Category Archives: Health and Wellness
~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.
~Is the Weim Onboard?
Separation anxiety is real and palpable –and the consequences are sometimes staggering. We have received notes from people who suffered the worst of outcomes–a loss. Others, and more frequently this is what happens, come home to destruction. The rock-solid trustworthy Weimaraner didn’t handle the absence as expected. Anyone who loves this breed has most likely seen reports outlining shocking Weimaraner behavior. We are positive that many of you have experienced this phenomenon firsthand. (Ouch)
Ideally, we need to help our Weimaraner learn how to adapt and adjust to change. For people new to this breed, this can be a foreign concept. Possibly they equate the Weimaraner separation to what they experienced with another breed–somehow, I highly doubt it. Maybe, but more than likely, this person is going to be caught short–shocked at what can happen. This separation anxiety thing is one of the reasons so many Weimaraner end up being rehomed. It is a sad reality. Nonetheless, many Weimar-addicts walk into the relationship eyes-open knowing about this trait and the other quirks and quandaries they might face.
~Here’s to Hoping it is A Good One
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.
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,
~ In The News
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.
- Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete (5 stars) [M]
- Diamond Naturals All Life Stages Chicken and Rice [A]
- Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Lamb (4.5 stars) [A]
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.
~ About the Longhair Geneotype
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)
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.
~A Few Photos
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.
~ 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.
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.
~Titer Test @ 16 Weeks
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.