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I checked and this discussion has already been started on this site. I read a few comments. I could not read the complete discussion. I decided to raise this discussion again in this group because I believe every member will be sympathic. I believe it is noteworthy that debarking has been banned in the UK because this procedure is deemed as mutilation. From my research very few vets debark dogs in the USA and there are steps in place to also ban this procedure. Unfortunately Australia continues to lag way behind and never learns from the mistakes of other countries. We are supposed to be a country of animal lovers. I continue to seriously question this. 

I am seeing first hand the dreadful consequences of this barbaric, mutilating procedure performed by a vet for the convenience of an English Setter breeder. This is happening to my sweet Hammer. The consequences of this barbaric procedure could end Hammer's life. If you knew Hammer, he has an incredible temperament, he is a total gentleman, all he asks is for you to love him. When Hammer came to me on 22 November 2006 he was traumatised because his voice had been taken away from him.

Hammer became a Grand Champion for his previous owners.

I have attached a recent photo of Hammer, taken 2 days after his 10th Birthday, not a good photo but this photo shows his complete devotion to me, lying beside my computer chair, which he is doing right at this very moment. I feel humbled and privileged that this beautiful English Setter loves me so much and I hope we can get him through the trauma he is suffering. He is coughing up blood. He is struggling to breathe. He does not deserve to continue to suffer this way.

It is my opinion that debarking is a barbaric and mutilating procedure and this procedure should be banned in every country in this world. I am going to do what I can to ban this procedure in Australia. I am usually a flexible person but in this instance I will not consider any reason for debarking any dog. The problem is with the human. The problem is not with the dog.

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Hi Susan,

I've just been reading through all these posts here as for some reason, I must have missed them before. 

I am so sorry to hear what has happened to your beautiful sweet Hammer.  Whatever is wrong with some people.!!!!!  I do remember a beautiful rough collie many years ago that had the most dreadful sound coming from him when he was excited.  Found out he had been debarked.  It was the only time, thank goodness that I had seen this & don't ever want to again.  I am from Victoria & feel ashamed that they still do this dreadful thing to dogs in this day & age. 

As to the people who took him to his Grand Champion title, debarked him & rehomed him, well I can't really say here what I would like to say, only that it certainly was Hammers lucky day, the day he & you found each other.  I hate to think of what would have happened to him if he didn't have you to love. 

Susan, I wish the very best for you & your beautiful Setters.  Please keep us updated on how they are. 

Huge hugs to you, Rose, Hobson & of course beautiful Hammer. 


Dear Chantal and Lynn

Thank you very much for caring about Hammer which means a great deal to me.

Unfortunately Hammer has had a very bad week.

The reason I took Hammer to the Animal Emergency Hospital a few weeks ago was because his face became suddenly swollen and he could hardly open his eyes. I was worried Hammer might stop breathing because of his throat problem. The vet specialist was uncertain what had caused this because obviously the head is related to the throat. He thought it could be an allergic reaction but he was uncertain. Then last weekend both Hammer's ears became swollen. Then Hammer went off his food. When Hammer does not eat, this is a major warning sign.

To cut a long story short Hammer has a serious infection which has resulted in anaemia and a fever with a temperature of 40, his cough has worsened and his nasal discharge has come back. The only positive is that the blood test revealed that Hammer's liver enzymes are normal again so it was possible for the vet to give Hammer the drugs to help him continue to live.

All of this has been caused because Hammer was debarked. Hammer is essentially a very healthy dog and as some of my ES friends have said and everyone who meets Hammer, he does not look his age.

I am writing to the RSPCA again next week, Chantal, but I've been down the same road trying to get the RSPCA to do something about dog stealing.

Hammer's temperature is still extremely high and he is still very ill but he did eat some whiting and cottage cheese tonight. Hobson is not well either and Rose has her problems but it is beautiful to see both of them rally around Hammer because they know how sick he is.

I'll keep you posted.

Susan and Hammer and Hobson and Rose and the rest of the gang


Unfortunately Hammer has had an even worse week. Because Hammer's condition did not improve I arranged for Hammer to be admitted to the veterinary specialist hospital yesterday evening. X-rays were taken of Hammer's lung and chest as well as a repeat x-ray of his abdomen because Hammer now has a grossly enlarged spleen. Today the vet specialist initially took an aspirate from the lymph nodes in Hammer's shoulder but this did not prove conclusive so he had no other option than to take a biopsy of Hammer's spleen even though the risk is that this would could cause bleeding, which has occurred. Hammer's condition has now deteriorated to the extent that his blood will no longer clot. It was revealed today that Hammer also has a great deal of puss in his airways but his major problem is now his spleen.

I spent an hour with Hammer tonight at the hospital and he is so sick but he is still alive. I pray with all my heart that he will survive the night and what lays ahead. Hammer could not be in better hands. The staff at the veterinary specialist hospital are wonderful.

