Category Archives: Care

Hot weather tips from AKC

steelfurnaceFeature Photo – River’s Edge by Susan Roy Nelson

Hot weather is the norm here in AZ and it starts in the spring for us. When the wind blows here it feels something like standing in a steel foundry next to the furnace. Keeping our dogs cool is an art form for us, and we practice our skill with a vengeance.

 

I’m only managing two girls right now so they spend most of their time indoors lounging on the couches in the air conditioning. They do, however, still need plenty of exercise and potty time, but even during those breaks we need to employ a good deal of caution when our temps are soaring above 100 degrees. Kenna likes to retrieve toys from the pool so getting her wet to help her stay cool is easy, not to mention that swimming is great exercise.

Sara by the hoseSara, on the other hand, hates swimming so she sits next to the garden hose to remind me to come over there to soak her down instead.

The girls and I get up early in the morning, before the sun rises, so they can get morning exercise without battling the desert sun, the ground has cooled off over night and they get an hour or two to run and play before the sun heats everything to blistering temperatures. The misters on the patio, sun shades, trees and umbrellas in our backyard offer additional patches of cooler temps. It doesn’t take long though for the sun to rise and the temperature along with it. That’s when the dogs head back into the house to laze the day away in the air conditioning, waiting for the sun to go down and the ground to cool off so they can get another couple of hours to play when the temps go down. Needless to say they refuse to spend more than 10 minutes or so on potty breaks during the heat of the day, and not wanting to burn their feet on the hot rocks that make up the desert landscaping of our yard, they stick to the shady areas whenever they do go out to pee.

Living in AZ I’m always aware of the heat and the impact it can have on my dog’s lives. It’s easier though, for people to forget the dog’s needs when living in more temperate climates, and a heat wave can be deadly for dogs if owners aren’t prepared. AKC has offered some tips for breeders that I’m sharing here, and as breeders we also like to share tips with our puppy buyers. It never hurts to remind folks that dogs need protection from the heat as much as humans do.

So – what tips would you share with others about how you keep your dogs and kennels cool? Use the comment section to share your best advice!

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

From the AKC website tips for breeders – How to get your kennel ready for hot weather

Summer officially arrives next month, but hot temperatures have already hit many areas of the country. Get your kennel ready for the warm weather and assure your dogs are comfortable and avoid heat stroke even on the hottest days.

  1. Clean and service your fans and air conditioners prior to using them.
  2. Make sure your dogs have plenty of sturdy shade that will not blow away or shred in high winds.
  3. Keep the dogs’ exercise/play yards mowed and edged to reduce pests.
  4. With the good weather, it is a great time to make repairs. Freshen up things from the winter months and add some curb appeal to your facilities and sites.
  5. Think about adding a water element for your dogs to cool off, such as a wading pool in the play yards. But make sure they have a separate sturdy water bucket or bowl for fresh drinking water. Keep the buckets and bowls under shade to assure that drinking water stays cool.

And from the AKC website – Dog Health – Here are a few more tips on how to keep your dog cool during the hot summer months.

Summer Safety Tips For Dogs

Hot weather can make us all uncomfortable, and it poses special risks for your dog. Keep the following safety concerns in mind as the temperature rises, and follow our tips to keep your dog cool.

Heat Hazards

If your dog is outside on a hot day, make sure he has a shady spot to rest in. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer as they can trap heat. You may want to fill a child’s wading pool with fresh water for your dog to cool off in.

Never leave your dog in a closed vehicle on a hot day. The temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes.

Always provide plenty of cool, fresh water.

Avoid strenuous exercise on extremely hot days. Take walks in the early mornings or evenings, when the sun’s heat is less intense.

Try to avoid prolonged exposure to hot asphalt or sand, which can burn your dog’s paws.

Dogs that are brachycephalic (short-faced), such as Bulldogs, Boxers, Japanese Chins, and Pekingese, have an especially hard time in the heat because they do not pant as efficiently as longer-faced dogs. Keep your brachycephalic dog inside with air-conditioning.

General Health

Make sure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, especially since dogs tend to stay outdoors longer and come into contact with other animals more during the summer months.

Keep dogs off of lawns that have been chemically treated or fertilized for 24 hours (or according to package instructions), and away from potentially toxic plants and flowers.

Keep your dog well-brushed and clean.

Fleas and ticks, and the mosquitos which carry heartworm disease, are more prevalent in warmer months. Ask your veterinarian for an effective preventive to keep these parasites off your dog. The AKC Pet Healthcare Plan can help with the cost of providing quality healthcare, including preventive medicine, throughout your dog’s life.

