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               Appleridge Obedience Family German Shepherds 

Appleridge German Shepherds (423)457-3808 -Now in Atlanta GA, Annette text,phone appleridgegsd@hotmail.com 32 Years Dedication to Purebred Dogs , Atlanta, Cleveland, Ontario-CKC AKC Inspected and Approved

 Health & Performance

Facts NOT Fiction "Trust the Facts" 

Hear say and Gossip about GSD's can be so confusing.  
So lets start Education, so that you can be an informed dog owner.

Othopedic foundation for Animals - Professional Veterinarian & DNA Testing http://www.offa.org/hd_procedures.html


PRELIMINARY EVALUATIONS FOR ANIMALS UNDER 24 MONTHS OFA policy on Releasing Preliminary Evaluations to the Public Domain.

Frequently, breeders want early knowledge of the hip status on puppies in a given litter. Preliminary hip evaluations may be as valuable to the owner or breeder as the final OFA evaluation. This allows early selection of dogs for use as show/performance/breeding prospects and dogs best suited for pet homes.

The OFA accepts preliminary consultation radiographs on puppies as young as 4 months of age for evaluation of hip conformation. If the dog is found to be dysplastic at an early age, the economic loss from the cost of training, handling, showing and so forth can be minimized and the emotional loss reduced. These preliminary radiographs are read by the OFA veterinary radiologists and are not sent to outside radiologists. The same hip grades are given to preliminary cases.

A recent publication* compared the reliability of the preliminary evaluation hip grade phenotype with the 2 year old evaluation in dogs and there was 100% reliability for a preliminary grade of excellent being normal at 2 years of age (excellent, good, or fair). There was 97.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of good being normal at 2 years of age, and 76.9% reliability for a preliminary grade of fair being normal at 2 years of age. Reliability of preliminary evaluations increased as age at the time of preliminary evaluation increased, regardless of whether dogs received a preliminary evaluation of normal hip conformation or HD. For normal hip conformations, the reliability was 89.6% at 3-6 months, 93.8% at 7-12 months, and 95.2% at 13-18 months. These results suggest that preliminary evaluations of hip joint status in dogs are generally reliable. However, dogs that receive a preliminary evaluation of fair or mild hip joint conformation should be reevaluated at an older age (24 months).

*Corley, EA, et al. Reliability of Early Radiographic Evaluation for Canine Hip Dysplasia Obtained from the Standard Ventrodorsal Radiographic Projection. JAVMA. Vol 211, No. 9, November 1997.

How are dogs evaluated in North America. Proceedures and Facts ( OFA's reference documents.  Please consult OFA directly about any information within these paragraphs, as they are the sole authors & owners of this information.  Appleridge offers this information to aid in educational advancement of the reader, only)              http://www.offa.org/hd_procedures.html

Radiographs of animals 24 months of age or older are independently evaluated by three randomly selected, board-certified veterinary radiologists from a pool of 20 to 25 consulting radiologists throughout the USA in private practice and academia. Each radiologist evaluates the animal's hip status considering the breed, sex, and age. There are approximately 9 different anatomic areas of the hip that are evaluated.

  1. Craniolateral acetabular rim
  2. Cranial acetabular margin
  3. Femoral head (hip ball)
  4. Fovea capitus (normal flattened area on hip ball)
  5. Acetabular notch
  6. Caudal acetabular rim
  7. Dorsal acetabular margin
  8. Junction of femoral head and neck
  9. Trochanteric fossa

The radiologist is concerned with deviations in these structures from the breed normal. Congruency and confluence of the hip joint (degree of fit) are also considered which dictate the conformation differences within normal when there is an absence of radiographic findings consistent with HD. The radiologist will grade the hips with one of seven different physical (phenotypic) hip conformations: normal which includes excellent, good, or fair classifications, borderline or dysplastic which includes mild, moderate, or severe classifications.

Seven classifications are needed in order to establish heritability information (indexes) for a given breed of dog. Definition of these phenotypic classifications are as follows:

  1. Excellent
  2. Good
  3. Fair
  4. Borderline
  5. Mild
  6. Moderate
  7. Severe

(See What Do Hip Grades Mean for more detail on the classifications)

The hip grades of excellent, good and fair are within normal limits and are given OFA numbers. This information is accepted by AKC on dogs with permanent identification and is in the public domain. Radiographs of borderline, mild, moderate and severely dysplastic hip grades are reviewed by the OFA radiologist and a radiographic report is generated documenting the abnormal radiographic findings. Unless the owner has chosen the open database, dysplastic hip grades are closed to public information.

Accuracy of Data

When results of 1.8 million radiographic evaluations by 45 radiologists were analyzed, it was found that all three radiologists agreed as to whether the dog should be classified as having a normal phenotype, borderline phenotype, or HD 94.9% of the time. In addition, 73.5% of the time, all three radiologists agreed on the same hip phenotype (excellent, fair, good, borderline, mild, moderate or severe). Twenty-one percent of the time, two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within one hip grade of the other two. Two radiologists agreed on the same hip grade and the third radiologist was within two hip grades of the other two 5.4% of the time. This percentage of agreement is high considering the subjective nature of the evaluation.

Other Radiographic FindingsIn addition to assessing the dog's hip conformation, the veterinary radiologist reports other radiographic findings that could have familial, inherited causes such astransitional vertebrae or spondylosis.

Transitional vertebrae are a congenital malformation of the spine that occur at the junctions of major divisions of the spine (usually between the thoracic and lumbar vertebral junction and the lumbar and sacral vertebral junction). Transitional vertebrae take on anatomic characteristics of both divisions of the spine it occurs between. The most common type of transitional vertebrae in dogs is in the lumbo-sacral area where the last lumbar vertebral body takes on anatomic characteristics of the sacrum. Transitional vertebrae are usually not associated with clinical signs and the dog can be used in a breeding program. The OFA recommends breeding the dog to another dog that does not have transitional vertebrae.

Spondylosis is another incidental radiographic finding where smooth new bone production is visualized between vertebral bodies at the intervertebral disc spaces. The new bone production can vary in extent from formation of small bone spurs to complete bridging of adjacent vertebral bodies. Spondylosis may occur secondary to spinal instability but often it is of unknown cause and clinically insignificant. A familial basis for its development has been reported. Like transitional vertebrae, dogs with spondylosis can be used in a breeding program.

OFA HIP DYSPLASIA GUIDELINES FOR BREEDERSBreeders and the OFA

Progress in hip joint phenotype of dogs in the United States between the 1970's and early 1990's has been shown through results of a retrospective study using the OFA data base. This improvement was evident as an increase in the percentage of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype and a decrease in the percentage of dogs classified as having hip dysplasia (HD). The increase in percentage of dogs classified as having excellent hip joint phenotype was greater for German Shepherd dogs, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Rottweilers than for all dog breeds combined. In addition, the submission screening rate for these four breeds was higher than the screening rate for all dogs. Within these four breeds, the improvement was greatest for Rottweilers, which also had the highest screening rate.

Overall, low screening rates for breeds found in this study offer some insight into the problems involved with reducing the incidence of HD. The typical dog breeder is involved in breeding dogs for about five years. Thus, informed, experienced breeders are continually replaced with uninformed, inexperienced breeders who may not be as aware of the problems associated with HD or of the importance of participating in a screening program. In addition, many breeders choose which dogs they breed on the basis of the hip phenotype of individual dogs without knowledge of the phenotype of related dogs or previous offspring. It can be very difficult to get hip information on siblings and previous offspring due to the overall low number of dogs radiographed in a given litter (most dogs in a litter end up in pet homes). This is the slowest method of reducing the incidence of an undesirable trait or increasing the incidence of a desirable trait. The use of preliminary radiographs as early as 4 months of age can be used by breeders to add valuable information on the hip status of dogs they choose to use in a breeding program.

What can breeders do?

Hip dysplasia appears to be perpetuated by breeder imposed breeding practices, but when breeders and their breed clubs recognize HD as a problem and establish reduction of HD as a priority, improvement of the hip status can be accomplished without jeopardizing other desirable traits. Prospective buyers should check pedigrees and/or verify health issues with the breeder. If suitable documentation is not available, assume the worst until proven otherwise.

Do not ignore the dog with a fair hip evaluation. The dog is still within normal limits. For example; a dog with fair hips but with a strong hip background and over 75% of its brothers and sisters being normal is a good breeding prospect. A dog with excellent hips, but with a weak family background and less than 75% of its brothers and sisters being normal is a poor breeding prospect.

