial in deciding what we can feed to dogs. Some bones are relatively harmless to dogs, while others could cause serious problems. 

1. What type of bones should we NOT feed dogs? 

Cooked bones of any kind 

  • They splinter into small, sharp pieces that can cut your dog’s mouth, throat or intestines. This can lead to a number of health issues, including: choking, fractured teeth, cuts in the mouth or tonsils, vomiting and diarrhea, severe constipation leading to extreme pain for your dog, etc. 
  • Cooked bones are also not as nutritious as raw bones because beneficial nutrients are lost in the cooking process.

Both raw/cooked rib bones (especially pork rib bones!) 

  • These bones have extremely high fat content so it is not advisable to feed them to your dogs.
  • Dogs lack the mechanism to break down that high amount of saturated fat from such bones and can suffer from pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas often caused by too much fat in their diet). Pancreatitis can show up as vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea and a loss of appetite in dogs. Warning: Severe cases can be deadly! Hence, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention immediately when you notice such symptoms in your dogs.


2.   How can I safely give my dog a bone? 

Give raw meat bones 

Many veterinarians say that most raw meat bones are edible and relatively safe for dogs (e.g. raw chicken, turkey, lamb or beef bones are soft enough for dogs to chew, eat and digest). However, it is still better to practice this with caution as raw bones may contain bacteria and can spoil in just a few days! Remember to give the bone a good cleanse before giving it to your dog. 

NOTE: you should NEVER feed pork bones (not even raw ones) to your dog as they easily splinter and crack into smaller pieces which may get stuck in your dog’s throat and cause internal injury


Supervise your dog when giving him/her a bone

It is important to supervise your dog when you give him a bone and take it away when it’s breaking apart and getting too small as it becomes a choking hazard! Never leave your dog to chew a bone alone! 

 

Don’t feed your dog a bone that is smaller than the size of your dog’s mouth

Rule is that you must never feed your dog any bone that it can swallow whole. 

Try to give your dog bones that are longer than the length of their muzzle to prevent this, e.g. some veterinarians advise looking for one that’s about the size of your dog’s head! This allows your dog to chew while reducing the likelihood of it breaking and your dog swallowing a large chunk of bone. 


Set a time limit 

You can try letting your dog chew for 10-15 minutes at a time. Aggressive chewing for an extended period of time could cause injury for your dog and damage your dog’s teeth. 

 

Only give the bone after a meal

A less hungry dog has a lower tendency to chew and swallow a bone too quickly and aggressively. On the other hand, hungry dogs are more likely to swallow pieces of a bone or chew the bone too hard which can cause injury to their mouths. 

 

3.   What other alternatives are there? 


We all know that dogs naturally love to chew, so it’ll be tough to stop this practice immediately. Furthermore, there are numerous benefits of giving bones to dogs in terms of improving their dental hygiene as well as keeping them mentally stimulated and entertained. Bones can even be a source of distraction for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety! Hence, most vets and dog experts suggest that you provide chew toys (e.g. dental chews for dogs pictured above in both edible and non-edible forms) and simulated dog bones that are made for dogs of all sizes. These are much safer alternatives that will keep your dogs happy and satisfied all the same while still providing many of the benefits that a real bone does. 

Whether or not the risks of giving your dog a bone outweigh the benefits is still a highly-debated topic even among experts and veterinarians. Regardless of the kind of bone you end up choosing to give your dog, ensure that it’s done with due consideration for your dog’s safety!  


Written by : Alyssa


Image credit: 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/fda-warns-pet-owners-giving-dogs-bone-treats/story?id=51444562
https://blog.homesalive.ca/dog-blog/raw-bones-for-dogs
https://topdogtips.com/vet-recommended-dog-dental-chews/

Daily Water Intake

Today, let’s talk about your dog’s daily water consumption Do you know how much water your dog needs daily? 


According to pets.webmd.com, dogs on average require around 30ml of fluid per 450gm of body weight. Similar to humans, the amount of fluids required will differ due to age, lifestyle, diet, weather etc. Take for example, if your dog the day had been unusually warm and your dog had been running around, then instinctively it would be reason that he would require more water. 

However, it is important to note that the volume of water consumed daily can cut both ways. Too much, or too little, can both signify underlying health issues (e.g. liver and / or kidney illness, dehydration, urinary tract infection) which is why as a concerned dog owner, you will need to monitor your dog’s drinking habits. This can be easily achieved by using a drinking bowl with markers to track your dog’s daily water intake. Ensure the bowl is refilled to the same level daily to facilitate the tracking.

What happens if your dog just isn’t a big fan of drinking? In such cases, there are several options that can be considered:

Adding water to his favourite treats or meals (this works very well if your dog is highly food motivated)

Using water alternatives such as milk, yoghurt or broth, keeping in mind your dog’s health condition. As dogs could be lactose intolerant, milk or yoghurt should therefore be diluted with water prior to feeding. Additionally, broth used should be clear and relatively low in oil, and bone broth is not suitable for dogs with existing kidney issues due to the higher level of protein content.  

Feeding fruits with high water content. The drawback of this is that fruits tend to have high sugar content as well, so you would need to strike a balance. 

Aside from the above, it is also good to send your dog to the vet for regular health checks (i.e. full blood tests, ultrasounds) to detect any possible illnesses. This will become more crucial as your dog ages as arresting the medical condition earlier can really make a difference to the quality and length of life they lead.

Written by : Syn Hwei