Category Archives: cleaning up after your dog

Fecal Exam for Your German Shepherd Dog

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today, I am posting a interesting article written by Christine Wilford who received her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Texas A&M University, Texas.  The point of the article is that doing fecal exam on your German Shepherd Dog is likely a waste of time and money.  Like all animals, your dog will get stomach worms, such as round, hook, tape, and whip worms are the most common.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennel do not do fecal exams rather like livestock ranchers, we assume that our dogs will get worms; therefore we place them on a worming program.  Thus, worming our dogs twice a year for less than the cost of a fecal exam, which as you will read is not a reliable method to determine whether your German shepherd has or does not have worms.  You too can learn how to worm your German Shepherd Dog for less than the cost of a fecal exam.

I'm Worm Free Because Dad Worms Me Twice a Year
I’m Worm Free Because Dad Worms Me Twice a Year

 

Veterinary News

 

FECAL EXAM RELIABILITY

 

A common test for worms may not always give you the right results

 

A majority of owners may be surprised to learn how inaccurate the common fecal examination really is.  Many owners are familiar with the annual regimen of bringing fresh fecal samples to their dogs’ annual physical examinations.  Likewise, most owners take heart in hearing their dogs’ test are normal or, alternatively, owners are glad to receive medications for treating the worms lurking within the bowels of their companions.  But what do these results really tell us?  Understanding how the test is run and knowing a few facts about intestinal worms can help you understand the test’s relative inaccuracies.

 

In general, the fresher the sample, the more accurate the test results.  As a sample ages, the contents of the eggs may hatch, may dry out and burst, or may mix well enough with the solution to be separated and float.  How fresh is fresh?  The preservation of worm eggs in a stool sample varies tremendously depending on temperature, humidity, and the consistency of the sample.  AS time elapses, eggs will degrade and thus will go unrecognized when the slide is examined.  During busy times of the day, other priorities may cause fecal samples to be left unexamined far beyond the optimal reading time.  Even when a sample is fresh and handled appropriately, results may still be unreliable.

 

The chances of finding a worm egg depend on how many worms there are in the intestine, how many of the worms are female, the maturity of the worms and whether the females were laying eggs during the time that the feces was formed.  If there are only a few worms in the intestines, the relative number of eggs laid in a fecal sample is usually much lower than if there is a heavy worm concentration in the dog.  It is also possible to have a significant worm burden with relatively few female worms present; thus, a dog could have clinical signs of intestinal worms without showing evidence of that in a fecal examination.  Similarly, if many of the worms are too immature to lay eggs, there will be no way to identify their presence through a simple fecal exam.

 

Additionally, because worms do not lay eggs at a constant rate, there may be no eggs in a fecal sample simply because the feces were formed and collected during a period when the adult female worms were not shedding eggs.

 

Based on this information, one could argue that an annual screening of an otherwise healthy dog is an unnecessary, and possibly inaccurate, test.  So why bother checking a fecal sample if the results could be misleading?  If no eggs are found, then there may be no worms present or there may be worms and they’ve gone undiagnosed.  Owners cannot depend on a single negative result.  Veterinarians who specialize in the gastrointestinal diseases recommend examining three separate fecal samples before concluding that a negative result is reliable.

 

When your dog’s stool is abnormal, that is, if you see blood, mucus, or a change of color or consistency, or your dog has loose stools, a fecal examination is advisable.  Depending on the types of worms present, clinical signs may not occur or may be subtle.  Worms do not necessarily cause weight loss or decreased activity.

 


In many cases, veterinarians use deworming medication as a diagnostic tool when fecal exams do not reveal worm eggs.  In fact, it may be easier, cheaper, and faster to administer a deworming medication that eliminates the common types of intestinal worms.  If the stools return to normal, it is concluded that the clinical signs were caused by intestinal worms.  Sometimes, common sense and practicality should prevail over complicated and expensive diagnostic tests.


