Category Archives: Pet First Aide Kit

Extending our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part Two

5-Hollee X Benton_4942

Last Friday we discussed the accidental loss of the Weimaraner. One of those haunting and gut-wrenching scenarios that stick with you forever. Of course, we have to be ever vigilant and make sure they are as secure as it is possible. There are; however, other considerations that may well extend your pup’s chance of survival.

No one wants to consider that they might lose their puppy sooner rather than later. While there are no guarantees there a few things we can do to increase the potential longevity.

  1.  Be cautious with the vaccine — we recommend never doubling up the vaccine. That means if you are planning to get an annual DAPPv (Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) do not combine it with Lepto, Kennel Cough Protection, or the Rabies. It may be your Vet’s standard protocol, but spreading them out is less of a hit on their immune system. (Getting the Lepto only vaccine also gives you greater protection against Lepto).8-Bernie X Boone WK1-22Follow the suggested OwyheeStar puppy vaccine protocol and get a titer test instead of the typical sixteen-week puppy shot. Getting the titers checked for immunity is the smart approach–even if your puppy has shown no sign of being vaccine reactive. Most Weimaraners who have a severe, life-threatening reaction to the sixteen-week shot never had a problem with any previous puppy vaccination. The vaccine titer costs a bit more but nothing in comparison to developing an ongoing immune system issue.

    After the one-year booster, you might consider (down the road) checking the titers again to see if they are still immune. Many professionals have come around to the idea that the DAPPv protection often lasts three years or even longer. The beautiful thing about a titer test is you can find out their immunity level. The unnecessary vaccine could be a potential trigger to a serious health issue.

  2.  Be as Holistic as possible. There are different approaches to Veterinary care. According to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA)  holistic medicine humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect. Click on the link in this paragraph to learn more about this approach to Veterinary medicine.
  3.  Medications–some are not as safe as others in our opinion and experience. 20229379_10155028879813305_8042793045446538520_nRimadyl (carprofen) and its generic counterpart Novox Carprofen are something we are not comfortable using for the Weimaraner. You never know when it is going to have a serious adverse side effect–in our case and that of two other OwyheeStar clients experience it led to severe and uncontrollable seizures. There are alternative anti-inflammatory medications. Whenever possible, we recommend you avoid Rimadyl. If it becomes necessary, then try to reduce the dosage or get off it as soon as possible. To manage or to prevent this situation; however, requires that you advocate because it is most usually the go to drug of choice after surgery or when facing arthritic situations.
  4. No one food is right for every Weimaraner. A quality grain-free food is our suggestion, and we are not speaking about one of these premium brands that touts all kind of additives. We believe in adding a quality supplement in the right dosage and staying away from foods that claim they add these things. Why? You might ask. Well,  supplements get old, and even dog food needs to be fresh. Also, how do you know the quality of the additives? You don’t. Stick with the basic quality food and add something that is proven and has excellent quality control. Keep in mind, many of the Big Name Brands are not as high quality as you might think. Your pocketbook may not be able to afford a raw food diet, or the best dog food money can buy. You can provide basic quality food. The right food is apt to help them live longer.
  5. NuVet--we cannot say enough about this supplement. The only caution we have is for young pups. Too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. We suggest you follow our recommended protocol. A small amount of the NuVet powder sprinkled on the young Weimaraner’s food every day will make a big difference. It might take time to see results if you have existing problems, but there are many testimonials including the one we received last week from Mary.  (Click on the NuVet  link below to learn more about this supplement.)

    She writes. 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.

  6. Bloat is a complicated and somewhat mysterious life-threatening situation. We are going to refer you to an article (rather than addressing it ourselves).  Click Here to find out more about the risk of bloat, thank you!
  7. Insurance–the pros and cons of having it. We believe you should invest in some kind of major medical coverage. Eventually, the athletic Weimaraner is going to need extreme Veterinary or special care. Sometimes this happens early in life–a torn ACL, etc. There is the threat of bloat (as mentioned above) in this breed, too! We cannot speak to which insurance company pays the best. Our Vet Office has their favorite company because they say they pay quickly. Some people say that if you get the insurance up front that the first year is nearly a wash. Many policies cover the vaccine, general care and then you have the cost of the spay or the neuter. (Typically, there is a set allotted amount to cover basic visits in some of these policies–each one is different).
  8. Do your research, but keep in mind that many of these surgical procedures cost Crane's Lucy4$2,000 and up. Insurance doesn’t negate your personal responsibility. We might forget we are the gatekeeper and in the heat of the moment simply say do whatever is needed. Insurance means it might not be a cost consideration–in the midst of a crisis, your Weimaraner may receive medication that leads to other issues. Everyone just wants to trust their Vet to do what is right. We understand. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep in mind that they are treating all breeds and a lot of mutts. Each Veterinary fur client is important, but they are not all equally sensitive to certain vaccines, medication, etc.

