Category Archives: Breeder Talk

Feeding Litter Of Puppies

I start my litters on puppy food at around 3 1/2 weeks of age.  Bitch is still nursing as she wants to.

I start slow to avoid loose stools.  I feed Orijen so I start with 1/4 cup per puppy.

This is for a litter of 8:  Soak 2 cups kibble in water till soft.  Put it in the blender and add 1/4  cup baby rice cereal (helps avoid loose stools).  Blend well to make a semi thick mush adding tepid water as needed.

Feed pups and see how much they eat.  Do this once a day for a couple of days and up to 2 feedings a day.  Slowly increase the amount per pup by going up 1/4 cup intervals.  And get them up to 3 meals a day.

The amount you feed will be determined by how they eat.  I like to have a bit left in the bowl so I know they are getting enough.

At around 6 weeks of age I stop blending and just mash a bit with a potato masher.  Adding rice or  not is determined by firmness of stools.

Eventually I feed just soaked kibble and serve.  Once I know there is no choking during eating I feed kibble with tepid water added (no soaking)

By the time my pups go to their forever homes at 8 1/2 weeks they are eating about 1 cup  3 times per day.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Litter Of Pups With Loose Watery Stools

I had this with my current litter.  They had good solid stools from birth and on day 2 started with loose watery stools.

A soft stool initially that is mustard colored and looks like a bit of milk curd is normal from the mothers milk.  However my pups started to get very watery.  Stool samples on such young pups will not show anything according to my vet.  They also would not be born with coccidia or giardia; that is something they would pick up in the yard.  My pups are raised in my home and don’t go outside till about 4 1/2 weeks of age.

I contacted www.Lambertvetsupply.com  (recommended to me by a breeder friend) and spoke with Shanon and the vet on staff.

Bene-Bac was recommended.  This is a probiotic for new borns and other age pups.

I followed the dosage advice of the vet at 1/2 mg per pup 2x /day for 3-5 days, as opposed to the dosage on the syringe because I had this issue going on for about 4-5 days already.  Once I had solid stools continue for 1 day.

In 4 days they were solid and have been ever since.  They are now 4 weeks old.

I have also started them on puppy food/blended with baby rice cereal.  I feed Orijen and it is not uncommon to get loose stools when you introduce food, especially a high protein high fat formula.  I started at 1/4 cup per pup and they have had good solid stools.  I attribute this to the Bene-Bac.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Litter Box Training Puppies

In the past I have trained my litters with the artificial grass.  While it worked well it was a lot of work to clean up from a litter of pups.  The grass needed to be hosed down and than soaked in clorox and water to disinfect and then rinsed, drained and left to dry.

I am trying a new method with the litter of pups I have on the ground now.  I know a number of breeders doing this with great results.

Use a litter pan that is 3″ high.  Size of pan depends on the size of your litter.  I have a litter of 8 pups so a 30″ x 30″ pan works well.

Fill the pan with horse pine pellets (tractor supply carries them and they are cheap).  If you can not get these near you, you can use feline pine pellets.  Be sure and buy the “non clumping” formula.

http://www.petco.com/product/115187/Planet-Petco-Natural-Pine-Pellet-Cat-Litter.aspx?CoreCat=OnSiteSearch

You will need to scoop the pan like you would for a cat litter box and change the pellets about every 3 days.

When you start feeding your pups food, wait till they are done eating.  Remove the food pan and place the litter pan in the box.  Keep a close eye on the pups and when you see one start to squat pick it up and place it in the pan.  It may climb out and look for another spot in the box because the pan is foreign to them.

Pick that pup up again when it starts to go and place it back in the pan.  Eventually they get it.

Be diligent and they will catch on.  Mine are catching on quick.  First day with pan and some are using it on their own already.

You will notice the pellets break down to dust.  This happens when urine hits it.  This is normal.

My concern at first was that pups would eat the pellets but if they have just been fed and have full bellies when you start the training this should not be a problem.  The pellets do not swell when they get wet, they break down so they will not swell in the belly if a pup ingests a few.

These were originally designed for horses as bedding.  The horse pellets are poured on the floor of the stall and water is added to create saw dust bedding (like shavings, which many horse people use).  But the pellets are easier for cleaning the stall.

I hope this info is helpful to anyone out there with a litter of pups.  It sure makes for easier clean up when they learn to use the pan rather than going all over their bedding.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

My Dog Is Going Blind – PRA

PRA – Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a horrible disease that causes dogs to go blind usually around the age of 6 or older.

However, it is preventative.  We have genetic markers and tests to prevent this disease.

