Category Archives: Health and Wellness
Patos is Thriving; I am exhausted!
Weimar Disdain turned to Snuggles and Kisses
The 9-Week Puppy Shot
Big hugs to you and Cliff! ~Meg
We are happy that Sucia has turned the corner and realized that Patos is not only staying, but it is an excellent thing to have a sister.
I am glad you are sticking to the vaccine protocol. It has proven time and again to produce high vaccine titer results–in turn, keeping the additional vaccine at bay with the risk of a severe vaccine reaction.
We do encourage folks to worm their puppy on a regular basis. There are certain things we cannot speak to for a broad-based audience. Each person must decide what the real risk is when it comes to Heartworm–is it vital to start the new puppy on this medication. Well, maybe. If so, should you use the Plus version that covers the worming as well as guarding against the dreaded heartworm scenario? The one caution we do have is to not overload your Weimaraner’s system with a lot of chemicals. Be as Holistic as possible–this is even more important with the young Weimaraner; however, some adult Weims can react to various medications. Proceed with caution and do a bit of research–if there are reports from dog owners who have used a product and it caused seizures, we recommend choosing another option–different pain medication, etc. Weigh the risks and just because one person didn’t have an issue, keep in mind a percentage of Weims do have severe (even life-threatening) vaccine reactions–as well as a low tolerance for certain medications. One that comes to mind is the Rimadyl.
Thriving In Her Golden Year Placement
August 31, 2017 (Lyle keeps us apprised)
Everything is going great with Mesquite, she is settling in just fine. She did a little howling, but that has been about it. She loves her morning walks, she is eating well. She has been taking a nap after eating and walking which works out just right for us. We leave the house at 5:45 AM in the morning and walk for about an hour. She has found out what puncture vines are. When she steps on one, she will stop and raise her paw so we can remove it.
We are taking her out to the vet tomorrow afternoon, for her checkup.
I have been keeping her in the house during the day because it is so darn hot. She sleeps in her kennel at night. I run the fan until about 3AM.
She is a Peach, and we both love her dearly. Everyone comments how pretty she is while we are out walking. I like to go early in the morning, because it is cool, and there are usually no other dogs out and about. I showed pictures of her at the gun club yesterday. Steve Williams really liked her.
September 1, 2017
We took Mesquite to the Vet this afternoon, she did well, she is good and healthy. The girls at the clinic just loved her. She got her rabies shot, will get a kennel cough in two weeks.Set her up on the 26th of September to get her spayed, will also get her teeth cleaned. They can clean her teeth while under anesthetic.She really has a personality, she can walk on her lip when things don’t go her way, but she gets over it quickly. We both love her dearly and I am sure she feels the same about us. The girls at the Vet clinic said they didn’t think it would be long before we had another dog.She is still eating well, even with the heat. She always leaves a few kernels of dog food in the pan when she is done. Maybe she is saving some food for later in the day. It is the same each feeding. I am sure she will eat better when it cools off. She is very alert and doesn’t miss a thing. She sleeps with one eye open.
September 6, 2017
Cliff:I loaded up 10 or 12 shotshells with just the primer. I took Mesquite out in the field, had my wife hold her on the leash, I would fire a couple of rounds and move closer each two rounds. I fired the last two rounds at about five yards from her, she showed no fear. She seemed interested. I took her down to the trap range today. I stayed 60 yards behind the shooters, again she showed interest and no fear. I conclude she is not gun shy.Now I have to find some pheasants. I might have to wait until after she is spayed and healed up. Will probably wait until I go over to my son’s place in Montana. I can work with her one on one, with no other hunters or dogs around.I wanted to show her off to the guys at the trap club today. A lot of them hunt and they thought she was gorgeous. I especially wanted Steve Williams to see her, and he thought she was a doll. He said he thought Mesquite was a little bit longer than his female.She likes her morning walks, sometimes I walk her twice a day. She has pretty much seattled in here. She sticks to me like glue. The only problem I had with her, she howls a little at night, and when we are gone during the day. She is getting better. I am thinking of getting a bark collar and trying that. I think she misses her kennel mates. I got her some chew bones to help keep her teeth clean, and the part she doesn’t eat she will hide. She learned to do this if she wanted to keep it away from the other dogs. We are more than happy with her, and I think she likes it her. I think she will hunt birds.
September 7, 2018Thanks for sending video of the OwyheeStar Weimaraner’s. I was listening to them and Mesquite was in the room with me, and she recognized Cliff voice, she got all excited. She knew who it was all right.
