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Is a Scottie for me?

Posted on January 26, 2013 by STRSE

 

As the gruff friend of an animated cocker spaniel, who portrayed loyalty and protectiveness when he told an equally animated Tramp to take a walk without the Lady, the Scottish Terrier Jock evoked an image that generations of children have enjoyed. Disney's Lady and the Tramp is a time-cherished animated movie that caused many people to fall in love with the Scottie. Stoic and aristocratic, he is easily recognized and is plastered on everything that can be decorated, including clothing, photographs, pictures, cards, and ornaments.

This short-legged wonder was originally bred to hunt prey such as badgers and foxes, and he has therefore developed into a self-directed and opinionated companion. His independence and intelligence have drawn many dog lovers to the breed, but others find the Scottie's aloofness less than endearing. He doesn't naturally trust strangers (so he needs proper socialization as a puppy), and he'll take his own sweet time figuring out a situation or person. But if he decides to befriend you, it will be for life. Too smart to forget anything, the Scottie is also brave and loyal.

He likes all living arrangements but needs a short daily walk if you're in an apartment. He loves family companionship and is gentle and playful with children, and he's considerate of the elderly. Although he loves youngsters, he's not suited for homes with babies and toddlers, because it's the Scottie's nature to stand up for himself when prodded and pulled. That can translate into a bite.

A Scottie enjoys digging holes throughout your backyard, and he doesn't grasp that you might not like it. He will chase “prey” out of yards right into traffic, so a fence is a necessity (those electronic ones won't cut it; he'll just charge right through them). He'll rid your yard of any squirrels or other vermin.

Although many terriers are known as yappy, the Scottish Terrier is not. His style is a loud alert bark. Some Scotties know the difference between steps made by a friend or steps made by a stranger, only giving the alert if it's the latter.

Scottish Terriers can be difficult to train because they were bred to work apart from their owner, without needing direction. A Scottie won't stop and ask you what to do next but will do it on his own. That's why Scotties generally don't score high in obedience rallies (they're better suited to agility), although there are exceptions. This isn't to say that he's untrainable, but rather that his temperament is suited to working separately from his owners, as he often sets his own course. He doesn't do well with aggressive training, as he has a kind heart that can be broken easily if he perceives mistreatment. He thrives on positive reinforcement.

Today the Scottish Terrier enjoys the title of family dog, but he is in essence a working dog and is much happier with a job to do, even if it's just simple tricks. Historically, the Scottie was bred by farmers to help themmanage vermin problems. He would follow prey, such as badgers, foxes, and

other vermin, right into their burrows and then try to dig them out.  Such breeds of dogs are known as Earth dogs. Scottish Terriers do well in earthdog trials, which are a simulated hunt.

The breed’s stubbornness often translates into bravery. In the nineteenth century a military man, George the fourth Earl of Dumbarton, had a famous pack of Scotties. These dogs were so brave in battle that they were nicknamed “diehards.” George's regiment, the Royal Scots, were called “Dumbarton’s Diehards” after the dogs. Today that bravery has a different application in home protection, but the nature of it hasn't changed.

There are Scottish Terriers that can be hardheaded, serious, energetic, and introverted - and some that can be sweet, playful, placid, and tolerant of everyone. They have been loved by many, including Shirley Temple, Franklin Roosevelt, and George W. Bush; even Hitler got two Scottish Terriers for his fiancée, Eva Braun.

There is no denying that this brave and jaunty little aristocrat of the dog world is loved, respected, and adored for all his idiosyncrasies. Having a dog that is more partner than servant can be a wonderful experience - but it’s not for everyone. If you prefer a dog that is eager to please, think twice about living with a Scottish Terrier.

Highlights

Originally bred for hunting and following prey to ground, the Scottish Terrier is designed to dig, and he still has that drive today. It's better to find a designated digging area in your backyard then fight an active and natural instinct.

Scottish Terriers tend to be aloof with strangers and can be aggressive to other dogs if they are not properly socialized when young.

Scotties are not low-energy small dogs. They were bred as working dogs and have lots of drive and intelligence that needs to be channeled. They need daily moderate exercise and stimulation. If you're looking for a dog that's happier sitting at your side then digging holes in your backyard, a Scottie might not be for you.

Although Scottish Terriers enjoy exercise, they are not recommended as jogging companions. With his short legs, a short walk around your block can feel like a long-distance marathon to the Scottish Terrier.

