Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Happy 4th of July

~Here’s to Hoping it is A Good One

We are hanging out with Cliff and Shela — No Fireworks here!

Every year we hear about the Weimaraner shaking and scared of fireworks–but it is not true for every Weim. Recently we heard Bart and Jorga are unfazed. Possibly a big part of this phenomena is they were forced to become more adaptable. Jorja traveled to Belgium (where she spent the first part of her life), and recently she returned to the Pacific Northwest. That kind of journey requires acclimation to loud sounds, unfamiliar territory, and adaptability.

Bart was here longer than the average OwyheeStar puppy. The family slated to get him opted to wait for a future Longhair. He received more time and some attention to learning how to adjust and adapt. Possibly this worked in his favor. Also, his family was very savvy at the transition–careful not to overwhelm him. That is no longer an issue–he travels in large crowds (dogs, children, and noise are not a problem). Below are the notes we received yesterday.

We have opted to keep Bernie’s litter here an extra week. Having them out and about amid the 4th of July Fireworks and the additional potential exposure to Parvo didn’t seem wise.

Dan Reported

Bart (Atti X Boone) There were some fireworks the other night and Bart just looked up and kind of went “what was that?, huh? oh well, back to what I was doing”. We’ll see about tomorrow.

Eileen Writes . –Jorja’s First (Rosie X Zee)

Wa fireworks, doors open fireworks exploding and she is snoring away! Xoxoxo to a relaxed girl,

Pet Food

~ In The News

Whipping Cream is still good, right?

We are positive you have heard the news. Grain-free food is out. “Grain-free” (defined as having no corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains) is linked to Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). It is a type of canine heart disease that affects the heart muscle. Food for your fur family members is always a hot topic. Raising a concern such as this is the type of thing that makes a lot of good pet owners think twice about what they are feeding.

Click Here to Read the Report–and for your convenience here are the foods on their:

  • Acana (67 reports)
  • Zignature (64 reports)
  • Taste of the Wild (53 reports)
  • 4Health (32 reports)
  • Earthborn Holistic (32 reports)
  • Blue Buffalo (31 reports)
  • Nature’s Domain (29 reports)
  • Fromm (24 reports)
  • Merrick (16 reports)
  • California Natural (15 reports)
  • Natural Balance (15 reports)
  • Orijen (12 reports)
  • Nature’s Variety (10 reports)
  • Nutrisource (10 reports)
  • Nutro (10 reports)
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish (10 reports)

We believe all our Weim-loving folks are buying what they believe is in the best interest of their fur family member. You might wonder about our recommendation or what we are using. We like the two options we list below for our adults. Which one of these foods a particular Weimaraner eats depends upon their dietary need, age, etc.—Cliff makes that calls. They are not considered Grain-free, because they contain rice. The allergens that seem to cause the most issues in our beloved Weimaraner are beef, corn, barley, and wheat. Along with the food we use for the adults, we are also listing the puppy food we use as well.

Not Just Grain-Free

~Let’s Not Forget Recalls

While we are all in an uproar about the grain-free diet potentially causing health issue, let’s not forget all the recalls. Click Here to check out the list. Honestly, we don’t know if there is a company that has avoided a recall, but we believe the last time Diamond had a problem was in 2012. When you look at this list of recalls, it will put that into perspective. It was a minimal recall which didn’t affect the Pacific NW if I recall correctly.

Everyone is going to have to make up their mind about what to do. Keep in mind though–each company makes a variety of food–under various labels. Their less expensive food is often something you want to avoid–of course, But a more costly food doesn’t always mean it is the best choice for you fur family member. For example, the highly touted Diamond made Taste of the Wild is identified with a serious implications.

Just Putting This Out There

Nestle owns Purina–say what? Click Here to view the 15 companies making most of the pet food. For a quick reference, look below.

Mars –Altogether Mars Petcare owns 41 brands including Pedigree, Iams, Whiskas, Royal Canin and Banfield Pet Hospitals. Of course there are other foods made under different labels or brands: California Naturals, Catson, Cesar, Chappi, Dreamies, Eukanuba, Sheba and Temptations.

Nestle –it might shock you to learn that the second largest pet food producer is another candy company. Nestlé Purina PetCare brands include recognizable names such as: Alpo, Bakers, Chef Michael’s Canine Creations, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Felix, Gourmet, Kit & Kaboodle, Purina and Purina ONE.

Hills — Science Diet, Prescription Diet, Ideal Balance and Healthy Advantage. 