Beach Tips

Make sure your dog has a shady spot to rest in and plenty of fresh water.

Dogs, especially those with short hair, white fur, and pink skin, can sunburn. Limit your dog’s exposure during the day and apply sunblock to his ears and nose 30 minutes before going outside.

Check with a lifeguard for daily water conditions. Dogs are easy targets for sea lice and jellyfish.

Running on the sand is strenuous exercise. A dog that is out of shape can easily pull a tendon or ligament, so keep a check on your dog’s activity.

Do not let your dog drink seawater; the salt will make him sick.

Salt and other minerals in ocean water can damage your dog’s coat, so rinse him off at the end of the day.

Not all beaches permit dogs; check local ordinances before heading out.

Water Safety

Most dogs enjoy swimming, but some cannot swim, and others may hate the water. Be conscious of your dog’s preferences and skills before trying to make him swim.

If you’re swimming for the first time with your dog, start in shallow water and coax him in by calling his name. Encourage him with toys or treats. Or, let him follow another experienced dog he is friendly with.

Never throw your dog into the water.

If your dog begins to paddle with his front legs, lift his hind legs and help him float. He should quickly catch on and keep his back end up.

Don’t let your dog overdo it; swimming is very hard work and he may tire quickly.

If swimming at the ocean, be careful of strong tides.

If you have your own pool, make sure your dog knows where the stairs or ladder are located. Be sure that pool covers are firmly in place; dogs have been known to slip in under openings in the covers and drown.

Never leave your dog unattended in water.

Travel

By Air

Many airlines will not ship animals during summer months due to dangers caused by hot weather. Some will only allow dogs to fly in the early morning or in the evening. Check with your airlines for specific rules.

If you do ship a dog, put icepacks or an ice blanket in the dog’s crate. (Two-liter soft drink bottles filled with water and frozen work well.) Provide a container of fresh water, as well as a container of frozen water that will thaw over the course of the trip.

By Car

Keep your dog cool in the car by putting icepacks in his crate. Make sure the crate is well ventilated.

Put a sunshade on your car windows.

Bring along fresh water and a bowl, and a tarp or tent so you can set up a shady spot when you stop. Keep a spray bottle filled with water to spritz on your dog to cool him down.

By RV

A dog’s safety should not depend on the air conditioning and generator systems in an RV or motor home. These devices can malfunction, with tragic results.

If you leave your dog in an RV with the generator running, check it often or have a neighbor monitor it. Some manufacturers have devices that will notify you if the generator should malfunction.

Never leave an RV or motor home completely shut up, even if the generator and AC are running. Crack a window or door or run the exhaust fan.

Never, ever leave a dog unattended in a vehicle in the summer months. Heatstroke and death can occur within minutes in warm temperatures.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke can be the serious and often fatal result of a dog’s prolonged exposure to excessive heat. Below are the signs of heatstroke and the actions you should take if your dog is overcome.

Early Stages:

  • Heavy panting.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Bright red gums and tongue.
  • Standing 4-square, posting or spreading out in an attempt to maintain balance.

Advanced Stages:

    • White or blue gums.
    • Lethargy, unwillingness to move.
    • Uncontrollable urination or defecation.
    • Labored, noisy breathing.
    • Shock.

If your dog begins to exhibit signs of heatstroke, you should immediately try to cool the dog down:

  • Apply rubbing alcohol to the dog’s paw pads.
  • Apply ice packs to the groin area.
  • Hose down with water.
  • Allow the dog to lick ice chips or drink a small amount of water.
  • Offer Pedialyte to restore electrolytes.

Check your dog’s temperature regularly during this process. Once the dog’s temperature has stabilized at between 100 to 102 degrees, you can stop the cool-down process.

If you cannot get the dog cooled down and you begin to see signs of advanced heatstroke, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately.

Blastomycosis—What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know – Life with Llewellin Setters

Blastomycosis, or Blasto as it is often called, is a very serious and potentially deadly, systemic fungal disease that can affect dogs, humans, and other mammals. Blasto is caused by inhaling the spores of the fungus Blastomyces dermatitidis. B. dermatitis grows as a mold in acidic, organically rich …

Source: Blastomycosis—What Every Dog Owner Needs to Know – Life with Llewellin Setters

This Substance Is Making Dogs Sick, and It’s Probably in Your Home Right Now – American Kennel Club

This post contains a link to, and excerpts from, the article published by the AKC, Dog Health. Please be aware of the substance and danger, read the entire article by clicking here:

This Substance Is Making Dogs Sick, and It’s Probably in Your Home Right Now – American Kennel Club

Dangers Of Xylitol

EXCERPTS:

A substance called xylitol is making thousands of dog sick and even causing death…something this benign, an ordinary sweetener, could be toxic to pets.

