Tag Archives: healthy living

Finding the Right Fit For Veterinarian Care

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

Hi Everyone, Today, I’m posting an article by Amber Kingsley, a journalist and social media manager based in S. California.  Amber is a lifelong pet lover and owner and writes helpful pet articles while traveling around the world:

As both animal and pet lovers, we’re often stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to expensive veterinary bills. Just like our two-legged children, we still need to keep our four-legged friends happy and healthy, which includes regular and sometimes costly visits to the veterinarian’s office.

According to the ASPCA, when it comes to our pet care, often the highest costs associated with animal ownership are regular trips to the vet’s office. These figures don’t even reflect some often unexpected and expensive unplanned trips that can come out of the blue due to an accident or unforeseen illness.

But what’s a pet lover to do? Plenty actually, while we all know it’s best to shop around for the best deals, especially online, there’s many other ways we can reduce these medical expenses for our beloved animals. Check out these top three ways to take a bite out of our veterinary budget for our best friends:

Newman and Nelson Noah Puppies
Newman and Nelson Noah Puppies

#1 – The Right Fit

Just like our personal physician, our own primary medical care provider, finding the right veterinarian could mean the difference between a big bill and more affordable options. From my personal file of pet stories, I had a dog that accidentally ingested a tennis ball sized batch of carpet fibers that caused her to become dehydrated and lethargic. My vet told me that expensive surgery may be necessary, but wanted to try a less expensive alternative first, pumpkin.

Canned pure-pack pumpkin, the kind used in making pie, is also used as a digestive aid that can be used to help pets pass unwanted items from their digestive tract. Sure enough, my vet called later and told me to come and pick up my precious pooch who had passed the fibers without the need of a scalpel. This kind of insight is not only affordable, but sometimes difficult to locate. Be sure that you have a loving, caring and responsible veterinarian that isn’t just out for a quick buck.

#2 – Medication Malady

Speaking of a quick buck, most veterinarians charge enormous markups on their medications, averaging around 100% and could go as high as 275% in some cases. That can be a red flag or clue when trying to find the right vet as mentioned previously. If they have a problem with you purchasing your pet’s prescriptions elsewhere, this could be a problem. With places like 1-800-PetMeds that offer common medications at a fraction of the cost as those purchased from the vet’s office, there’s no need to spend extra for common prescriptions like heartworm, flea and tick prevention products.

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

#3 – An Educated Alternative

Is there a veterinarian college in your area? These students are training and educating themselves on common pet care practices like vaccinations. They may offer deep discounts on spaying, neutering and basic checkups for our four-legged friends.
Other collegiate locations to consider may be interested in doing research and treatments on uncommon or lesser-known medical procedures that can cost thousands at the vet’s office. It may be worth exploring along with other inexpensive alternatives found at area clinics that can offer low-cost treatment services, especially for vaccinations and “fixing” our pets at deeply discounted prices.

In closing, as the late, great spokesperson for animal rights, Mr. Bob Barker always said at the close of his popular daytime game show, “Help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered.” The cost of this minor procedure is much less than raising an often unwanted litter of puppies – no matter how cute!

Healthy Food Means Healthy German Shepherds
Healthy Food Means Healthy German 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 German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

German Shepherd Seasons

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

Hi Everyone,

I have learned that no matter how long you do something, you can always learn something new.  Albeit, sometimes, I just relearn those things I have forgotten.  Today, I’m going to write about German Shepherd dogs season or cycles.  For most German shepherd dogs, the female will have her first season or breeding cycle at or near 12-months of age.  Then the average German shepherd bitch will cycle every six months.

The length of the cycle is approximately 21 days, and begins with a light bright red discharge from their vagina.  This discharge can become heavy after a few days, especially during their first season at 12-months.  Subsequent seasons for some bitches can become cryptic unless you are a male German shepherd dog, you may never know your girls is in season.  While the season last approximately 21 days, the female will only ovulate and be receptive from one to five days during this cycle.  This should take place on the 10th day.

What I have learned is not all our female German shepherd dogs have read the text books.  We were having trouble getting some of our girls pregnant and even getting ties*.  We would start trying to breed the pair on the ninth day for a week (in case we missed the first couple of days that the cycle started), resulting in few ties and even fewer pregnancies.

