Category Archives: General Health

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

 

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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.

The Question

Most Asked

When do you expect your next litter?

Litter-Dixie X Boone 2017 Day One.sm-4

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.)

Inexplicable Craziness

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.

Heat Cycles

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.

Mating Complexities

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.

When 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.

1-Dixie X Boone 2017 Newborn-7We 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

Happy Together

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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!

Breeder Comment

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lu

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

LU, 6 yrs 9 mos

Taken during the late afternoon run, watching her main man for a ball toss!

Smelly Feet?

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

 Breeder Comment

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–

http://www.dogingtonpost.com/my-dogs-feet-smell-like-corn-chips/

 

 

Jorga

OnesieGoff's Jorga at 5

Jorja ( Georgia) in her doggie onesie, 5 years old, showing age, fatty lumps surgery.

Breeder Comment

Goff's Jorga at 5-2

I’m sleeping here!

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.

It’s That Time of Year

Pumpkin

     ~ 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.

IMG_8047I 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.