Behind German Shepherds and Rottweilers, Scotties have been ranked third in alarm barking. They will bark at strangers and are not the ideal pet in a dwelling or area that has noise rules.

A Scottie should have a physical fence around his yard, not an electronic one. It keeps him from chasing cats, squirrels, bikes, and other moving objects out onto the street. He should be leashed on walks, because with his chase instinct, he's likely to run off after an animal or smell.

The Scottie isn't suited for homes with young infants and toddlers. He's been known to defend himself against unwanted pulling and prodding.

He sheds only lightly but requires significant grooming. The coat takes time to maintain, with grooming weekly or daily in the case of show dogs. It should be clipped several times a year.

In terms of his size and exercise needs, the Scottie is adaptable to various types of dwellings, including apartments.

To get a healthy pet, never buy a puppy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Find a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs for genetic health conditions and good temperaments.

 

History

Despite being an old breed, the Scottish Terrier's history is somewhat obscure and undocumented.  The Scottie's origin is believed to date back to a dog that was described by Pliny the Elder in 55 B.C. When the Romans invaded Britain, he wrote, “They found, much to their surprise, small dogs that would follow their quarry to the ground.”€ The Romans called the dogs terrarii, which means “workers of the earth” and is derived from terra, the Latin word for earth. The Scottish Terrier was a hunter and still hunts by instinct today.

The Old Scotch Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest breeds in Scotland and the foundation dog for all of today's terrier breeds. The breed is extinct today but was described as a stable worker with strength, courage, and stamina, who could breach his quarry's rocky dens. The breed was a black or sandy-colored dog that was low in stature, strong, with long hair and small, half-prick ears.

If we fast-forward from the first few centuries to 1436, we find a description, in Don Leslie’s book A History of Scotland, of a small dog similar in form to the Scottish Terrier. By the early 1800s, many writers wrote of two separate terrier breeds in Britain, the Scottish Terrier (distinguished by its rough hair) and the English Terrier (identified by its smooth hair).

Somewhat earlier, in the seventeenth century, James I of England sent several dogs to France as a present to the French monarch. Those dogs are believed to have been foundation dogs for the modern Scottish Terrier.  The King's love of the breed helped to increase its popularity, which rose over the next three centuries.

During the 1800s, Scotland had many terriers. By the end of the century, the dogs had been separated into two different groups, the Dandie Dinmont Terriers and the Skye Terriers (although the latter was a fairly generic name given to all terriers that came from the Isle of Skye). The Scottish Terrier was grouped under the Skye Terriers and shown under that class in the show ring until the 1870s. At that time, the standard for the Scottish Terrier was written and, by the end of the nineteenth century, the Skye Terriers had been divided into the four different breeds we know today: the Scottish Terrier, Skye Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, and the Cairn Terrier.

 

Size

The Scottish Terrier is a small, short-legged dog with a compact and sturdy build. The average height is 10 inches. The weight ranges from 19 to 22 pounds for a male and 18 to 21 pounds for a female.

 

Personality

The Scottish Terrier's character and personality are a bit like the lonely moors of his homeland. He's a serious guy, not particularly jolly, and he approves of dignity and reserve. He's opinionated, as well as independent and smart as a whip. He tends to be aloof (but not toward his family). A Scottie doesn't respond much to people who oooh and ahh over him while he's out and about. He's slow to accept anyone outside the family, but his devotion to his own people is legendary. He needs to live inside the house, because companionship is his mainstay. Sensitive to praise and anger, he’s good at adapting to the changing moods of a household. When you're quiet, he'll be quiet (unless he sees a squirrel); when you’re ready for a walk, he’ll bound outdoors with you.

Remember his background: he's a true terrier. If another dog provokes him, he’ll fight to the end. If other dogs leave him alone, he leaves them alone.

Its important, actually critical, to take your Scottie to socialization classes starting when he’s a puppy. Inviting friends and family over or going to busy places with him while he’s young will tamp down his general distrust of strangers. Left unchecked, that can translate into aggression when the dog is an adult - so start training your Scottie puppy from the moment you bring him home.

 

Health

Scottish Terriers are generally healthy, but like all breeds of dogs, they’re prone to certain conditions and diseases.

