Category Archives: Veterinary Topics

Tips for having Fun in the Sun with our Doggies

Note: This article first appeared in the Waterland Blog on Jul 29, 2020 | –used with permission.

Jan’s dog ‘Willow’ keeping cool!

By Jan Magnuson

We all enjoy playing with our pups and taking them for walks and hikes during this sunny time of year! Just like we take into account the potential effects of the direct sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity on ourselves, we also should consider how our “furry family members” will fare! I adore my three girls “Willow,” “Daisy,” and “Violet,” and want to always make sure they are safe, healthy, and happy!

Before beginning a summer exercise routine with our dogs, it is a great idea to have them examined by our veterinarian to make sure they are able to safely participate. We should ask if our dogs have any health considerations or special needs that should be addressed before we take them out and about with us in the summertime weather.

We need to consider our dogs’ individual challenges to the warm weather like how much coat they have, if they are overweight and out of shape, or if they have a “pug face” (“brachycephalic”, like my Japanese Chin “Violet”) in addition to any specific health issues they may have like prior injuries, strains or arthritis, skin inflammation, etc.

When we are ready to go out with them, it is a good idea to have a small basic first-aid kit, our cell phone (with our vet’s and emergency vet’s phone numbers), and of course fresh water for them and for us. If we are going to take a longer hike, having snacks may be appropriate as well.

Because I am so active with my dogs, I have many different locations I take them for playtime, walks and hikes. So, on days that are hotter than others, I take them to a trail I know has more shade and is cooler and is possibly even near water. I also tend to do “laps” instead of going straight up and then back, as that way if it gets really hot, we can stop anytime mid-lap instead of having to go a long distance back to our truck.

Another consideration is if the walking surface – pavement, concrete, gravel – on a trail or roadway could be too hot. I place my hand flat on the surface and if it feels too hot for me, it is too hot for my dogs’ pads! So, using a trail that is grass and has lots of shade is a better option, or I can walk on the paved trail but make sure my dogs walk on the grass.

Stopping often in the shade to allow our dogs to lie down and relax and get a drink of water is helpful too.

Always watching our dogs to make sure they do not overheat is imperative – dogs can get too hot very quickly, so we should always keep an eye on them to make certain they are not showing any symptoms of heat exhaustion, as that can quickly become an emergency.

More info here: https://www.petmd.com/dog/emergency/common-emergencies/e_dg_heat_stroke

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Jan–there are no adequate words to cover all you have done for us and with Willow.

Willow has been a superstar her entire life!  She has attained many titles and awards (see above) for Conformation, Obedience and Rally Obedience, Agility, Tricks, and Good Citizen, and include 5 UKC Altered Best-In-Show and 14 Altered Reserve Best-In-Show awards!

Vaccine Crossroad

A Reminder to Proceed with Caution

The Bernie X Boone Litter are twelve weeks old today. Keep in mind that they will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on March 12th. Now is the time to remind your Vet that the Weimaraner Club of America *WCA) recommends the antibody titer test instead of the sixteen-week puppy shot. Your Vet probably is not aware of the low-cost in house titer test option. Download the pdf information to share with the Vet.

We realize 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 may 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 on.

  • 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 then can 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. We sincerely hope your Vet will agree. Your Vet is likely 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 it is likely that 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, but the above pdf file is a much less costly option for the Titer Test. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need another puppy shot. 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 it 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. 

OwyheeStar Alert

~This is a Weimaraner Issue

We want to alert you to a potential danger that you and even your Vet might not understand. We have been raising the Weimaraner for a goodly number of years–and this condition has proved to be rare, but not entirely absent. Please read on–learn about this disease, and what Kris has to share. Most of you should have read the materials and the vaccine warnings that we give out, but we want to take this opportunity to bring this topic to your attention. Only about 5-8% of Weims have a severe reaction such as this happen, but no one can predict which pup or pups might be affected.

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

~From the Weimaraner Club of American

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD) is a canine autoinflammatory disease affecting young rapidly growing large breed dogs between eight weeks to eight months of age. Affected dogs exhibit swelling and pain in their legs with reluctance to stand or walk. In addition to orthopedic pain, there are variable systemic signs of which some or all may be present during an HOD episode. Systemic signs include fever, lethargy, depression, and loss of appetite.

A diagnosis of HOD is founded on radiographic evidence of bone involvement concurrent with hyperthermia and pain, and by ruling out infectious causes of the clinical signs. The cause of the disease is unknown and current treatments are focused on controlling the fever, alleviating the pain and treating the specific systemic signs present. Prognosis for severe cases is poor due to relapsing episodes and the low quality of life for the affected puppies that sometimes result in euthanasia. Currently, dog breeders have no means of selecting against HOD.