Diamond — Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Diamond Naturals Grain-Free, Nutra-Gold, Nutra-Gold Grain-Free, Nutra Nuggets Global, Nutra Nuggets US, Premium Edge, Professional and Taste of the Wild.

Blue Buffalo — BLUE, Basics, Wilderness, Freedom, Life Protection Formula, Naturally Fresh and LifeSource Bits.

Well Pet — Sojos, Wellness Natural Pet Food, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Snacks and Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food.

Merrick –Backcountry, Backcountry Raw, Before Grain, Classic, Good Buddy, Grain Free, Lil’ Plates, Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Ultramix, Organix, Purrfect Bistro, Treats and Whole Earth Farms.

Ainsworth —  Dad’s, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Better Than and Kibble Select Complete.

Dear friend, if you to write us about what to do, you will get a link to this Blog. We have gotten several Emails from concerned Weimlovers. We understand. Honestly–there is a lot to consider when selecting any pet food. We are not Licensed Veterinarians, or Licensed Vet Techs, or Canine Food Scientists. The only thing we have to share is what we read and our experience. If you have been feeding a Grain-free diet, you might want to rethink your food situation. I believe you are going to see a huge shift away from grain-free pet foods.

Did You Ever Wonder?

~ About the Longhair Geneotype

Atti and Stackhouse

There are 3 possible genotypes:

·         Clear FGF5:c284G>T -/-; (those having 2 copies of the normal allele)

·         Carrier FGF5:c284G>T +/-; (those having 1 copy of the normal allele and 1 copy of the long-hair mutation)

·         Affected “Fluffy” FGF5:c284G>T +/+; (those having 2 copies of the long-hair mutation)

Compliments of DDC Veterinary

My understanding is there is typically two copies of the allele, and if both are normal, then the Weimaraner would have the traditional smooth coat. If there is one copy of the normal and one copy of the longhair mutation (as they call it), then that Weimaraner is a carrier. They look like a traditional smooth coat. Some of these carriers will have a bit of wave to their coat, and some will have a plusher coat. If both copies are the longhair mutation, then you have a longhair.

Okay – when we first learned about this we felt that if you mated a Longhair with a Carrier you would get 50% Carriers and 50% Longhairs. Whew—we soon learned that this must be an average,–because we mated a Carrier to a Longhair and we got 8 pups – 2 were Longhairs. The next year we repeated the same mating expecting only a couple of Longhairs to be born, and this time we got 8 pups—6 were Longhairs.  So, we became acutely aware that it didn’t work exactly like we interpreted this chart.

Whenever we have a mixed litter, we take the DNA sample ASAP and send off the samples as quickly as possible. The other choice would be to be the home of the undocked tail. Haha Then, there would be no concern as to whether they were Longhairs or not. I do believe the world is moving toward a stand against docking, but the American Weimaraner Breed Standard is for the docked tail on the traditional Weimaraner. There is no American Standard for the Longhair per se—but worldwide the Longhair sports the full tail.

Some breeders feel that they can accurately guess which pups are Longhairs—we don’t feel all that confident. We have guessed nearly every time we had them born and then sent off for the DNA test. We are never 100% accurate. I cannot say why that is for sure. We have tried taking close up photos and looking at the hair on their ears and between their toes if the hair is smoother on the face and forehead that is an indication that you have a Longhair, too!

People are discovering the Longhair—I cannot say for sure why, but a lot of folks are equally addicted to them. Several of our clients have both, and some have converted to the Longhair. Click here to learn more about Coat Length (or the fluffy coat) test.

Remembering Dusty

~A Few Photos

The one in the center–of course.

Of course, he sired the litter that produced Jan Magnuson’s Willow–who could forget all they have accomplished? Then too–he was the Maternal Grandfather of the first Russian Blue–Gabriel. Along with Storm–our first Longhairs arrive. What a surprise that was–we had no idea that he or Storm carried the fluffy coat recessive trait–commonly called the Longhair.

There were a lot of firsts with Dusty–including the first time we had a dog eat a rock. (OMG) Weims do ingest anything and everything. They call it Pica–eating rocks and whatnot. He got an intestinal blockage which nearly took his life, but after a piece of his intestine was removed he bounced back.

Don’t worry–we have Dusty’s lineage weaved throughout our DNA pool. Most of our current girls have him on their pedigree–which is why we had to bring in a fresh Stud Dog, not too long ago. We don’t breed back to the same lineage.

From the Oregon Coast

~ Our Sweet Boris

Our sweet Boris is scratching and itching. We think he has fleas. Is there a flea product you recommend? I use revolution for my cat and used it on my last dog Moon. But after reading Cliffs pamphlet. And learning how sensitive these dogs are. We are concerned. Today Claude plans on giving him a bath we don’t want anything toxic for our pets. We do believe in natural remedies.  And want Boris to have the best care we can give him. Right now Claude and Boris are outside playing in the rain. He is such a joy.