Scottie cramp is a common disorder in Scottish Terriers and is considered harmless to the breed.  The symptoms of Scottie cramp occur only when the dog is stressed or overstimulated, such as during exercise, mating, or fights. The dog will appear normal at rest but will exhibit an arching of the spine, overflexing of the rear legs, the front legs may move outward from side to side, and the dog may show a goose-stepping gait.  Some dogs may temporarily lose their ability to walk or run, and those who are severely affected may have trouble walking or running when stressed.  This is not a progressive disease, and Scottish Terriers live long and healthy lives with this disorder. Treatment is not necessary, but in some severe cases it has been treated with vitamin E, diazepam, or Prozac

Von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The main symptom is excessive bleeding after an injury or surgery. Other symptoms include nosebleeds, bleeding gums, or bleeding in the stomach or intestines. There is no cure, and a blood transfusion from the blood of normal dogs is currently the only treatment. Research is underway for new treatments, including medication. Most dogs with von Willebrand’s disease can lead normal lives. A vet can test your dog for the condition when he's a puppy. Dogs with this condition should not be bred.

Craniomandibular osteopathy affects several skull bones. While a puppy is growing, the skull bones become irregularly enlarged. The symptoms usually appear between four and eight months of age. Often the puppy’s jaw and glands will become swollen, and he won't be able to open his mouth. He’ll drool, have a fluctuating fever every couple of weeks, and in some cases the chewing muscles may atrophy. The cause is unknown but believed to be hereditary. There is no treatment, but anti-inflammatories and pain relievers ease the discomfort. Proper nutrition is necessary, and in severe cases a feeding tube may be needed. The irregular bone growth slows and typically stops by the time the puppy becomes a year old. The lesions can regress, but a few dogs have permanent problems with using the jaw and eating. In some cases, there can be a permanent inability to move the jaw; surgery can partially correct that.

Patellar luxation is a common problem in small dogs, including Scotties. The patella is the kneecap. Luxation refers to dislocation of an anatomical part (as a bone at a joint). In patellar luxation, the knee joint (often of a hind leg) slides in and out of place, causing pain. This can be crippling.  The treatment is surgery.

 

Care

The Scottie is active and can become destructive when bored and under-exercised. He loves to go for walks, but running is not part of his plan for the day. He has to be leashed for walks because he is a hunter, after all, and he will see the squirrel but not the car.

He likes water but can’t swim, and that’s a bad conflict. He’ll sink like a stone because of his short legs and heavy body. Scotties and uncovered swimming pools are a disaster waiting to happen, which is why Scottie Rescue groups prefer not to place them in homes with pools.

Crate training benefits every dog and is a kind way to ensure that your Scottie doesnt have accidents in the house or get into things he shouldn’t. A crate is also a place where he can retreat for a nap. Crate training at a young age will help your Scottie accept confinement if he ever needs to be boarded or hospitalized. Never stick your Scottie in a crate all day long, however. Scotties are people dogs, and they aren’t meant to spend their lives locked up in a crate or kennel.

 

Coat, Color and Grooming

While many people think of them as black, Scottish Terriers can also be grey or steel, brindle, or wheaten. The wheaten ones look a bit like West Highland White Terriers, which isn't surprising given their intertwined history.

The Scottish Terrier has two coats. The topcoat, or overcoat, should be hard and wiry; the bottom coat, or undercoat, should be soft and dense. Because his hair just keeps growing, he doesn’t shed as much as short-coated breeds. Scotty skin dries out quickly, so don't bathe until necessary.

Many believe that the Scottish Terrier is easy to maintain, but in reality the breed needs a great deal of grooming. Set up a grooming table to bring the dog up to your level if that makes it easier for you. The coat needs to be groomed weekly for a pet and daily for a show dog.

A variety of tools are used for brushing a Scottish Terrier: a stiff brush, a hound glove, a wide-toothed comb for the beard, and scissors for trimming. Show dogs are groomed with a technique called stripping, in which loose hairs are pulled out. It can be done with stripping knives or by hand, and the hair should always be stripped with the lay of the hair.

Your Scottish Terrier should be clipped every two months if your aim is to keep his hair short; you can do it yourself or go to a groomer. If you are keeping the hair long, trim several times a year. A Scottish Terrier whose coat gets clipped regularly has softer hair (not preferred in the breed standard) and a duller coat color. If you plan to show your Scottie in conformation, avoid clipping as it is difficult to get the hair back into the proper standard condition.

Scotties have bad reactions to fleas and have been known to chew themselves bald. Brushing regularly and using a flea comb are good ideas, combined with today's preventives. Begin accustoming your Scottie to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently - dogs are touchy about their feet - and look inside his mouth and ears. Trim nails regularly if he doesn’t wear them down naturally. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long.