CHRISTINE WILFORD, D.V.M.

Don't Forget to Worm Your German Shepherd Puppies
Don’t Forget to Worm Your German Shepherd Puppies

 

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful puppies that that are ready to go home.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Potty Training Tips for Your German Shepherd Puppy

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

In Most cases you and other family members are the sole source of information and training for your new German shepherd puppy.  Please read the following and follow the simple suggestions herein and you will have a wonderful, loving shepherd that is a real joy to live with you.

You Are Responsible for Training Your New Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppy
You Are Responsible for Training Your New Heidelberg German Shepherd Puppy

Housing breaking is best achieved and most important in the first twenty-four hours you live with your new German shepherd puppy. You either housebreak your puppy or create lots of problems for yourself.  Therefore, make up your mind that you are going to follow the instructions below and have a wonderful experience with your dog rather than poop and mess to cleanup.

A Properly Trained Heidelberg German Shepherd Will Provide Years of Pleasure and Security for Your Family
A Properly Trained Heidelberg German Shepherd Will Provide Years of Pleasure and Security for Your Family

Remember, when you bring your dog home the first twenty-four hours are the most important:  To begin, hang a bell with a string at nose height from the door the puppy will be going outside to potty.  Now every time you take the puppy out make it ring the bell with its nose and say “Let’s Go Potty”. Then you should make a “NONO” bottle.  For example, an empty plastic water bottle with six pennies wouldn’t really hurt the puppy or dog if you threw it and hit the puppy, but it would startle it immensely, thus stopping it from fowling the floor.  Therefore when you see the new puppy squat to potty, you will throw the NONO bottle at it. If you don’t have something light weight and noisy to throw, the puppy will potty before you can get to it to stop the mess.  If the puppy starts to get into position, throw your NONO bottle and shout “No Potty”.  Then take the puppy to the door, ring the bell, and repeat the key word, “Let’s Go Potty”.

You cannot involve yourself with watching TV, become absorbed in reading, talking on the phone, or anything that will distract you from watching your dog.  Your dog must be confined in an area that you can watch it.  It cannot have the run of the house where it can get away to another room, out of sight and potty.  You must watch your puppy at all times!!!  .  When you have an interruption and can’t watch your dog, either crate it or put it outside.

NONO Bottle
NONO Bottle

Normally the puppy/dog will begin to sniff the floor and circle and appear very nervous, sometimes even to the point of whining.  When this happens, say “let’s go outside and potty”. Always use the same door and procedure because all animals are creatures of habit.  Repeat the above and when you go to the door say “let’s go potty”.  After a day or two the puppy will start to ring the bell with its nose when it needs to go outside.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We have several wonderful puppies that that are ready to go home.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion.   Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

Traveling Tips For Your German Shepherd Dog

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Traveling with your German Shepherd Dog can be easy and enjoyable when you and your dog are prepared for the trip.    German Shepherd Dog, puppies or adults can comfortably travel five to seven hours without having to get out and exercise and relieve themselves as long as they have gone to the bathroom right before leaving.  If you are traveling further than five to seven hours you need to plan for a puppy or dog stop. 

a Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Puppy Traveling
a Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Puppy Traveling

We personally prefer to exercise our German Shepherd Dogs of lead; therefore, we try to stop in isolated places such as behind a large church or behind large shopping centers where there are often large areas of grass and little traffic.  For those that want to exercise their German Shepherd Dogs on lead, most gas stations and truck stops along the Interstate have designated exercise areas for traveling dogs.  An expandable lead is in dispensable for exercising on lead because it allows your German Shepherd Dog to get away from the owner so they feel more comfortable going to the bathroom.   For those that are traveling with German Shepherd Dog puppies younger than 16 weeks, you should avoid public potty areas because of the risk of your potentially unprotected puppy being exposed to parvo, distemper, or other communicable diseases.  Look for isolated places such as behind Wal-Marts.  Everyone that exercises their dogs in a public place should clean up after their dogs.  Pack plastic bags with you so you can pick up the feces and throw it in the trash.

Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs Exercising Behind a Shopping Mall
Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs Exercising Behind a Shopping Mall

Once your German Shepherd Dog has stretched their legs for five to ten minutes and relieved themselves, they will be ready to travel another five to seven hours or until you arrive at your destination. 

While on your planned dog stop, if you know your German Shepherd Dog, puppy or adult needs to defecate and they will not go after ten minutes, you can gently insert two or three wooden kitchen matches halfway into their rectum.  This will get your dog to go to the bathroom within a few minutes.  Most German Shepherd Dogs tolerate this well as long as you are gentle.

Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Looking for a Place to Potty After Being Matched
Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog Looking for a Place to Potty After Being Matched

Sometimes while traveling a German Shepherd Dog will get a nervous stomach resulting in diarrhea.  This is not a problem as long as you are prepared.  While traveling you should always have a collar on your dog so that they cannot slip out of it and a leash readily available.  Therefore, if you have to pull off on the side of the highway your German Shepherd Dog and you will be safe.  If your German Shepherd Dog needs to go to the bathroom while you are driving they will become anxious and let you know by either whining or barking.  Look for the closest and safest place to pull over and pull over connecting the leash to the collar before you open the door.  If it is an emergency bathroom break, your dog may surprise you by darting out the first open vehicle door running out into traffic if you do not have them on lead. 

Tomorrow I will continue this discussion with for more travel tips for you and your German Shepherd Dog.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog (Cleaning Up After Your Shepherd)

Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge
Exploring the vast prairie of the Washita National Wildlife Refuge

Hi Everyone,

Today’s discussion is anything but glamorous.  However, it is an important discussion for the health of your German Shepherd Dog and possibly your family.  German Shepherd Dogs are unusually clean and try to get as far away from their feces as possible, and often will choose one specific area in the yard to defecate.  Our Heidelberg German shepherd Dogs will actually try to bury their feces after defecating.  They do this by scratching soil and grass over their poop after they defecate.  As the owner of a German Shepherd Dog, it is your responsibility to clean up after them.  If you live in a subdivision consider your neighbors olfactory sensitivity especially in the summer. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop daily.

German shepherd Dog Covering Up After Pooping
German shepherd Dog Covering Up After Pooping

All dogs will get stomach worms and worms such as hook, tape, and round contaminate the environment with their eggs when your German Shepherd Dog defecates.  Worms such as hook and round worms can infest your yard with their eggs for months and in some cases for years if you allow the feces to break down and spread into your soil.   The infected backyard can become a low risk health hazard to small children that could become infected if they contact the infected soil and then stick their hands in their mouth.  For hookworms a person can become infected by simply contacting the infected soil with bare skin.  Fortunately, the hookworms cannot survive in the human body and soon die upon entering the skin, and thus become a slightly annoying rash for a few days. This rash is known as “plumbers itch”. In addition, if you allow your yard to become infested with worm eggs, your dog will continue to be re-infected costing you unnecessary money to treat your German Shepherd Dog for worms.

Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodiak v Queridad Enjoying a Clean Yard
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad Enjoying a Clean Yard

Feces left in your yard will also attract and breed biting flies and the common houseflies.  If flies drive you nuts in the summer then do yourself a favor and keep your yard clean and the number of flies around and in your house will decrease.

All the above can be avoided by simply picking up the poop every day.  Most German Shepherd Dogs will defecate two to four times a day.  It should take you no more than five minutes to keep your German Shepherd Dog healthy, happy and worm free, as well as keep your yard clean. 

German Shepherd Dog Pooping
German Shepherd Dog Pooping

Purchase a Pooper Scooper at your local pet store.  The average cost will be approximately twenty dollars, but is well worth it because it allows you to clean up fast and efficiently.

Ask me a Question and I will provide my opinion. Also, please see our web page: KeystoneGermanShepherds

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds