Anaemia - a condition of general depression in health, with impoverishment of the blood - is of all serious diseases the most common among dogs. It is this condition that causes dogs to have worms; it is this deficiency in the blood supply, both in quantity and quality, which brings about ninety out of every hundred cases of skin disease. The original cause of the disease in toy dogs was the way in which they were, and unfortunately often still are, kept, fed, and housed. A number of dogs kept together in some artificially-heated building, confined in small pens, obliged to breathe impure air, and fed on Indian meal, biscuits, oatmeal, and other cereals, with little or no meat - this is kennel life, and a splendid foundation for anaemia. We all know how worms and eczema and other skin troubles beset toys kept "in kennels," but not until the knowledge has caused people to give up keeping them thus, and handing on hereditary eczema and hereditarily vitiated blood to their puppies, shall we get rid of the inherited tendency to poverty of blood which makes so many toy dogs possessions of anxiety rather than sources of satisfaction to their owners.

If a law could be passed obliging all dogs to receive a suitable daily allowance of good, fresh, underdone meat, and abolishing farinaceous feeding altogether, even for five years, it is not too much to say that at the end of this time ezccma in its more common forms would have died out, worms be the infrequent exception rather than the rule, and "distemper" would have ceased to be a thing of terror.

It is extraordinary how ignorant educated people, otherwise well informed, can show themselves on this subject. I have repeatedly received letters in which, after detailing a diet of milk puddings, oatmeal porridge, vegetables, bread and gravy, and so on, the writer gravely adds the assurance - "But I have never given a farinaceous diet!" Green vegetables and such starchy vegetables as potatoes are absolutely useless to dogs, and so indigestible as only to rank second to absolute poisons, like carrots and turnips. No dog can get the mineral salts necessary to healthy blood out of oatmeal, Indian corn meal, or any other meal, nor out of a little iron-hard, dried gristle or some similar substance, such as appears in some so-called "meat" foods. It can only get these substances out of its natural and proper food - meat. Puppies fed on meat from the time their teeth can bite it do not have anaemia, and are consequently free from skin trouble : their blood is rich and pure, and they do not harbour worms.

I only ask any reader who doubts these statements to try the very simple experiment of separating a litter at seven weeks, and feeding half the pups on meat, of course varied, cut up small, and given in moderate quantity three times, and subsequently twice, a day, with a very small proportion of wheaten flour-stuff given merely as a treat and variety, in the form of small sweet biscuits or sponge cake, to afford the needful bulk to the meals. No gravy, milk, vegetables, nor any liquid but water to be given. The other pups in the litter can be fed on the old, artificial, unnatural plan of constant, large, sloppy meals of milk food. If the conditions are otherwise equal - plenty of fun, sunshine, and exercise being given - the difference between the two sets of pups will probably be quite sufficiently marked to uphold my argument, with the further addition that the meat-fed puppies will be found a good deal less objectionable in the house before their education begins, and infinitely easier to train, than their brethren on farinaceous diet.

In cases of anaemia, as shown by skin trouble, bareness round the eyes, poor or capricious appetite, languor, unpleasant breath, thinness, and a general look of unthriftiness, a liberal meat diet is the first essential, and plenty of fresh air - not necessarily hard exercise, for which the patient is generally unfit - the next. A tonic is always desirable, and iron the most suitable. There are several forms of this useful drug. Reduced iron can be given in very small dosage; sulphate of iron is cheap and useful in pill form : both of these have a tendency to constipate. The saccharated carbonate of iron is a beautiful preparation that does not constipate - is, indeed, a little laxative in action. It is a powder, tasteless except for sweetness, and will be taken readily enough if sprinkled on meat, or it can be made into pills with the addition of a tonic bitter, as in the form of the Kanofelin tonic pills. It is the most expensive of the forms of iron, but that is not saying much, as all are absurdly low in price. The dose for * a toy is from two to four grains twice a day, in, or immediately after, food. Cod liver oil is a useful medicine in bad cases of anaemia, especially where, by reason of having or having inherited, this habit of body, a longhaired toy is always poor in coat.

Some dogs never grow coats, merely because they have not the strength to do so, and others inherit sparseness of hair. But if there is any hair in reserve, a course of cod liver oil will help it on, and better far than plain cod liver oil is its preparation with malt. Cheap cod liver oil, however, is horrid, and should never be given. It will only act as a purgative, and be worse than useless. Nor should a dog ever be forced to take this substance if he has a dislike to it. But if the anaemic, scantily-coated patient will take it readily, a teaspoonful of some good brand of cod liver oil and malt extract, besides three grains of saccharated carbonate of iron twice a day, with meat diet, will make a most marvellously different dog of him in six weeks' or two months' time.

It is quite useless to give any tonic for a week or ten days, or irregularly. It must be given for a long time and with perfect regularity, or it does no good whatever : it must have time to be absorbed into the system, to permeate it, and be taken up by the blood.

Stomach Coughs

Very dreadful coughs are sometimes heard proceeding entirely from the stomach. For these a little course of indigestion treatment often does wonders. Or, again, coughing may be caused by a fish-bone or something similar in the throat, though this is the rarest of all causes in the dog, owing to his possessing a most tremendous gullet, quite out of proportion to his size.


Shivering is a bad trick some dogs acquire, and others have by nature. It generally, if unaccompanied by a high temperature, means nothing whatever, unless it be nerves. But, short of the Weir Mitchell treatment, I imagine nothing benefits these latter more than a mild scolding, with admonitions " not to be so silly."


There are, most certainly, hysterical dogs, and their temperament is that of the habitual shiverer, though very thin-skinned toys sometimes really shiver from cold. A hysterical dog will bark itself quite out of breath at the least disturbance, and shriek exactly like its prototype human. Nature cannot be changed, but a tonic sometimes does good. Excitability and nervousness are characteristic of.some breeds. Poms are, perhaps, the most excitable of small dogs, and pugs certainly the least so.


Extreme fatness may be a disease in the dog as in the human being, and in this case it is cruel to accuse the poor creature of systematic over-eating, as it is everyone's impulse to do. The bromides and iodides are useful, but cannot be prescribed haphazard. Thyroid gland tabloids may also be tried, beginning with one once a day, and gradually creeping up to three a day, according to the dog's size. Their effect on the digestion is not always happy, so that the dog must. be watched to assure the owner of its toleration of them.