Blog Archives

Extending Our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part One

Roxy's FamilyThe last two blogs (Roxy’s story) and (Olli who lost his fur brother) have dealt with the loss of the Weimaraner. There are simply no words to cover such a loss. We can agree on this one thing—what we want to do is to push off the inevitable as long as possible.

This heartfelt desire begs the question of what we can do to make a big difference. We have some thoughts. Our suggestions cover the unexpected accidental loss as well as avoiding potential health issues. Our hope is for every OwyheeStar puppy to arrive at the Rainbow Bridge’s door late in life.

Accident Related Loss

Every few months we get a note about a Weimaraner who has lost their life due to an accident. These events vary–by nature each is unique; however, the underlying cause is similar. Some of the standout scenarios are listed here along with suggestions on how to avoid this type of thing. Eating or ingesting various non-edibles is a common theme. There are other dangers too, but we often forget the Weimaraner will eat anything. 

1. Toys — Even rubber toys lose their integrity. Depending upon your Weim’s chewing strength, you may need to (always) supervise their chewing. Other toys have squeakers that can become an issue and the rope bones, which are a good choice, don’t work for every Weimaraner. Bits of ingested string can build up in and along the intestinal wall leading to a blockage or irritation. A blockage can happen fast and be hard to discover in time to save your pet. Vomiting and not passing a stool are indicators–but these two symptoms are not a sure sign. The same signs for other ailments and sometimes are just mean it is an upset tummy. It is best to get your Weimaraner checked if this is a prolonged event. Taking their temperature (rectally) might not seem all that pleasant, but it can help you determine the seriousness of the event. (The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A rising temperature is alarming –-you need to know the standard temperature for your pet because it is much higher than for humans.

2. Medications and things sink side — One of the most heartrending stories involved a Weimaraner that ate someone’s medication–kept at the kitchen sink for convenience. The counter-surfing Weimaraner nabbed the bottle and ate it, and the contents. By the time they got him to the Vet office, it was too late. The Weimaraner might eat anything it seems–we have had others report sponges, dishrag, food, food-scented trash, etc. Sponges and the dish rag could lead to a blockage. Food has all kind of potential risk–bones can puncture the intestine wall, and some food (even the most innocuous kind like the avocado) are potentially toxic.

3. Around the House –There are many things to mouth and ingest. Some are shocking to us. One such item happens more than you might guess. Certain Weims are so obsessed with you and your scent that they may raid your laundry basket. Undergarments have the strongest scent, and some Weims will ingest these–another potential intestinal blockage issue. More often than not, they will pass, but you might discover something hanging out the back end. A hankie, undies, or the sock that made for a quick snack. (oops)

4. In the Fenced Yard –These are multifaceted. The Weimaraners are known for ingesting rocks; sometimes they pack them around in the mouth, and this is hard on their teeth. Pica (ingesting items such as rocks) seems odd to us, but it happens a lot. Marble-sized rocks to those the size of a large plum (such as river rock) are ideal. Rocks sometimes will travel through without a hitch; other times (all too often) they cause an intestinal blockage. Sharp edged rocks can irritate or puncture the intestinal wall. Rocks are not the only culprit in your yard. There are a plethora of toxic plants commonplace. Ones we would never suspect. Anything in the yard (including your house siding) could be chewed. We have known of a Weimaraner left in the yard that dug up a sidewalk, and she ingested bits of concrete. While we are discussing the backyard, some Weims can open gate latches. Others dig and can tunnel out of the yard. Then there are those that if they want to get out to explore, they can easily bound over a 5′ fence. Another danger is a collar that would catch them and strangle them. One extreme dog lover tied his and his brother’s dog to a tree. They didn’t have a fence, and they were only going to the corner store for a moment. Both dogs climbed the tree they were tied to–the young men came back to find the Weimaraner’s collar had caught on a branch she slipped, and you can guess what happened. This haunting experience will never be forgotten (the young man is a practicing Veterinarian). May this serve as a warning to others who think to tie their Weim for a few moments would be the safest solution. It didn’t work out in this situation.

5. Road Dangers

A six-acre yard and a well-trained Weimaraner should not be a problem; however, the devastating loss of their family member proved them wrong. A deer or something spurred the Weimaraner to give chase. Later they found him on a road even though they lived in a remote Northern Idaho location. The inherent desire to give chase (also known as the prey drive) is always lurching in the background–even when you have achieved the seemingly unfailing recall. Traveling with the Weimaraner is not without risk either. Some folks believe it is OK to have them ride in the back of their pickup–some tie them in, so they won’t fall out. Others let them roam free. More than one Weimaraner has seen something that sparked their sudden urge to give chase, and over the side, they went. Not everyone lost their life, but some did. One Christmas Eve in warm Arizona a woman was traveling with her Weimaraner. She had the windows down–the breeze blowing in their faces. She was on the way to a family dinner when her Weimaraner jumped out the window. He rolled down a bank breaking several bones. He lived, but they spent the night at the Emergency Vet Office instead of having a family dinner. He had traveled with the window frequently open; she had no reason for concern until this happened.

Others types of accidents happen but are less commonplace. Day two–we will discuss the other random things that may well shorten your time with your beloved friend and family member. The Weimaraner’s human must look out for their well-being on every level. A watchful eye for the seemingly puppy-like nature and the dangers to this breed are required. We thank you for your vigilance.