Thank you, for doing the best by your Weimaraner. We appreciate every sacrifice made for our OwyheeStar offspring. We work with the best Weimlovers in the universe. How privileged we are!?!

The photos we added are not directly related to loss–just a reminder of what we value.





It’s On The List

IMG_3128Yes, 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.


A Tired Weim is a Good Weim

       ~Thank God, it’s Friday!


Garin's Luna Exhausting_1330

“Woof!” I tell you something, being good is exhausting!


Seriously, that saying is one that is commonplace. It has merit. With the high-energy young Weimaraner, you may find yourself challenged to find age appropriate exercise ideas.

Consider Caution 

Seriously, that saying (about how exhaustion is directly related to the Weim’s behavior) is one that is commonplace. It has merit. With the high-energy young Weimaraner, you may find yourself challenged to find age appropriate exercise ideas. For the long distance runner, the obvious seems to be to hit the trails. Nevertheless, caution is in order. If you are a serious athlete (who goes the distance), you want to get longevity from your Weim’s hips and joints. Therefore, you need to be careful not to overrun the pup’s development and growth–their growth plates do not close until about 15 months. That is a sobering thought.

Other Considerations

Age-appropriate exercise is up for interpretation–like all things subjective. Nevertheless, the high-impact frisbee, agility-type activity, and distances of more than 3 miles should be limited. The latter is most important if the run is on the pavement; however, even pounding the dirt trail can be damaging to those developing joints. We have always suggested you set the Weimaraner up for the longer distances once they are done growing by making better choices–swimming is a favorite. The high-energy Weimaraner can always benefit from being able to water retrieve. Long after the growth plates have closed they will have plenty of energy. If they love to fetch and swim this will be a plus in so many ways.


Insurance for your Weimaraner is a good idea–at least major medical. This is especially true for the serious athlete. A torn ACL is expensive to surgically repair. It is said if a ligament problem develops on the left side, the other side may also suffer the same fate. There are other injuries that are equally expensive to treat. Lurking in the background is the risk of bloat–thank goodness, we have only known of a couple of cases in the OwyheeStar Weims. Nevertheless, it is always a risk with this breed. It is also very costly to treat. Should it strike, it is an emergency situation–which may not end well. No one can guarantee such a fate will not visit your household, but to have it do so would (most assuredly) mean to wish you had gotten the insurance.

The Weimaraner can go the distance once they have finished growing. Your faithful running companion should be by your side for a goodly number of years. Consider that hip replacement and other repairs are an option. You might check the insurance to see what it covers and discuss this with your Veterinary office professionals. The person that does the billing will know which insurance pays best and typically have a recommendation.

Luna– does it all!

13529143_1262289560478659_3909295587421553350_nLuna, pictured above and at the top, has many favored activities on land as well as water. She does it all. She is kid friendly and the hostess with the mostest (if you know what we mean). To say she is popular would be a vast understatement. Her life is indeed exhausting. She has a myriad of responsibilities that is mind-boggling. We thank her for all she does for her family and others.






Three Day Weekend

Hoping Yours is Safe

            …and more

Hagerty's ShinyYou should always travel or go camping prepared. Shiny is manning the desk at her Mom’s  Veterinary Practice in the mountains of Colorado. They are prepared should you be visiting their area to take care of your Weimaraner’s mishap; however, we are all hoping nothing like this will be necessary. Whether you are at home having a BBQ or out and about there are a lot of distractions and temptations.