Every vet who has read that Hammer has been debarked is outraged that a vet would perform such a cruel procedure. A message was left for me yesterday by the Chief Inspector, RSPCA Qld that he did not receive my letter and videos of Hammer. This seems strange but I believe him. This gives me encouragement that something more will be done to totally ban the debarking of a dog in Australia.

Susan and Hammer and Hobson and Rose and the rest of the gang

I hope Hammer pull through....My thoughts are with you and him....I send my best wishes.......

Reading your last message here, I am so sorry to hear Hammer had a terrible week and had to go to the hospital. I am so glad that the staff at the veterinary specialist hospital are wonderful as it is vital for you to trust who ever will handle your dear lovely boy. It looks like you can have some supporters here, and also the reaction of the chief inspector of the RSPCA ... I guess at that point we are not looking for any logical reaction but telling you he did not receive your first letter is already a big victory. Now he cannot ignore the case. Extremely sad for Hammer, but his misery and suffering are not in vain, it will help many dogs.... that is because of you Susan!!!!! you are doing a fantastic job.

Please tell us more about Hammer as soon as you can and  give him a huge cuddle from me, to Hobson & Rose too but a very special one to Hammer.

Hello Susan,

Sorry for the late answer, between visitors and little Mac, I cannot find the time to open my computer these days. It is absolutely heart breaking to follow all the damages caused to beautiful Hammer, how can people be so nasty and stupid is beyond comprehension. Glad that you can still find the time to pursue your fight and will write again to the RSPCA.

It must be indeed a very nice scene to witness - Hobson and Rose rally around Hammer, you have wonderful companions Susan!!!

What happened to Hobson? nothing too serious I hope. Thanks for keeping me posted, all the very best Susan and plenty of cuddles to Hammer, Hobson and Rose.

Susan hoping that Hammer is on the mend and feeling a wee bit better. Hugs to you all from Molly and I.

Thank you Catherine, Sherry, Chantal, Lynne and everyone who has made caring comments about Hammer and also Rose and Hobson. I love my Setter kids with all my heart so for all of you to care is special. I have had a terrible time with other internet communities because of my ongoing search for Beau, who is Hammer's litter brother, but ES is different.

Unfortunately the vet specialist gave me the worst possible result for Hammer yesterday morning. In addition to his chronic throat and airway problems Hammer has now been diagnosed with leukaemia. Hammer almost died on Thursday night because he started to bleed out and his red blood cell count dropped dramatically. He survived with the help of blood transfusions and his incredible will to live. The only way Hammer could continue to live was chemotherapy which he started yesterday morning.

I have been visiting Hammer after work and the vet hospital staff have been great. I have been able to stay with Hammer for more than an hour even though the standard visiting time is only 20 minutes. When I arrive home, Hobson and Rose sniff me and because they can smell Hammer and the hospital smells, both of them have been very upset. We all miss Hammer so much.

I visited Hammer today and because it was quiet I was able to spend almost 5 hours with him in a private consulting room. Hammer hates to be bathed but he loves to be groomed except his feet. I combed what is left of his coat and combed out his knots and he was so happy. I have attached a photo below I took for all of you. Hammer hates having his photo taken but because of all of you he even looked into the camera to tell you he is still alive. I sincerely hope with all my heart that this will not be the last photo I show you of Hammer. His condition is still extremely critical. It is a waiting game now to see how Hammer responds to the chemotherapy and whether his blood stabilises.

As you would understand the vet costs are huge and if I had not refinanced only weeks ago I would not have had the borrowing to pay Hammer's vet bills. It would have killed me if I could not have helped my Hammer because he wants to live and he wants to come home. I know the time we have left with each other is short but I hope with all my heart that Hammer will be able to come back home and be with us again.

Love from Hammer and his mum and his family.

I am very very sorry to read the latest.....I am thinking of you and Hammer....give him a cuddle from me....I hope he pulls through.....

For those of you who cared about Hammer, Hammer suffered a cardiac arrest at the veterinary hospital a short time ago and he died. I am in shock at the moment so I can write this last message for Hammer. His health problems have originated from his throat.

I went to visit Hammer this evening but I was not allowed to stay long because he required another blood transfusion. Hammer desperately wanted to come home with me, as he did every time I visited him. He was stressed out being away from home and being touched by strangers. I spoke to the vet specialist when I visited Hammer at lunch time today and Bruce said Hammer was almost there. He had started to go into remission, his spleen had reduced, he had stopped bleeding but his red blood cell count went down again. We were so close to getting Hammer back home.

This is a photo of Hammer and I taken on Sunday. I stayed with Hammer for more than 9 hours this day. Another big piece of my heart has died this morning.



I am really sorry to read these sad news....my thoughts are with you.....you did everything for Hammer.....he is running free now without pain......hugs and licks from us xxxxxxx

I have been following your posts and I am so very sorry for your loss.  Poor Hammer suffered so and I know how much this has devestated you.  He was so lucky to have had you in his life.  Just know that you are in my thoughts please.




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