Category Archives: Death

Basic Care 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,

There are some basic care for your German Shepherd Dog that every owner should be aware of and that is what I am going to discuss today.  While German shepherd Dogs are relative low maintenance compared to other breeds you will need to trim their nails at least once a month and while doing so you can check the dog’s body for other problems.  After doing the nails comb the coat thoroughly with a straight steel pin brush to remove dead hair.  Check the skin for abrasions, ticks, or other problems.  We sell top quality steel rakes and grooming brushes at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  Often our prices are better than the big chain pet stores and we can ship.

A Happy Well Maintained and Healthy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog
A Happy Well Maintained and Healthy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog

If your dog is not eating well (it might be wormy) or if it appears to in ill health or not feeling well, take their temperature rectally for two minutes.  The normal temperature for a dog will be 101.5 – 102°.  If it is high or low you should consider contacting your veterinarian.

A Happy Heidelberg Puppy Litter Resting After Having Their Monthly Health Check
A Happy Heidelberg Puppy Litter Resting After Having Their Monthly Health Check

Heartworm preventive is a must for your puppy/dog or they can die of heartworms caused by mosquitoes. We use IVOMEC beginning at twelve weeks for puppies and of course continue their monthly dose for the rest of their life. Therefore it is a good idea to give them their heart worm preventative while clipping their nails and grooming every month.

It is a good idea to check for ear mites and ear infections every month.  If you see signs of ear mites then treat your German shepherd Dog immediately.  Although since we have started using Advantix and Frontline to treat our shepherds for pests such as fleas and ticks we have not seen a case of ear mites.  Whereas, ear mite infections used to be quite common.  Also, note if your shepherd seems to be holding one ear lower than the other, shaking its head, or pawing at its ear and you have ruled out ear mites as the cause, you may want to make an appointment with your vet immediately because ear infections in German shepherd Dogs are serious and can become life threatening. 

It's Time For My First Heartworm Treatment
It’s Time For My First Heartworm Treatment

The most common symptoms of ear mites: ears appear inflamed/red, ears refusing to stand, scratching on or behind the ear, shaking of head or holding head to one side, and/or visible dark dirt or wax in inner ear (actually ear mite poop).

Fleas and ticks: Nothing causes your dog more misery and disease than fleas and ticks!  The life cycle of the flea is as short as six days in an ideal growing condition.  In other words, a flea goes from egg through larval and mature state in only six days.  To put this in the proper perspective, only ten fleas can become TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY TOUSAND fleas in only thirty days!

While fleas carry less diseases than ticks, they do carry tape worm eggs that can cause your dog’s health to suffer.  Ticks carry several diseases that German Shepherd Dogs are susceptible to, and if not removed from your dog’s environment most assuredly will cause the death of your beloved shepherd.  We at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels used to struggle and spend small fortunes fighting ticks and fleas until they came out with Advantix several years ago.  Now we have no fleas or ticks on our dogs.

We treat monthly with Advantix and switch out the next month with Frontline and have successfully eliminated fleas and ticks from our property.  Even our wild rabbits and squirrels are tick free because they use the treated – shed fur from our dogs as nesting material.  

I Am Tick and Flea Free
I Am Tick and Flea Free

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

Whelping German Shepherd Puppies and When to Go to the Vet

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

 Hi Everyone,

Last night I had a very hard delivery with a first time German shepherd mom.  She started labor at noon,  three days early, which in itself is a little worrisome, but not that unusual.  I now know why she was early.  Anyway after several hours the first puppy was presented in the vaginal canal, but too deep for me to pull it out.  This is when I first became worried that this delivery was not going to be normal.  After two hours and several doses of Oxytocin, I was ready to take her in to the vet for a possible C-section.   Of course this always happens on Sunday or holidays after hours.

I placed her on the grooming table to examine her one last time before calling the vet and I could feel that the puppy had progressed far enough that I could pull it on out, which I did.  To my surprise the puppy was alive and is doing very well today.  This puppy was large, but not unusually so, and I surmised that because this was her first puppy she just had trouble pushing out an above average puppy in size.  I also surmised that the rest of the puppies should come much easier at this point.  I was wrong.