What Is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a sugar substitute most often associated with “sugar-free” chewing gum and mints, but it’s also found some brands of peanut butter, toothpastes, certain medications, and vitamins, many sugar-free products (chocolate, JELLO, yogurt, pudding), and even some household products such as baby wipes and lip balm. A comprehensive list of products is available here. VCA Hospitals reports that xylitol is 100 times more toxic to dogs than chocolate.

Why Is Xylitol So Dangerous?

According to Caroline Coile, AKC Family Dog Nutrition & Health columnist: “The dog’s pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store it. The insulin removes real sugar from the bloodstream and the dog can become weak, and have tremors and even seizures starting within 30 minutes of eating it.” Other symptoms of hypoglycemia include poor coordination and vomiting/diarrhea.

Liver failure (and death) can also result from xylitol ingestion, and symptoms can take as much as eight hours as show up. A dog only needs to consume a very little amount of xylitol to receive a deadly dose. As much as two pieces of gum can cause a problem in a small-breed dog.

 

Excerpts from and links shared by Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

Photograph by Susan Roy Nelson

 

 

What to Expect: Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dogs | Karen Pryor Clicker Training

If I were to tell you that in my family, growing up with 4 brothers and sisters, we got along famously all of the time, never argued, never bickered, never hit or tattled, shared our toys and our treats, shared love with mom and cuddling on the couch and never, ever, said a bad word to each other or argued bitterly I’d have a nose the length of Florida!

Raising dogs, like raising kids, does take patience along with a common sense approach if you want to create a happy household, and this is especially true when bringing a young puppy into the fold.

Whether you’re the new puppy  owner, or the breeder who wants to provide the new puppy owner with sound advice, the article by Karen Pryor “What to Expect: Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dogs” is right for you. Simply click the highlighted article title to go there to learn.

If you have other advice or strategies or helpful links please share them with us in the comment section as our aim is to provide an in-depth guide to help new owners and breeders.

Thanks for joining us here, till next time…Sally

Photo (Elfie) by Sarah Armstrong

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

What to Expect: Introducing a Puppy to Your Adult Dogs | Karen Pryor Clicker Training.

Dewclaws – should we remove them?

“Do the Dew” …should we or shouldn’t we? M. Christine Zink DVM certainly gives food for thought in her articles, but she’s not talking about that well known bright yellow soft drink, instead she’s talking about dewclaws and the fairly common practice of removing these. Dr. Zink exposes us to her concern about the long term ramifications that may occur from foreleg dewclaw removal, the possibility of injury or disease (carpal arthritis).

Quite frankly I’ve always removed the dewclaws from puppies in my litters, and I haven’t really given much thought to the practice. I’d always been told that the dewclaw served no purpose, and that when working in the field, the dewclaw could be a source of injury if caught on a branch or bramble. So, I simply had them (the dewclaw that is) lopped off at my earliest convenience within a day or so of the puppy’s birth. I do remember being told that it wasn’t a good idea for an amateur like me to nip those claws off myself, as if done wrong, one could damage the tendons in the dog’s foreleg causing lameness or a limp, so I always asked my vet to perform this simple procedure.  Well, those tendons attached to the dewclaw that I just mention, that’s what lead me to share these articles with you today, articles by Dr. Zink that offer a different opinion about the function of the dewclaw and how injury or disease might result from their removal.

M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, DACVSMR of Johns Hopkins University “When a dog runs, however, the entire foot from the carpus to the toes contacts the ground. If the dog then turns, it can dig the dewclaw (the equivalent of our thumb) into the ground to stabilize the leg and reduce torque on the rest of the leg.”

dewclaw
Anatomical diagram viewing the medial side of a dog’s front leg demonstrating the 5 tendons that attach to the dewclaw.  From Miller’s Guide to the Dissection of the Dog

Wikipedia:  Dewclaws and Locomotion

“Based on stop-action photographs, veterinarian M. Christine Zink of Johns Hopkins University believes that the entire front foot, including the dewclaws, contacts the ground while running. During running, the dewclaw digs into the ground preventing twisting or torque on the rest of the leg. Several tendons connect the front dewclaw to muscles in the lower leg, further demonstrating the front dewclaws’ functionality. There are indications that dogs without dewclaws have more foot injuries and are more prone to arthritis. Zink recommends “for working dogs it is best for the dewclaws not to be amputated. If the dewclaw does suffer a traumatic injury, the problem can be dealt with at that time, including amputation if needed.”[1]

To gain a full understanding of Zink’s position regarding the dewclaw’s purpose and any injury that may result from their removal read through links I’ve provided to her articles. Click the bold type link to open and read each in full. You’ll also find I’ve included a few excerpts if you’re looking for a quick Reader’s Digest version.

