Category Archives: Veterinary Topics

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.

 

 

When You Know

It is Just a Matter of Time 

         ~ 14 Years is Not Enough

21175043_10154680870771126_1814000982_n

I’ve been thinking of sending you a few pics of this year. She’s such a strong girl – as soon as we start to think this is it, she bounces up like a puppy and proves to be as healthy as ever.

 

21175043_10154680870771126_1814000982_n

The Beach is Out!

   ~ This is the Last Trip

This trip to the beach will probably be her last, as she could hardly move when we got home. The vet says it’s that nerve in the hip area that’s ready to give out, so we know it’s just a matter of time before she won’t be able to walk at all. Thank you for staying in touch all these years – you gave us a gift for over 14 years & we’re so grateful. 💗

Roxy's Family

Breeder Comment

Dear Friends, if you can say a little prayer for Roxy’s family, we would appreciate it. We all know that eventually, we will face something life-ending with our Weimaraner. It could come as a surprise–out of the blue in a shocking manner that doesn’t allow us to say goodbye. Or, it might require a gut-wrenching decision.

 

913653_706612451338_685208427_o

Holly and Emma

Holly Haffey who is a frequent OwyheeStar contributor (and her mother is Terri Robinson who delights us with her photography) faced a decision such as this with her first Weimaraner, Emma. Emma was a rescue Holly acquired that lead her to the breed. She was able to extend Emma’s life through great sacrifice on her part. I won’t speak to what it cost her personally, and it is most certainly not something everyone could or would do, but it is a testimony to what folks do to extend days together.

 

The crossroad we all reach (when our beloved lives on) takes us a place no one wants to go. It is a place we celebrate all we have shared and how our life was changed in the process. It is a painful decision that leads us through the valley of loss and grief. It is a very personal decision. If you have not been there, don’t even imagine saying to someone what they ought to do. If your travels include the valley of sorry and the rainbow bridge, then we know you can feel the agony.

 

Cyclamen

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.

Maize Speaks!

Hi!  I am Maizie.  I am 5 years old.  Recently I had an “owie” that had to be surgically removed.  My roommates Jerry and Linda tried putting various contraptions over my head to try to keep me from licking it.  I thought I would tell you about these.
Maizie Summer 2017-3
I borrowed this blow-up donut collar from a dog named Bentley.  It worked for him.  I didn’t mind it because I could still lick my wound when my roommates weren’t looking.  Eventually, I got busted.  That led to the return of the dreaded E-Collar i.e. The Collar of Shame.
Maizie Summer 2017-4
It made me depressed.  Jerry and Linda didn’t like seeing me like this.  Here is a look at how sad I was.
My roommates called around to pet stores and found me this really great one that allowed me to breathe, eat, drink, and for the most part—made it very difficult to get in trouble with licking.  It is new on the market, called Scratch.No.Mor.  It is like a giant turtleneck that is held together by velcro straps.  They take it off of me for meals.  They found it at Natures Pet Market in West Linn, OR.  Check it out:
I am all better now.  My stitches are healed.  I don’t care about licking it anymore.  I am back to chasing squirrels in my backyard.

Breeder Comment

 

Thank you, Maizie, for sharing that story and information with us! You rock!

Safe 4th Of July

graphics-fireworks-399589Happy Birthday, America!

 

19598437_10213244750335880_8067902691027160628_n

As birthday celebrations go, American’s Independence Day is spectacular. It tends to begin early and drag on for days afterward. This scenario is to many a person and their pet’s chagrin. Even the rock-solid gun dog may well shake and quiver at the barrage of blasts coming from seemingly ever direction. It is no secret that every year shelters are filled to overflowing, and workers are scrambling to reunite pets with their families. We trust everyone has their pet’s microchip on file with AKC Reunite–this can get them back to you quickly should the unthinkable happen.

Separation is not the only untoward situation stemming from this holiday. Fireworks poisoning is a thing–click here to get the details. If it isn’t enough that so many pets are traumatized by the blasts, there are other ways to get into trouble. We don’t want to think about those things on a day like to today, but ingested fireworks can lead to an emergency situation. For the pet that isn’t afraid of anything, they might chase and capture the pod–they might swallow poison or get burned. Then too, while you have your eyes on the sparklers or whatever, who would see the Weimaraner’s stealthy action at the food table or in the garbage. Cooked bones (in particular poultry) can be deadly. Long after the plate is cleaned (or the trash raided) the reality can surface. It is hard to be vigilant 24 X 7 on a day such as today. The Weimaraner is paw-ty smart and manipulative by nature.

Thank you, for including your Weimaraner in the family activities. Only you know what is appropriate. We mention these potential dangers because it is impossible to think of everything in the midst of all we are doing to make the day special. We don’t want your holiday ruined due to one moment you let down your guard. Here’s to hoping everyone comes through without a hitch. Have a fabulous 4th of July!

PS: This photo at the top is of Lily–from her Daycare this week where they celebrated the holiday early.

Elio

At 16 Weeks

Lorenzen's Elio June 23 2017Elio 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! 🙂

Breeder Comment

Vaccine Crossroad

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.

OwyheeStar Disclaimer

The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) Vaccine Protocol

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. 

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.

Waiting

This is Where We Sleep

           ~ Right Mama?!?

 

17992317_1301969653186338_5810763892627142803_nDoes your Weimaraner sleep with you or get snuggle time on (or in) the bed? The debate about whether you should allow your dog in your bed is a thing. Ultimately, it is a personal choice. Some reports indicate that nearly 80% of dog owners allow their pet in their bed. Do you?

Here are some links on the topic!

Your Choice

Your opinion matters. We live in the information age. You can find supporting evidence no matter the side you endorse. It is a personal thing. We ought to be aware of any risk and from there decide based on our lifestyle.

Dusty

Dusty has a Job

dusty-for-chewy-com_0587He has been practicing his product presentation. He was particularly happy with himself when it came to Fortiflora and Zukes Minis

If you have been to the Vet for antibiotics or vaccine now is the time to add some good bacteria to your Weim’s gut. It would even be better to add some just before the vaccine. There are many times when the addition of some bacteria is a good idea. fortifloraYogurt (with live cultures) can be an option; however, it doesn’t come close to offering the same outcome. Keep this on your shelf. Click here to purchase from Chewy.com.

  • Helps reduce flatulence (gas) in dogs and contains 100 Million live microorganisms
  • Proven to promote intestinal health & balance with microencapsulated probiotics, which guarantees that they arrive alive in your pet’s digestive tract
  • Contains antioxidant vitamins E, C and beta-carotene which have been shown to support a strong immune system
  • Tastes great, has excellent palatability and may even increase a pet’s desire to eat
  • Easy to feed – just sprinkle on your pet’s food