Even though I've been involved in the plight of the podencos since 2007 after my first journey into Spain with the French association L'Europe des Levriers to bring back rescued podencos and galgos for rehoming in France, I'm always learning about them.
Recently I was contacted by a reader whose Podenco has been diagnosed with glaucoma, asking if it could be hereditary. Going on my scant knowledge of glaucoma in humans as my late mother-in-law was a sufferer and her son is regularly tested for the problem, my guess is that this could be an inherited problem.
Researching information on glaucoma in dogs, I came across this website which explains the problem.
Sadly my reader's dog was diagnosed too late to save its sight so be aware that if your dog seems to have conjunctivitis, it should also be tested for glaucoma - treatment early enough can save the dog's sight.
If any other readers have experience of this with their podencos, please share your experience.
I want to share with you an amazing book I am currently reading. 'Molly The Pet Detective' by Colin Butcher is the story of a working cocker spaniel rescue dog which has been trained to find missing cats!
Colin Butcher is a retired UK policeman who chose a project to see if a dog could be trained to find missing cats. It's the story of how he researched the idea, the help he got from Medical Detection Dogs both in finding the right dog and training both her and himself.
The book also tells the stories of missing cats Molly found, as well as missing dogs, the latter sadly a growing problem in the UK.
If you have lost a pet or know anyone who has, you will know the pain and distress experienced. This weblink takes you to the website for The Pet Detectives. Please support them.
Our galgo Bracken has been with us for 11 years; he has always been a sensitive dog, happy in the pack of hounds and walking the meadows every day...on leash, as he has a hunter's nose! However, since we sold the farm in January 2021 and downsized back to the UK, he has caused us concern by showing aggression to other dogs.
This link takes you to an extensive article on the causes of aggression in dogs.
In Bracken's case, we guess there are a few causes.
We're lucky that over the decades most of our dogs have lived to their teens. One or two have left us due to health deterioration like cancer, but others have suffered with dementia. Mostly ours have got to the stage of losing their bearings, or staring at something vacantly, plus loss of bowel function too. My galga Carmela suffered a stroke from which she recovered 90% but my little podenca Bebe is now 18 years old and showing familiar symptoms. So far it's not too advanced that she needs more than medication for thyroid problems, but I expect over the year her brain will let her down more.
I feel very sad seeing old dogs which have been dumped by hunters or owners who aren't prepared to repay their dog's loyalty with care in their twilight years.
OH and Bracken were lucky this morning. They had just got back to the car after a lovely walk along the river bank when a BMW 4x4 pulled up with 3 boisterous dogs inside. Luckily the owner didn't let them out until OH had put Bracken in the car, whereupon she opened the tailgate and the 3 dogs flew out leaping around. Bracken isn't very friendly towards other dogs now, so it could have been an unpleasant situation! Having said that, their owner should train them to wait in the car till she gives permission to leave, it's what we do with our dogs.