Category Archives: Health and Wellness
~Reducing exposure to TSP (total suspended particulates)
Hello from the smoky Willamette Valley boasting the worst air quality in the world. To help reduce Porsche’s exposure to TSP (total suspended particulates), this simple fix should work. Take a six inch coffee filter cone (a vacuum cleaner HEPA filter would be even better); cut enough off folded edge to miss eyes; open large part; stuff it inside a well ventilated muzzle; voila, you have a doggie mask. Porsche is not thrilled with it, but it allows her a bit more outside time. We are blessed with the ability to let dogs out right into the kennel for business. If someone has to walk their dog, this might help. This is a home remedy, not a scientifically tested filter system.
I worked 15 years with the American Lung Association dealing with air quality issues, and feel this will help.
God Bless you all; stay safe.
Thank you, JuneAnn, for this information.
~ Fire, Smoke, Ash–Covid, riots, Antifa what’s next?
On Thursday JuneAnn wrote--We are about 5 miles from the fire burning 37,000 acres to the East of us. Still, we are getting our share of ash and smoke. One thing nice about a gray dog, you don’t see the ash on her coat. You can feel it. Porsche seemed to especially enjoy a good grooming. JuneAnn, et.al.
From Cliff and Shela
Many OwyheeStar Friends are directly affected by the Oregon fires, driving some people from homes and burning our beautiful forests. A lot of you are doing what you can to intervene and help those who need assistance. Who is tired of the 2020 Woes–COVID 19, Social Unrest, Antifa, Riots, and now it is as if entire areas are being consumed by fire. Let’s pray and do what we can to help each other.
Note: This article first appeared in the Waterland Blog on Jul 29, 2020 | –used with permission.
Jan’s dog ‘Willow’ keeping cool!
By Jan Magnuson
We all enjoy playing with our pups and taking them for walks and hikes during this sunny time of year! Just like we take into account the potential effects of the direct sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity on ourselves, we also should consider how our “furry family members” will fare! I adore my three girls “Willow,” “Daisy,” and “Violet,” and want to always make sure they are safe, healthy, and happy!
Before beginning a summer exercise routine with our dogs, it is a great idea to have them examined by our veterinarian to make sure they are able to safely participate. We should ask if our dogs have any health considerations or special needs that should be addressed before we take them out and about with us in the summertime weather.
We need to consider our dogs’ individual challenges to the warm weather like how much coat they have, if they are overweight and out of shape, or if they have a “pug face” (“brachycephalic”, like my Japanese Chin “Violet”) in addition to any specific health issues they may have like prior injuries, strains or arthritis, skin inflammation, etc.
When we are ready to go out with them, it is a good idea to have a small basic first-aid kit, our cell phone (with our vet’s and emergency vet’s phone numbers), and of course fresh water for them and for us. If we are going to take a longer hike, having snacks may be appropriate as well.
Because I am so active with my dogs, I have many different locations I take them for playtime, walks and hikes. So, on days that are hotter than others, I take them to a trail I know has more shade and is cooler and is possibly even near water. I also tend to do “laps” instead of going straight up and then back, as that way if it gets really hot, we can stop anytime mid-lap instead of having to go a long distance back to our truck.
Another consideration is if the walking surface – pavement, concrete, gravel – on a trail or roadway could be too hot. I place my hand flat on the surface and if it feels too hot for me, it is too hot for my dogs’ pads! So, using a trail that is grass and has lots of shade is a better option, or I can walk on the paved trail but make sure my dogs walk on the grass.
Stopping often in the shade to allow our dogs to lie down and relax and get a drink of water is helpful too.
Always watching our dogs to make sure they do not overheat is imperative – dogs can get too hot very quickly, so we should always keep an eye on them to make certain they are not showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, as that can quickly become an emergency.
Thank you, Jan–there are no adequate words to cover all you have done for us and with Willow.
Willow has been a superstar her entire life! She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!
~For All She Does
Every OwyheeStar puppy is hand-raised, and this process requires a good eye as well as focus. Then there is follow-through–steps we take at every transition point from birth for the exit. We are fortunate to have our granddaughter (who we trained) as a puppy-whisperer. You cannot teach someone to do this–it takes instinct and the ability–and the eye to see the little things before they spiral into something bigger. Pups get scratched, develop little issues, need nails trimmed, ears cleaned, etc. –it is a lot because a young pup is susceptible to all kind of bacterial, viral, and yeast infections.