Dewclaw Explanation

“I have seen many dogs now, especially field trial/hunt test and agility dogs, that have had chronic carpal arthritis… Of the over 30 dogs I have seen with carpal arthritis, only one had dewclaws.”
“…there are 5 tendons attached to the dewclaw… at the other end of a tendon is a muscle, and that means that if you cut off the dew claws, there are 5 muscle bundles that will become atrophied from disuse.”
“Those muscles indicate that the dewclaws have a function… to prevent torque on the leg. Each time the foot lands on the ground, particularly when the dog is cantering or galloping the dewclaw is in touch with the ground. If the dog then needs to turn, the dewclaw digs into the ground to support the lower leg and prevent torque. If the dog doesn’t have a dewclaw, the leg twists. A life time of that and the result can be carpal arthritis, or perhaps injuries to other joints, such as the elbow, shoulder and toes.”
“As to the possibility of injuries to dew claws. Most veterinarians will say that such injuries actually are not very common at all.”

I also found this video that may be of interest to you. It illustrates how dogs use their dewclaws on ice.

 

I haven’t decided whether to make any change to my practice of removing dewclaws. Whether to “do the dew” or not is still in question for me, and I’m not here to give you my advice, or to assert that you change what you do, what I did want was to simply share this information with you and then to ask whether you have any thoughts, questions or practices that you’d like share about dewclaw removal through the comment section?

I did find this funny tidbit on Physchology Today in an article written by Stanley Coren“There is an interesting bit of folklore that keeps some people from removing the dewclaws of their dogs. In the southern states in America there is a common belief that dogs that are born with dewclaws on their hind feet (which is somewhat rare) have a natural immunity to the venomous effects of snake bites as long as the dewclaws remain intact. Once, when I was in South Carolina, an old man brought out a favorite hound of his and showed me the dewclaws on her back legs. He explained to me, “She’s been snakebit more’en one time, but she’s still here ‘cause them dewclaws sucked up the poison.”

well…there are rattlesnakes here in AZ and we are in the south so…

Sally Gift, Mesa AZ

Developing High Achievers When Raising Puppies

Sarah Armstrong
Sarah Armstrong

Please thank our Guest Blogger – Sarah Armstrong  MI  for her contribution today with a link to information and comments about her experience with Early Neurological Stimulation for puppies.

Sarah wrote:

I learned about the bio-sensory stimulation after my first litter.  I’ve experimented with it, doing it on one litter and not on another.  What I have found is that it DOES work!  It makes the puppies better able to handle stressful situations and to make a quicker recovery when they get scared or startled.
One puppy in a recent litter flew to Denver.  A few weeks later had to be “rescued” and he went to live with friends in Nebraska for a month.  He was then dropped off

Photo by Sarah Armstrong
Photo by Sarah Armstrong

in Chicago with fellow Gordonites for a weekend before continuing his journey back home to me.  He was maybe 4.5 months at this point.  In Chicago he strutted down the sidewalks like he owned them.  The people, the cars, the noise, nothing phased him.  Maybe he would have reacted that way had I not done the stimulation, but I would rather help them from wet to the time they leave become the best companions they can be!  This will always be my protocol with puppies!

Photo by Sarah Armstrong
Photo by Sarah Armstrong

The link to the article and method followed will open on a new page by clicking the title: Developing High Achievers by Dr. Carmen Battaglia orginally published as “Early Neurological Stimulation”.

Sarah Armstrong, MI

The Importance of Exercising Your Dog’s Brain – YouTube

This is a link to a wonderful resource for everyone who owns a dog, and is certainly pertinent to our Gordon Setter. Veterinary behavior expert, Dr. Karen Overall, introduces her discussion on the importance of exercising a dog’s brain and the effects it has on physical and mental health.

View this in its entirety – free registration compliments of the AKC Canine Health Foundation simply click this link to go: The Importance of Exercising Your Dog’s Brain – YouTube.