Brush your Scottie’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath. Scottish Terriers have large teeth that are close together, which is why his teeth should be cleaned frequently. If the teeth aren’t cleaned, the dog can suffer from tooth decay and gum disease.

Start grooming when your dog is young, and make it a positive experience filled with praise and rewards to lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult. As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Ears should smell good, without too much wax or gunk inside, and eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

 

Children and other pets

He’s so good with children that he's been called a nanny - but, like any terrier, the Scottie will react poorly to his tail or hair being pulled, and he's not well suited to the noise and movements of toddlers and very young children. But with well-behaved children, he's a champion and he will appoint himself their guardian.

A true terrier, he can be aggressive with other dogs, particularly those of the same sex.  Although he’s not a sparring dog, if he wants to start a fight or responds to another dog’s challenge, it can be a real problem. He's fine with those dogs he's been raised with.

Because he's a hunter, he is not well suited to smaller pets. He may or may not tolerate a cat, but he’s definitely bad news around small mammals such as hamsters or rats. To him, they're fast-food snacks. It's hardwired in the Scottie to go after vermin - it's not a choice. Set him up for success by not putting him in a situation where he has to fight his own nature, because he won't.

Article source: Dogtime.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Importance of Heartworm Prevention

Posted on August 17, 2015 by STRSE

life-cycle

 

Heartworm disease is a  serious and potentially fatal disease that affects our pets and should not be taken lightly. Recently, we have seen too many of our STRSE rescue Scotties come to us and test positive for heartworm disease during their intake veterinary exams. Heartworm treatment for dogs that test positive can be painful for the dog receiving the treatment, rough on the caretakers, and expensive in cost. The best way to help our pets avoid testing positive for heartworm is by administering a steady, FDA approved, heartworm preventative.

 

For more information on heartworm disease and prevention please visit the American Heartworm Society website or contact your veterinarian.

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What is TCC?

TCC is a malignant tumor that most commonly grows within the urinary bladder. It also frequents the urethra, the tube-like structure that drains urine from the bladder to the outside world. TCC can also arise within the prostate gland (males), kidneys, and ureters (the long, narrow tubes that transport urine from the kidneys into the bladder).

TCC arises from transitional epithelial cells that line the inner surface of the urinary tract. In addition to growing inward within the lumen of the bladder and/or urethra, the cancer cells invade locally into the walls of these structures. TCC cells also have the ability to metastasize (spread) to  lymph nodes and other distant organs.

This cancerous growth has a propensity for growing within the trigone region of the bladder the anatomical area where urinary tract plumbing is most complicated. It is here that the urethra and ureters connect into the bladder. It's no  wonder that TCC commonly causes a dog to experience difficulty urinating and, sometimes, even complete urinary tract obstruction.

Causes of TCC

Genetic predisposition and environmental factors likely play a role in most cases of TCC. The genetic basis is strongly suspected because Scottish Terriers have as much as a18-20 fold higher risk for this disease. Other predisposed breeds include, Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers.

Environmental factors that have been incriminated as risk factors for TCC are application of older generation pesticides and insecticides to the animal and exposure to lawn herbicides and pesticides. A study comparing 83 Scottish Terriers with TCC and 83 similarly aged, normal Scotties discovered that the group with cancer had greater exposure to lawns and gardens treated with insecticides and herbicides or herbicides alone. The effect of lawn and garden chemicals on other breeds has not yet been studied.

Smoking is the number one cause of TCC in people. It is not known if exposure to second hand smoke contributes to the occurrence of TCC in dogs.

Symptoms of TCC

The earliest symptoms caused by TCC vary from mild to severe, and often resemble those caused by a urinary tract infection. Such symptoms include:

  • Increased frequency of urination
  • Blood within the urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Inability to urinate

Straining to have a bowel movement may be observed if the prostate gland becomes enlarged due to infiltration with TCC cells. When a dog becomes completely unable to urinate due to obstruction, systemic symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, and loss of appetite will arise within 24 hours.

Diagnosis of TCC

TCC is suspected when a mass within the bladder is detected by an imaging study such as abdominal ultrasound. Growth of TCC within the urethra is best detected via endoscopy (a fiberoptic telescope device that allows visualization within the urinary tract).

Collection of tissue samples from the mass that are then processed and examined under the microscope is the only way to make a definitive diagnosis of TCC. Such tissue samples can be collected via surgery or endoscopy, and sometimes by urinary tract catheterization.