You might remember Dink–he was a miracle pup. Christina decided she would keep him with her 24 X 7 because he needed around the clock care. She did this knowing she might not be able to save him–but if she could, it would be so rewarding. Over the years, we have saved many ultra-small pups that needed extra care. They could not survive because the bigger, stronger littermates would push them off the best teats. There might not be enough teats for everyone to drink at once–and the bigger keep growing while the small ones get shoved away. This scenario doesn’t mean that a smaller pup has anything wrong, but without intervention, their chance of survival is slim.
You Probably Know the Story
Dr. Calhoun at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital gave his as through of a check that is possible at the six-week visit.
It takes all of us to produce a well-balanced ready to adapt puppy. People ask, “do you have them house-trained.” I always say, “no, but we have them ready.” I think that is the better approach–they have to learn your routine, the household layout, and adjust. If you stay after it, the housebreaking can happen very quickly.
~Habits Good and Bad Take Hold Quickly
Habits form quickly–once a behavior (good or bad) starts it can soon become habitual. For example, the Weim can become an incessant barking machine. I swear they can bark at a cloud. Maybe it looks like a bird. Incessant by definition means unceasing or Continuing without interruption. Maybe that is an overstatement, but if you have that behavior ingrained, it will not seem an exaggeration.
Barking, digging, territorial behaviors, chewing on everything, and the list goes on–if you allow it in a small dose, it can become a thing. Us humans, often get duped and our efforts undermined.
To prevent that and other unwanted behaviors a person must be vigilant early on. It is not one and done thing either. The childlike tendencies often last past their third birthday with the occasional teenage behavior surfacing from time to time. I laugh at people who want this breed and expect them to be easy to manage. A lot can and should be accomplished in the first three months; however, you are not home free so to speak. At the same time—getting the basics done right up front will save you a lot of trouble.
Also consider that the Weimaraner who wants to rule their world can employ growling and snarling. They can withdraw and sulk. They have all kind of ways to get what they want–some are acceptable, others are not. One thing for sure–do not reward or excuse bad behavior.
~ Or How Lisa added years to Azura’s Life
Breeder Note: When we met Lisa, she didn’t know how much longer her Service Dog (Azura) would be with her. So, she was seeking a Weimaraner to train to fill the very large Azura Paw Prints.
You all know that I don’t write about anything except the OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I ask you not to post other dog information, etc., but this seems like the exception. Someone might be able to use this information to prolong or save their Weimaraner’s life. So read on–as Lisa tells you her story.
A few years ago I met someone by chance, she was admiring Azura, my Blue Doberman, we got to talking and she shared stories about how a Dog Crockpot Stew had helped her rescue dogs with their their various coat, allergy and general health issues. I asked her for the recipe, and she emailed it to me. I liked the idea and was going to try it when I had some free time.
Fast forward to the end of July 2019 when Azura, then 7 1/2 years old, was diagnosed with serious heart issues. I asked the vet cardiologist how long he thought we had and he said, “Maybe a year.” To say the news was devastating would be a huge understatement. What I also learned from the vet is that the FDA had been doing studies on grain-free diets and heart disease and had found that the combination of grain-free and sweet potatoes and peas in the first 10 ingredients seemed to be the connection to heart disease.
My regular vet recommended that we start Azura on some heart supplements in addition to the supplements and meds that the cardiologist had prescribed, and also suggested that I start feeding Azura beef heart.
Years before, my vet had recommended staying away from chicken and lamb, so I’ve been feeding Azura beef, fish or fowl kibble. Now I was looking for non-grain-free beef, fish or fowl kibble and was finding almost nothing. That’s when I remembered the Canine Crockpot Stew. I bought all the ingredients and made my first crockpot stew. I also managed to find a suitable kibble in the Wildology brand of kibble.