Be Prepared

  • Take a First Aide Kit
  • Bring along your pet’s information — include the microchip number.
  • Know the nearest emergency Veterinary Office location
  • If you are going to a remote location, ask your Vet how to use Aspirin, Benadryl, and something like a Gas-X type product. The latter is for an emergency bloat situation. It won’t cure the issue, but it could buy you some time.

Here are a couple of Items you might find useful:

One time many years ago, we were in a remote location. We had to boat out and drive a considerable distance. Deli got her neck slice on a barbed wire fence. It was pretty ugly, and we didn’t know what to do. We had limited supplies, but we happened to have sore throat spray, a sewing needle, and dental floss. We used this to sew her up, and it worked. It was quite challenging, but we had little choice. These days we carry a stapler; however, in a pinch, you might find you need to be creative.





Your Pet’s First Aide Kit

Editor’s Disclaimer: We ask that you consult your own vet about appropriate uses and doses before giving your dog any medication. Also be sure to become familiar with the side effects and Adverse Reactions before using any of these medications — while they are considered fairly safe and are not prescription medications, there may be some dogs that will react badly to some of these drugs.  We are not Vet techs nor licensened Veterinarians despite our knowledge of this breed.  Information given here is NOT meant to replace the advice of your Veterinarian.
Also Note: If you buy a prepackaged first aide kit you need to go through the check list.  It may come with many handy items, however, often it will not contain all the basics you may want or need.

Getting Started!

The first thing you need for a good first aid kit is a suitable container. (A tackle box is one idea, but any container that is water proof and can hold all your supplies will work.)

Mark your container clearly First Aide and put it where it will be handy–take it with you each time you take your pet to the field or on a trip.

Inside the lid, on a luggage tab, or in a booklet (if you use a booklet tape a note in the lid so people know to look for a booklet) label your kit with your name, address, and phone number and someone to contact in case of an emergency.

Additional Information/Booklet: A small booklet with the specific detailed information is a good idea.  Some First Aide books have room to write too.  If you write these details in a separate booklet or the First Aide Manual please note that in plain view inside the lid of your container.  In the case of an emergency, even you may not remember what you did with the information.  You never know when you may be incapacitated (God forbid) in an accident and your dogs may be in the hands of a complete stranger who will need this information.  Here is the information you need readily available wherever you put it:

Dog Specific Information:

Your Dog’s Name

Your Dog’s Age

Your Dog’s Weight

Your Dog’s ID/Avid or Home Again Microchips numbers, tatoos, other markings.

Rabies Vaccination Certificate (copy)/numbers and date given in lieu of copy-Vet Name–if you have a specific Vet in the office.

Vaccination records

Veterinarian’s Name, Clinic, and Phone number.

Medical conditions of your pet.

Medications your pet is taking including the dosage including heartworm preventative.

List of previous operations or serious illnesses even if not currently under treatment.

Feeding instructions:  brand or special feeding instructions.

Poison Control’s Phone Number

Animal Poison Control Center

We are your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $60 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

Tools and Equipment:

Scissors (Small blunt end scissors)

Stapler (You can purchase these from many pet supply companies-they are disposable)



Oral syringe –administering liquids

Needle & thread

Safety pins in several sizes

Razor blade (paper wrapped for protection)

Canine rectal thermometer (get one made specifically for dogs)

Matches or a lighter


Hemostat (useful for pulling ticks, thorns, large splinters, etc)

Pill Gun

Nail Trimmer

Slip Lead or choke collar

Dish Soap like Dawn that cuts grease

Supplies/OTC Medications (note check on use and dosage with your Vet):

1.  Benadryl 1-2mg per lb, every 8 hrs (65lb dog, 2-4 25mg tablets every 8 hrs)

2.  Aspirin (reg aspirin only) 5 mg per lb every 12 hrs (1 325mg tablet per 65lb dog per 12 hrs)

3.  Hydrogen peroxide- 3% to induce vomiting: 1-3 tsp every 10 min until dog vomits

4.  Pepto Bismol 1 tsp per 5lb per 6 hours (3-4 TBSP per 65 lb dog per 6 hrs)

5.  Kaopectate 1 ml per 1 lb per 2 hours (3-4 TBSP per 65 lb dog, 2 hrs)

6.  Immodium 1 mg per 15 lbs 1-2 times daily

7.  Mineral oil (as a laxative) 5-30 ml per not use long-term

8.  Vet Wrap — 2 inch width, and 4 inch width (4 inch is sold for horses)

9.  Ace bandage

10. First aid tape

11. Cotton gauze pads

12. Regular bandaids

13. Cotton swabs or Q-tips

14. Pepto Bismol tablets — easier to carry than liquid and can be mixed with food.

15. New Skin liquid bandage (useful for patching abrasions on pads)

16. Iodine tablets (when water may not be safe for consumption with out first treating with iodine or boiling)

17. Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing)

