Category Archives: General Health

Cliff and Shela

Water and Your Weimaraner

     ~Puppy Swim

Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.DSC03640

The Why and the How

Over the years we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.

To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles is the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, about a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.

Hunter or not you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.

Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.

The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.

Why the Retrieve

The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Slopping sides even better. That way they can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.

Running Companions

For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.

To Burn Off Energy

For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.

Imprinting the Idea

We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope you will achieve the swim.

Here is Stackhouse — a strong swimmer

Product Review

Breeder Comment

Dear Weimlovers and OwyheeStar Fans!

You know us well, I think. We don’t make a habit of endorsing products unless it is something we believe in and want to recommend. You might remember we are reviewing products for Chewy.com. We cannot recommend them (the company) enough. Rather than discussing all the reasons, can I suggest you try them? If you have, I believe you will come to the same conclusion we did. They have excellent prices, customer service as well a wide array of products.

Natural Flea and Tick Towelettes

IMG_1812Pet Naturals (of Vermont) makes the Flea +Tick 60 Pre-Moistened towelettes we are reviewing. Honestly, Cliff opened them and used them for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Hunt Test (last weekend). Ticks are an issue along the rivers and lakes–reports are that they are a lot worse this year. He wiped down Winnie before she got out at the test site. Cliff said he loves the convenience as well as the fact that it is so pleasant smelling.

Christina has started to use them on the pups that are out in the yard. We sincerely hope they will help deter gnats. Some puppies end up with little gnat bites because their tummies are rubbing the lawn. We don’t use chemicals on our yards. These wipes repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies so it seems reasonable that they should work for gnats, too. Yes, they are safe for puppies and kittens. You do have to reapply every 2-3 days though. Nonetheless, being holistic and natural appeals to us when we are talking about our sensitive Weimaraner. Like anything, we suggest you try them on one area before jumping in wholeheartedly and discovering your Weimaraner is allergic–we don’t believe that should be an issue; however, caution is the smart approach.

Buzzwords Aside

Holistic

     ~Veterinary Care

Dusty-4342-2 2Cliff and I proponents of a more Holistic approach to caring for the beloved Weimaraner. Limitations may exist–possibly a budget issue. Nonetheless, we always recommend you feed a quality grain-free appropriate food. Some folks have gone so far as to opt for a cooked diet or the raw diet. These are very personal choices, and if you choose them rather than the typical kibble menu, you need to do your research.

What does the Holistic approach entail? Most assuredly it begins with the diet. Many ailments and health issues can be avoided with a proper diet. In truth, one type doesn’t fit all. Some Weims like certain humans are allergic to various things–grains, specific proteins, and particular grasses. Removing these from their environment is the right decision. Ultimately, the choices you and your Veterinarian make should be Holistic in their approach–building their immune system and improving the Weimaraner’s health.

Beyond the diet, there are other considerations such as the vaccine protocol and medications. We won’t go into detail here. Nonetheless, we have shared on several occasions about some medications that are best avoided. The vaccine protocol is something we discuss with every puppy client. Immunization is essential, but you need to know and understand the Weimaraner vaccine recommendations. There is a reason that the Weimaraner Club of America makes such recommendations.

Click here to read what Dr. Jeff Feinman has to say, here is an excerpt from one of his articles:

In a Holistic practice we see our patient’s current health status as part of a continuum which begins before birth and ends in death, with each step along the way influencing what happens subsequently. Thus, rather than selectively suppressing or palliating a symptom, the aim is to elevate the health status so that not only are today’s symptoms addressed curatively, but we leave our patient healthier and more resilient for the days to come. If maladies are truly cured early in life, the patient will grow old gracefully and without the common degenerations we have come to call “normal” aging processes. (There is a great difference between “common” and “normal”.)

What About

Worms

      ~and Other Parasites

3-Juniper X Boone 2018 Wk3-17This topic (of worms) is not one we like to discuss unless we are talking about putting the fishing worm on the hook–even then, to many it is a nauseating thought. Nonetheless, worms and parasites are opportunistic. They find ways to survive inside your pet as well as in extreme environmental conditions. Dog’s Naturally has posted some natural solutions that you might find helpful. Here is their article —click here to find out more.

Signs of Worms

Some worms cause more obvious symptoms than others. I’ve provided more specific symptom information below along with information about the different types of worms (See Types of Worms below) … but here are a few clues your dog may give you that could mean he has worms:

  • Intermittent or frequent diarrhea or vomiting can be signs your dog has worms.
  • Your dog may have a fever.
  • He may scoot and lick his rear (though scooting can mean other things too).
  • Your dog may be off his food or be a little lethargic; his coat may look dull.
  • You might see stools that are coated in mucus (but otherwise look normal).
  • Or you might see squiggly worms or “rice bodies” in his stool.

