Some helpful sites to visit






Advice from the Breeder: Tom Coen, Macdega Shetland Sheepdogs

New Puppy? What to Focus on First!

Spirocerca lupi - The “worm in the throat” THE SILENT KILLER

is becoming more common in South Africa’s summer rainfall areas. SUDDEN DEATHS OCCUR WITH NO WARNING SIGNS
This worm lives in the dog’s esophagus where it forms a nodule

Dogs become infected by ingesting infected dung beetles,frogs, lizards, birds and small mammals such as rats and mice.

Dogs react differently to these nodules: some dogs, especially fox terriers, show signs of sever irritation with even small nodules (gagging, swallowing, retching) whereas other dogs may show no symptoms until the nodules are large. Other symptoms associated with the migration can be fevers, joint pain, coughing, and difficulty breathing. With time, and due to the chronic irritation caused by the worm in the tissue, these nodules can become cancerous. This is a serious condition which may or may not respond to surgery depending on the extent of the cancer.

Preventative Treatment : Deworm your dog once a month using a dewormer containing milbemycin (Milbemax) - which is another concern for our MDR breeds 

Please note that other types of worms require deworming every 3 months, but now that we are seeing more dogs infected with Spirocerca we at Aloe Vet would recommend deworming once a month, especially if your dog loves "hunting" little creatures or eating bugs in the garden!

Understanding Fronts

Evaluating canine gait

Before You Buy An Australian Shepherd 

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

The importance of a good bitch line

Exercising your puppy: Top tips
When getting a new puppy it's important to remember that unlike most adult dogs long walks are not recommended. In fact long walks can be extremely damaging to their growth plates, result in sprains and strains aswell as other factors you will find discussed below:

⚠ Growth plates

Too much exercise can affect the development of the pup's growth plates, the areas of cartilage at the ends of the leg bones. An injury or damage to the growth plates before they are mature can cause deformities and problems with healing. This may affect the pup’s movement for the rest of their life.

⚠ Sprains and strains

A pup that is still growing into their body can be rather clumsy, increasing the potential risk of hurting themselves in exercise by pushing themselves too far or trying to keep up with adult dogs.

Minor strains and sprains can put your pup out of action for some time, as well as causing them pain and discomfort, so try to limit exuberant play to short bursts with plenty of rest in between.

⚠ Damage to the pads of the paws

While your pup’s paws are young and soft, they will be at greater risk of damaging their paws, particularly if running around too much on hard ground.

⚠ Too much stimulus

Puppies can run the risk of becoming overly excited or the risk of exerting themselves too much. This may have consequences on learning and to the more sensitive pups may be a little overwhelming.

⚠ Tiredness 

Puppies will tire faster than adult dogs, and this usually provides a cue for when your pup has had enough and needs to recharge their batteries. You should never push a tired puppy to carry on past their comfortable limits. 

Walk alternatives

✔ Take a break 

Puppy's tire much more easily than the adult dog. Make sure you take lots of breaks, this will not only encourage your puppy to settle but give it time to take everything in without the risk of becoming over stimulated.

✔ Increase mental stimulation 

For times when you can't walk, get creative with some fun training. You could teach your puppy to ring a bell, pick up it's lead or perhaps give it's paw. This will help keep boredom at bay and is a great outlet for expending some of their energy.

✔ Beyond the bowl 

Food from a bowl seems like a wasted opportunity when you could be encouraging your dog to forage naturally for its food by a game of 'find it' or interacting with a food puzzle toy. Enrichment makes life more exciting and helps keep your puppy occupied when you can't have long walks.

How to remember a general rule of thumb for walking puppies:

A good rule of thumb or how to remember how generally long to walk a puppy is a ratio of five minutes exercise per month of age (up to twice a day) until the puppy is fully grown, i.e. 15 minutes (up to twice a day) when three months old, 20 minutes when four months old etc. Once they are fully grown, they can go out for much longer, but remember this is all dependent on breed, temperament, health and many other variables. There is never a one size fits all approach.

Thanks for reading 
Helen Motteram, BSc (hons) (ref

Show quality vs finishable

Impact of exercise on puppy growth plates

Importance of purebred dogs

"We don't care about papers because he will just be a pet"
"We're not looking for a show dog, so it doesn't matter if the parents are titled. We just want a good family pet"

I hear this all too often, people assuming that since their dog will be 'just a pet', the lineage of the parents is not important. I'd argue the exact opposite. Have you ever considered what we expect of a dog that is 'just' a pet? Being a pet is hard. The dog must learn to adapt to a human's world, often with no more than 8 weeks of basic obedience, at best. Rules are inconsistent (I mean, I train dogs and I know I am inconsistent at times; add a whole family with various levels of training and it's not surprised that the pup is confused. For instance, does 'down' mean 'don't jump up' or 'lie down' or 'get off the sofa'?). He needs to tolerate days in a row of doing little as the family is busy with work and school, and then be well-behaved on the weekend when they decide to take him along to the farmer's market or for a hike. He must tolerate neighbor kids running up to pet him, friends coming over for dinner, the handyman doing repairs - all with a steady reserve.

To be a great pet, a dog needs a rock-solid temperament, a high level of tolerance for all our human foibles, and a loving but discriminating character. To get all of that requires good breeding with parents that have proven themselves trainable and stable. Because being 'just a pet' may be one of the harder things we ask a dog to do.

This post was specifically created because of my frustration with backyard breeders who produce many litters without testing health or temperament or proving the dog is breed quality. And the people who purchase from those breeders, thus supporting them. I fully support adoption/rescue for those who are able and willing to do that and regularly refer people to rescue groups in my area (not to mention the years I've volunteered at shelters; I've fallen in love with many an mixed breed dog or unregistered purebred). Mutts are a bit like a box of chocolates - you never quite know what you are going to get. That works well for some families, not for others.

And, yes, regardless of where your dog comes from, training will make him or her a better companion.

tl;dr purebred =/= well bred

Ref: Riddle Shepherds



Because it’s Christmas puppy season...
“I’m not paying THAT for a puppy when I can get a (fill in the blank breed, mix, mutt) for way less!”

Top picture: And these, my friends, are the hips of a backyard bred Aussie. I choose to support reputable breeders who actively work to preserve their breed, health test their dogs and try their hardest to avoid these kinds of cases. I choose to know the health and temperament of the parents and grandparents of my future dogs.

Bottom picture: normal hips of the same breed.

*Details from owner who is now a proponent for good breeding practices and health testing: Image was taken at 5 years old for a possible intestinal blockage, not OFA submission hence the positioning. Zoey is doing well at 13 year old and plays fetch daily




good breeder vs bacyard breeder.jpg


Is your dog breeding quality.jpg