Our testing is done thru www.optigen.com

I had a  dog years ago from a breeder that developed PRA and it is heart breaking, but it is manageable thru work with the blind dog.  (Please note this dog was purchased from a breeder, not a dog that I bred)

There is a genetic test via blood draw or cheek swab to check breeding stock.  It determines if a dog is normal, a carrier or affected by the disease.

If a dog is normal it can be bred to a carrier and will never produce pups that will go blind.  But if it is bred to an affected (meaning a dog can go blind) than it can produce pups that will eventually go  blind.

The old term was A(normal), B(carrier), C(affected)

You never breed a B or C to anything other than an A.

However breeding a C to an A can still produce affected pups that could go blind later in life.

This is something I would never do as a reputable breeder.

I would never breed an affected dog but there are those that will. Therefore it is very important that when searching for a pup (in a breed that is affected by PRA) that you ask the right questions of the breeder.

Do your research for the breed of dog you want and be sure to ask all the right questions of the breeder.

Any breeder that won’t answer your questions, or poo poos your questions should be a red flag.

Walk away and move on.

Find a breeder that cares, does all the necessary health clearances for their breed and is willing to talk to you and educate you.

I hope this blog is helpful.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Screening Puppy Buyers – Finding The Right Home For Your Pups

Screening puppy homes is one of the most important things you do for your litter of pups; whether you are a reputable breeder or have an “oops” litter.

First of all its best if you have all the health clearances on the dam and sire.

Obviously that is not always the case with an “oops” litter.

As a reputable breeder I prefer to talk on the phone with a potential buyer.  I will not answer questions or price on my pups via email.  You must call and talk to me on the phone so I can ask you questions, get a feel for you and I can answer your questions.

These are the main questions I ask.

Name, number, address

Have you ever owned a dog, specifically a Labrador.  If so is it still alive and if not, how did it pass.

Do you have children, how many and what ages (this is a big criteria because if a buyer has a 1 and 3 yr old (for example) and wants an 8 week old pup – that is a job not many can handle)

Do you own your home or rent. (if you rent, I need to talk to your landlord)

Do you have a fenced in yard – physical or invisible

What is your work schedule and that of your husband

Do you believe in crate training.

I want a vet reference – I need to know that if you had a dog in the past that you went for yearly check ups or if you had an issue such as ear infection, that you followed up to be sure it was cleared up. (just an example)

These are all important issues to consider when placing a pup in a home.

It is important first and foremost, for the pup, to be placed in its forever home the first time around.  Having to take a pup back, (which I will always do) disrupts the life of the pup.

I can not tell you the calls I get for pups, from really good people looking for a new member to their family to those that are just all over the internet and price shopping.

I set the price for my pups and “it is not negotiable”.  My pups will never go down in price because (perhaps someone backs out at the last minute) I have a pup that is 10 weeks or older.  I have to now house train, leash train, crate train, etc.  Not to mention most likely having to take it for its 2nd or 3rd vaccination while I am starting over searching for the right home.

So,…… NO the cost of the pup is not reduced from the original price.  If anything it should be more for all the work I have put into the pup.  In most cases I do not raise the price from the original.

These are all things that buyers need to realize and think about prior to researching for a pup.

Not to mention those of you with “oops litters” (I know…… unfortunately it happens) and you don’t know how to go about finding the right homes for your pups.

NEVER GIVE YOUR PUPS AWAY!   What someone gets for free is usually not respected enough to care for.  Even shelters and rescues charge a fee.

Please do right by your pups by carefully screening your buyers and if its an “oops” litter, charge a fee for you pups.  But first and foremost, carefully screen your potential families.

I am a hobby breeder and will turn anyone away that I do not feel is the right home for one of my pups.

Follow your gut instinct.    IT IS NEVER WRONG.

I am always here to help anyone.  Dogs (all animals) are a huge passion in my life.  So if you find yourself in this position with a litter and not knowing what to do to find the right homes please call me and I will help to educate you.

My number and email is available thru my website below.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Corneal Dystrophy In Dogs

This is considered hereditary.  In some cases it is not.

The non hereditary term for this is Corneal Degeneration.

http://www.vmdb.org/dx2.html

A friend’s dog was diagnosed with corneal degeneration and the specialist believes it is from too much fat in the diet.   Changing the dog food to a lower fat content can reverse the degeneration and you may see the spots on the eyes shrinking or completely disappearing.  There should be a recheck a couple of months after changing dog food.