We (at OwyheeStar) have had a few pups diagnosed with this–mostly a very minor case; however, for the second time ever, we have encountered a severe and potentially life-threatening situation. One thing we can tell you is the last time a similar incident happened; it was different parents–and a smooth coat. This time, it is a recent born Longhair. I want to share what Kris has written to help you better understand why we are so adamant about being careful with vaccines and medications. There have been several situations where heartworm preventative made the Weimaraner very ill–a mysterious situation for the Vet; however, once they Weimaraner owner stopped using the product, the pup rebounded. So, please be careful and do follow the vaccine protocol we suggest.

Remember This?!?

About Luna (Bettee X Manfred)

~As told by Kris

We went for her 9-week shot as suggested in the OwyheeStar Health Record last Thursday and spoke to the vet about the recommendations. As you (Cliff and Shela) indicated, they weren’t in line with them but I stood firm. This is my baby and only want the best for her. 
Monday (four days later) she stated having diarrhea and by Tuesday at lunch she started losing her appetite and stopped playing with Frankie. I immediately called the vet for her to be checked out. They put her on anti diarrhea meds with antibiotics but she wasn’t responding and was still having a low grade fever. I went back. Then they thought she had a UTI and put her on amoxicillin. She still wasn’t responding, her fever spiked and she started falling when she walked. 
I again immediately called my vet and we went to the ER. By the grace of God I had a Dr. who did a thorough checkup and through process of elimination was able to diagnose her properly with hypertrophic osteodystrophy by having xrays done. Apparently, he’s seen this in the past and did tell me Weimaraners can be predisposed to this. 
Right now she’s in good hands in the hospital while they manage getting her fever down. She’s started to eat again. 
I’m letting you know because I know Luna has 9 litter mates and if anyone else may be experiencing this, they may want to have this very conversation with their vet as the symptoms can be misleading. When speaking to the Dr. and reading up on this,  vaccination can trigger this if genetically predisposed to it. It seems Luna is and the Dr. also said there’s no way to even test for this. 
I just wanted you to know I’m not asking or looking for anything other than to alert the other litter mates owners of the potential of this. I feel it’s my responsibility and that if another litter mate is exhibiting the symptoms they can get proper treatment quickly. I was told this is about the time between 2-4 months this can happen and again at 20 months. Once the growth plates close, she’ll be a healthy adult dog. 
Please call me if you’d like to chat about this. It’s been a rough week but Luna is going to be ok now that we know what we’re dealing with. I’ve attached a link for your reference and certainly you can do your research ot call your vet to discuss this as well. 
https://m.petmd.com/dog/conditions/musculoskeletal/c_dg_osteodystrophy
Take care, Kris (January 23 @ 6:07 AM)

Thanks Shela! I really just want to make sure everyone is educated so if this does present itself, THEY can direct the vet to the right diagnosis. The ER doc said he feels vaccination is absolutely related but he could take 100 puppies and could never recreate the issue consistently. Hence the reason for your conservative approach to vaccination. Even the research I did supported what you advocate for this breed. 
I got a call from the hospital at 10 am this morning and Luna’s fever is down to 102 and she’s eating and getting sassy again. I was so happy to hear that. She’ll come home tomorrow if she continues improving and will be on oral steroids for approx 10 days. My primary care will be notified so they can help manage going forward. 
Even with Maggie I was very conservative with my approach for vaccinations, heartworm and flea and tick prevention. I contribute that to her long healthy life.  I plan to do the same with Luna.
I’m very appreciative of your response and support. 
Kris (January 23 @ 11:11 AM)

I called the hospital to get an update update on Luna at 7 local time.  She’s holding at a 101 temp since 8 am this morning. She is eating and drinking on her own and now on oral meds. She’s walking again too! Apparently they took her outside on a potty break with a leash and she wanted nothing of it and wanted to do it on her own. I got a little chuckle out of that and said my girl is back!!That’s what she does at home. She knows exactly where we go outside and never lets me leave her sight. When she’s done, she comes inside and gets a treat for a job well done! 😊 I’ll be picking her up tomorrow! I miss her so much!! 💞

Kris (January 23 @ 6:32 PM)

Breeder Comment

To say we are happy to learn Luna has rebounded after such a terrible vaccine-triggered health crisis would be an understatement. We appreciate Kris being proactive–and heeding our warning. We all can count our blessings that she happened to get so fortunate to have a Weim-savvy Vet that knew to look for HOD.

The initial symptoms could indicate many common problems –pups can get sick. They can easily pick up bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These can bring on all the same symptoms–except for the total collapse scenario–well unless the pup becomes dehydrated. We should always be proactive about watching for parasites–and other things. It is equally important to guard against vaccine reactions. We realize this will overwhelm and worry many of you. Just stay alert and be informed–you have to be proactive in these situations. Otherwise, a wrong diagnosis can lead you down the wrong path–and mean difficult recovery.

Hydrotherapy

~Blue is not an OwyheeStar but–

Thought you might find this interesting. Blue is going to Hydrotherapy for his hind leg stiffness. It’s expensive and I was skeptical but it REALLY works!

Breeder Comment

You might remember Stone, who joined Victoria and her resident Weimaraner (Blue). Well, the aging has been tough on him. Being the excellent Weimaraner Mama, Victoria would do anything to prolong their time together–and to improve the quality of life.

