The Italian Greyhound Rescue Charity’s Blog is an informal affair, telling the stories from some of the owners who have adopted dogs from the rescue alongside other rescue business and updates including advice about the breed.
We hope the Blogs published serve to be informative both about IGs and the work of the Charity.
Blog #7 Rescues, their care & veterinary fees
Over the last couple of years, the IGRC has experienced an increasing number of rescues coming into their care who require significant veterinary treatment. An increasing proportion of rescues coming to the IGRC are under one year of age and have a leg break injury or, in some cases, have two leg breaks or repeat fractures. Luckily, the IGRC has the resources, both financially and with the expertise, to provide such Italian Greyhounds with the treatment and recovery care they need but the average cost of each rescue that comes through the IGRC is increasing year on year.
To refer back to the last twelve months or so, we can share the cases of two rescues who came to the IGRC, both requiring major surgery to correct an injury in one case and a genetic deformity in the other instance. Firstly we will turn to Sophia and then we shall tell you more about Peggy.
In the early summer of 2020, it came to our notice that an Italian Greyhound had been handed in to a Veterinary practice having been picked up in a remote area with no collar or tag, but she was chipped. We were told the chip was out of date (the breeder was recorded and presumably whoever she was sold to, had not updated their information on the chip). The little girl, who we later named Sophia, was very tiny and only young, and she was posted on Facebook in the hope that her owner would claim her.
The IGRC were told she had an injury. The Rescue always follows up cases like these and the Vet practice revealed she had a foreleg fracture, which had been supported and pain-killing drugs administered. The Vet initially thought they would amputate her leg and following persuasion by the Charity they agreed that the leg should only be amputated as a last resort. In the event of her owner not claiming her after 7 days the Vets would hand her over to the Charity knowing that we would ensure she went to a specialist orthopaedic Referral Hospital to have her fracture mended. Nothing was heard for a few days, until one evening the Vet called to say that it was a different scenario than they originally thought, as they had just discovered she had in fact got two broken front legs, which meant on grounds of welfare she needed urgent treatment.
Thanks to a very willing volunteer, Sophia was collected the next morning and taken straight to Kentdale Veterinary Orthopaedics, where specialist Surgeon, Graham Hayes MA Vet MB Cert SAS DipECVS, performed bi-lateral surgery on her legs. It was most distressing to learn from Graham that she had a previous leg fracture on her right leg and the new fracture had appeared below the plate inserted to fix the previous break; the bone was starting to calcify around the end of the plate, indicating that this leg must have been fractured for at least 14 days. Meanwhile, her left leg fracture was a recent fracture.
Thanks to Graham’s skill, two plates were inserted in her legs and, she required a lot TLC, which was only to be expected given the physical pain and mental anguish Sophia must have suffered. How any human being could have abandoned her in such pain and unable to escape danger is really beyond comprehension, just as the breeder not offering to help a little dog they had bred and sold. Sophia’s recovery with Charity Chairman, Helen Lister, totalled nearly three months. Following her surgery, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy, Sophia was able to walk with perfectly straight legs. Despite her traumatic life before coming to Rescue, Sophia loved the company of other dogs and, more importantly, craved human attention and she was successfully rehomed in September. In total, Sophia’s care came to over £4000.00.
The first month of 2020 saw an IG puppy who was only a few months old come into our care – Peggy. She had been born with Grade 4 Patella luxation, the severest form of this genetic condition, which meant she had been born with her Knee caps (patellas) on the insides of her hind legs and as she developed so did her skeletal abnormalities, bowing her femurs and tibias. Left untreated, the increasing pain and disability would have meant that Peggy would have had to have been euthanized.
Her movement was more akin to a bunny hop. That said she was the bravest little dog with a huge personality. Specialist advice was taken from Kentdale Orthopaedic Referrals, and their brilliant Surgeon Graham Hayes said, he felt sure he could help her. She underwent bilateral surgery on both her hind legs, to create a new groove for her knee caps which were then surgically fixed on the fronts of her back legs. As time progressed she was able to exercise more and loved having her sessions with the physio. Her long rehab was shared between two trustees and it was such a joy to see her running around in the meadow with other IGs enjoying the glorious June weather. Peggy has been rehomed and lives a very happy life with another IG. Peggy’s care amounted to £4,500.00.
How to help
The IGRC is incredibly fortunate to have loyal support from Friends, and friends of Friends of the Charity. It is only thanks to the kind and generous donations made by supporters, that the IGRC is able to care and help the Italian Greyhound and Italian Greyhound crosses who are placed into the Rescue. The IGRC is also lucky that many of its adopters donate more than the stated adoption fee, something which is greatly appreciated especially when the individual costs of rescues who receive treatment while with the IGRC is becoming more expensive.