 

~ Shela and Cliff

 

PS: We bemoan the lack of photos; however, we were at a loss for which one to put here. We also didn’t cover things like Holiday Mishaps–and the dangers posed by the 4th of July and such. It was a lengthy post, and we have written on these topics many times.

 

 

Thanksgiving 2016

Celebrate

       ~ Please Keep In Mind

10703995_10203865392493285_2238146014813983610_n (1)We send you the warmest of greetings. Thank you for your faithful friendship. We value our relationship. It is the season to give thanks and to remember all we have to celebrate.

  1. We are thankful for our family.
  2. We are thankful for the life we can lead–thank you to those who made this possible. (veterans, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice–including their families).
  3. We are thankful to our God for his provision
  4. We are thankful for our friends, and clients–many times they are one in the same.

Today–it will find many of you traveling, or scurrying to make-ready. We, likewise, have things associated with the Thanksgiving holiday to prepare for as well as our usual daily hoopla. We cannot omit the fact that we are thankful for the Weimaraner. This fact goes without saying. It speaks to the heart of our life; these wonderful fur family members are those who bring a smile to so many people every day.

 Preventing the Unthinkable

The last thing any of us want is a trip to the emergency room (albeit for a human, or the Weimaraner). This scenario is never truer than in the midst of a holiday. Unfortunately, this is a time when we can become distracted for a moment, or miss what is happening. It is hard to keep an eye on all the well-meaning guests who want to sneak a tidbit to the Weim, or the plates left unattended. Here are some things to keep forefront in your mind during our celebration.

  1. Counter-surfing — it takes a moment, and they have snatched it.
  2. Trash-raiding — make sure it is Weimaraner safe. Ingested cooked turkey bones, foil, string, and a myriad of other items can lead to emergency surgery.
  3. Skip the bones entirely — you might want to treat them, but things can go awry.
  4. Table scraps need to be carefully monitored. With guests sneaking them a bit here and there, it can easily get out of control. These rich additions can upset their tummy, or trigger a more severe condition. For example, the turkey skin might seem harmless, but the fatty morsel (or too much human food in general) could trigger a pancreatic attack. Weims tend to have a sensitive tummy; however, the important thing is to remember a dog cannot handle all this fatty and calorie-laden holiday food (or the trimmings). The best approach would be to set a dish of allowed scraps and tell people they must not have any more than what is on the plate. This strategy may not prevent the well-meaning guest from giving them the forbidden.
  5. Ingested rising bread or roll dough stories abound on the Internet. Yes, it does pose a danger. Cake, and yeasty bread batter when ingested, expands rapidly in the dog’s gut.
  6. The dangers are not limited to what we plan to eat. Remember the risk includes candles, cut flowers, alcohol, potpourri, etc.
  7. Finally, do not forget about things like sugarless gum, candy, etc. The Weimaraner is opportunistic, and they can find a jelly bean at the bottom of someone’s handbag.

Manners and Your Guests

Respect is a two-way street. Some Weimaraners will jump up, and they do it playfully. They may like to nibble or corn-bite as some call it, or even nip when they get excited. Their toenails could catch grandma’s skin, and cause an unintentional dangerous scratch–looking like an encounter with a knife. They could knock a child or unstable person to the ground. Even the well-mannered dog could be playing, and someone could catch a tooth. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious problems–a trip to the emergency room, reports filed, and people making accusations about your Weimaraner. Another side of the issue is you don’t know what someone is doing to the Weimaraner when you are not looking. Things can go awry in fast order if the family pet becomes challenged, afraid, or territorial. Make every effort to avoid these situations. It is not unthinkable to use a crate–when you cannot be in control of the situation. The saying– it is better safe than sorry is true.

We cannot say what is the best situation for you, and your gathering. We suggest you proceed with caution. The crate-trained Weimaraner might be safer in their den. Putting them out in the yard, while everyone is inside can also cause issues. The Weimaraner is like a child who never grows up. The high energy filled Weimaraner doesn’t stand down. The aroma stimulates and fuels their excitement. Ultimately, we all want them to be a huge part of everything we do. They require supervision. 

The Weimaraner is part of your family. You must plan for them like everyone else. Thank you for remembering that during this holiday season.

 

The Top Ten Toxic Substances

Top 10 Toxins and Poisons for Dogs

Remi

You don’t say…

  1. Chocolates
  2. Insect bait stations
  3. Rodenticides (mouse and rat poison)
  4. Fertilizers
  5. Xylitol-containing products such as sugar-free gums and candies
  6. Ibuprofen
  7. Acetaminophen
  8. Silica gel packs
  9. Amphetamines, such as ADD/ADHD drugs
  10. Household cleaners

The Weimaraner is prone to getting into trouble, and this includes life-threatening trouble.

Make sure your pet’s health coverage covers all Top 10 Toxins and Poisons and more. There are literally hundreds of toxic substances. This is the AKC top ten listed offenders. Looking it over might save your pet from pilfering something, and suffering the consequences. The inquisitive, and scent-driven Weimaraner is prone to sticking its nose in places (and helping itself to things that smell or look inviting).

Other foods, plants, and chemicals to watch out for…..