Tag Archive: puppy

The 411 on Breeding

I Think I’d Like to Breed My Dog, and What You Need to Know
By: Dr. Laura Leautier Dr. Leautier
People think they’d like to breed their dog for many reasons.  Maybe it’s the cutest and smartest dog they’ve ever owned, or they’ve erroneously heard it makes the dog a better pet to have a litter, or they want to show their kids the miracle of birth.  Whatever the reason, it’s best to give this huge decision careful thought and get as educated as possible about whether or not to breed your dog.
First, I’d like to give some reasons why you may decide it’s not right for you.  Did you know that spaying a dog before her first heat virtually guarantees she won’t get breast cancer?  Her risk is less than one percent.  After one heat it bumps up to DSC_0148-0018%, and after two heats or more it jumps to 26%.  So at that point basically 1 in 4 dogs will get mammary cancer.  Half the time it’s malignant, and half the time it’s benign.  But it still requires surgery and biopsying to know what type your dog has.  Spaying also prevents a pyometra (a common life-threatening uterine infection that most often requires emergency surgery).  If you decide to breed your dog, you need to set aside funds for a possible c-section.  These can run from $1,000-$2,000.  We see difficult births several times a month.  The miracle of birth is amazing, but sometimes it’s more stressful and costly than you’d expect.  The saddest times are when a pup or the mother doesn’t survive the birthing process.
If you decide that breeding your dog is right for you and your family, consider if your pet is right for breeding.  Health and temperament should be excellent, since reputable breeders strive to improve their breed, not pass on problems to the next pet and its owners.  Health clearances, which can cost several hundreds to several thousands, are the best way to make sure your dog is suitable for breeding.  Hip and elbow dysplasia, congenital cataracts and inherited blindness, thyroid problems, heart defects, and bleeding disorders are just some of the genetic problems that can be passed on unknowingly.  You’ll want to wait until after age two to breed your dog, because many of these tests can’t be performed until age two or older.  Most dogs go into heat every 6 to 9 months, so jot down the start and end of her heat on the calendar to help you plan for future breedings.  Most dogs “do it naturally” but sometimes they need help.  Dr. Sandoval and Dr. Leautier have been assisting with conception for more than 20 years and 15 years, respectively.  We time the breeding with multiple progesterone blood texesd8sts, and inseminate via regular artificial insemination or surgical insemination.  As you can see, it’s an expensive endeavor and not to be taken lightly.  If you have questions, feel free to give us a call.

Vaccines,What are the Risks and Benefits to Your Pets.

By: Dr. Bob Baker Dr baker with penny

As a veterinarian I am faced with questions about vaccinations every day, what are the risks? what are the benefits?  To say that vaccines are safe is true, however there are adverse effects associated with vaccination.  While extremely rare, anaphylactic allergic reactions can occur and must be dealt with immediately. Other allergic reactions, fever, vomiting, facial swelling occur on occasion, but are still rare. The old feline vaccinations were associated with development of an injection site sarcoma; this occurred more commonly in patients with a genetic predisposition to cancer. So yes there are some risks associated with vaccination.  When it comes to vaccination, we have to assess the relative risk of vaccination vs. the risk of the disease.  Rabies vaccine however is always indicated as it is state law to vaccinate dogs and cats.  Most pets however, do not have the social risk factors of humans, there  are some such as those that go to groomers, boarding kennels, and day care.  These pets have risk factors more like us, where we go to work, school, shopping; where we interact with others that may or may not be vaccinated or be incubating or spreading a contagious disease.

DSC_0854When an animal or person is vaccinated, most will form antibodies to the false infection that will protect from the real infection when the subject is exposed to the pathogen.  There are however, some individuals that are genetic non-responders, meaning they cannot form antibodies to the vaccine.  These are the individuals that get sick despite vaccination.  This happens in canine parvovirus on occasion because the dog, no matter how many times they have been vaccinated, simply cannot respond to the presented antigen.  So how do we protect these “non-responders” in the population, along with the individuals that cannot receive vaccines because of illness, immunocompromise, or allergies.  The key is a concept called herd immunity, and it derives from infectious disease management mostly in the cattle and dairy industry.  The more individuals that are vaccinated, the more protected the herd, including those that cannot be vaccinated or are non-responders.  The more individuals that do not receive the vaccine, the more likely the herd immunity will fail and an outbreak will occur.

Measles is a virus that belongs to a group of viruses  called Morbillivirus.  It evolved from a cattle virus called Rinderpest around  1100-1200 A.D.   When the measles virus first adapted to infect humans, it had a high mortality rate, killing up to 60% of those infected.  Over time, the virus (and us) have changed to be less fatal, but still is very infective.  It is interestingsierra to note that Rinderpest, the cattle morbillivirus, has been eradicated by a global vaccination protocol, similar to what we did with the Smallpox virus in humans, and almost did with the Polio virus until the Taliban in the tribal areas of Pakistan started shooting the vaccinators.  The canine morbillivirus causes a disease called distemper, which most veterinarians in practice today will never see because enough people continue to give their dogs the vaccine to keep herd immunity up and individuals protected by a highly safe and effective vaccine.


Dear Santa,

Thank you so much for my Christmas presents! My favorite toy is the Fleecy Tug. Mom and I will play tug-of-war forcora hours, plus she loves how it cleans my teeth and gums. I love how it doesn’t hurt my teeth when we play. I also love, love, love the Kibble Nibble activity ball. When my mommy leaves she fills it full of my favorite treats the Buddy & Berries. It helps me forget that I am by myself during the day as I try to figure out how to get the treats out. My little sister Zima also wants to say thanks she is still a puppy BB_KIBNIB_XSthough and doesn’t know how to use our Mommy’s computer. She really likes the Roly Rope her and Dad play with it all the time and since she is still a pup it helps her with her teething. My cat sister Samantha says thanks for the Salmon Flavored Feline Pill Pockets; she doesn’t even know Mom puts her medicine inside…. Hehehe. Thanks again Big Guy, you will make Christmas really special for my whole family this year!



PS Could you have Mom pick up some more Greenies? She gives us one every night to freshen our breath and keep our teeth clean. I know there aren’t enough  to last until next Christmas.

Things to Think About When Adding a New Member to the Family

By: Jen and Amanda 

Everyone loves the idea of having a new puppy in their home and in today’s society there are so many choices of dog breeds to choose from and a multitude of mixed breeds. We cannot stress enough the importance of researching all aspects of getting a new puppy.

1)      Chose a breed that will be appropriate for your household.

2)      The diseases that can affect puppies.

3)      Financial aspects of having a puppy.

Choosing a breed that is appropriate for your household is easier said then done especially if you have your heart set on a certain breed.  If you live in an apartment you might want a smaller dog, instead of a Labradoror Australian Shepherd.  If you have more questions about choosing breeds that work best for you and your family check out Dr. Hogle’s blog http://baringvetblog.com/2012/04/10/tips-for-selecting-a-dog-breed-for-you-and-your-family/.

One of the most common and preventable diseases that puppies need to be protected from is parvovirus. It’s a highly contagious, often fatal viral disease of dogs, characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and depression and accompanied by high fever and loss of appetite.

You should make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss vaccine history and future vaccines that will be required to keep your puppy healthy in its early stages of development. The veterinarian will determine how many vaccines will be necessary to insure full immunity to parvovirus as well as rabies and canine cough. You should not be in a rush to take your puppy in public places until your veterinarian has established full immunity.  Keep in mind that this can take up to 3 to 4 months.

Treatment of parvovirus is difficult to treat at home and most cases need to be hospitalized and may still result in death. Depending on severity of the disease it can take 1 to 2 weeks of round the clock care of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, lab work, and possible plasma transfusions. If you suspect your puppy may have parvovirus get in to your veterinarian as soon as possible and get tested.

The breakdown of vaccines vs. treating parvovirus in cost is as follows:

* Full set of puppy vaccines is $179-$276

* Average parvovirus treatment is $600-$2000

Financial consideration is a key point to owning a puppy and if you have not researched fully your financial limitations then you may want to reconsider getting a puppy. Adult dogs are always in need of adoption and may suit your needs both in your household and your wallet too.

By: Sara Hogle DVM

There are several important factors to consider when choosing a specific dog breed or mixed breed individual for your family. In general, you will want to consider your own lifestyle, personality, and specific desires for dog behavior, personality, and maintenance characteristics. Selecting your canine friend is an important long term decision for you and your family so it pays to spend some time researching to ensure you come to the right decision.

When you imagine the type of dog you picture yourself living with for the next 10-20 years the dog’s breed will play an important role in this decision, but many other factors are important to consider. A particular breed will ensure certain qualities in your dog (coat length and grooming requirements, size, often energy level, trainability, protectiveness, temperature/climate tolerance, and  predisposition to certain medical problems) but does not automatically ensure that you will end up with the “perfect dog” for you. Spending some time researching the history of your dog’s family line, training and socializing your dog, and investing in your dog’s preventative care and medical needs through your veterinarian will provide you both with the best opportunity for a long happy, fulfilling life together.


A list of important factors to consider when selecting a canine companion:

  1. Size
  2. Energy level (some dogs are non-stop sprinters vs. more of a couch potato)
  3. How much time will you be able to spend exercising your dog each day?
  4. How often will you be able to play with your dog?
  5. How affectionate (“clingy”) do you want your dog to be?
  6. Do you have any other pets in the household that your dog will need to get along with?
  7. How trainable do you want your new dog to be?
    1. Some easier to train dog breeds- Australian shepherds, Border collie, Lab, Golden retriever, Poodles, Papillion
  8. How protective do you want your new dog to be?
  9. How much maintenance/grooming can you provide and how much shedding can you tolerate?
  10. Does your dog need to be able to tolerate cold, hot, or variable temperatures/climates based on where you live?
  11. Is it important that your dog be good with children?
  12. Is affordability an issue for you? E.g. initial cost of purchase, food, grooming costs, potential for health care/medical issues in the future.
    1. For example some breed predilections for hip dysplasia include German shepherds, Rottweiler,Labradorretrievers, Golden retrievers
  13. Will your dog be kept inside, outside, or a bit of both? (certain breeds just don’t tolerate exposure outside well at all).
  14. What is your level of experience with dogs? (certain breeds are not recommended for 1st time dog owners).
  15. What was the breed originally bred for? (some of those instincts may remain; for example some breeds were bred for digging/rooting out rodents and will likely do so in your flower garden as well).
  16. Do you have any allergies to dogs?  Some “hypoallergenic breeds” include: poodles, Bichon Frise, etc.
  17. How vocal of a dog do you prefer? Some are more talkative including: Beagles, Huskies, German Shepherd dogs.