Category Archives: General Health
When do you expect your next litter?
A simple answer it would make things oh so much easier. The complexities of answering what others imagine as absolute, it anything but the case. No one knows this more than people who have waited for a lengthy season to get an OwyheeStar puppy. (Thank you, to everyone who stuck it out and stayed loyal. To those whose trust was implicit.)
The inexplicable craziness associated with raising the Weimaraner cannot be precisely defined. Nonetheless, we would like to shed some light on things from our side of the fence. We understand that many folks who come to us in search of the Weimaraner have waited until the eleventh hour and now they are in the hope of finding a pup sooner rather than later. On a rare occasion, we might see ourselves with an available pup upon your inquiry. This scenario could happen if the folks on the wait list are not ready (have a different timeline). There are the other factors too–the sex, the coat color, and the coat length to mention the three biggies. Also, for example, some folks want to hunt upland game, truffles, or sheds. We are looking for the Weims with the most hunt-potential for those engaged in hunting. During our Discovery and Placement Test process, we ascertain whether the pup is more inclined towards scent, and other cues. That doesn’t mean the less hunt-potential pup could not be a suitable hunting companion; however, we hope to place those pups with the Companion Weim folks. Other than the Weim-seeker’s preferences, availability and litters are affected by factors we often have little to no control over.
The female’s heat cycle might not be entirely consistent. Certain age-appropriate females will come into season every six months–others not so much. We figure on average any female might cycle about every seven months; however, there are times when our best guess is off. Last winter, for example, all the girls came into heat way behind schedule despite the chagrin of many. The lateness caused the arrival we got to be later and for some people, this time change was not going to work.
The complexity of mating cannot be understated. There is a reason we have more than one sire–we don’t keep breeding back to the same lineage. The right sire choice is essential. In some situations, we have had the luxury to use multiple sires; however, many times we have but one option. Or, where we have mixed in the Longhairs, we might have one option if we don’t want any Longhair pups in a litter. For example, Boone doesn’t carry the Longhair DNA marker–whereas, Stackhouse is a Longhair. Any female that carries the Longhair marker and is mated to Stackhouse would produce some Longhair pups. All this planning doesn’t always end up producing a litter.
Who You Get Nothing
There are times when a mating happens, and it doesn’t produce pups. We suspect this happens a lot more than anyone talks about because we get inquiries from folks who have waited elsewhere and after two matings they never got a puppy. We also know, as we talked about with the four (from the Callie X Zee litter), not every female is a good producer. Vidalia never produced a single pup despite many efforts. Ginger and Cindee inconsistently produced small litters. Only Mousse produced the average-sized litter consistently. Who would have guessed? The lack of litters from a mating thing is not the end of the challenges.
To list a few other things–some females do not carry the litter to term. You watch their tummy grow, and they miscarry. Yes, it happens to the Weimaraner just as it does to some women. Or the litter might only produce one or two pups. All that time spent hoping, and you have not much to show for it. Those folks waiting for a puppy can become disillusioned. We can experience these feelings too! We have to shake off anything negative quickly. After waiting, and the pups arrive new information is available. Sometimes it is not as we hoped.
What a Year
2017 was such a year. Our litters leaned toward producing more males than females. Who can guess why? The opposite has happened in the past. When there are only one or two females to six males, soon the Wait List becomes prevalently female oriented. It would be easy to sigh and grow frustrated. Instead, we opt to rejoice in each pup as they arrive.
Our Wait List
We hope you can better understand how difficult the earlier question is to answer. When is our next litter expected? Those simple words imply more than a matter of who is pregnant. Reading between the lines, we believe the real question to be–when could I expect an OwyheeStar puppy? It is complicated. It is impossible to reply with any measure of accuracy. For some, they might turn in an application and find the option to move forward coming swiftly. Others, while vetted for some time must continue to wait. Know one thing–we are waiting and hoping with you. Nonetheless, we can only raise pups for which we know we have a quality home. That means, although we might hope for seven females, we cannot mate three additional litters to meet a quota.
We leave 2017 with the shortest Wait List in a decade. Therefore, we assume that the wait will be less. Nevertheless, keep in mind, we have to wait for the girls to be in heat to mate. Then is nine long weeks of waiting until the whelp (or if you prefer–the delivery). It is then we learn the outcome of the former mating. Typically, we mention it is between four and six months on average. Sometimes longer depends upon what is born and who is on the Wait List. People imagine if they could look at all the details they could figure out what is going to happen. Can I say that is laughable? Cliff and I have been raising pups for forty years. We continue to be surprised. The juggling act and the unknows require us to breathe and to (patiently) wait to see what happens.
