Tag Archives: feeding

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

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

Mass Cooking for Your German Shepherd Dog or Puppy

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

Hi Everyone,

Below is an easy way to prepare several evening meals for your German Shepherd Dog or puppy. Once prepared you can freeze in individual bags and sit out on bag per day to defrost.  The defrosted contents can be added to the good quality dry-food in the evening to provide a fast, easy, and healthy meal for your German shepherd.

Healthy Food Means Healthy German Shepherds
Healthy Food Means Healthy German Shepherds

To do a mass cooking for your new dog:

Get a whole chicken and place it in your crock-pot.  Cook it for about 4 hours.  Then put whole carrots in the crock-pot with the chicken.  Cook 3-4 hours, until the chicken is done and the carrot are soft.

Healthy Food Means Happy German Shepherds
Healthy Food Means Happy German Shepherds

Let it cool to room temperature the let it cool in the icebox overnight.  The next day take the fat off the top and debone the chicken.  An ice cream scoop is about 3 ounces; place one scoop of meat in several zip-top baggies.  Then put the cooked carrots (1/3 of a carrot per feeding), 1 clove of garlic for each carrot third, and two table spoons of cooked spinach (2 heaping tablespoons per feeding) to match the carrots in the blender.  Put some of the broth in the blender.  Make a purée of the veggies and separate that into the number of feedings (6 carrots = 18 feedings).   Everything needs to be no warmer than room temperature.

Healthy Happy Shepherds Means Happy Owners
Healthy Happy Shepherds Means Happy Owners

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

Providing Proper Vitamin and Nutrient Supplements 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,

It so important to provide supplement nutrition including macro and micro nutrients to the diet of your German Shepherd Dog especially as growing puppy.  Researchers have just discovered how important vitamin c is to proper growth and development of joints while German shepherd Dogs are growing.  If insufficient amounts of vitamin c are provided in the diet during growth spurts that joint disease can develop even in puppies that are not genetically predisposed to joint disease.

Feeding just dry-food will leave your German Shepherd Dog or puppy deficient on macro and micro nutrients, vitamins, and certain minerals.  The reason why these supposedly balanced and even the top-of-the-line dry-foods cannot supply these nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed for proper growth and maintenance is due to the way it is manufactured.  Dry-food is cooked at such high temperatures and extruded at such high pressures that the nutrient values that are in the starting ingredients are destroyed or altered in such a way that they cannot be assimilated or digested.

This is why we supplement our Heidelberg German Shepherd Dogs’ diet with our Pure Total Dog Supplement, which provides all the macro and macro nutrient, vitamins and minerals in a form that is readily digested and absorbed by your German shepherd.  Our Pure Total Dog Supplement is loaded with vitamin C, all the B-complexes including biotin and B-6 and 12, Digest K yeast which helps with digestion, desiccated liver powder, which helps with finicky eaters, selenium that is important with skeletal growth maintenance, Omega 3 oils, which supports the circulatory system, and Diatomite powder, which provides the macro nutrients needed for joint growth and maintenance.

Pure Total Dog Supplement
Pure Total Dog Supplement

Our Pure Total Dog Supplement in combination with a daily tablespoon of Cod liver oil, which provides vitamin A and E and a good quality dry-food will provide everything needed for your German Shepherd Dog or puppy to grow correctly and thrive.

We sell our Pure Total Dog Supplement and Cod liver oil to the public.  Our Pure Total Dog Supplement cost $19.95 and is a four month supply for one dog.  Our cod liver oil comes in a quart bottle and will last two-months for one dog and is priced at $19.50.  Our cod liver oil is imported from Iceland and is the most contaminant free cod liver oil available.  We only purchase human grade for our dogs, which decreases possible contaminants such as PCB’s. Dioxins, and mercury. Please email me at keystonegsd@cimtel.net if you are interested in purchasing these items from us.

A Happy Healthy Correctly Fed and Supplemented Puppy
A Happy Healthy Correctly Fed and Supplemented Puppy

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

Add Juicing Pulp to Your German Shepherd Dog Diet

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

Hi Everyone,

A lot of people are paying more attention today to their health by educating themselves on a healthy diet.  They are juicing to increase their nutrient intake.  Juicing is becoming more popular than ever before as people learn more about nutritional needs and how to meet those needs in a world of processed foods.  Besides being delicious, juicing fresh vegetables and fruit it is particularly healthy.  I personally have been juicing breakfast and lunch somewhat inconsistently for the last two years.  I get away from juicing because I get busy and do not have the time to purchase the vegetables and fruits and to prepare them.  It does take a lot of time out of your daily schedule to juice on a regular basis.  However, I keep coming back to because I feel and look much better when I juice.   I lose weight, have more energy, and my complexion improves, and I have a definite healthy glow when I juice on a regular basis.  In addition, it only takes a couple of days to start to feel and see the positive effect of juicing.