18. Alcohol and/or antiseptic wipes (in small individual packets)

19. Vaseline (small tube)

20. Cotton gauze bandage wrap — 1.5 inch width, 3 inch width

21. Pet Wipes –like Baby Wipes and available at Pet Stores, online, Walmart

22. Disposible Gloves

23. Bitter Apple to discourage licking

24. Paw cream like Musher’s Secret or others

25. Larger blanket or towel that could become a stretcher if needed

26. Hot Packs/Cold Packs

27. Rehydrating solution such as Gatorade or Pedialyte

28. Nutritional supplement such as Nutri-Cal, Vitacal, or Nutristat

29. High sugar source: Karo syrup

Note: Only aspirin is safe for dogs, and buffered aspirin or ascriptin is preferred to minimize stomach upset.  Give liquid medications using an Oral syringe tucked into the side of the dog’s mouth, holding jaws closed (rather than poking straight down the throat and risking getting liquid into the lungs).   This one thing could easily save your pet’s life.  Fluids in the lungs can bring on a very lethal form of pneumonia and many pets die of this complication.
DO NOT continue to try to treat at home, the problem might be more serious than you think!
Editor’s Suggestion: Next time you take your Weimy to the Vet take this list of items without dosage ……..even take the boxes or whatever and tell your Vet you need to prepare for the event you are in a remote area and have to perform emergency first aide.  Get the products and dosages approved by your Vet.  Your Veterinarian should know your pet well and be able to give your the best possible advice.  The above dosage is for a 65 LB dog and you should actually list the exact dosage as recommended by your Vet.  At the time of an emergency you don’t want to have to make a lot of calculations and guesstimates.

Never Ever Use these Supplies/OTC Medications

1.  Tylenol (toxic to liver)

2.  Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil, etc.). Ibuprofen is very toxic and fatal to dogs at low doses.

3.  Optional Supplies/OTC Medications/Misc.

*Ottomax (ointment for ear infections)

*Chlorasone eye ointment (or a similar cortisone-antibiotic eye ointment)

*Gentocin topical spray

Hydrocortisone topical spray (such as Cortaid brand)

Ear cleaning solution (Nolvasan Otic, Epi-Otic, or your favorite)

Otoscope (for examining ears)

Epsom salts

Hydrocortisom Cream

Hot spot remedy

Skunk Odor Remover

Tick Remover

Dog Rehydration Drink Mix

SAM Splint

Emergency Thermal Blanket

Muzzle (you can use gauze in a pinch)

Magnifying Glass

Pen Light –or one of the newer head lights for hands free use.


Activated charcoal to absorb ingested poisons (consult your veterinarian before using)

Sterile saline

Note: Those supplies preceded by a * must be obtained from a Veterinarian.
First Aide Reference Materials:
Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook, 3rd Edition
by D.G. Carlson and J.M. Giffin
ISBN 0876052014
For more detail:
Website: The Merck Veterinary Manual
CD-ROM: The Merck Veterinary Manual Windows/MAC
Book: The Merck Veterinary Manual
by Susan E. Aiello
published by Merck & Co.,
8th Edition 1998.
ISBN 0911910298
Editor’s Disclaimer: We ask that you consult your own vet about appropriate uses and doses before giving your dog any medication. Also be sure to become familiar with the side effects and Adverse Reactions before using any of these medications — while they are considered fairly safe and are not prescription medications, there may be some dogs that will react badly to some of these drugs.  We are not Vet techs nor licensened Veterinarians despite our knowledge of this breed.  Information given here is NOT meant to replace the advice of your Veterinarian.
Also Note: If you buy a prepackaged first aide kit you need to go through the check list.  It may come with many handy items, however, often it will not contain all the basics you may want or need.