Category Archives: Pet Insurance

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.

 

 

 

Extending Our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part One

Roxy's FamilyThe last two blogs (Roxy’s story) and (Olli who lost his fur brother) have dealt with the loss of the Weimaraner. There are simply no words to cover such a loss. We can agree on this one thing—what we want to do is to push off the inevitable as long as possible.

This heartfelt desire begs the question of what we can do to make a big difference. We have some thoughts. Our suggestions cover the unexpected accidental loss as well as avoiding potential health issues. Our hope is for every OwyheeStar puppy to arrive at the Rainbow Bridge’s door late in life.

Accident Related Loss

Every few months we get a note about a Weimaraner who has lost their life due to an accident. These events vary–by nature each is unique; however, the underlying cause is similar. Some of the standout scenarios are listed here along with suggestions on how to avoid this type of thing. Eating or ingesting various non-edibles is a common theme. There are other dangers too, but we often forget the Weimaraner will eat anything. 

1. Toys — Even rubber toys lose their integrity. Depending upon your Weim’s chewing strength, you may need to (always) supervise their chewing. Other toys have squeakers that can become an issue and the rope bones, which are a good choice, don’t work for every Weimaraner. Bits of ingested string can build up in and along the intestinal wall leading to a blockage or irritation. A blockage can happen fast and be hard to discover in time to save your pet. Vomiting and not passing a stool are indicators–but these two symptoms are not a sure sign. The same signs for other ailments and sometimes are just mean it is an upset tummy. It is best to get your Weimaraner checked if this is a prolonged event. Taking their temperature (rectally) might not seem all that pleasant, but it can help you determine the seriousness of the event. (The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A rising temperature is alarming –-you need to know the standard temperature for your pet because it is much higher than for humans.

2. Medications and things sink side — One of the most heartrending stories involved a Weimaraner that ate someone’s medication–kept at the kitchen sink for convenience. The counter-surfing Weimaraner nabbed the bottle and ate it, and the contents. By the time they got him to the Vet office, it was too late. The Weimaraner might eat anything it seems–we have had others report sponges, dishrag, food, food-scented trash, etc. Sponges and the dish rag could lead to a blockage. Food has all kind of potential risk–bones can puncture the intestine wall, and some food (even the most innocuous kind like the avocado) are potentially toxic.

3. Around the House –There are many things to mouth and ingest. Some are shocking to us. One such item happens more than you might guess. Certain Weims are so obsessed with you and your scent that they may raid your laundry basket. Undergarments have the strongest scent, and some Weims will ingest these–another potential intestinal blockage issue. More often than not, they will pass, but you might discover something hanging out the back end. A hankie, undies, or the sock that made for a quick snack. (oops)

4. In the Fenced Yard –These are multifaceted. The Weimaraners are known for ingesting rocks; sometimes they pack them around in the mouth, and this is hard on their teeth. Pica (ingesting items such as rocks) seems odd to us, but it happens a lot. Marble-sized rocks to those the size of a large plum (such as river rock) are ideal. Rocks sometimes will travel through without a hitch; other times (all too often) they cause an intestinal blockage. Sharp edged rocks can irritate or puncture the intestinal wall. Rocks are not the only culprit in your yard. There are a plethora of toxic plants commonplace. Ones we would never suspect. Anything in the yard (including your house siding) could be chewed. We have known of a Weimaraner left in the yard that dug up a sidewalk, and she ingested bits of concrete. While we are discussing the backyard, some Weims can open gate latches. Others dig and can tunnel out of the yard. Then there are those that if they want to get out to explore, they can easily bound over a 5′ fence. Another danger is a collar that would catch them and strangle them. One extreme dog lover tied his and his brother’s dog to a tree. They didn’t have a fence, and they were only going to the corner store for a moment. Both dogs climbed the tree they were tied to–the young men came back to find the Weimaraner’s collar had caught on a branch she slipped, and you can guess what happened. This haunting experience will never be forgotten (the young man is a practicing Veterinarian). May this serve as a warning to others who think to tie their Weim for a few moments would be the safest solution. It didn’t work out in this situation.

5. Road Dangers

A six-acre yard and a well-trained Weimaraner should not be a problem; however, the devastating loss of their family member proved them wrong. A deer or something spurred the Weimaraner to give chase. Later they found him on a road even though they lived in a remote Northern Idaho location. The inherent desire to give chase (also known as the prey drive) is always lurching in the background–even when you have achieved the seemingly unfailing recall. Traveling with the Weimaraner is not without risk either. Some folks believe it is OK to have them ride in the back of their pickup–some tie them in, so they won’t fall out. Others let them roam free. More than one Weimaraner has seen something that sparked their sudden urge to give chase, and over the side, they went. Not everyone lost their life, but some did. One Christmas Eve in warm Arizona a woman was traveling with her Weimaraner. She had the windows down–the breeze blowing in their faces. She was on the way to a family dinner when her Weimaraner jumped out the window. He rolled down a bank breaking several bones. He lived, but they spent the night at the Emergency Vet Office instead of having a family dinner. He had traveled with the window frequently open; she had no reason for concern until this happened.

Others types of accidents happen but are less commonplace. Day two–we will discuss the other random things that may well shorten your time with your beloved friend and family member. The Weimaraner’s human must look out for their well-being on every level. A watchful eye for the seemingly puppy-like nature and the dangers to this breed are required. We thank you for your vigilance.

 

~ Shela and Cliff

 

PS: We bemoan the lack of photos; however, we were at a loss for which one to put here. We also didn’t cover things like Holiday Mishaps–and the dangers posed by the 4th of July and such. It was a lengthy post, and we have written on these topics many times.

 

 

Insurance

Consider This!

_Rhune's Kula Bleu _1280px[1]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.

 

Breed Accident/Illness State Total Cost Amount Paid
Old English Sheep Dog Lymphoma TX $1,290 $1,003
Doberman Pinscher Cruciate Tear CA $2,800 $2,202
Beagle Foreign Body Ingestion NC $1,988 $1,500
Bichon Frise Bladder Stones NY $1,301 $1,010

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.

Hank

At Nearly 8 Years

Shaub Hank 2017-2It 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.

Gentle BabysitterShaub's Hank Babysitter-3

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) 🙂

Question

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

Breeder Comment

Sorry to hear that Hank has developed the ligament tear. Although a large percentage of our Weims avoid this type of situation, it is not all that unheard of for the athletic Weimaraner. Nursing such an injury (even with surgery which is costly) requires a lot of patience. They take a considerable amount of time to heal. It begs the question of how you will keep them from running?

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?

Finally, we sincerely thank you for the lovely update. We especially love the photos. We appreciate everything you have done for and with Hank. We are glad he made a good transition as your family expanded. It speaks volumes for the on-going socialization you provided.

Thoughts on Pet Insurance

SGood Morning!

The initial cost of a puppy is only the start….

Cliff says, “The initial cost of your puppy, is only the start.” “Before you bring them home you are spending money to prepare, and once they take residence the spending never ends.” When people cite they got a ‘free puppy’ he laughs, because he believes there is no such thing. Many people refer to this as an investment, but really can you call it that? There is no guarantee of return on the money spent. This is more of an adoption and commitment. It may well pay huge dividends of a different kind, but along the way it will also cost you on every level. Nonetheless, despite the financial, emotional, and physical requirements, Weimlovers are somewhat Weim-addicts too!

What about the $ 250 Weims I see advertised on the Internet

Are Weims more expensive than the average pound-pup? They certainly cost more to acquire. You can find a cheap Weimaraner advertised on the Internet, but at what cost? The most inexpensive Weims are raised in an outbuilding. While it may be clean, they do not receive the attention to detail the Weimaraner requires. With the mention of on-going expense, there are always risks when you take home a puppy. No one, despite extraordinary measures can guarantee the puppy will not develop a problem of one sort or other. Undetected congenital defects could potentially be lurching; they pose a danger for all living creatures. While medical and veterinary science has progressed, some things are undetectable. We are not trying to scare anyone, and these incidences would be extremely rare–possibly one in five-hundred pups might be affected. Who can say what pup though? The odds of encountering a serious problem rise dramatically, when you opt for ill-bred Weimaraner.

Risks come with bringing home the Weimaraner

Other than everyday dangers, accident, and ailments can and do happen. There are the minor things: allergies, parasites, ear infections, and various general illnesses. A general illness is something like we get –a simple viral infection that makes us sick for a day or two. There are bacterial infections too! Dogs, and puppies in general can get sick. This is especially true during the first year, when they have a developing immune system. More often than not, the problem is minor, and passes (or is manageable).

Should you consider pet health insurance?

Reading all these potential risks may make you take pause about getting a puppy. Certainly, it begs you to address the question of whether to invest in pet insurance or not. AKC (the American Kennel Club) offers each person who registers their pup, a complimentary insurance policy. It may be well worth your effort to take advantage of this offer. When you register (or transfer the registration) to your name, they will send you information on a plan they are connected to. There are other insurance programs. We suggest you check with your Veterinary office on recommendations. The Idaho Veterinary Hospital recommends’s Pest Best Insurance–scroll down and select the Pest Best Insurance icon, and save 5%. They cite many reasons for recommending this insurance–quick pay is at the top of the list. FYI, they have had good results with the AKC recommended insurance too.

Speaking of the AKC promoted Pet Insurance, they sent us a note today citing these recent claims paid by pet insurance on behalf of pet owners:

*     Hit by a Car – $5,000

*     Foreign Body Ingestion (Toy) – $3,000

*     Pancreatitis – $1,344

*     Bloat (Gastric Dilatation) – $2,345

*     Cataracts – $2,610

Rising veterinary costs is one reason to reconsider health insurance. It is unthinkable, but a reality for many pet owners who find they have to put-down their beloved pet because they cannot afford the procedure. Veterinary offices do not offer credit. Another reason often-cited reason for getting basic pet health insurance, is that during the first year of a pup’s life, the insurance cost is more often than not a wash. Insurance tends to cover a portion of the spay/neuter procedure. Depending upon the policy chosen it may also cover wellness exams, and vaccination. We are by no mean an expert on pet insurance. You will have to weigh the pros and cons.

The Weimaraner is inquisitive, and like all deep-chested dogs, prone to bloat. What makes us love them so much, also puts them at greater risk. Risk is not unique to the Weimaraner, but every year many are hit by a car. Some of these are well-trained and obedient Weims, who suddenly for no apparent reason walk into traffic. Some suffer a torn ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), due to extreme athletic activity. Ingested items (such as rocks, toy fragments, and wood) also plague the Weimaraner. You might find this OwyheeStar blog on this topic a funny read. No breed is without risk, but some tendencies will put the Weimaraner at more risk than the more sedentary types.