I should mention that we do not place our breeding pairs in kennel and let nature take its course.  We actually assist the male during breedings.  Too much risk exist with the male becoming injured even breaking their penis bone if they are left on their own.  In addition, the male will breed every few hours after he has recuperated often resulting in infertile sperm and increase chance of uterine or vaginal infections.  Another reason we do controlled breedings is that we provide stud services here at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels, and if we did not actually assist the male, we would not be able to get breedings on a lot of the outside females that are brought in for stud service.

Two Heidelberg's tied together in a controlled breeding
Two Heidelberg’s tied together in a controlled breeding

Recently, I did something different by bringing Heidelberg’s Emmy inside as soon as her cycle began and kept her inside for entire season.  We had planned to breed her to our Grand Champion Kodi and he lives inside with us full time.  Nine days passed and Kodi could care less that Emmy was inside.  we tried to breed them for a week and we were on her 16 day of her cycle, when I made the comment that she must be having an infertile season.  We were enjoying having Emmy inside so we allowed her to remain in the house, and on 21st day of her cycle Kodi came home and was immediately all over Emmy.  We subsequently bred them over the next five days.  Emmy is now pregnant and due on June 30, 2015.  If Emmy were outside in her kennel, we would have never known that she began ovulating 11 days later when all the text books stated that she should’ve been ready to breed much earlier.

Emmy and Kodi playing at a dog show in Sullivan, Mo
A young Emmy and Kodi playing at a dog show in Sullivan, Mo
Emmy on the right with her friend Sasha
Emmy on the right with her friend Sasha
Grand Champion Heidelberg's Kodiak v Queridad, Certified Service Dog, OFA 24G Excellent, DNA  #V495166
Grand Champion Heidelberg’s Kodiak v Queridad, Certified Service Dog, OFA 24G Excellent, DNA #V495166

Obviously, I have made proper adjustments to how we judge the time our girls are ready to breed and look forwards to less frustrations and more pregnancies.  This information, should be helpful to other breeders of all breeds of dogs as well as owners that have intact female dogs.  For one, owners that are not wanting to breed their dogs and separate them during seasons had better keep them separated for the full 21 days.  Because unless you are having progesterone test performed by your veterinarian, your female may ovulate at any point during her 21 day cycle and an unwanted tie and subsequent pregnancy may occur.

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 German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

June 3, 2015 and it's starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
June 4, 2015 and it’s starting to get warm after a very cool Spring
When can we go to our new homes?
When can we go to our new homes?

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels. http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

(*Ties are where the dog’s penis swells to fill a ball shape cavity just past the entrance of the vagina.  Once this happens the dogs become locked together and are physically unable to separate until the swelling subsides).  

 

Sleeping Dogs

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

Hi Everyone,

Today, I’m posting an article by Amber Kingsley, a journalist and social media manager based in S. California.  Amber is a lifelong pet lover and owner and writes helpful pet articles while traveling around the world.  While this article is focused on Greyhounds it does translate to all breeds.

Sleeping Dogs

Some dogs whimper or bark in their sleep, while some will sleep perfectly still. And some dogs may choose to sleep in a certain place in the home and only in that place, while other dogs can sleep almost anywhere. Sleeping styles can be unique to different breeds or even individual dogs.

Certain breeds need more sleep than others, which can be troubling to some pet owners with more than one breed of dog. You may wonder why your golden retriever sleeps 12-14 hours per day while your greyhound needs about 18 hours of sleep per day.

Shepherds Love Good Naps
Shepherds Love Good Naps

Greyhound Sleep Patterns

One major reason a greyhound requires more sleep than other breeds of dogs is that it’s a much more active dog when awake. You may find that your greyhound needs a specific sleeping area more than other breeds of dogs too. Consider the following ideas for helping your greyhound sleep better in your home:

  • Quiet time. A greyhound will rest better if you give it a specific area in which it can sleep that’s away from other household activity. If people are moving around near the area where the dog is sleeping, it won’t be able to sleep fully.

  • Dreaming. Dogs spend about 10% of their sleeping time in the deepest stage of sleep, REM. Dreams generally occur during this period. It’s important that you don’t wake up your greyhound while it’s dreaming, which may show up as a movement of the paws as if the dog is running. A greyhound could snap at its owner due to being startled out of a dream.

  • Crates. If your greyhound is having a difficult time adjusting to sleeping through the night or to finding a comfortable place to sleep in your home, you may want to consider a crate. Many rescued greyhounds are comfortable sleeping in a crate because they often were crated during their time racing.