But some worms can’t be seen with the naked eye, so if your dog’s showing some of these signs, you might want to get a fecal sample analyzed by your vet.

Cliff and I suggest you keep your eye on the pooh–I know it doesn’t sound lovely, but getting a fecal check can help you avoid some of the more unpleasant scenarios. A loose stool doesn’t always mean there is something amiss, but when something like that happens, you want to keep watch. Of course, we love adding the pumpkin (or even banana squash). We are planting Banana Squash in our garden. Right now I only have two hills ready to plant. I would like more, but we have to see if we can make more room. Last year, I baked the banana squash and frozen it in chunks for easy serving. The Weims love it!

Extraordinary

Weim Families

     ~ Like Virginia

dog-pond

Here is a picture of the pond I had built for my babies Dusty and Stormy (Weims).

Mom I don't look like a Blue, ....I am a Blue Weimaraner. I love this pond you built Mom...

Breeder’s Comment

Maybe you follow OwyheeStar Weimaraners both here and on Facebook. If so, you know about the late Stormy and our aging Dusty.

Seriously I thought I was the go-to person

 

These are not the same Weims–they are Virginia’s Stormy and Dusty. Ours and Virginia’s Weims are all the Blue Weimaraner. Virginia’s Stormy is a Blue Longhair Weimaraner.

OwyheeStar’s Dusty is the father of both of Virginia’s pups. He is a smooth-coated Weimaraner (pictured to the left), but he carries the DNA marker for the Longhair. This Story originally ran some time ago.–click here to read the full story.

Things To Know

About Parvovirus

     ~From The Animal Foundation

Canine parvovirus (commonly called parvo) is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness in puppies and dogs. It can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces.

Puppies, adolescent dogs, and adult dogs who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting the virus. Protecting your puppy or dog from parvovirus could save his life.

Keep your dog healthy and parvo-free with these 8 tips:

  1. Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated. Puppies should receive their first vaccines at 6-8 weeks of age; boosters should be administered at three-week intervals until the puppy is 16 weeks of age, and then again at one year of age. Previously vaccinated adult dogs need boosters every year. Visit The Animal Foundation’s Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic for affordable vaccines administered seven days a week — no appointment needed!

  2. Limit your puppy or unvaccinated dog’s exposure to other dogs until he’s had his first two vaccinations, unless you are sure the other dogs are fully vaccinated.

  3. Avoid places where your puppy or unvaccinated dog could be exposed to parvovirus from unvaccinated dogs. Dog parks, pet stores, play groups, and other public areas should be avoided until your dog or puppy is fully vaccinated.

  4. When visiting your vet for wellness check-ups and vaccinations, carry your puppy in your arms outside and leave him on your lap while waiting in the lobby. Walking where other dogs have walked and gone to the bathroom will increase your puppy’s risk of contracting disease.

  5. Parvovirus is very difficult to kill and can live in the environment for over a year. If you suspect your house or yard has been infected, clean with a 1:32 dilution of bleach (1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of water). Regular soaps and disinfectants DO NOT kill parvovirus. Areas that cannot be cleaned with bleach may remain contaminated. Remember, the virus can survive on a variety of objects, including food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors.

  6. If you work or spend time in places where you have contact with dogs, change your clothes and shoes before returning home to your dog or puppy.

  7. If your dog or puppy is vomiting, has diarrhea, is not eating or is lethargic, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. These are all symptoms of parvovirus. Remember, Infected dogs may show only one symptom!

  8. If you are considering adopting a new dog, we encourage leaving your unvaccinated puppies or dogs at home. It is very important to do a meet and greet, but take the time to make sure your dog is fully vaccinated first!

For more information on canine parvovirus, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association or the ASPCA online. And don’t forget to regularly vaccinate your dog! Click here for The Animal Foundation’s Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Hours and Pricing.