NEWS FLASH – Gordon Setter Students & Mentors

I started a new discussion group that you may find totally useful if you’re seriously into breeding and/or competing with your Gordon Setter. Now, I realize that many of you are not on Facebook and may well have sworn never to go there BUT you don’t have to turn into a Facebook junkie, nor do you need to accumulate a slathering of friends, but you will need to set up a Facebook account in order to view and post to the group.  There are already fabulous discussions starting, questions being posed, and pictures being shared of dogs from way back, all things educational can be shared here.

Here is the link Gordon Setter Students & Mentors click here if you’d care to check it out or join the group.

Gordon Setter Students & Mentors

Description

Welcome Gordon Setter students and mentors! This group is meant to serve as a resource and learning tool for Gordon Setter fanciers who are serious students or experienced breeder/exhibitors willing to join forces where everyone can learn about and mentor the art of breeding better Gordon Setters. A place also to fine tune our skill and expertise when competing in conformation, performance or field events. Topics might include such things as genetics, structure, pedigrees, ancestors, health, and proper care, grooming, as well as training tips pertaining to competition in conformation, performance and field events. To make the most of this forum you are encouraged to submit questions, content and photos to provide examples as well as actively participate in discussions with helpful answers and guiding principles.

Things to keep in mind:

No personal attacks, ridicule, or harassment on or about another member’s post. You will be removed from the group and blocked. We don’t always need to agree and various opinions on a topic are encouraged to promote a learning environment, however remember when you are expressing an opinion to please do so in a tactful and polite manner.

Since this group is meant to serve educational purposes only, please do not submit your win photos and brags, we do love to see those and are very happy for you, but let’s post them on other forums to maintain focus here. The same would be true of those happy Gordon photos we post just for fun.

Please focus on the positive traits of any dog pictured. If you have constructive criticism always be considerate and tactful in your comments to ensure you are providing encouragement as well as an educational experience for the student. Please do share educational articles and links to other sites that will educate and promote better breeding and competition practices.

No SPAM or ads to promote the sale of merchandise or dogs. Spammers will be removed.

No personal attacks on other members! We are here to help each other learn and we will respect everyone and treat each other with dignity because of our differences, a different view could be where a new learning begins.

Enjoy!
Sally Gift, Mesa AZ
Photo by Bob Segal – 2015 GSCA National Specialty

Gordon Setter Health Clearances before Breeding

All the Gordon Setter health clearance links in one place. If we’ve missed any, or there is information here that needs updating please be sure to send us a comment or an email at: gordonsetterexpert@gmail.com

Gordon Setter Expert

meet n greet Photo by Bob Segal

As with any question, ask several breeders the same question and you’ll get several different answers. When it comes to acting responsibly as a breeder to bring healthy Gordon Setter puppies into the world it’s agreed that completing certain health clearances on breeding animals before any mating occurs should be a priority. However, ask any breeder which tests are necessary or which certifications are the most important – that could become a topic for debate. For purposes of this article, we are listing the screening tests that address health issues that pertain to the Gordon Setter along with where to obtain or find proof of existing certification. These screening tests are suggested tools that will prepare you to make informed breeding choices that will affect the health of many future generations of Gordon Setters. OFA StickerCanine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) – screening/certification organizations. Click any of the active…

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Vaccines, and why this conversation should not be so polarized

Dr. Dodds protocol for the Rabies vaccine is published as follows and differs from the information written in Nancy’s blog post:

1 Year after the initial dose:
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. See the Rabies Challenge Fund website.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843

Nancy Tanner

Fear has more traction than love.

Fear is more powerful than common sense.

Fear moves faster than understanding.

Fear makes us fight, run, or freeze.

SO, grab your pitch forks, light your torches, gather together, and lets go after those that cause us fear! Oh wait a second, that would be the witch hunts which we have grown past right? Nope, they are alive and well, and growing.

If you read social media news, watch TV, read the newspaper, or are a breathing human being, you are well aware that the vaccine controversy has flipped on its head. For humans and animals.

Words that incite us, make us emotional, and spread fear, are all over the place. Epidemic, disease outbreak, catastrophic cases of preventable diseases, shrill voices, super duper big scary words. The media has dug deep into their thesaurus of ‘scary ass words’. And because we are human, and we…

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We are dedicated to building a knowledge base and a sharing site for those who are involved in all of the various aspects of competition with Gordon Setters, competitions that showcase the Gordon Setter’s Beauty, Brains and Bird-Sense.

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