Many Weimaraners like other large breed dogs, suffer stiffness and problems with mobility as they age. We have been asked before if there is anything that can be done? We do recommend the supplements as well as Duralactin–it does help, but here is something else that is promising. We wanted to share this so you would know this option exists.

Did You Ever Wonder?

~ About the Longhair Geneotype

Atti and Stackhouse

There are 3 possible genotypes:

·         Clear FGF5:c284G>T -/-; (those having 2 copies of the normal allele)

·         Carrier FGF5:c284G>T +/-; (those having 1 copy of the normal allele and 1 copy of the long-hair mutation)

·         Affected “Fluffy” FGF5:c284G>T +/+; (those having 2 copies of the long-hair mutation)

Compliments of DDC Veterinary

My understanding is there is typically two copies of the allele, and if both are normal, then the Weimaraner would have the traditional smooth coat. If there is one copy of the normal and one copy of the longhair mutation (as they call it), then that Weimaraner is a carrier. They look like a traditional smooth coat. Some of these carriers will have a bit of wave to their coat, and some will have a plusher coat. If both copies are the longhair mutation, then you have a longhair.

Okay – when we first learned about this we felt that if you mated a Longhair with a Carrier you would get 50% Carriers and 50% Longhairs. Whew—we soon learned that this must be an average,–because we mated a Carrier to a Longhair and we got 8 pups – 2 were Longhairs. The next year we repeated the same mating expecting only a couple of Longhairs to be born, and this time we got 8 pups—6 were Longhairs.  So, we became acutely aware that it didn’t work exactly like we interpreted this chart.

Whenever we have a mixed litter, we take the DNA sample ASAP and send off the samples as quickly as possible. The other choice would be to be the home of the undocked tail. Haha Then, there would be no concern as to whether they were Longhairs or not. I do believe the world is moving toward a stand against docking, but the American Weimaraner Breed Standard is for the docked tail on the traditional Weimaraner. There is no American Standard for the Longhair per se—but worldwide the Longhair sports the full tail.

Some breeders feel that they can accurately guess which pups are Longhairs—we don’t feel all that confident. We have guessed nearly every time we had them born and then sent off for the DNA test. We are never 100% accurate. I cannot say why that is for sure. We have tried taking close up photos and looking at the hair on their ears and between their toes if the hair is smoother on the face and forehead that is an indication that you have a Longhair, too!

People are discovering the Longhair—I cannot say for sure why, but a lot of folks are equally addicted to them. Several of our clients have both, and some have converted to the Longhair. Click here to learn more about Coat Length (or the fluffy coat) test.

From the Oregon Coast

~ Our Sweet Boris

Our sweet Boris is scratching and itching. We think he has fleas. Is there a flea product you recommend? I use revolution for my cat and used it on my last dog Moon. But after reading Cliffs pamphlet. And learning how sensitive these dogs are. We are concerned. Today Claude plans on giving him a bath we don’t want anything toxic for our pets. We do believe in natural remedies.  And want Boris to have the best care we can give him. Right now Claude and Boris are outside playing in the rain. He is such a joy.

We tried to get you the photo you wanted– it’s a bad pic but it’s the best I could do right now. He’s a wiggle worm. Already working us over. He rings the potty bell. A couple pee pee accidents, but it was our fault for not acting quickly . Now he rings the bell because he wants to go outside and chew  on pine cones and tree bark. He’s such a rascal! Feeling comfortable at home . Don’t have a minute to spare. He’s barking at me now . So gotta go! I’ll send a better pic when my daughter is here to help us out.

Breeder Comment

Boris with our Granddaughter (Ashley)

We understand that getting a quality photo of a young Weimaraner can be a challenge. Thank you, for your effort. I am sure everyone loves seeing Boris with you.

It sounds like you are doing well–we trust you got the information we Emailed you. Please let us know how it works. For those who wonder–this pup was older when they got him. We had and have a few available pups that are older than the traditional eight-weeks. To find out more, Email us.

Henri’s

~Titer Test @ 16 Weeks

Lounging at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital


Dear Weimlovers!

You might remember that Dr. John Calhoun’s Idaho Veterinary Hospital (IVH) agreed to start offering the VacciCheck Titer Testing. OwyheeStar’s Henri was the first to be tested using this system–and the fabulous Rebecca A Balls (Certified Veterinary Technician) handled all the laboratory details. We cannot thank IVH and their competent staff for their professionalism and making this possible.

The results are returned a little different than with the traditional titer test–but by all reports it is reliable. Henri’s results showed her having protective antibodies sufficient enough to provide immunity to

CDV — Canine Distemper Virus

ICH — Infectious Canine Hepatitis–Adenovirus

CPV — Canine Parvo Virus

This less expensive titer test is relatively new so most Veterinary practices may not yet offer this option. Please click here to read about the titer test, and ask your Vet if they can make this available to you–it is affordable, accurate, and helps you avoid vaccine reactions that are common in our breed.

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.