Other testing

Many dogs with TCC have a concurrent urinary tract infection, and a urine culture is performed to determine if antibiotic therapy is warranted.

Once TCC has been diagnosed, staging tests may be performed. Staging is the process used to determine if the tumor has spread to other sites in the body. Staging is warranted when the additional information these tests provide are important for providing ongoing care. The results of staging tests assist in:

  • Determining the prognosis.
  • Choosing the most appropriate course of treatment.
  • Establishing a baseline set of tumor measurements that will help determine if subsequent treatment is successful.
  • Anticipating which future symptoms may arise.

Staging tests for dogs with TCC may include:

  • Blood and urine testing
  • Radiographs (x-rays) of the chest cavity to look for spread to the lungs and/or lymph nodes
  • Ultrasound of the abdomen to assess changes in the kidneys caused by possible obstruction to urine flow and spread of cancer to abdominal organs and/or lymph nodes

Treatment options

There are several options for treating TCC in dogs. Complete remission (complete elimination) of this cancer is always desirable, but this outcome tends to be the exception rather than the rule. Partial remission (reduction in the overall size of the tumor) and simply arresting growth of the tumor over a prolonged period are far more likely outcomes that usually result in restoring and maintaining an excellent quality of life.

For dogs with TCC that has not spread outside of the bladder, complete surgical removal of the mass is the ideal therapy. Unfortunately, even for a highly gifted surgeon, this outcome usually isn't possible. This is because TCC has a predilection for growing within the trigone region (neck of the bladder) where aggressive surgery would disrupt the delicate urethral and ureteral plumbing located there. Surgical removal works well when the TCC growth is relatively small and is located well away from the trigone.

Medical therapies

The medical options described below tend to be extremely well tolerated by most dogs. These drugs may be used individually, but it is not unusual for them to be used in combination to treat dogs with TCC.

Piroxicam

Piroxicam is an oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that substantially reduces the size of many TCC tumors. Piroxicam and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (e.g., Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Previcox) are referred to as cyclooxygenase (cox) inhibitors. It so happens that TCC cells often produce and use cyclooxygenase, and inhibition of this enzyme can hinder tumor growth.

Piroxicam’s ability to influence the growth of cancer cells was discovered spuriously when the drug was being used to provide pain relief for dogs with cancer. Unexpected cancer remissions were observed. This resulted in a study of 34 dogs with TCC who were treated with piroxicam. The results were as follows:

  • Complete remission (cancer fully gone): 2 dogs
  • Partial remission (cancer reduced in size): 4 dogs
  • Stable disease (no change in cancer size): 18 dogs
  • Cancer increased in size: 10 dogs
  • Average survival time: 181 days

Mitoxantrone

A chemotherapy drug called mitoxantrone has also been used to successfully treat TCC. A study of 48 dogs treated with the combination of piroxicam and mitaxantrone was performed by the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group. Results included:

  • Complete remission: 1 dog
  • Partial remission: 16 dogs
  • Stable disease: 22 dogs
  • Cancer increased in size: 9 dogs
  • Average survival time from start of therapy: 250-300 days

Vinblastine

A third drug for the treatment of TCC is vinblastine. This drug is typically used following failure of the other drugs mentioned above. A study using vinblastine to treat 28 dogs with TCC resulted in:

  • Partial remission: 10 dogs
  • Stable disease: 14 dogs
  • Cancer increased in size: 4 dogs
  • Average survival time from first vinblastine treatment: 147 days
  • Average survival time from the time of diagnosis: 299 days

Metronomic therapy

Metronomic chemotherapy refers to long term, low dose, frequent oral administration of a Chemotherapy drug. Metronomic therapy is given with hopes of blocking the formation of new blood vessels within the tumor, thereby inhibiting its growth. This is referred to as an anti-angiogenic effect.

A study of metronomic therapy for TCC was performed using a drug called chlorambucil (Leukeran). Of the 31 dogs studied, 29 had failed prior TCC treatment. The results are as follows:

  • Partial remission: 1 dog
  • Stable disease: 20 dogs
  • Progressive disease: 9 dogs
  • Lost to followup: 1 dog
  • Average survival time from start of therapy: 221 days

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is an option for control of TCC growth. Unfortunately, applied in suitable dosages, radiation therapy often produces harmful  complications affecting the bladder and surrounding organs.

 

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