We returned to the cardiologist in November for Azura’s 3-month checkup. They ran all the tests and the results were that she had improved around 80-85%. He said the meds usually produced a 5% improvement. I knew she had improved because her energy level and stamina had greatly improved, and I was so grateful that the tests proved it. When I reminded the vet what he had said in July about “maybe a year” and asked how long he thought we had, he said, “Oh, years! She’s doing great!” I told him I had made a deposit for a puppy and he said, “Oh, puppies are great! It will be great for Azura and great for the puppy!” When I read his report later, his words were “Azura looks phenomenal today.”
We went back for Azura’s checkup in February and her test results showed mild improvement and the best news was that we could now go six months until the next follow-up. If her results at that time are static or improved, the vet will likely start weaning her off her meds and we’ll continue with the supplements.
On February 18, Sophia, 2-month old Blue Weimaraner, was delivered by Shela and Cliff. It’s been a little over a month, and I can safely tell the vet that he was right, this puppy is great for Azura and Azura is great for the puppy! Azura is now getting the exercise that only a puppy can give her, which is so much more than chasing, fetching and retrieving a ball! They’re both thriving.
Sophia had been here for three days when she realized that what she was eating was different than what Azura was eating. When Azura finished her stew, Sophia was right there ready to lick the bowl. I started adding a little water to the left-over stew at the bottom of the jar and I poured it on top of Sophia’s kibble. She now licks her own bowl clean. I’ve slowly been adding a bit more stew and a bit more water to Sophia’s meals and she now sits by her kibble until I add the good stuff. Smart girl!
I feed Azura the stew morning and night. She has free-fed all of her life, always had a full bowl of kibble available, and since she’s not used to eating only a mealtime, I open her kibble container early afternoon and let her snack. Now, with Sophia having three meals a day, I put a half a scoop of kibble in Azura’s dish when I give Sophia her afternoon kibble, and that seems to be working well.
A Reminder to Proceed with Caution
The Bernie X Boone Litter are twelve weeks old today. Keep in mind that they will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on March 12th. Now is the time to remind your Vet that the Weimaraner Club of America *WCA) recommends the antibody titer test instead of the sixteen-week puppy shot. Your Vet probably is not aware of the low-cost in house titer test option. Download the pdf information to share with the Vet.
We realize by now a lot has happened, and everyone will have found themselves insanely busy raising their Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s (and the OwyheeStar) Vaccine Protocol may have been forgotten.
Your Veterinary office will have a different (broad-based) vaccine protocol. Even if they agree to follow the recommendations, it will fall on the pup’s owner to remember these details. We suggest putting the dates on your calendar and ignoring the Veterinary office alerts. Otherwise, it gets very confusing. If you have forgotten the protocol read on.
- 6-Week NEOPAR® Puppy Shot (given at OwyheeStar)
- 9-Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- 12- Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- Other vaccines such as Lepto and Kennel Cough (Bordatella) should be given as needed–and avoided when possible. We recommend not combining these shots with any other vaccine–, especially rabies. Vaccine challenges the immune system to build antibodies; therefore, we strongly encourage you to space Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccination at least two weeks apart. We realize that many veterinary practices give multiple vaccinations at a single visit; however, this approach is easier on the immune system. If a reaction does occur, then you know what caused it and then can plan to avoid it in the future. Yes, we understand this is a more costly approach–avoiding the risk is worth it!
- 16-Week Crossroad <== Opt for the Vaccine Titer Test instead of automatically getting another puppy shot. We sincerely hope your Vet will agree. Your Vet is likely going to recommend just doing the shot because that is typical for the all-breed approach; however, a percentage of Weims are vaccine sensitive. Although it is likely that your pup probably never had a reaction before, please do not ignore this warning. Even a mild vaccine reaction can trigger immune system issues–some of these lead to on-going health problems and in certain instances death. It is not worth the risk! The vaccine titer test runs more than double the cost of the typical puppy shot, but it might save you thousands over time as well as the potential heartache, but the above pdf file is a much less costly option for the Titer Test. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need another puppy shot. If you need the optional vaccines (Bordetella or Lepto) these can be done; however, please space them at least two weeks apart from the Rabies.
