Category Archives: Veterinary Topics
~ Part One
The 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.
It is Just a Matter of Time
~ 14 Years is Not Enough
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s On The List
Yes, 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.
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.
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.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.
Thank you, Maizie, for sharing that story and information with us! You rock!
Happy Birthday, America!
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.
At 16 Weeks
Elio 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! 🙂
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is Where We Sleep
~ Right Mama?!?
Does 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!
- Pet MD
- She Knows
- 26 Things
- Reasons to sleep with your pet
- Rules that apply to sleeping with your dog
- Pros and Cons
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.