September 15, 2008 (a note from Cliff and Shela)
We received a phone call from Lyle telling us everything is going well. The only problem he has encountered is she seems to have a desire to chase cars.
Mesquite has never had the opportunity to give chase to a car, a bike, or a skateboard. Nonetheless, this desire to give chase is hard-wired into the breed. It has a lot to do with prey drive; so caution is in order when walking in an area where there are turning wheels. This advice is good for anyone.
Mesquite also committed a Weim-crime. She cleaned a platter of sausage meant for Lyle’s breakfast. Evidently, she navigated the counter between two glasses and slicked up the plate without moving a thing. Welcome to Weim Counter-surfing. It is their Olympic Sport of choice.
Thank you ever so much for everything you are doing for and with Mesquite. And we truly appreciate you keeping us abreast of your progress and the adventures. We know you have always had other breeds (mainly the Vizsla recently) so we are thrilled you are enjoying this experience. Tell the Williams we said hello!
~ Part One
The last two blogs (Roxy’s story) and (Olli who lost his fur brother) have dealt with the loss of the Weimaraner. There are simply no words to cover such a loss. We can agree on this one thing—what we want to do is to push off the inevitable as long as possible.
This heartfelt desire begs the question of what we can do to make a big difference. We have some thoughts. Our suggestions cover the unexpected accidental loss as well as avoiding potential health issues. Our hope is for every OwyheeStar puppy to arrive at the Rainbow Bridge’s door late in life.
Accident Related Loss
Every few months we get a note about a Weimaraner who has lost their life due to an accident. These events vary–by nature each is unique; however, the underlying cause is similar. Some of the standout scenarios are listed here along with suggestions on how to avoid this type of thing. Eating or ingesting various non-edibles is a common theme. There are other dangers too, but we often forget the Weimaraner will eat anything.
1. Toys — Even rubber toys lose their integrity. Depending upon your Weim’s chewing strength, you may need to (always) supervise their chewing. Other toys have squeakers that can become an issue and the rope bones, which are a good choice, don’t work for every Weimaraner. Bits of ingested string can build up in and along the intestinal wall leading to a blockage or irritation. A blockage can happen fast and be hard to discover in time to save your pet. Vomiting and not passing a stool are indicators–but these two symptoms are not a sure sign. The same signs for other ailments and sometimes are just mean it is an upset tummy. It is best to get your Weimaraner checked if this is a prolonged event. Taking their temperature (rectally) might not seem all that pleasant, but it can help you determine the seriousness of the event. (The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A rising temperature is alarming –-you need to know the standard temperature for your pet because it is much higher than for humans.
2. Medications and things sink side — One of the most heartrending stories involved a Weimaraner that ate someone’s medication–kept at the kitchen sink for convenience. The counter-surfing Weimaraner nabbed the bottle and ate it, and the contents. By the time they got him to the Vet office, it was too late. The Weimaraner might eat anything it seems–we have had others report sponges, dishrag, food, food-scented trash, etc. Sponges and the dish rag could lead to a blockage. Food has all kind of potential risk–bones can puncture the intestine wall, and some food (even the most innocuous kind like the avocado) are potentially toxic.
3. Around the House –There are many things to mouth and ingest. Some are shocking to us. One such item happens more than you might guess. Certain Weims are so obsessed with you and your scent that they may raid your laundry basket. Undergarments have the strongest scent, and some Weims will ingest these–another potential intestinal blockage issue. More often than not, they will pass, but you might discover something hanging out the back end. A hankie, undies, or the sock that made for a quick snack. (oops)
4. In the Fenced Yard –These are multifaceted. The Weimaraners are known for ingesting rocks; sometimes they pack them around in the mouth, and this is hard on their teeth. Pica (ingesting items such as rocks) seems odd to us, but it happens a lot. Marble-sized rocks to those the size of a large plum (such as river rock) are ideal. Rocks sometimes will travel through without a hitch; other times (all too often) they cause an intestinal blockage. Sharp edged rocks can irritate or puncture the intestinal wall. Rocks are not the only culprit in your yard. There are a plethora of toxic plants commonplace. Ones we would never suspect. Anything in the yard (including your house siding) could be chewed. We have known of a Weimaraner left in the yard that dug up a sidewalk, and she ingested bits of concrete. While we are discussing the backyard, some Weims can open gate latches. Others dig and can tunnel out of the yard. Then there are those that if they want to get out to explore, they can easily bound over a 5′ fence. Another danger is a collar that would catch them and strangle them. One extreme dog lover tied his and his brother’s dog to a tree. They didn’t have a fence, and they were only going to the corner store for a moment. Both dogs climbed the tree they were tied to–the young men came back to find the Weimaraner’s collar had caught on a branch she slipped, and you can guess what happened. This haunting experience will never be forgotten (the young man is a practicing Veterinarian). May this serve as a warning to others who think to tie their Weim for a few moments would be the safest solution. It didn’t work out in this situation.
5. Road Dangers—
A six-acre yard and a well-trained Weimaraner should not be a problem; however, the devastating loss of their family member proved them wrong. A deer or something spurred the Weimaraner to give chase. Later they found him on a road even though they lived in a remote Northern Idaho location. The inherent desire to give chase (also known as the prey drive) is always lurching in the background–even when you have achieved the seemingly unfailing recall. Traveling with the Weimaraner is not without risk either. Some folks believe it is OK to have them ride in the back of their pickup–some tie them in, so they won’t fall out. Others let them roam free. More than one Weimaraner has seen something that sparked their sudden urge to give chase, and over the side, they went. Not everyone lost their life, but some did. One Christmas Eve in warm Arizona a woman was traveling with her Weimaraner. She had the windows down–the breeze blowing in their faces. She was on the way to a family dinner when her Weimaraner jumped out the window. He rolled down a bank breaking several bones. He lived, but they spent the night at the Emergency Vet Office instead of having a family dinner. He had traveled with the window frequently open; she had no reason for concern until this happened.
Others types of accidents happen but are less commonplace. Day two–we will discuss the other random things that may well shorten your time with your beloved friend and family member. The Weimaraner’s human must look out for their well-being on every level. A watchful eye for the seemingly puppy-like nature and the dangers to this breed are required. We thank you for your vigilance.
~ Shela and Cliff
PS: We bemoan the lack of photos; however, we were at a loss for which one to put here. We also didn’t cover things like Holiday Mishaps–and the dangers posed by the 4th of July and such. It was a lengthy post, and we have written on these topics many times.
~ He has never known life without Rudi
Yesterday we made the difficult decision to put Rudi down. He was 14 and his back arthritis was worsening. It was the right thing to do and one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. It was our turn to love unconditionally and he is now stalking rabbits with his buddies.Olli has not yet figured out the permanence of the change. He knew something was going on and that Rudi was not doing well. He wanted to snuggle with him on Rudi’s bed but Rudi was not having any of it. Re picture below is one we took several months ago in the distillery. Two very different temperaments and we love both of them dearly for their personalities and joy that they bring.Hope you and Cliff are doing well. ~Mary
PS – when we got Olli we started both dogs on Nuvet. Rudi had horrible allergies but they steadily improved over the last 2 years to the point of not needing any medication. Coincidence? I think not. We are sold on the benefits.
Eventually, something is going require us to let them go. This gut-wrenching experience is a personal one. A loss is never easy–it affects each of us differently. We process it in our way–honor them in a way significant to us. Some folks grieve for a long time and cannot entertain the thought of getting another. Others feel free to move forward. They are almost driven to find another and begin a new journey. Their take is the departing Weim would want nothing less for them.
Most of us want to extend the journey together as long as it is feasibly possible. With insurance knee replacements, hip replacements, and other major surgical procedures are within reach.
How Long Do We Have?
That is a good question. No one can guess. There simply is no guarantee you will get 14 years, or even 11. The only way to approach this risky relationship is to count every day as a special blessing.
From Our Side
If you sat where I sit you would feel what I feel. I read notes from people all the time; ………not always OwyheeStar people. In fact, these are usually not from our clients but people who are seeking and searching for other than what happened to them. They look to avoid whatever health issue took their fur baby away. I am quick to tell them that anything could happen. It scares me when we place a puppy with someone who writes me that they lost their last Weimaraner to a rare form of cancer. I secretly fear that rare cancer could strike again—even many years ago when it had never happened. Honestly, I only remember once it happened –cancer of larynx took a client’s six-year old Weimaraner. She got another from us, but it didn’t replace the first OwyheeStar in her heart.
This concern of someone having an untimely loss is only one of the many stressors in my life—I do care. I think when you adopt a rescue anything can happen. Also, when you bring home a puppy things can happen as well. The risk of loving our beloved Weimaraner is huge but worth it.
It is Just a Matter of Time
~ 14 Years is Not Enough
I’ve been thinking of sending you a few pics of this year. She’s such a strong girl – as soon as we start to think this is it, she bounces up like a puppy and proves to be as healthy as ever.
The Beach is Out!
~ This is the Last Trip
This trip to the beach will probably be her last, as she could hardly move when we got home. The vet says it’s that nerve in the hip area that’s ready to give out, so we know it’s just a matter of time before she won’t be able to walk at all. Thank you for staying in touch all these years – you gave us a gift for over 14 years & we’re so grateful.
Dear Friends, if you can say a little prayer for Roxy’s family, we would appreciate it. We all know that eventually, we will face something life-ending with our Weimaraner. It could come as a surprise–out of the blue in a shocking manner that doesn’t allow us to say goodbye. Or, it might require a gut-wrenching decision.
Holly Haffey who is a frequent OwyheeStar contributor (and her mother is Terri Robinson who delights us with her photography) faced a decision such as this with her first Weimaraner, Emma. Emma was a rescue Holly acquired that lead her to the breed. She was able to extend Emma’s life through great sacrifice on her part. I won’t speak to what it cost her personally, and it is most certainly not something everyone could or would do, but it is a testimony to what folks do to extend days together.
The crossroad we all reach (when our beloved lives on) takes us a place no one wants to go. It is a place we celebrate all we have shared and how our life was changed in the process. It is a painful decision that leads us through the valley of loss and grief. It is a very personal decision. If you have not been there, don’t even imagine saying to someone what they ought to do. If your travels include the valley of sorry and the rainbow bridge, then we know you can feel the agony.
Salty is Better
I have been meaning to write for a while now. I know that you are a great resource for information and I wanted to share some things that have been working for us. About two years ago we started salty on a prescription diet and it has really made a difference. My vet recommended a new product called Derm Defense from Science Diet. Since she had never used it (it was brand new) we were a bit of a ‘test’ (we were both a bit skeptical). Since he has been on it his allergies have been better and he has not had to go on medication or had any skin infections! We were sold on it!
The second product we tried is called Solliquin it is made by Nutramax. It is a ‘behavioral supplement’, meaning it is a more ‘natural’ way to curb anxiety. While the results are not ultra-dramatic, they are real. I know you like to research things before recommending them but I thought I would let you know about these two products that have been surprisingly great. Hope you guys are well and staying cool!
True Confession–We have never been a big fan of Science Diet, but they make food that targets specific health issues. No one food is ideal for everyone. There are other foods people have mentioned that have worked well. We have had very good luck with the Diamond Naturals–note we say the Naturals. Diamond makes lower quality foods too!
Anyhow, I wanted to pass this information — you never know what will work. Sarah asked me to share this information. Maybe it will help someone.
It’s On The List
Yes, I own the Cyclamen that my friend Ellen gave me in June of 2012 when I had major surgery–one of two during the last few years. I love this plant, but I thought since I keep mentioning it I also should say it is toxic to dogs.
Cyclamen (Sowbread) | Scientific Names: Cyclamen spp | Family: Primulaceae
Before we moved into the Farmhouse, I kept the cyclamen in a big bay window not easily accessed by the Weimaraner. Sure if they jumped up on the counter and walked behind my kitchen sink they could have gotten to it. Here I have no such place, so it resides on our kitchen table. If I thought it was going to be a problem, I would need to make a hanger for it and get it up away from their reach. The Cyclamen is one of many plants toxic to the Weimaraner. We often forget the danger.
Click Here to check out the ASPCA’s Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List
Find out if your houseplants are toxic and if so, take the necessary precautions. Also remember that a lot of common flowers, shrubs, and garden plants are also toxic. I love the above link because it also lists the Non-toxic plants. For example, the African Violet is an excellent choice.
African Violet (Cape Marigold) | Scientific Names: Saintpaulia spp. | Family: Gesneriaceae
Possibly the best way to select a new houseplant is to choose from the Non-toxic plant list. No one wants to see their beloved Weimaraner sick from eating a toxic plant.
Garden Fresh Carrots
The Weimaraner loves their veggies. The fresher the better. Grandma Terri captured this photo of Maverick (a young Blue Longhair Weimaraner) Crazy for her Garden Fresh Carrots. His big sister (Goldee) is a fan too!
They can’t get enough of their carrots!! My moms have even planted each of them their own veggie half barrels. They can’t wait for things to start sprouting!
Many of you who live in Western Oregon know and love Terri Jacobson. She is Grandma extraordinaire and Holly’s Mama too! Beyond those two fabulous roles in her life, she is known to many for her pet and critter photography. She captured these photos last year during a visit to Grandma’s garden.