Category Archives: Veterinary Topics

Parvo Paranoia

~ Real or Imagined

Our Client Asked —

Luna not too long before she joined her family.

Is the Parvo virus threat just until they get through their 16 week Titler test? Or is it until they reach a certain age? Just a little unclear what constitutes them being safe for public areas/dog parks etc. If you get the titer test done at 16 weeks it will show if she has immunity to Parvo and if you also have her tested for the Distemper it would also show that. Last time we just tested for the Parvo because Distemper just is not something they are seeing in our area. 

OwyheeStar’s Response

Parvo is a very real risk. Ask any Vet office and they will tell you that the risk is out there, and it is beyond sad when a puppy comes in and they are determined infected. We have never had an OwyheeStar puppy diagnosed with Parvo. Nonetheless, even though nowhere in the Pacific NW is listed as a ‘Hot Spot’ we still need to exercise caution.

I think if you take your puppy for a walk in the neighborhood you should wipe the feet (not let them lick her paws) and make sure they are not investigating a lot of areas where the ground might be infected. In all likelihood, your local neighborhood (if it is a low traffic area) may be fairly safe.

So what do I mean by low traffic? A place less traveled by those with pups. Any area where people are taking random puppies (which might be unknowingly infected). It is understandable that the owner doesn’t yet have a clue. The pups begin shedding the virus long before there is a definitive sign that they are ill. So they are leaving behind the virus everywhere. Of course, they are infecting the ground. But did you know if you viewed this virus under the microscope that one end is barbed–it sticks to clothing, shoes, etc. It is very portable which makes the spread even more commonplace.

More Information

Here are a couple of links that talk about the prevalence of Parvo and how to avoid it—and while it sounds paranoid, you want to socialize the puppy BUT avoid risk.  

Parvo In Puppies

Parvo Virus in Dogs

Precautions

~We are extra careful

We always leave the pups in the car (when scheduled for the Veterinary Wellness) until the room is ready at the Vet office. It is essential to avoid exposure—to Parvo, Kennel Cough, etc. We never take a young dog that doesn’t have immunity to public places including pet stores (where well-meaning folks might share the virus) such a  Pet Store, Park, Dog Area, or even to socialize at the local Farm Store– etc.

The Vaccine Titer Test

Once the Titer test shows immunity (with a high titer count) you are good to go. We honestly believe if you follow our vaccine protocol you will attain protection. Then by getting the sixteen-week titer test (instead of the typical puppy shot) it is going to allow you to have the freedom to be anywhere. In the meantime though, visit friends homes in a fenced back yard—where pets are vaccinated, etc. Figure out ways to safely socialize your puppy–a hundred different touches in a hundred days would be a good goal. Do what you can–but be safe, my friend.

Mesquite

An Adventure

~Ends Badly

We were walking Mesquite Monday morning, she was in some tall grass when she let out a war whoop. I thought she had stepped on something sharp, when got over to her she had a big gash in her tummy just ahead of the right rear leg.

We took her to the vet and it took 15 stitches to close her back up.

Someone had broken off an old steel fence post about 8 inches above the ground.

She is on pain meds and antibiotics.

We were darn lucky, because it didn’t bleed much, and we were a mile from the house. I have keeping her in the house. 

I sure hope she comes out okay?

Here is our Mesquite protecting her injury. She hates that tee shirt.

Breeder Comment

We are sad to her that Mesquite has a serious accident. At the same, we are relieved that it was not life-threatening. Thank you, for being quick to get her the care she needed. We will all say a prayer for her speedy and complete recovery.

To Wait, Or Not

Nancy Shares Her Thoughts

     ~Spaying and Neutering

Garin's Tikka Panties

To wait or not to wait, that is the question! The current thoughts dictate that it is best to wait until your dog is a year or older to spay. Well, we all want what is the absolute best for our fur babies. They say wait, ok I’m going to wait which means going through at least one heat cycle. Let me tell you going through a heat cycle is not an easy thing, not for the owner or the dog! If you don’t have the time to monitor your pup 24/7 for at least two plus weeks then you should spay before a heat cycle begins. We have let both of our girls go through a heat cycle before spaying. I don’t remember much about Luna’s cycle, but Tikka’s is fresh In My mind!
   Once she started bleeding it was two and a half weeks of dripping, two and a half weeks of not being able to go potty by herself (we have fenced property, but when it comes to breeding nature finds a way!) , two and a half weeks of being kenneled when we leave the house, two and a half weeks of not getting to go out due to her “condition”. My girls hated the bulky diaper things you can buy for dogs in heat so for Tikka … Victoria Secret panties (modified a bit!) with a panty liner seemed to be the most comfortable 😊
  When she finally stopped bleeding I realized that it wasn’t just miserable for me, she seemed genuinely happy to be done with that too, she didn’t understand the changed handling or the change in the way she felt, it was difficult for all of us.
   I would say if you don’t have the time or patience to monitor your pup 24/7  to prevent an unwanted pregnancy then it might be best to spay before the first heat cycle.

Breeder Comment

This topic is often heated–even Veterinarians may disagree on when it is ideal to alter your pet. It is not a topic we want to discuss–especially when it comes to the female. We (Cliff and I) feel the ideal time to alter your Weimaraner might vary from person to person. The hormones do play an essential role in the growth process. Proponents talk about waiting through the first heat-cycle–when that might happen can vary. We like to suggest you hold off a bit–altering around 8 months and sometimes waiting until they are about a year old. The growth plates close sometime between 12-15 months. A male can produce a litter around eight months. Some females show little evidence of being in heat, while others bleed profusely–it can be quite the challenge. Possibly, thinking about as timing rather than the heat cycle would help some of you.

Honestly, many are better off altering their Weimaraner around eight months for the reasons Nancy mentions. We won’t repeat what she has already said. The idea is to alter them around six months. We suggest you consider all the facts and then discuss your options with your Veterinarian of choice. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your thoughts as well as the experience.

Product Review

Breeder Comment

Dear Weimlovers and OwyheeStar Fans!

You know us well, I think. We don’t make a habit of endorsing products unless it is something we believe in and want to recommend. You might remember we are reviewing products for Chewy.com. We cannot recommend them (the company) enough. Rather than discussing all the reasons, can I suggest you try them? If you have, I believe you will come to the same conclusion we did. They have excellent prices, customer service as well a wide array of products.

Natural Flea and Tick Towelettes

IMG_1812Pet Naturals (of Vermont) makes the Flea +Tick 60 Pre-Moistened towelettes we are reviewing. Honestly, Cliff opened them and used them for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Hunt Test (last weekend). Ticks are an issue along the rivers and lakes–reports are that they are a lot worse this year. He wiped down Winnie before she got out at the test site. Cliff said he loves the convenience as well as the fact that it is so pleasant smelling.

Christina has started to use them on the pups that are out in the yard. We sincerely hope they will help deter gnats. Some puppies end up with little gnat bites because their tummies are rubbing the lawn. We don’t use chemicals on our yards. These wipes repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies so it seems reasonable that they should work for gnats, too. Yes, they are safe for puppies and kittens. You do have to reapply every 2-3 days though. Nonetheless, being holistic and natural appeals to us when we are talking about our sensitive Weimaraner. Like anything, we suggest you try them on one area before jumping in wholeheartedly and discovering your Weimaraner is allergic–we don’t believe that should be an issue; however, caution is the smart approach.

Buzzwords Aside

Holistic

     ~Veterinary Care

Dusty-4342-2 2Cliff and I proponents of a more Holistic approach to caring for the beloved Weimaraner. Limitations may exist–possibly a budget issue. Nonetheless, we always recommend you feed a quality grain-free appropriate food. Some folks have gone so far as to opt for a cooked diet or the raw diet. These are very personal choices, and if you choose them rather than the typical kibble menu, you need to do your research.

What does the Holistic approach entail? Most assuredly it begins with the diet. Many ailments and health issues can be avoided with a proper diet. In truth, one type doesn’t fit all. Some Weims like certain humans are allergic to various things–grains, specific proteins, and particular grasses. Removing these from their environment is the right decision. Ultimately, the choices you and your Veterinarian make should be Holistic in their approach–building their immune system and improving the Weimaraner’s health.

Beyond the diet, there are other considerations such as the vaccine protocol and medications. We won’t go into detail here. Nonetheless, we have shared on several occasions about some medications that are best avoided. The vaccine protocol is something we discuss with every puppy client. Immunization is essential, but you need to know and understand the Weimaraner vaccine recommendations. There is a reason that the Weimaraner Club of America makes such recommendations.

Click here to read what Dr. Jeff Feinman has to say, here is an excerpt from one of his articles:

In a Holistic practice we see our patient’s current health status as part of a continuum which begins before birth and ends in death, with each step along the way influencing what happens subsequently. Thus, rather than selectively suppressing or palliating a symptom, the aim is to elevate the health status so that not only are today’s symptoms addressed curatively, but we leave our patient healthier and more resilient for the days to come. If maladies are truly cured early in life, the patient will grow old gracefully and without the common degenerations we have come to call “normal” aging processes. (There is a great difference between “common” and “normal”.)

What About

Worms

      ~and Other Parasites

3-Juniper X Boone 2018 Wk3-17This topic (of worms) is not one we like to discuss unless we are talking about putting the fishing worm on the hook–even then, to many it is a nauseating thought. Nonetheless, worms and parasites are opportunistic. They find ways to survive inside your pet as well as in extreme environmental conditions. Dog’s Naturally has posted some natural solutions that you might find helpful. Here is their article —click here to find out more.

Signs of Worms

Some worms cause more obvious symptoms than others. I’ve provided more specific symptom information below along with information about the different types of worms (See Types of Worms below) … but here are a few clues your dog may give you that could mean he has worms:

  • Intermittent or frequent diarrhea or vomiting can be signs your dog has worms.
  • Your dog may have a fever.
  • He may scoot and lick his rear (though scooting can mean other things too).
  • Your dog may be off his food or be a little lethargic; his coat may look dull.
  • You might see stools that are coated in mucus (but otherwise look normal).
  • Or you might see squiggly worms or “rice bodies” in his stool.

But some worms can’t be seen with the naked eye, so if your dog’s showing some of these signs, you might want to get a fecal sample analyzed by your vet.

Cliff and I suggest you keep your eye on the pooh–I know it doesn’t sound lovely, but getting a fecal check can help you avoid some of the more unpleasant scenarios. A loose stool doesn’t always mean there is something amiss, but when something like that happens, you want to keep watch. Of course, we love adding the pumpkin (or even banana squash). We are planting Banana Squash in our garden. Right now I only have two hills ready to plant. I would like more, but we have to see if we can make more room. Last year, I baked the banana squash and frozen it in chunks for easy serving. The Weims love it!

Pushkin

Roadtrip

     ~Coping with Excess Energy 

20180414_154025
Pushkin and I are preparing for a long road trip to Arizona to move my mother into an assisted living facility. Once that has been taken care of we are going on to the Chaco Canyons of New Mexico.  It is the oldest Anasazi site in the U.S. In preparation for the trip to Arizona, we took a trip from Salem to Kennewick to see my grandchildren.

What I learned on the drive was that we had to stop quite often, not because Push had to “potty” but because he needed exercise. Once he was out of the car and we walked for a bit he settled right down when we started up again. At every rest stop, someone would comment on what a beautiful dog he is. I have attached some pictures for you. The man is my son, the children are obviously my grandchildren. I am not sure who that white-haired old woman is, could it be me?😏

What a great dog he is!
Marie

Breeder Comment

Thanks for the great share–we are excited you’re traveling together. That is fun. We loved your pointer on burning off the excess energy. It is good for humans as well.
One suggestion we might have is to be careful about dusty areas you visit while in the Southwest. Valley Fever in dogs is a thing. We would not want anything to happen to the lovely Puskin. Click here to read a bit about this potential risk. 

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.

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.

Gobble Gobble

For Thanksgiving

          ~What We Don’t Want

Where's the Turkey

OK–I see you, now where is the good stuff?

The emergency Vet Vist probably tops our list. It is the quickest way to spoil our celebration. Nonetheless, is there a time when our attention is more divided? The snatch and grab Weimaraner could abscond with some spectacular finds. They are everywhere–the counter, the dining table, the plates, and possibly on the floor. One thing you might overlook–the rising bread dough or rolls. Bread Dough Toxicosis can prove life-threatening. Maybe a toddler is waving a turkey leg. Is that an invite? The opportunist Weimaraner will make the most of this food-driven holiday gathering.

The humans at your table–they are a significant threat to the Weimaraner. Who doesn’t want to sneak the pup a treat? But too many sneaks and the gut can become overloaded even with acceptable food. The sensitive Weim might have a bout of pancreatitis from too much fatty food. Then there are the cooked poultry bones–be sure if you throw them out it is where the Weimaraner cannot steal them.

You Might Consider

What if you made a plate for the Weimaraner that everyone could help share? This plating idea might work. Here are some excellent choices.

  • Turkey — no bones
  • Green beans (plain)
  • Squash or Pumpkin (plain)
  • Apple slices (without the seeds)

Avoid These

      ~ to mention a few

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Nuts (pecans and Macadamia)
  • Grapes and Raisins

You can bake a Weim cookie or a Weim pie that forgoes the seasonings. Eggs and pumpkin and a tiny bit of milk will bake up nicely. You could make the crust using treats. Possibly make them in a silicone cupcake pan or cupcake papers. We are not saying it cannot be a lot of fun for the Weimar too. However, no one wants the unthinkable to spoil all the fun.