OwyheeStar Comment2-Bernie X Boone 2017 WK3-48

The above post was from the www.animalfoundation.com — which is verbatim from their Website. The dangers of the parvovirus are well documented. While many of these recommendations seem absurd, there is a good reason for the concerns. All too often people unknowingly take their new puppy out to show them off in public–like to the pet store. The same place where the person with an infected puppy visit. Sadly, you have to stay away from this kind of place and pet areas during the first 16-20 weeks. We recommend getting the sixteen-week vaccine titer test for a lot of reasons. One benefit is the test results will indicate if your Weimaraner has immunity or now. You also avoid the potential severe vaccine reaction that affects around 8% of Weimaraners. These vaccine reactions are equally life-threatening. Get the vaccine titer test–if your puppy has immunity then you can out and about sooner. :O)

In twenty years, we have not had a single case of Parvo strike an OwyheeStar puppy. A lot of things have happened, but so far, we have been fortunate. We would like to keep it that way. Many of these symptoms can occur from other issues–for example, parasites. This is especially true of the nasty one-celled varieties like Giardia or Coccidia. Nonetheless, while the symptoms are horrid, it is far more treatable than the parvovirus.

We agree with the dangers of this virus, but for your Weimaraner, we recommend a different vaccine protocol. One that is very similar to that recommended by the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA). If you get a puppy from us, that protocol is found in the OwyheeStar Health Record.

Loki

More about our Adventure

     ~ Part ThreeSAR pupUps and Downs

We had some trouble early on with puppy biting. When I tried to correct Loki he would get angry, which worried me. I’ve since used your advice, Shela—a good screech stops him in his tracks! Since then, I’ve screeched and redirected him to something he’s allowed to chew on, and I haven’t had many issues this past week. I’m keeping Cliff’s trick in reserve in case we have more serious difficulties in the future, but for now, we’re on a good, positive track. Though Loki did well with the crate the first couple of weeks, he’s become more vocal this past week and I’ve temporarily revoked his office privileges (his crate is now in an area where his complaints won’t bother anyone). I imagine his increasing energy levels have something to do with it, so I’m making sure he gets more exercise, and he still gets some nice breaks from his crate throughout the day. I’m hoping this is just a phase, and that he learns that fussing won’t get him out of his crate (I’m also doing work to make sure that his crate is a positive place for him—he just objects to not being the center of attention, I think!).

The Vet

We had a nice visit with the vet for Loki’s 9-week shot. She was impressed with the detailed portfolio you sent and is supportive of the vaccine protocol. She is also happy that I’m feeding the Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Chow with the NuVet supplement. Good news—one of Loki’s testes has descended, and the other was in a good position, so I think we’re going to be just fine on that account. She is also an advocate of neutering closer to the 6-month mark rather than to wait longer.

tasty thumbIn Summary

those eyesLoki and I are getting along quite nicely. He’s already my little adventure buddy, and he’s always up for snuggle time at the end of the day. I love this little guy—he is so intelligent and energetic. Though I wrote a fair amount about training, to Loki it’s all fun and games, and I intend to keep it that way. Thank you for all your help in selecting Loki. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Click Here for Part One

Click Here for Part Two

Breeder Comment

Thanks, Erica, for providing so much information about your process and Loki. The photos were outstanding, too! We look forward to hearing from you in the future. Keep up the great work.

 

Age

Your Weim’s Age 

      ~ in human years

 

DSC00235

Dusty at 12.5 Years still looking cute

We’ve all see the charts that convert the canine companion’s age to the equivalent in human years. Recently, the last couple of days, I received one in my Email from the Farmer’s Almanac. You would think they would have it right; however, I knew it could not be accurate because they lump all dogs into the same chart. The AKC has a chart that breaks out the age according to the breed size–anything over 50 Lbs is considered Large Breed. Without a doubt, the Farmer’s Almanac is based on a small-sized dog. Here is the chart showing how to convert your dog’s age to human years compliments of the American Kennel Club (AKC).

 

DogYears_Infographic

 

27718607_10155483663330889_1423492794_n

Dusty and his littermates–Cesar’s Mom shared this with us.

Time flies by so quickly. It is hard to realize they will only be with us for a decade or more if things go well. (OMG) A few Weimaraner live to see sixteen years. I believe this is due to the luck of the draw and extraordinary care. Nonetheless, sometimes things don’t go as planned. We just learned that Dusty’s brother (Cesar) passed on in 2013 due to an issue with his spleen. I have heard of this happening in other breeds (mostly with the German Shorthair Pointer), but it could happen to any dog. I am going, to be honest, I am glad I didn’t know about this before now, for I might have worried way too much. That is a silly thing to do because all the pups in a litter are unique.

 

We all hope for sixteen years. It is not realistic. A few will get the extraordinary gift of sharing their lives for more than 14 years. What can we say? It is hard to talk about this topic and to realize that to love eventually means to let them go when the time comes. It is beyond painful for the reasons you understand. I am hoping Dusty will be around for a while longer.