The next puppy proved to be just as difficult if not harder for her.  After five hours and several doses of Oxytocin this puppy presented itself breach.  After feathering and some brave pushing by the new mom, I was able to grab the rear feet of the puppy and ease it out.  This puppy was two to three times larger than the average newborn German shepherd puppy.  Unfortunately, this puppy did not survive the breach delivery.

Heidelberg's Farrah and Her New Puppy After a Difficult Delivery
Heidelberg’s Farrah and Her New Puppy After a Difficult Delivery

This proved to be her last puppy and explained her difficulty in delivering such large puppies.  Sometimes when females have small litters the puppies can grow too large to allow for an easy and normal delivery.  When this happens the female will often have the puppies a few days early to keep the puppies from growing any larger.

Going to a vet during delivery is very expensive and also could expose the new puppies to diseases.  Therefore, it not a decision made lightly.  No easy way or formula exists for knowing when it is time to seek professional help.  For example, I had a female that was in labor for over 24-hours with no progress made towards delivery.  I had been in contact with my vet and he said that we had waited long enough and to bring her in.  While picking her up on the delivery table a viable puppy fell out on to the ground.  I was sent home and while on the way home she had another two puppies in the 10 minute drive.  She ended up having 10 healthy puppies.  Another female was in labor all day with presented puppy that was stuck deep in the vaginal canal. After several hours of pushing she was exhausted and could not push anymore, and this time, in the middle of the night on the 45 minute drive to Oklahoma State University Animal Hospital she fell asleep and delivered the puppy in the backseat while snoring.  When she fell asleep she relaxed enough for the puppy to slide on out into the side-pocket of my trucks door.   In this case she had to have a C-section to deliver the remaining four puppies because she had exhausted her ability to push.  All five puppies were healthy and are doing well today with their owners.

Making the decision to go to the vet during delivery problems is not easy and best should be made once you have surpassed your knowledge and abilities to deal with the myriad of issues that could arise during delivery.  Knowing when you have exhausted your expertise is also not easy.

If you are considering getting a German shepherd puppy consider getting one of our older puppies and save a little money on some very high quality shepherds.

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

German Shepherd Dogs (Reflections on Last Year’s Wildfires)

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

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow, I will return to discussing our young German Shepherd Dogs and the future of Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, but for today I cannot allow the month of August to pass without discussing a small miracle on our behalf and a horrible tragedy to over 400 families in the Mannford, Oklahoma area. 

Last year on Thursday August 2, 2012 a fire was started nine miles South of Mannford, OK when Billy Cloud threw his lit cigarette down on the ground just outside his trailer.  The summer of 2012 brought most of the Midwest including Oklahoma a continuation of severe drought that started in 2011 with record high temperatures of 110 degrees to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Fires Burning Toward Keystone German shepherds & Kennels

The lit cigarette ignited a wildfire that burnt over 90 square miles and burned down over 400 homes.  Throughout August 2 and 3, 2012 the wildfires raged several miles from us at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  On August 4, 2012 my wife and I had lunch in Mannford and had a false since of safety against the fires since they raged so far away.   Upon returning to home and the kennels, the wind shifted and the fires started burning straight toward us.  Late that afternoon we lost electric and could see the fires approaching us.  Roads in and out of our area had been closed, and while we had several wonderful clients and friends offer to come out to pick up our dogs and then drive them to safety, they were not allowed in.  We were ordered to evacuate, but we would not leave our dogs so we stayed to fight the fires.  We thought that we could save our kennels and house by manning several water hoses around our property.  However, as the fire approach, we lost all water pressure.  The Creek County Rural Water District water well pumps went out just as the fires approached our property.  Without water we became very concerned for our own safety as well as the safety of our dogs.

Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property
Fires at 5:30 PM approaching Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels Property

At the time that we had lost water pressure a small fire truck came roaring up our driveway and told us that they only had 5-minutes of water and that they would not be able to save our house.  He pointed to the woodlot that was 100-yards away from our house and said once the fire gets into the canopy of the trees the heat would be so intense that our house would just explode into flames.  The firemen yelled for us to let loose the dogs from their kennels and to get ready to jump in the pond to save our lives.  The fireman said they would be in the pond right behind us.

I was never so proud of my German Shepherd Dogs, as we let them out of their kennels, they remained calm and none of their normal squabbles or barking took place.  They all knew that the situation was serious and they all stayed around but out-of-our-way.  With the gates open they would be able to escape and return after the fire had passed.  