If you would like to donate to the IGRC to support its ongoing work to help all the rescues who come into their care, please do so here.
Blog #5 The importance of keeping your IG’s microchip details up to date
In 2017, a Council prosecuted a dog owner who had failed to update their dog’s ownership details on the Petlog database. This follows the new legislation regarding mandatory microchipping which was brought into force in April 2016. Since 6th April 2016, it has been compulsory for owners to ensure that their dog is microchipped so, when an owner failed to complete the transfer of keepership of their dog, they paid the price after being prosecuted and fined by their local Council.
This particular case was brought to the courts by Chelmsford City Council. The dog’s breeder had microchipped the German Shepherd-Husky cross and had registered them on the Petlog database; however, the dog’s new owner failed to complete the transfer of ownership. Consequently, when this dog went missing and their microchip was scanned, the dog’s details were not displaying on the Petlog system. It was only by chance, when the owner contacted the Council’s dog service to report their dog missing, that they were able to reunite the two.
Upon identifying that this dog was not on the Petlog database, the Council followed up this case. Despite the owner being in receipt of the necessary Petlog forms, they did not complete them within the 28 day time period which resulted in Petlog removing the dog’s details from their database. The successful prosecution of this owner resulted in them being fined over £350 by the Council, a rather costly price to pay for not keeping their dog’s details up to date with Petlog.
What this case serves to highlight is that it is the responsibility of a puppy’s/dog’s new owner to update a Government approved database where the microchip is registered with their information. While it is the breeder’s responsibility to microchip their puppies from the age of 8 weeks old and to register them with a Government compliant database (there are ten approved databases in total, one of which is Petlog), it is the buyer’s responsibility to follow this up by completing the transfer of keepership paperwork.
In brief, the new microchipping legislation includes the following:
- All dogs in the UK must be microchipped (this includes older dogs as well as puppies)
- Puppies must be microchipped from 8 weeks old
- Breeders are responsible for microchipping their puppies and they must be recorded as the first keeper
- All subsequent owners/keepers (where the dog resides) must keep the contact information associated with their dog up to date on a Government compliant database. This includes a change of address or telephone number.
- All dogs must wear an ID tag
(Please note, regulations in Wales and Scotland vary.)
To summarise, in order to comply with the microchipping legislation, every dog in the UK must firstly be microchipped and secondly, their owner’s data must be kept accurate and current on a compliant database. Consequently, the new legislation has impacted a wide number of people including:
DOG BREEDERS: as detailed above, breeders have additional responsibilities for their puppies. If you are looking for a puppy, whatever the breed, the breeder you choose should demonstrate a thorough understanding of this legislation and the implications it has on your role as a dog owner.
DOG OWNERS: when you collect your puppy, the breeder should supply you with the necessary paperwork needed to update your dog’s information with the relevant database. The breeder will be your puppy’s first registered keeper and you will need to complete the transfer of keepership so that the relevant database records your details against your puppy’s microchip ID. If you get an older dog, you will similarly need to make sure that you complete the transfer of keepership otherwise the consequences could be notable. Firstly, should your beloved dog ever go missing, if your contact information is not linked to the microchip, when your dog is scanned, the authorities will be unable to identify that your dog belongs to you, reducing the chances of reuniting you both back together. Secondly, if you and your dog are found to not comply with the legislation (either by not having your dog microchipped or by failing to inform Petlog or other Government compliant databases of any contact changes), you could face a fine of up to £500.
RESCUE CHARITIES: when a dog comes into the care of a Charity, such as the IGRC, the changes in keepership need to be recorded accordingly. Petlog’s Rehoming Service has been set up to assist rehoming charities so that dogs awaiting adoption can have their microchip details recorded to the rescue organisation. This Rehoming Service also enables charities to update a Petlog entry with the new keeper’s information once a dog’s adoption has been successfully completed.
There is a lot of information out there to fully understand regarding the microchip legislation and the procedures associated with this new system. The effectiveness of microchipping is only upheld if the contact information associated with a particular ID number is the latest. By keeping your dog’s microchip information up to date (whether that be when you move house, change mobile numbers etc), you are hopefully increasing the likelihood that your dog will be successfully returned to you should he or she go missing. If you are a dog owner or prospective owner, please do not get caught out by the new legislation.
To read more, please visit these useful links below…