Corneal Dystrophy can also be caused by an infection or:

http://www.vetinfo.com/symptoms-of-corneal-dystrophy-in-dogs.html

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

My Pup Has An Undescended Testicle

It has been said that this is a hereditary trait.  It is advised not to use a male that had an undescended testicle for breeding.

The medical term for an undescended testicle  is cryptorchidism .  It is also know as retained testicles or undropped testes.

The testicles should be down in the scrotum by 8 weeks of age when the vet checks all the pups for their health certificate prior to pups going to their forever homes.

This should be noted by the vet on the health certificate for that particular pup and the breeder should inform the buyer of this so buyer can keep on top of it and discuss it with their vet prior to neutering.

Sometimes one or both will not have descended.  They can still drop down later; some as late as 6 months – but that is rare.

I have also heard that gently massaging the scrotum daily can help the testicle drop.

The important thing is when the dog goes in to the vet to be neutered that they go inside to find the undescended testicle.

Sometime it is found very easily.  The vas deferens will often wrap around something just above where the testicle should have descended from.  Other times it is wrapped around another organ and the vet needs to search further for the testicle.  In most cases it atrophies and dries up.  Sometimes it does not.
Either way, it needs to be removed for the health of the dog.  Most vets charge about $75.00 more than a traditional neuter because they need to make an incision in the belly to find the testicle.

A basic neuter is less invasive and only involves opening the scrotum, removing the testicles and suturing the scrotum back up.

More info here:

http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/cryptorchidism.html#testis-desex

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Assisi Pain Relief For Dogs (horses, cats, humans, etc)

I have posted a lot of info in blogs about helping dogs with arthritis, hip/elbow dysplasia, etc.

I recently read about this non invasive device and have corresponded with people who have used it with success.

You can only purchase the device thru a vet or other health care professional and each one runs somewhere around $250 and is good for about 70 treatments.

Please note: it is important to let the device rest for 2 hours between treatments or you will wear out the device before it is expired.

Here is some good info on this Assisi device and what it is used for:

http://www.assisianimalhealth.com/index.php

http://www.mtavet.com/uploads/Veterinarian_Webinar_PDF.pdf

If anyone tries this method please post back here and let us know the results in order to help others.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

Seizures In Dogs

This is one of the scariest things to ever deal with in your beloved pet.  Your not sure what is going on ………

It is very important to keep a record of the events (or even better to video tape an event for your vet) in order to help find the reason for the seizures.  If you can’t video, try to write everything down as you remember it; the onset, what might have triggered it, how long it lasted, the dogs reaction (did it start with back end weakness, somewhere else, etc.)

This is all very important for diagnosis.

It can be a number of reasons; epilepsy, allergies, cilliac disease and others.

Here is a link for more info:

http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/seizures-general-for-dogs/903

I recently read about using an icepack during an episode to cut down on the stress and duration of the seizure.  I know people on line that have used this method with success and it sounds great.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/icepack.htm

I so hope this blog will help someone dealing with seizures in their beloved dog.

If you see some type of episode with your dog and you are not sure of what it is, or if it may be a seizure, please contact your vet immediately.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com

My Pup Has An Over Bite

First of all your breeder (if you got your pup from a “reputable breeder”) should have informed you of the overbite prior to your picking up your pup.

Many overbites, seen at 8 weeks of age (by the breeder and their vet), will correct as the pup grows.

Some may not and may need surgery in the future, as young as 6-8 months of age.

Here are pics of a pup that needed surgery so you have an idea of what you are up against and/or if your pup may need surgery.

[IMG]http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r220/Snowco/RIMG0447.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r220/Snowco/RIMG0445.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i145.photobucket.com/albums/r220/Snowco/RIMG0449.jpg[/IMG]

(I am sorry but you may need to copy and paste the pics above as I can not get them to come thru on the blog.  They are worth lo0king at)

If you look close the third pic you will see a spot on the roof of the dogs mouth where the canine was beginning to puncture the roof of the mouth. (upper right side of the roof)

This is the reason the pup needed to have surgery and have that canine removed, to prevent further damage.

There are other options for dogs with overbites.  You need to see a vet that has experience with this or a canine dentist.

Please do not let something like this go unchecked.  It can cause horrible health issues to your pup if you ignore it.

Ask your vet to refer you to a specialist or a dentist for a second opinion to be sure you are doing what is best for your pup.

I have heard that keeping a young pup with an overbite, from 8 weeks of age, carrying around a tennis ball as often as possible can help his overbite to correct as the pup grows.  But you must be diligent with that tennis ball.

Patty

www.snowcolabradors.com