Healthy Puppy Befitting From Juicing  Pulp in His Diet
Healthy Puppy Befitting From Juicing Pulp in His Diet

Today, I encourage you to start juicing if you do not and if you do juice do the same for your German Shepherd Dog by including the pulp left over from juicing in your German Shepherd Dog’s diet.  The pulp leftover from juicing is similar to the predigested stomach contents of herbivores.

Carnivores and certain omnivores such as lions, dogs, wolves, coyotes, and foxes in nature, after capturing their prey will always first consume stomachs and intestines, which contain predigested vegetation. These predigested contents provide the meat eaters with much-needed nutrients such as complex amino acids, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll necessary for maintenance, health, and longevity. These nutrients cannot be found in sufficient levels or in a readily digestible form in most all dry-foods. In addition, many of these basic nutrients are cooked out of the dry-food during processing.

Healthy and Happy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog, Puppies
Healthy and Happy Heidelberg German Shepherd Dog, Puppies

Prepare the pulp by bringing it to a boil.  By denaturing the proteins, you will further make it more like predigested stomach contents of herbivores. You can also add eggs and fresh meat and cook these items with the pulp, thus making a gruel that you can pour out over your German Shepherd Dog’s dry-food.

Food items that are exceptionally healthy for your German Shepherd Dog include kale, carrots, apples, oranges, grapefruit, berries of all types, grapes only in very small quantities (grapes can be harmful to your dog in large quantities), cranberries, spinach, cucumbers, watermelon, tomatoes, etc.  You will have to experiment with ratios both for you and your dog for taste.  Too much pulp and your German Shepherd Dog may not eat it. 

Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodi Enjoys Juice Pulp
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodi Enjoys Juice Pulp

 Try juicing for yourself and your German Shepherd Dog.  I guarantee that you will like the results.  As always before dramatically changing your diet or your dog’s diet consult your physician and your veterinarian.

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 Continued

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 be extremely sensitive to the water that they drink.  Water from different areas contain different chemicals and hardness, and can cause your German Shepherd Dog to get diarrhea.  Therefore, it is well worth the effort to travel with water from your house for your German Shepherd Dog.  An alternative to this is to purchase distilled water.  When we are traveling to dog shows, we may have as many as eight adult dogs in our van.  This many dogs makes it impossible to carry enough water from home for a four or five day trip.  We have found that the dogs do well on distilled water and they never get runny stools from the water.

Enjoying a Break while on the Road
Enjoying a Break while on the Road

I discovered this years ago while at a dog show with seven German Shepherd Dogs in West Texas where the local water was high in sulfur.  I as well as all seven German shepherds had upset stomachs.  I purchased distilled water and everyone got well within one day.  Also, if your German Shepherd Dog does develop runny stools while traveling, four or five table spoons of Dannon plain white yogurt added to their food will calm their upset stomachs. 

Traveling with your German Shepherd Dog’s food is easy with a little planning and preparation.   I recommend bagging daily rations of dry-food in Ziploc baggies.  This way you will not run out of food before your travels are done and you are not hauling extra food.  You also can precook carrots and eggs and place these in Tupperware and keep them cool in a small doggie ice chest along with your yogurt and canned meet.  Vitamins and cod liver oil also be premeasured and placed in smaller containers so you are not carrying extra while on your trip.  We prefer to feed canned salmon or mackerel when traveling.  One 15 ounce should be enough for 5 days.  Be sure to bring a food bowl; we prefer stainless steel because it is durable and very easy to clean in a hotel sink. Also, you should bring a pail that you can hang onto the side of their crate for them to drink from.

Taking Time to Explore While on a Travel Break
Taking Time to Explore While on a Travel Break

Where does your German Shepherd dog ride while in the vehicle?  For adult shepherds the front or back seat may suffice.  If your dog is not crated, please use a dog seat-belt.  This will protect you as well as your German shepherd Dog if you have a car accident.  Even a minor fender bender can propel your unsecured dog into or through the windshield or into the back of your head killing you and your dog.  For traveling with German Shepherd Dog puppies, I recommend a crate that is just large enough that they can stand up and comfortably turn around in.  The crate should be secured to the vehicle so that it cannot become a projectile in case of an accident.

If you are staying overnight in hotels, you should bring a crate that you can place your dog in while he is in the hotel room, especially if you leave to go to eat and leave the German Shepherd Dog behind.  This is because if hotel staff opens the door, they will not be greeted by a German Shepherd Dog and possibly let your dog out of the room when they leave the door open while running away.  This happened to one of our customers while at a dog show in Biloxi, Mississippi.

Finally do not forget to bring a couple of your German Shepherd Dog’s favorite toys.  Traveling is stressful to your dog and having a couple of their favorite toys in evening will allow them to unwind while you watch television to unwind.  Enjoy your travels with your German Shepherd Dog and be safe on the road.