- Vaccine Blog Post For the OwyheeStar Client Only click here! (requires password)
PUPPY VACCINE CLARIFICATION (Lepto)
There is a significant push by the Veterinary community (due to the recent rise of Lepto) to include Lepto in the puppy shot. The Weimaraner Club of America (as well as others who study this breed) recommend you wait to give the Lepto, etc. until the puppy shots are completed. The puppy shot should not include Lepto or Corona. No other vaccine should be combined with the puppy shot. Waiting for the Lepto, Bordetella, and another vaccine until the pup is a little older is less risky. It takes more effort and costs a bit more to space the vaccine, but it is worth it.
What is the DAPPv?
Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (Click Here to read more about the vaccine we use. Remember the Puppy Shot should not contain the Lepto or Corona.
We are neither Licensed Veterinarians nor Licensed Veterinary Techs. Our recommendations are based on twenty-plus years breeding the Weimaraner (exclusively) as well as the breed recommendation (from the Weimaraner Club of America). Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best approach. This protocol is considered a more Holistic and safer approach. That being said, our advice cannot replace that of your Veterinary of choice.
~This is a Weimaraner Issue
We want to alert you to a potential danger that you and even your Vet might not understand. We have been raising the Weimaraner for a goodly number of years–and this condition has proved to be rare, but not entirely absent. Please read on–learn about this disease, and what Kris has to share. Most of you should have read the materials and the vaccine warnings that we give out, but we want to take this opportunity to bring this topic to your attention. Only about 5-8% of Weims have a severe reaction such as this happen, but no one can predict which pup or pups might be affected.
~From the Weimaraner Club of American
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) is a canine autoinflammatory disease affecting young rapidly growing large breed dogs between eight weeks to eight months of age. Affected dogs exhibit swelling and pain in their legs with reluctance to stand or walk. In addition to orthopedic pain, there are variable systemic signs of which some or all may be present during an HOD episode. Systemic signs include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite.
A diagnosis of HOD is founded on radiographic evidence of bone involvement concurrent with hyperthermia and pain, and by ruling out infectious causes of the clinical signs. The cause of the disease is unknown and current treatments are focused on controlling the fever, alleviating the pain and treating the specific systemic signs present. Prognosis for severe cases is poor due to relapsing episodes and the low quality of life for the affected puppies that sometimes result in euthanasia. Currently, dog breeders have no means of selecting against HOD.
We (at OwyheeStar) have had a few pups diagnosed with this–mostly a very minor case; however, for the second time ever, we have encountered a severe and potentially life-threatening situation. One thing we can tell you is the last time a similar incident happened; it was different parents–and a smooth coat. This time, it is a recent born Longhair. I want to share what Kris has written to help you better understand why we are so adamant about being careful with vaccines and medications. There have been several situations where heartworm preventative made the Weimaraner very ill–a mysterious situation for the Vet; however, once they Weimaraner owner stopped using the product, the pup rebounded. So, please be careful and do follow the vaccine protocol we suggest.
About Luna (Bettee X Manfred)
~As told by Kris
We went for her 9-week shot as suggested in the OwyheeStar Health Record last Thursday and spoke to the vet about the recommendations. As you (Cliff and Shela) indicated, they weren’t in line with them but I stood firm. This is my baby and only want the best for her.
Monday (four days later) she stated having diarrhea and by Tuesday at lunch she started losing her appetite and stopped playing with Frankie. I immediately called the vet for her to be checked out. They put her on anti diarrhea meds with antibiotics but she wasn’t responding and was still having a low grade fever. I went back. Then they thought she had a UTI and put her on amoxicillin. She still wasn’t responding, her fever spiked and she started falling when she walked.
I again immediately called my vet and we went to the ER. By the grace of God I had a Dr. who did a thorough checkup and through process of elimination was able to diagnose her properly with hypertrophic osteodystrophy by having xrays done. Apparently, he’s seen this in the past and did tell me Weimaraners can be predisposed to this.
Right now she’s in good hands in the hospital while they manage getting her fever down. She’s started to eat again.
I’m letting you know because I know Luna has 9 litter mates and if anyone else may be experiencing this, they may want to have this very conversation with their vet as the symptoms can be misleading. When speaking to the Dr. and reading up on this, vaccination can trigger this if genetically predisposed to it. It seems Luna is and the Dr. also said there’s no way to even test for this.
I just wanted you to know I’m not asking or looking for anything other than to alert the other litter mates owners of the potential of this. I feel it’s my responsibility and that if another litter mate is exhibiting the symptoms they can get proper treatment quickly. I was told this is about the time between 2-4 months this can happen and again at 20 months. Once the growth plates close, she’ll be a healthy adult dog.
Please call me if you’d like to chat about this. It’s been a rough week but Luna is going to be ok now that we know what we’re dealing with. I’ve attached a link for your reference and certainly you can do your research ot call your vet to discuss this as well.
Take care, Kris (January 23 @ 6:07 AM)
Thanks Shela! I really just want to make sure everyone is educated so if this does present itself, THEY can direct the vet to the right diagnosis. The ER doc said he feels vaccination is absolutely related but he could take 100 puppies and could never recreate the issue consistently. Hence the reason for your conservative approach to vaccination. Even the research I did supported what you advocate for this breed.
I got a call from the hospital at 10 am this morning and Luna’s fever is down to 102 and she’s eating and getting sassy again. I was so happy to hear that. She’ll come home tomorrow if she continues improving and will be on oral steroids for approx 10 days. My primary care will be notified so they can help manage going forward.
Even with Maggie I was very conservative with my approach for vaccinations, heartworm and flea and tick prevention. I contribute that to her long healthy life. I plan to do the same with Luna.
I’m very appreciative of your response and support.
Kris (January 23 @ 11:11 AM)
I called the hospital to get an update update on Luna at 7 local time. She’s holding at a 101 temp since 8 am this morning. She is eating and drinking on her own and now on oral meds. She’s walking again too! Apparently they took her outside on a potty break with a leash and she wanted nothing of it and wanted to do it on her own. I got a little chuckle out of that and said my girl is back!!That’s what she does at home. She knows exactly where we go outside and never lets me leave her sight. When she’s done, she comes inside and gets a treat for a job well done! 😊 I’ll be picking her up tomorrow! I miss her so much!! 💞Kris (January 23 @ 6:32 PM)
To say we are happy to learn Luna has rebounded after such a terrible vaccine-triggered health crisis would be an understatement. We appreciate Kris being proactive–and heeding our warning. We all can count our blessings that she happened to get so fortunate to have a Weim-savvy Vet that knew to look for HOD.
The initial symptoms could indicate many common problems –pups can get sick. They can easily pick up bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These can bring on all the same symptoms–except for the total collapse scenario–well unless the pup becomes dehydrated. We should always be proactive about watching for parasites–and other things. It is equally important to guard against vaccine reactions. We realize this will overwhelm and worry many of you. Just stay alert and be informed–you have to be proactive in these situations. Otherwise, a wrong diagnosis can lead you down the wrong path–and mean difficult recovery.
~This Time of Year
Just a quick note to let you know that Pushkin seems to have recovered from the kennel cough. Zula is doing better but still a work in progress. The amazing thing is that my 12 year old “mutt” had no symptoms and she and Push shared a kennel. ~Marie
From Lara–Kennel Cough
~Reaction to Kennel Cough shot when combined with other vaccine
Sage is doing better each day. I started a vaporizer Sunday night and the vet said I could give her half a Mucinex. He called back Monday, so I started that Monday night. She quit coughing up snot and foam sometime on Monday.
Boy did that snot smell bad. I know I have a sensitive nose, but ewww! She never quit eating or drinking and was mad when we left her behind to walk the other dogs on Sunday.
One case in Salem and the other happened in Spokane. I think that speaks volumes–be careful in public places. The vaccine is not recommended for the Weimaraner, but it may be necessary. Please vaccinate separately–do not combine with other vaccinations such as rabies, or a booster. It costs more, but it is so worth the extra trip.
~Blue is not an OwyheeStar but–
Thought you might find this interesting. Blue is going to Hydrotherapy for his hind leg stiffness. It’s expensive and I was skeptical but it REALLY works!
You might remember Stone, who joined Victoria and her resident Weimaraner (Blue). Well, the aging has been tough on him. Being the excellent Weimaraner Mama, Victoria would do anything to prolong their time together–and to improve the quality of life.
Many Weimaraners like other large breed dogs, suffer stiffness and problems with mobility as they age. We have been asked before if there is anything that can be done? We do recommend the supplements as well as Duralactin–it does help, but here is something else that is promising. We wanted to share this so you would know this option exists.