Dash had his 12-Week Vet Visit and the Parvo Shot today. He is 24 pounds and has the best disposition. He is just a gorgeous boy!
Dave, we are happy to learn you and Dasher are off to a great start. It is also a blessing to know that you are delighted with your new family addition. We know how important that is and never more so when someone has had a less than ideal experience before coming to OwyheeStar.
The importance of looks–while often a top consideration, pales in comparison to temperament and health. A beautiful unhealthy Weimaraner is heartbreaking. We realize that living creatures have issues–some more than others. Regardless, getting off to a fantastic start with a thriving pup is something we wish for every OwyheeStar client. Of course, we give tips that can help maintain these goals–follow the OwyheeStar Weimaraner Vaccine protocol, keep guard against parasites (they are everywhere), and get the basics done. Each of these things is foundational. There may be hiccups and rabbit trails along the journey, but nothing is more imperative than getting off to a good start.
Parasites are something not discussed much on the blog. Nonetheless, a goodly percentage of pups become infected–OwyheeStar and other than OwyheeStar. Possibly the biggest culprits are Giardia and Coccidia–one-celled parasites that are found in the environment. To some degree cleaning practices can help avoid these issues; however, puddle-drinkers and paw-lickers can ingest these opportunistic predators. When they do, they can take off like a wildfire in the gut. This scenario is best avoided–it can undo housebreaking at its best. A simple fecal check can help prevent this unraveling adventure no one wants to visit. Of course, keeping the young pup wormed is essential too.
Loose stools can be caused by stress but should you see them it is best to keep an eye on things. The cost of the fecal exam can put your mind at ease. Many times these issues resolve without medication–that is optimal. Pumpkin or squash are helpful. Bloody or mucous filled stools (a bigger concern) should be checked. If you see them, don’t think the worst–so far, no OwyheeStar pup has been lost to the Parvovirus. (I hold my breath as I type that statement, but following our recommendations helps keep your new family member safe). There are a number of things that can bring on such an event (terrible diarrhea)–the parasite infestation, and irritated gut, etc. Some Weims have a very sensitive stomach. The same ones may not leave the woodpile alone or stay out of the trashcan. (oops) It is imperative that you are proactive and find a solution–not only can ingesting these garbage-can-finds be upsetting, but it can also be life-threatening.
We so enjoy the morning blog! Thank you again.
~ Our Lu (Yours Truly x Thunder Duster)–6 yrs. 9 months old (born 1/21/2011
So, here is a question on behalf of LU, in Sisters Oregon. Haven’t seen this addressed on the blog – but may have missed it.
For the past few years, Lu has developed TERRIBLE smelling feet! She is mostly an indoor dog, but outside for runs about an hour in the morning and 1 1/2 in the afternoon evening – not running continuously, but lots of smelling around on the 2+ acres of our house and neighbors who use their home as a vaca home….we watch over it for them. Plus, Steve spends a lot of time outside with chores etc. As she is 7 1/2 now, she enjoys her naps in the sun wherever she can find it and moves her nap location when upstairs where the skylight’s sunspot moves!
Running surface is typical high desert – dust, gravel/rocks, sage, desert grass, and the green grass we have around our house. When/if it rains, she gets a foot-rinse and is groomed regularly. When we’re over at the coast, she swims regularly in the lake.
She just had a vet check a couple of weeks ago, no issues except cracked tooth which we’ll be attending to soon. Is this a Weim thing? Our Golden traveled the same territory (but not the same speed, of course!), rarely had that problem…
~ Thanks!! Sharyl
Thank you, for raising this question. First, let us say thank you for giving Lu such a great life. We are truly blessed to know she is much-loved.
Honestly, on occasion, I have noticed the smelly feet (or maybe we should call them paws), but then I figure we smell more like a Weimaraner than human too! When it comes to smells, people usually talk about gas. So, this was new. I had not even thought about it. I did some research and learned it is not the only Weimaraner to have smelly feet, nor is it uncommon in dogs.
The most prominent culprit appears to yeast, but a combination of bacteria can also cause foot odor. A simple rinse will not control this issue. I have some thought on what I would consider as a preventative measure.
1. I would mix up a solution of 50% cider vinegar and water and spritz the feet with it or dunk them. I think once you use this the feet need some moisturizer at least once a week.
2. Another thought instead of cider vinegar would be to use the Vetericyn Wound Spray on their feet every few days. Again, this has a drying action so I would suggest a moisturizer.
3. Consider using paw cream or paw wax–once the feet are cleaned and moist. It might even be better to use coconut oil and a tiny bit of essential oil and make yourself some paw cream. There are many paw creams, waxes, etc. that you can purchase. I wish we could try them all and evaluate them.
Here is a link that talks about smelly dog feet–
Jorja ( Georgia) in her doggie onesie, 5 years old, showing age, fatty lumps surgery.
Ah Jorga, you seem young to be having fatty tumor surgery. Of course, your Mama has firsthand experience with cancer. These pesky lumps the Weimar is prone to getting can be concerning. They are a more significant concern when they develop in particular areas–near a joint, etc.
People ask what causes them. No one can say for sure. Diet can be a factor–the right food benefits the Weimaraner’s overall health. The skin is the largest organ so to speak. Whether the growths should be removed is debatable and based on a case-to-case situation.
We are confident that Arleen and Arliss are ecstatic that Jorja and her Mama have moved from Belgium to the Pacific NW–much nearer. We heard it is beachfront property–what fun that should be for you Miss Jorga.
~ Or Banana Squash
I was at the farm stand and saw the humongous banana squash. I was a hmmm moment. Why not go with it instead of the pumpkin. The yield is smaller for the pumpkin, and it requires more work prep. We came home with the squash–sliced it in half both ways–giving us four long quarters. I baked them and then cut them into good-sized chunks, and froze them. Well, we had to have a sample all around–the kids really enjoyed them.
I got three one-gallon bags of pumpkin-chunks. That is probably not enough for us, but my guess is it would be more than enough for you. Slices can be made whatever shape or size you want. I did what was the least work for me.
The same benefits apply to the banana squash as to the pumpkin. By now you might have read about canned pumpkin often being squash–it is nearly impossible to tell them apart once it is processed. What we care about here is the ease of processing.
At 16 Weeks
Elio continues to be an absolute joy and an incredible addition to my little fur family! He’s a calm, well-mannered puppy who picks up on things incredibly fast! We’re going into week 3 of puppy classes and he’s doing great! 🙂
A Reminder to Proceed with Caution
The Sadie X Stackhouse Litter will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on this coming Sunday (June 25th). That brings everyone to a crossroad. 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 can 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 on1
- 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 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. Your Vet is 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 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. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need any more essential vaccine. 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 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.
The price quotes below are just a sample of what can go wrong. We have heard quotes hovering around the $ 4,000 mark for some procedures–for example, GVD intervention. Bloat can be sudden and is always an emergency. The Weimaraner is one of the targeted breeds for this horrendous life-threatening health issue. Click here to read more. As with humans, there are the typical ailments that can come and rob us of time. We want to eke out as much time together as is possible; insurance can help us get more.
The athletic Weimaraner can suffer a torn or ruptured ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). Possibly if one side goes, then the other will too–according to the experts. Joint replacement is possible. If this happens, you want to be able to take care of your fur family member and best friend.
We don’t make a fee if you sign up for insurance this or other insurance. AKC doesn’t have the only gig in town. Our Vet office prefers Pets Best, but they have had a result with other insurances as well as the AKC recommended.
We received this from AKC
|Thanks to amazing advances in veterinary medicine, treatment for your pet’s accidents and illnesses are more successful today – but often at a high cost.
Below is a list of claims paid to our current policyholders. As you can see, it can be expensive to keep our pets healthy! Luckily our pet insurance can help keep costs down for a low monthly premium.
You probably received this from AKC too! We suggest that checking into Major Medical Coverage for your beloved Weimaraner. You don’t want their life cut short, nor for them to have to limp along with a career ending injury. All too soon the end will stare you in the face. All this goodness last but a season it seems.
At Nearly 8 Years
It has been ages since we have checked in with you, but our Hank continues to do well. He will be 8 this summer and is finally starting to slow down.
He has been remarkably gentle with our two boys, who joined the family after he did (ages 4 and 3 months). I’ve attached a pic of him inspecting our new addition, as well as one where he is doing what he does best (taking up room on the couch) 🙂
We had a question we wanted to run by you since you’ve surely run into almost everything with this breed. Hank was just diagnosed with a cranial cruciate ligament tear in his hind leg and we are headed down the surgical road. $$$ Is this something you have seen in the past? Just wondering if you had any insight.Thanks again for laying the groundwork for our fabulous pup!Regards, Will and Suzanna
With the rising Veterinary costs, surgery can be costly. We suggest investing in Major Medical for the unforeseen situation such as the ligament tear. There are many other situations that could also require extreme care such as bloat. The aging Weimaraner, like the senior human, will most likely face some medical challenges. Who doesn’t want to be able to give them the best Holistic care possible?