Traveling with Your German Shepherd Dog
Grand Champion, Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Qeridad Ready for Another Road Trip

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds

German Shepherd Dog Choosing the Right Puppy

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

Hi Everyone,

Now that you have decided on what you believe to be a reputable breeder, you must then visit this breeder to make sure that they have well cared for and high quality German Shepherd Dogs.  Upon your visit examine the overall health of all the dogs and notice if the kennels are clean and well maintained.  Does the place smell bad of urine and feces?  If the kennel does not pass this initial examination, you may need to move onto another breeder.  Once you do find a reputable breeder with well-maintained dogs and kennels, you need to know that there are myriads of different types of shepherds with different looks and different functions. These differences may not be readily apparent to the average puppy buyer.   Therefore, it may take several visits to different breeders to find the reputable breeder that is producing the right type of shepherd for you and your family.  A reputable breeder does not always translate into good quality German Shepherd Dogs that are right for you or your family.  Therefore, you must assess the actual German Shepherd Dogs especially the adults and parents.  Because the related adults at the kennel especially the parents are going to be the best predictors of the temperament and structure of the new puppy.

Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels
Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels

If you have chosen a breeder that specializes in imports be aware that many of these German Shepherd Dogs are high-strung and are full of nervous energy.  Unless, you and your family members are prepared to spend several hours a day exercising and training an import shepherd may not be the best choice.  For several years, the breeders in Europe have bred their German shepherd Dogs to increase the drive and energy of their lines.  This is because the sport of Schutzhund requires a high drive dog, and the higher the drive the more successful the breeder will be in competitions.  While this is a noble pursuit for dogs that will be used professionally in law enforcement activities, this does not translate well for the family dog.  In addition, some imported German Shepherd Dog lines are people and/or dog aggressive.  Do you and your family have the skills to deal with an aggressive dog?  Note that not all imports are high-strung; those that originate from the show lines in Germany have steadier temperaments and often make wonderful companions for families, as well as offering home protection.

When visiting the kennel to discuss the potential purchase of a new puppy be sure and go around to all the kennels and visit each of the breeder’s dogs.  Observe their behavior.  If you are greeted with a serious barking and aggressive behaviors at several kennel this is an indication of the aggressive behavior that would be exhibited by your new puppy once grown.  However, if you are greeted by an excited bark this indicates less aggression and a more relaxed temperament.  Will the German Shepherd Dogs come greet you through the fence by smelling and licking your hand or do they retreat to the back of the kennel?  A retreating German Shepherd Dog could potentially be a dangerous dog that could be a fear biter that could get you sued. Retreating or showing fear towards strangers is not the correct German Shepherd Dog temperament, and is a big clue that these may not be the right German shepherd line for you to get your next puppy from.

Champion Heidelberg's Stefanie Stretched Out In Her Stack
Champion Heidelberg’s Stefanie Stretched Out In Her Stack

Notice if the kennels are heavily chewed or if excessive digging behaviors are observable. Again, these are indicative of behaviors that your new puppy may demonstrate at home.  Is there incessant barking coming from the kennels even after you have been there for a while?  This may indicate a barking problem when your puppy is grown.  Ask to see the dogs outside the kennel.  Will these dogs allow you to greet them and to pet them?  If the breeder is reluctant to let the dogs out of the kennel this is a major warning sign, and perhaps it is time to move on to the next kennel to purchase your next German shepherd Dog.  Be observant and ask questions and listen to see if the breeder’s answers ring true to you.

We at Keystone German Shepherds & kennels breed an even tempered German Shepherd Dog that are a true pleasures to live with inside and/or outside. However, while friendly towards welcomed strangers and children our dogs would readily give their lives to protect us and our property.  Our Heidelberg German Shepherds can discern the difference between a stranger and a truly bad person; therefore they will not get you sued for biting someone because if they do bite someone that person will be going to jail.

Heidelberg's Shae Playing In the Rock Garden
Heidelberg’s Shae Playing In the Rock Garden

When someone first arrives at our kennels, the first thing that they will notice is that there is no odor. The next thing they will notice is how quiet it is on our property.  Our Heidelberg German Shepherds will first alert bark when strangers come in, but once we go outside to greet the people, the dogs know that all is well and they will quietly observe us and the potential puppy customer.  Our kennels are not chewed or dug up.  Strangers can go from kennel to kennel and be greeted by a kiss to the hand from every dog on the property without any aggressive or fearful behavior being exhibited.    

My next post will be a continuation of this series in “Choosing a Reputable Breeder” and the “Correct Type of German Shepherd Dog for You and Your Family” to actually Choosing the Perfect Puppy With the Personality That Best Fits Your Family’s Lifestyle and Needs”.  Because this is probably one of the most important discussions I can have regarding German Shepherd Dogs, I will be editing these posts and adding to them over the next couple of weeks with the plan to add this discussion as a new page on my web page so please revisit these posts as they are refined and improved.

Basic Obedience Class At Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels
Basic Obedience Class At Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels

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

Sincerely,

KeystoneGermanShepherds