  • Beds. Greyhounds may want to bond with you by sleeping in your room at night, and some greyhounds will be most comfortable sleeping with you in your bed. Generally around 45% of dogs sleep in their owner’s bed. However, this really isn’t recommended until you’re sure the greyhound is comfortable in your home, as the dog could become aggressive if its sleep is disturbed suddenly, such as because you adjusted your position in the bed. Even if it’s sleeping in your bed, closing the door to your room is recommended to prevent the dog from prowling excessively while you’re asleep.

  • Outdoors. You are not going to want to allow your greyhound to sleep outdoors overnight or during especially cold daytime weather. Greyhounds don’t have thick coats or a lot of fat on their bodies, which means the dog will not tolerate cold very well. For the safety of the dog, it should be brought inside to sleep where it can be protected from the elements.

Have Patience at Night Time

Keep in mind that bringing a new greyhound into your home can be a stressful experience for the dog, especially if it hasn’t had a lot of experience with a family. This stress can result in poor sleeping patterns until the dog becomes acclimated to your home. You may want to give the dog Benadryl to help it calm down and sleep more peacefully. However, make sure to be aware of relevant food allergies before giving your dog a foreign substance to consume. Remain relaxed and patient with your new greyhound, and eventually the dog will relax and fall into a set of normal sleeping patterns.

Let Me Sleep Please
Let Me Sleep Please
Sleep Time After Dinner
Sleep Time After Dinner

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 German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

Pups For Sale

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

We have several German Shepherd Puppies for sale.  The first that I would like to write about are two girl puppies out of Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan whose almost a new champion and Heidelberg’s Winter Xandrac.  Winter is the classical female German Shepherd type.  She is not overly large, but when you look at her you know that she’s female and she is very beautiful.  Patriot is our largest male and could easily be 110 pounds lean weight at maturity.  Winter had three of the largest female puppies that I have ever seen at birth.  I’ve been doing this for over twenty years and have seen a lot of German shepherd puppies born.  Therefore, when I say the largest that really means something well beyond just big pups.  These three puppies have continued to remain unusually large.

Heidelberg's Patriot v Atlantan
Heidelberg’s Patriot v Atlantan
Heidelberg's Winter Xandrac
Heidelberg’s  Xandrac Carenf

However, the beast thing I like about these puppies is that they demonstrate flawless temperament with ornery personalities.   The one that we have sold, I was told is already barking at 10 weeks-of -age at strange cars and people coming to the door, which is what this elderly gentleman wanted was to be alerted to strangers coming on his property.

Xena and Xandra Winterx big puppies ready to go to a new home
Xena and Xandra Winterx big puppies ready to go to a new home

She also is protecting their property, he said that he saw her get into it with a giant crawdad that was crossing the yard.  (We have had an unusually wet Spring and everything is saturated) After being pinched on the nose several times, she figured out that she could pull a rear guard maneuver on this crawdad and safely dispatch this evil enemy that had invaded her owner’s yard.

We have her sister’s here available at http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/.  Priced at $1,500.00 for someone looking for beautiful, large female puppies that will also be protective.  These are breeding and show quality females, even though I have them priced as companions.

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 German shepherd puppies for sale that that are ready to go home.

Please call me at (918) 261-4729 if you would like to take one of puppies home with you.  Please visit our web page to learn more about these wonderful Heidelberg German Shepherds that we raise at Keystone German Shepherds & Kennels.  http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/

Sincerely,

Dean Heckathorn

 

 

 

Vitamins Are Essential to Your Dogs Diet

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

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to re post about how important it is to supplement your dog and even more so for growing puppies.  Diets should be supplemented with vitamins and cod liver oil.  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 Perfect 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. Our Perfect Cod Liver Oil provides for proper growth and maintenance of the circulatory system and brain, as well as the eyes.  The cod liver oil will also keep the coats bright and shiny and if used daily will reduce shedding in the house with proper brushing.  Also, if you have seen dandruff or flaky skin on your dog, the cod liver oil will resolve that problem while eliminating itchy skin.  Be aware that cod liver oil is the king of all fish oils, and common fish oils that are sold at feed stores will not provide the same level of benefits and are many times loaded with contaminants and are rancid.

Pure Cod Liver Oil
Perfect  Cod Liver Oil

We sell our Pure Total Dog Supplement and Perfect 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 $19.75.  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 order online at https://squareup.com/market/keystone-german-shepherds-and-kennels or go to our web page and click on order online at http://keystonegermanshepherds.com/.

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

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

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