September 12, 2013 By pattyI have been watching the fires in Seaside Park, NJ and am in tears. These poor people barely made it back from the huricane less than Read More »
September 12, 2013 By pattyThis disease can be prevented. We have a genetic marker and all breeders of breeds prone to CNM should be testing their breeding stock. I have Read More »
September 12, 2013 By pattyI vaccinate my new pups at 8, 12 and 16 weeks. 1 year rabies at 20 weeks. A year from last vaccination (16 week) I do Read More »
September 12, 2013 By pattyYour pup could be lethargic; laying around more than normal, not wanting to play as much. You may notice your pup choking at times like they Read More »
September 12, 2013 By pattyThis will not only effect puppy mills and pet stores (which is a good thing) but also the hobby breeders out there breeding properly and helping Read More »
Also know as EIC.
“This inherited disease is common in Labrador Retrievers, but is also found in other breeds, including Curly-Coated and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Boykin Spaniels, German Wirehaired Pointers, Old English Sheepdogs, Cocker Spaniels and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.”
This disease was seen in working dogs; American/Field bred Labs years ago but no one knew what it was.
It is now being seen in English/Bench bred Labs.
The dog will be working in the field or doing many retrieves and it suddenly (5-20 minutes of work) has a breakdown. The back end collapses and the dog will try to keep moving dragging the back legs.
The dog recuperates quickly with no side effects. Many people who don’t know about this genetic disease think their dog is suffering from heat stroke, which can exhibit similar symptoms.
We now have a genetic test for Labradors which can be done thru the U of Minnesota.
If a dog is a “carrier” it must be bred to a “clear” dog to prevent pups from being “effected” by this disease.
The test can be done by blood draw or a cheek swab (both must be done by a vet) and the samples are sent into the U of MN for results. The cost from MN is only $65 on top of your vet charge for taking the sample by either means.
Here is the link to find out more about the testing and what breeds there is a genetic test for.
There are breeders who worm their litters at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age.
I feel this is overkill.
While it is true that most pups are/can be born with worms – they get them in utero – it has not been the case in my litters for many years.
It can all depend on the environment pups are born and raised in.
Out in a kennel, a barn, etc…… where wild animals are rampant you can have a better chance of wormy pups.
My litters are born in my home and I do not have a lot of wild animals in my yard.
Therefore, my worming protocol is around 5 and 7 weeks of age.
I have found 2 worming is enough for my pups. This has been proven with my past litters when the pup buyer takes their pup for their initial 72 hour health check at their vet which includes a fecal check.
I worm my pups with Strongid at 1 ml per 10 pounds of weight. Weigh each pup just prior to worming. If the pup is 5 lbs use .5 ml of Strongid. If the pup is 5 1/2 lbs than I go by the 6 lb mark and use .6 ml of Strongid.
When I do the final worming of pups at 7 weeks of age I also worm the Dam/mother with Panacur. That also goes by weight and is done 3 days in a row.
Note never worm pups 3 days in a row. Just the adult Dam/mother.
If you see your pups passing worms than you may consider a third worming.
I also have a fecal done when my pups have their 8 week health check by my vet just prior to going to their new homes to rule out any worms, coccidia or giardia.
First be sure there is not a medical issue such as a blockage. A pup or dog that will not settle down at night could be a sign of a blockage or other issue.
Labrador pups do not like it hot. When my litters won’t settle down at nap time and are crying here is what I do:
Take small towels (dish size) and run under cold water. Wring out and store in the fridge.
Freeze plastic bottles of water and store in freezer.
Lay towels out in the whelping box or crate and the pups will flop down on their bellies and go right to sleep.
The water bottles work well for pups to lay on or sleep up against to also help them stay cool
Here is a pick : Scroll down to Jazz/Roger litter
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.
This recipee comes from the early 1800s and was found in a great book called The Kitchen House.
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup molasses
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 dashes ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Oven 350 degrees (grease 8″ square pan or use a loaf pan)
Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg. In a separate bowl combine milk and molasses. In another bowl combine flour and the rest of the dry ingredients.
Add each of these alternately to the butter mixture beating well between additions.
Spoon into prepared pan and bake 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.