Category Archives: Hot Topics
~ What you need to know!
We have discussed the Weimaraner and vaccine reactions, and there was a promise made to discuss the Titer Test as recommended by the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA). Here are the previous links regarding the potential risk of a vaccine reaction:
- November 2–As Your Pup Begins Their Life with You
- November 3–Cautionary Tale (regarding Kris’ Luna)
Our recommendation is to get a Titer Test at sixteen-weeks of age rather than the typically recommended puppy shot. The idea is to avoid a potential vaccine reaction. If you call or visit your Veterinary about the Titer Test, you are likely to get some resistance, or if they are willing to do the test, the price-tag can be staggering. The regular Titer Test (that only screens for Parvo antibodies) cost us $125 several years ago. We are certain the cost has risen or is higher in metropolitan areas. Might we suggest you try to find a local Veterinary practice that offers VACCICHECK by Spectrum Labs? This test measures more, the results are generated quickly, and the cost is less than the Parvo only Titer Test. There is a sheet you can download and print for more information–this is relatively new. Not many Vets are familiar with this option.
Measures canine antibody titer to:
- Infectious Hepatitis (ICH)
- Parvovirus (CPV)
- Distemper (CDV)
Below in an excerpt from the WCA Vaccine Protocol—Click Here to go to their Web Page.
–the Weimaraner Club of America Health Committee recommends the following vaccine schedule:
8 weeks: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza– Parvovirus
12 weeks: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza– Parvovirus
15–16 weeks: An antibody titer is recommended to confirm immunity since a small proportion of puppies may still not be covered.
Puppies showing no evidence of antibody production in the titer should be re–inoculated.
The use of Corona, Leptospirosis, Bordatella and Lyme vaccines are not recommended unless these diseases are prevalent in the area; and should never be administered along with the core vaccines listed above, but rather separately, and at a time when the pup’s immune system is mature. Rabies vaccinations should be given as required by law, but not coincident with other vaccinations. If possible, wait until the puppy is older than 16 weeks.
If a serious adverse immune response occurs, further vaccination prior to one year of age is not recommended. Options should be discussed with your veterinarian. Some states provide exemptions for Rabies in cases where an underlying medical condition is likely to result in a life threatening condition in response to vaccination.
While this protocol helps in preventing reactions, it does not prevent them in all susceptible individuals.
We (Cliff and Shela at OwyheeStar) realize that some pups will need an additional vaccination–but avoiding as many vaccine reactions as possible is the best approach. We understand this information is overwhelming, and no one wants to face the worst possible scenario.
~ From Kris (Luna’s close call)
As I watch you prepare to deliver another litter of pups to their forever homes, I can’t stress the importance to everyone about the vaccine protocols you provide to everyone and how they must be followed.
As you know when Luna received her first vaccination after coming home to us in January, she had a near fatal reaction. She was diagnosed with HOD. She was not eating and lethargic. At 10 weeks old, I knew this wasn’t right.
I immediately took her to the vet and she was diagnosed 2x incorrectly with a GI and UTI infection. The medicines prescribed did not work and I was getting more anxious and feared for her life. They simply did not know or were familiar with vaccine reaction or HOD in weims. HOD is an inflammation of the growth plates and very dangerous causing a high fever (Luna’s was 106 at one point) in addition to what I mentioned above.
It was an emergency vet that performed a simple test and squeezed her legs (Luna did not like it and whined) and finally got the right diagnosis. He took immediate action putting her on the right track.
If I could send any message to your clients and those getting new puppies, it would be to follow the protocols you’ve outlined. Be vigilant in observing for adverse reaction. It took 5 days for Luna to start presenting symptoms. More importantly, if your puppy starts showing symptoms, get medical help IMMEDIATELY! Your puppy’s life depends on it! Lastly, make sure your vet understands HOD and make sure they’re examining your dog if they appear sick after a vaccine. Time is of the essence with HOD.
With the right medications which are typically steroids over a period of time, your puppy will recover as Luna did. Now she’s living her best quirky weim life and we love her so much!
Here’s a pic of her after coming out of the hospital on the road to recovery and below is one of her now almost 1 year old. ❤
Click Here to read yesterday’s post if you missed it–it has a few informational links as well as our heartfelt message to those who are beginning a journey with a new fur family member–the Weimaraner in particular.
We asked Kris to write about Luna’s vaccine reaction from her perspective–hearing from someone who has experienced such an event means more than hearing it from us. It is not the first life-threatening vaccine experience we know about, but we hope it is the last.
About fifteen years ago, a fellow Weimlover (an Engineer in the Portland area) who picked up a pup from us succumbed to his Vet’s pressure. She gave his Weimaraner pup a puppy vaccination that included Lepto. She assured him there was little to no risk. Within hours he was back with her, and she was fighting to survive–she did, but he regretted the decision. The truth is many Weimaraners had the same puppy shot, and they didn’t have a severe reaction. Nevertheless, a percentage do, and a few will lose their life. Others who have vaccine reactions develop ongoing health problems — we suggest everyone errors on the side of caution.
Here is where we will make a full disclosure that we are not Licensed Veterinarians nor Vet Techs. We are speaking from the breed club recommendations and experience. Ultimately, you choose what is right for your pup. The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) vaccine recommendations are similar to those we practice. Click here to learn more.
~Reducing exposure to TSP (total suspended particulates)
Hello from the smoky Willamette Valley boasting the worst air quality in the world. To help reduce Porsche’s exposure to TSP (total suspended particulates), this simple fix should work. Take a six inch coffee filter cone (a vacuum cleaner HEPA filter would be even better); cut enough off folded edge to miss eyes; open large part; stuff it inside a well ventilated muzzle; voila, you have a doggie mask. Porsche is not thrilled with it, but it allows her a bit more outside time. We are blessed with the ability to let dogs out right into the kennel for business. If someone has to walk their dog, this might help. This is a home remedy, not a scientifically tested filter system.
I worked 15 years with the American Lung Association dealing with air quality issues, and feel this will help.
God Bless you all; stay safe.
Thank you, JuneAnn, for this information.
AKC Reunite Reports that One in three pets will go missing in its lifetime — and it can happen in an instant.
We admit those numbers seem high to us. Most OwyheeStar puppy folks never lose track of their Weimaraner. That is not to say it doesn’t happen. All our OwyheeStar pups leave with the AKC Reunite Microchip–but each family must register their chip. Beyond the microchip, you should consider other identification–such as a tag securely attached to their collar or harness.
Should you include your dog’s name on their collar? Including your pet’s name on their collar is a common practice, but is it a good idea? Cliff suggests it is better to exclude the pet’s name. Instead, provide your name, location, and a couple of phone numbers where you can be reached..
Providing your pup’s name on the collar can make it easier for someone else to appear to be the owner–because they are calling them by their name. Anyhow, it is food for thought.
While the microchip registered to you ensures you are listed as the owner, veterinarians, and other pet professionals do not scan every dog they encounter. Suspicious behavior might alert them to the need, but possibly they are pressed for time and feeling they are overreacting–even a new dog client may not be scanned. And keep in mind that merely recording an ID in their folder is not going to alert anyone. You see where we are going with this–two things. 1. Be sure to register your microchip. 2. Be sure to have identification on your pet’s collar. No one wants to become a statistic.
Should you happen to get separated, with your pet’s microchip registered through AKC Reunite, getting back together is more likely.
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.
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!
The Basics …
Nothing is more important than loose leash heeling. It is imperative it be achieved. I am not talking about using a head halter, gentle leader, front-hooking harness, or a prong collar in order to accomplish the goal.
A regular (or flat) collar
This is what I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- Come; followed by the Sit-stay
We (Shela and I) would like you to focus on achieving these four goals with your OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I am positive when accomplished in the right manner, the outcome will be good. There are various ideas on the appropriate timeline to have mastered these disciplines. I would like to see you have them done by the time the pup reaches 7 months–before the hormones kick in. Puppy classes can get you off to a good start, but the quality of sit-stay, etc. is not finished at 4 months. As the Weimaraner develops, there will be challenges.
Respect and the Relationship
Depth in your relationship is worth achieving; respect is a crucial part of your relationship-development. When you get the loose-lead respect, then you can easily achieve these other goals. It is a bit like a thread that pulls you through a good novel (or movie); without a strong relationship (or the underlying story-line), it is hard to get to end. Distractions come along.
Jan Magnuson –The priorities in my basic obedience/good manners classes are loose leash heeling, sit-stay, down-stay, come and sit-stay, and no bite. I agree, if folks can get these down pat, everything else tends to fall into place. Loose leash walking is imperative, as it is representative of the relationship between dog and handler (if the leash is relaxed, so is your relationship, if the leash is tense and strained, so is your relationship). Dogs that “do better off leash” feel they are in charge and do what pleases them, and if they mind it is because they happen to feel like it at the moment- that is not a trained dog. I like down-stays a lot because it is a subservient posture, the dog should learn to be totally relaxed so we do lots of these- we allow them to lie on one hip or their side and get their head and tummy rubbed, with lots of calm praise.
Get it done; Keep it Fun…
Never forget to have fun. If this becomes a grind, neither you nor the Weimaraner will enjoy it. If it becomes boring, there are always other things you want to do. Once these four things are mastered, you need to keep them sharp. It is not something you achieve and forget about; these are lifelong skills you take with you on the entire journey.
Note: We will discuss collars (and choices) in a later blog. There are many suitable styles of the regular (flat-collar) type. Collar purchases are more a fashion-statement than we like to admit. Hunters are field-fashion conscious. Some prefer a fine leather collar, while others prefer a durable plastic-based collar that resists dirt, odor, and fading. These collars wipe clean. They come in a variety of colors; fluorescent orange, fluorescent green, and fluorescent yellow are popular. Some hunters find the cammo collar a must-have accessory. One of our favorite vet techs saw a purple collar we had on a girl, and asked where we found it. There are other great colors too.
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.
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.
~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.
~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.
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.
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)
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.
~Is the Weim Onboard?
Separation anxiety is real and palpable –and the consequences are sometimes staggering. We have received notes from people who suffered the worst of outcomes–a loss. Others, and more frequently this is what happens, come home to destruction. The rock-solid trustworthy Weimaraner didn’t handle the absence as expected. Anyone who loves this breed has most likely seen reports outlining shocking Weimaraner behavior. We are positive that many of you have experienced this phenomenon firsthand. (Ouch)
Ideally, we need to help our Weimaraner learn how to adapt and adjust to change. For people new to this breed, this can be a foreign concept. Possibly they equate the Weimaraner separation to what they experienced with another breed–somehow, I highly doubt it. Maybe, but more than likely, this person is going to be caught short–shocked at what can happen. This separation anxiety thing is one of the reasons so many Weimaraner end up being rehomed. It is a sad reality. Nonetheless, many Weimar-addicts walk into the relationship eyes-open knowing about this trait and the other quirks and quandaries they might face.
~Here’s to Hoping it is A Good One
Every year we hear about the Weimaraner shaking and scared of fireworks–but it is not true for every Weim. Recently we heard Bart and Jorga are unfazed. Possibly a big part of this phenomena is they were forced to become more adaptable. Jorja traveled to Belgium (where she spent the first part of her life), and recently she returned to the Pacific Northwest. That kind of journey requires acclimation to loud sounds, unfamiliar territory, and adaptability.
Bart was here longer than the average OwyheeStar puppy. The family slated to get him opted to wait for a future Longhair. He received more time and some attention to learning how to adjust and adapt. Possibly this worked in his favor. Also, his family was very savvy at the transition–careful not to overwhelm him. That is no longer an issue–he travels in large crowds (dogs, children, and noise are not a problem). Below are the notes we received yesterday.
We have opted to keep Bernie’s litter here an extra week. Having them out and about amid the 4th of July Fireworks and the additional potential exposure to Parvo didn’t seem wise.
Bart (Atti X Boone) There were some fireworks the other night and Bart just looked up and kind of went “what was that?, huh? oh well, back to what I was doing”. We’ll see about tomorrow.
Eileen Writes . –Jorja’s First (Rosie X Zee)
Wa fireworks, doors open fireworks exploding and she is snoring away! Xoxoxo to a relaxed girl,