We tried to get you the photo you wanted– it’s a bad pic but it’s the best I could do right now. He’s a wiggle worm. Already working us over. He rings the potty bell. A couple pee pee accidents, but it was our fault for not acting quickly . Now he rings the bell because he wants to go outside and chew  on pine cones and tree bark. He’s such a rascal! Feeling comfortable at home . Don’t have a minute to spare. He’s barking at me now . So gotta go! I’ll send a better pic when my daughter is here to help us out.

Breeder Comment

Boris with our Granddaughter (Ashley)

We understand that getting a quality photo of a young Weimaraner can be a challenge. Thank you, for your effort. I am sure everyone loves seeing Boris with you.

It sounds like you are doing well–we trust you got the information we Emailed you. Please let us know how it works. For those who wonder–this pup was older when they got him. We had and have a few available pups that are older than the traditional eight-weeks. To find out more, Email us.

Henri’s

~Titer Test @ 16 Weeks

Lounging at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital


Dear Weimlovers!

You might remember that Dr. John Calhoun’s Idaho Veterinary Hospital (IVH) agreed to start offering the VacciCheck Titer Testing. OwyheeStar’s Henri was the first to be tested using this system–and the fabulous Rebecca A Balls (Certified Veterinary Technician) handled all the laboratory details. We cannot thank IVH and their competent staff for their professionalism and making this possible.

The results are returned a little different than with the traditional titer test–but by all reports it is reliable. Henri’s results showed her having protective antibodies sufficient enough to provide immunity to

CDV — Canine Distemper Virus

ICH — Infectious Canine Hepatitis–Adenovirus

CPV — Canine Parvo Virus

This less expensive titer test is relatively new so most Veterinary practices may not yet offer this option. Please click here to read about the titer test, and ask your Vet if they can make this available to you–it is affordable, accurate, and helps you avoid vaccine reactions that are common in our breed.

We Are Busy

~ Ace of Clubs

Ace busy pruning my wisteria this morning 😬

Vaccine

The vet has agreed to administer the vaccines according to the Weimaraner protocol. He was prescribed an antibiotic for his eyes. We are hoping that his umbilical hernia will close by itself. I think it already looks smaller. His weight was 15 and 1/2 lbs. It seemed to me that he weighed a little more when we got him but he is eating, sleeping, playing and getting longer legs!! He is a beauty❣️
Dee and Mike

Diarrhea, Etc.

~ Not what I thought (whew)!

I just wanted to let you know that all is going very well despite a young puppy’s voracious appetite and sharp teeth!!I believe we are off to a solid start. We have completed the AKC registration and the registration for the microchip. We have adjusted the feedings to 1 cup 3x a day. Unfortunately Ace thinks he needs more. Lot’s more!!You know what happens to a dog when you cross that line. Yep! Diarrhea!! We tried listening to him and that’s what we got 🙃

Just set your mind at rest, I turned in a stool sample on Saturday and it was negative 😊

He is sitting and knows his name. Mostly responds to “Ace come” when called. A terrific pottier outside 👍🏻We are monitoring the umbilical hernia but are not concerned. His eye infections are cleared up but he has to finish 3 more days of the antibiotic.I hope all the rest of his litter mates are doing well❣️🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾🐾
Dee and Mike and Atkins Ace of Clubs

Breeder Comment

Thanks for the detailed updates –we are thrilled to hear that Ace is doing well. Yes, the last minute little hernia appears to be nothing of significance. I am glad you are not worried. Over the years, we have learned that doing as little as possible with these seems to be the best choice–only fix a larger one that is more risky.

We are glad you had the stool sample checked. With young pups it is always wise to check to be sure nothing more is going on–but you have this covered. It appears other folks are doing well–at least that is what we have heard.

Things Like This

~Injuries

Maybe you frequent Facebook and follow Luna, Tikka, and Maizie Weim. I know quite of few of you are connected via social media. Anyhow, not all that long ago–in mid-January Lunna tweaked a toe. I believe that is correct. So, we saw the photos of the various casts, etc.

Nancy reported –She broke one of her weight-bearing toes, not sure how…

Then news of Maize’s injury surfaced. (OMG)

Linda Writes –Yesterday at the Mary S. Young Dog Park, Maizie chased a ball—at high speed, thrown by the powerful toss of her Master with a Chuck-it. Coming after the ball too, was a large Labrador. They collided and Maizie got t-boned which broke her rib.😰. She is not feeling perky today. Gotta keep her quiet for a couple weeks. 🚫NO Squirrels.