At this time the smoke had grown thick with very little visibility.  While only about 5:30 PM, it appeared to be twilight just after sunset.  After burning down our neighbors’ houses, the fires jumped Highway 48 and started raging up our property.  I will never forget standing in the driveway watching the fireman raise his helmet and start scratching his head.  The fires had hit our forest and then began to die down and go out.  The fireman was befuddled because for three days he had watch these fires hit woodlots and then just roar out-of-control.

I yelled down to the fireman that I had burnt my property earlier that year in March, burning all the leaves and fallen branches on our twenty-acres.  He said that controlled burn had saved our home and kennels because the fires did not have the fuel to reach the forest canopy.  We returned the dogs to their kennels, and watched the fires burn around while burning more of our neighbors’ homes. 

Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor's House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down
Fire As It Burned Down Our Neighbor’s House and Approached Our Woodlot before Dying Down

We were saved from the fires, but due to loss of power, we did lose over 2,000 pounds of frozen venison meat for our dogs, most of the contents of our refrigerators, all four-corner fence posts, and suffered two-weeks without power with record high temperatures of 110 degrees and above.  The Water District did restore water service on the 5th of August so we only had to haul potable water one day.

We were spared by providence because I was led to burn my property, which I had not done in about three years.  Due to the senseless act of a drunk thousands of people suffered the loss of everything that they owned, and while no human life was lost several animals and even a customers Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog perished in the fires of 2012.  Even though I am an experienced ecologist and have been trained in fire management and prescribed burning methods, I learned given the severe environmental conditions that we experienced in 2012 that wildfires can become extremely dangerous and unpredictable.  I would most likely move our dogs much sooner and not stay if ordered to evacuate if ever faced with similar circumstances.

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Walker, a male puppy left.  Walker is a wonderful highly intelligent and a very quick learner.  Walker will be perfect for a family looking for an obedient and loyal companion that will provide home protection.  Families with existing pets such as dogs and cats will be a good fit for Walker.  Walker is very sociable.  Remember that we do ship puppies.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog (Time to Say Goodbye)

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 going to switch gears to discuss an issue that has developed with one of our long-time friends.  Monday, I will continue my discussion of our new family members.

We received a call about 12 1/2 year-old Rocky, one of my all-time favorite German Shepherd Dogs.  Rocky has stopped eating and drinking and is throwing up bile.  He has rapidly gone down health wise in the last month and it is time to say goodbye until we meet again.

Rocky started his life out as a promising show dog and was sold to Connie who lived in Mannford, Oklahoma.  Connie and Rocky were extremely close and did everything together.  Connie after a year and half was diagnosed with breast cancer, and so Rocky was boarded out here at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels while Connie was going through treatment and too sick to take care of Rocky.  We got to become very close to Rocky.  Connie lost her battle to cancer, but her love and fighting spirit was not lost on Rocky.  Connie’s husband gave us Rocky after her death because Rocky presence was just too painful of a reminder of Connie.

When Rocky came to stay with us he was not the same after Connie’s passing.  Rocky was very depressed and grieving.  We decided the best thing for Rocky was find him a good home with children that could take his mind of his loss.  We re-homed Rocky to such a family, and Rocky began to recover from his grief.  Now ten years later after a wonderful and spoiled life, Rocky will be reunited with Connie.  I imagine that they are taking one of their long walks along a beautiful mountain stream.

Losing your best friend after 12 years is the hardest part of owning a German Shepherd Dog.  It hurts as bad as losing a close family member and the grieving process is very similar.  I am comforted in knowing that because God loves us that we will be reunited with all our companions someday in Heaven.  He will not withhold any joy from us including being reunited with our best friends.  I am not going to start preaching in this blog, but there are several Bible verses that support this hope of being reunited with our beloved German Shepherd Dogs.  Personally I believe Heaven will be filled with cats and dogs. 

A young Rocky and Me On a Walk
A young Rocky and Younger Me On a Walk

Please continue to check out our web page as we post updates on this litter and future available litters: http://www.keystonegermanshepherds.com/PuppiesForSale.htm.   We currently have Wally and Walter, two male puppies left.  Both are wonderful puppies and Walter has developed in to quite the show prospect.   Remember that we do ship puppies.

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds