The Countryman's Weekly


December 13
08:10 2017

WEB1-13-12-17Working terrier health – tried and tested treatments that work

By Sean Frain.

THE basic requirements for keeping working terriers in good health is to provide a warm, dry and draught-free bed, good food in the proper quantities and sufficient amounts of clean, fresh water daily. Add to this plenty of regular exercise, appropriate discipline and socialising and working terriers will thrive, giving their owners years of hard work.

However, there is more to keeping terriers in fine fettle than these few obvious basics, such as good and diligent practices when it comes to treating bites and other injuries. Thorns in pads, for example, can cause a great deal of suffering to any terrier unfortunate enough to have a thorn penetrate its flesh.

This puts me in mind of one of the best Huntsmen the Lake District has produced, Joe Weir, who hunted the Ullswater Foxhounds for many years. Eddie Pool of Patterdale reveres the memory of this Huntsman. One day he told me how Joe, after finishing hunting and arriving back in kennels, would check every hound for thorns stuck in pads or skin, treating any injuries immediately and then seeing to his game stock of terriers in a similar manner, treating bites promptly.

A terrier with a thorn in its pad will be lame, even reluctant to put its paw on the ground, so a thorough check over is essential. The thorn can usually be pulled out using tweezers. Occasionally though, the end of a thorn can be left deeply embedded in the pad and in such cases it is probably better for the vet to take a look and treat the injury.




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