Breeder Comment

We were sorry to hear about these injuries. The athletic Weimaraner sometimes finds trouble–even when they are being well-behaved.

Parvo Paranoia

~ Real or Imagined

Our Client Asked —

Luna not too long before she joined her family.

Is the Parvo virus threat just until they get through their 16 week Titler test? Or is it until they reach a certain age? Just a little unclear what constitutes them being safe for public areas/dog parks etc. If you get the titer test done at 16 weeks it will show if she has immunity to Parvo and if you also have her tested for the Distemper it would also show that. Last time we just tested for the Parvo because Distemper just is not something they are seeing in our area. 

OwyheeStar’s Response

Parvo is a very real risk. Ask any Vet office and they will tell you that the risk is out there, and it is beyond sad when a puppy comes in and they are determined infected. We have never had an OwyheeStar puppy diagnosed with Parvo. Nonetheless, even though nowhere in the Pacific NW is listed as a ‘Hot Spot’ we still need to exercise caution.

I think if you take your puppy for a walk in the neighborhood you should wipe the feet (not let them lick her paws) and make sure they are not investigating a lot of areas where the ground might be infected. In all likelihood, your local neighborhood (if it is a low traffic area) may be fairly safe.

So what do I mean by low traffic? A place less traveled by those with pups. Any area where people are taking random puppies (which might be unknowingly infected). It is understandable that the owner doesn’t yet have a clue. The pups begin shedding the virus long before there is a definitive sign that they are ill. So they are leaving behind the virus everywhere. Of course, they are infecting the ground. But did you know if you viewed this virus under the microscope that one end is barbed–it sticks to clothing, shoes, etc. It is very portable which makes the spread even more commonplace.

More Information

Here are a couple of links that talk about the prevalence of Parvo and how to avoid it—and while it sounds paranoid, you want to socialize the puppy BUT avoid risk.  

Parvo In Puppies

Parvo Virus in Dogs

Precautions

~We are extra careful

We always leave the pups in the car (when scheduled for the Veterinary Wellness) until the room is ready at the Vet office. It is essential to avoid exposure—to Parvo, Kennel Cough, etc. We never take a young dog that doesn’t have immunity to public places including pet stores (where well-meaning folks might share the virus) such a  Pet Store, Park, Dog Area, or even to socialize at the local Farm Store– etc.

The Vaccine Titer Test

Once the Titer test shows immunity (with a high titer count) you are good to go. We honestly believe if you follow our vaccine protocol you will attain protection. Then by getting the sixteen-week titer test (instead of the typical puppy shot) it is going to allow you to have the freedom to be anywhere. In the meantime though, visit friends homes in a fenced back yard—where pets are vaccinated, etc. Figure out ways to safely socialize your puppy–a hundred different touches in a hundred days would be a good goal. Do what you can–but be safe, my friend.

Every Breath You Take

~ Sounds Like

I often wonder how we do it. You know–raise a puppy. We bring the little bundle home and hover over them. It is essential to do the hovering thing–otherwise, how can you accomplish the housebreaking, etc.? But this obsession with our new fur baby runs deep–some of this never goes away.

Their every sound–a rattling, a snore, a hacking sound is cause for alarm. We watch breath-abated wondering if we need to run to the Vet. Ah–it is hard to know sometimes. We always suggest you wait and watch a bit–possibly take their temperature. Remember that a pet’s temperature is much higher than ours–typically around 101 degrees. Anything above 104 degrees is emergent. Of course, if you were monitoring their temperature and it was 102 degrees and then within an hour 103 degrees, there might be cause for alarm. Always err on the side of caution–but rushing to the Vet for everything is probably not necessary. In fact, your alarm will be internalized by the puppy increasing the stress-factor. Try to stay calm.

A lot–and I do mean a lot, of our concerns, are for nothing. Puppies can cough, they snort, the sneeze, they can reverse sneeze (something we recently learned), they choke, and create a myriad of noises. Many of which are concerning. Most of which are in the end nothing at all. Thank goodness.

Keep your eye on them. A pup can ingest something in quick order–so despite saying not to overreact, there is vigilance. Recently, Henri went under my recliner and came out with a packet –that must have been attached underneath the chair. We didn’t realize it was there, but Henri found two–probably toxic packets. Oh my gosh–it is good we heard the crackling sound and asked what she had. We retrieved each package and tossed them in the trash. Thankfully they were not broken open.