I also learned that Cesar’s Mom was able to get a female (that they call Daisy) from Dusty’s lineage from a Midwest breeder that we have worked with over the last decade. Sometimes life is kind even when things don’t go as expected.

Dasher

A Dream Come True

FullSizeRenderWe wanted to let you know how well our Dasher is doing. He continues to be all that we could have ever wanted. We just returned from a weekend in Truckee, his first snow experience, and he just loved it.

It got down to 18 degrees so we put a jacket on him and he was off grabbing every stick and pinecone that he could find. He noticed some grass weeds growing out from the snow and decided that he wanted to get to the roots. He buried his head under the snow and looked like an ostrich.  He came out of it covered in white and went back for more.

FullSizeRender[1]FullSizeRender[2]He is one of the smartest pups I have ever had. He has taken to obedience training extremely well. He has all the basics down, including coming to us (off leash) when called. Well most of the time…. Unless he has a pine cone in his mouth then its a 50/50 proposition, he does come, but reluctantly!  Shela, I remember you telling me that his mom ( Bernie) has the best temperament. Dasher is so balanced. He cuddles and plays gently until I kick it up a notch and get him going, then he settles right down and chills out. He has the BEST temperament. He and Dobby are best buds, and Dasher is just so beautiful to look at. We get compliments just about every time we go on a walk. He is built like a thoroughbred horse and is super healthy. Needless to say, we are beyond happy and are forever grateful for our Dasher.
Again thank you, Shela & Cliff, for all that you two do!
~ Sincerely — Dave and Audrey.

Breeder Comment

Thank you ever so much, Dave and Audrey, for this fantastic update. I think I remember telling you that Boone has such an excellent temperament. He is unflappable and very engaging. Bernie is Bernie–she is a great girl, who is sweet but she also is one who wants to be on the go–out chasing birds and hunting. She sometimes forgets to pay attention to the human when she sees something she wants to investigate. That being said, she is pretty impressive, too! We were confident that the two would be an excellent match. Best Bernie Nov 2016A-118
For those reading this update, you might not realize that Bernie is a Gray Longhair. Yes, she is the mother of Dasher. We love this photo for the silly look on her face–she smiles.

Pushkin

Overall we are doing WellClement's Pushkin3238

I set up the crate – left the door open and Pushkin went right in – kennel arrives on Tuesday. So far only one accident in the house.

Oh, and outdoors we have a little challenge. It is pouring rain here, and the ground is saturated and muddy. Yes, we have grass, but it is that wet. Do you have a recommendation as to something that can be put down as a ground cover?

Wishing you well.
Marie

Breeder Comment

 

Kudos to you for keeping accidents to a minimum. Getting the housebreaking done right early on is vital. You know that! So, that is fabulous.

It doesn’t matter when you get your puppy; there is always some challenge. Wow! That is a lot of rain, but then we are talking Oregon–and not our side of the state either. I suggest you try some sand. It should be OK except for tracking it into the house. Nevertheless, it will help with that mud situation. I wish we could buy two truckloads here, but the rain and mud will soon be history. Afterall, it is far Eastern Oregon–the high desert that is typically arid.

Sand should not be a problem. Removal should be relatively easy once you no longer need it. Scoop up the excess and put it wherever. Wash the remainder into the ground. The cool, wet weather is also ideal for one-celled organisms such as Giardia and Coccidia. Birds and other critters can bring this into your yard, and it can thrive in a wet environment. Therefore, getting a fecal check at the 9-week puppy visit and possibly again at the 12-week visit would be a wise investment. A garden sprayer loaded with 10% bleach solution used in between visits –or even once a day might help eradicate this issue. (No, the bleach will not hurt your lawn.) Sure picking up after the Weimaraner will make a difference; however, there are plenty of ways they can ingest a cyst. Everything goes in the mouth–including their paws.

When a pup leaves OwyheeStar they are parasite free; however, this can change in a blink of an eye. These opportunistic one-celled parasites are in our environment. We talk a lot about avoiding Paravirus infected locations, but most of those high-traffic areas are infected with the one-celled organisms too. The reality seems to be that some Weimaraners are more prone to picking up this type of infection. It is a nasty affair, and it can set back the housebreaking progress. Here’s to hoping everyone escapes this mishap.

The Wire Crate

Marie has purchased the Life Stages Wire Kennel or Crate for Indoor Use. This crate features a divider that allows you to adjust the size. We just wanted to point out the divider and how it works. Excellent job Marie.