OFA's Recommended Breeding Principals
  • Breed normals to normals
  • Breed normals with normal ancestry
  • Breed normals from litters (brothers/sisters) with a low incidence of HD
  • Select a sire that produces a low incidence of HD
  • Replace dogs with dogs that are better than the breed average

 Elbow Dysplasia in Canine   http://www.offa.org/ed_types.html

ELBOW DYSPLASIA TYPES     The Three Faces of Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is a general term used to identify an inherited polygenic disease in the elbow of dogs. Three specific etiologies make up this disease and they can occur independently or in conjunction with one another. These etiologies include:

  1. Pathology involving the medial coronoid of the ulna (FCP)
  2. Osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle in the elbow joint (OCD)
  3. Ununited anconeal process (UAP)

Studies have shown the inherited polygenic traits causing these etiologies are independent of one another. Clinical signs involve lameness which may remain subtle for long periods of time. No one can predict at what age lameness will occur in a dog due to a large number of genetic and environmental factors such as degree of severity of changes, rate of weight gain, amount of exercise, etc. Subtle changes in gait may be characterized by excessive inward deviation of the paw which raises the outside of the paw so that it receives less weight and distributes more mechanical weight on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow joint away from the lesions located on the inside of the joint. Range of motion in the elbow is also decreased.


Informative Article provided by OFA about Elbow Dysplasia - Please click to follow the link to the article http://www.offa.org/pdf/elbowarticle.pdf


ELBOW DYSPLASIA GRADES


Elbow dysplasia has multiple inherited etiologies which may occur singularly or in combination. These etiologies includefragmented medial coronoid (FCP) of the ulna, osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle and ununited anconeal process (UAP). The most sensitive view used to diagnose secondary degenerative changes in the elbow joint is an extreme flexed medio-lateral view of the elbow which is required by the OFA and recommended by the International Elbow Working Group. The veterinary radiologists are most interested in the appearance of the anconeal process of the ulna.

When there is instability of the elbow joint due to elbow dysplasia, one of the most sensitive radiographic findings is new bone proliferation (osteophytes) on the anconeal process of the ulna associated with secondary developmental degenerative joint disease.

Bone proliferation can be very subtle to visualize in some dogs and may require the use of a special light source (hot light) rather than a traditional view box to diagnose it. Other arthritic findings such as sclerosis in the area of the trochlear notch of the ulna and bone spurs at joint edges are also reported. If fragmentation of the medial coronoid only involves the cartilage, it may not be seen radiographically but occasionally if the bone is also fragmented, it can be visualized as a separate calcific opacity superimposed over the radius.

Grading Elbows

For elbow evaluations, there are no grades for a radiographically normal elbow. The only grades involved are for abnormal elbows with radiographic changes associated with secondary degenerative joint disease. Like the hip certification, the OFA will not certify a normal elbow until the dog is 2 years of age. The OFA also accepts preliminary elbow radiographs. To date, there are no long term studies for preliminary elbow examinations like there are for hips, however, preliminary screening for elbows along with hips can also provide valuable information to the breeder.

  • Grade I Elbow Dysplasia: Minimal bone change along anconeal process of ulna (less than 2mm).
  • Grade II Elbow Dysplasia: Additional bone proliferation along anconeal process (2-5 mm) and subchondral bone changes (trochlear notch sclerosis).
  • Grade III Elbow Dysplasia: Well developed degenerative joint disease with bone proliferation along anconeal process being greater than than 5 mm.

http://www.offa.org/stats_ed.html     http://www.offa.org/stats_ed.html    Statistic per breed recorded on OFA site

 DM - Degenerative Myelopathy - DNA TESTING 

Symptoms

Degenerative myelopathy initially affects the back legs and causes muscle weakness and loss, and lack of coordination. These cause a staggering affect that may appear to be arthritis. The dog may drag one or both rear paws when it walks. This dragging can cause the nails of one foot to be worn down. The condition may lead to extensive paralysis of the back legs. As the disease progresses, the animal may display symptoms such as incontinence and has considerable difficulties with both balance and walking.[1][4] If allowed to progress, the animal will show front limb involvement and extensive muscle atrophy and paralysis. Eventually cranial nerve or respiratory muscle involvement necessitates euthanasia or long term palliative care.[2]

Progression of the disease is generally slow but highly variable. The animal could be crippled within a few months, or may survive as long as three years or more.


Causes

The etiology of this disease is unknown. Recent research has shown that a mutation in the SOD1 gene is a risk factor for developing degnerative myelopathy in several breeds.[2] Mutations in SOD1 are also associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) in people.[5] More than 100 SOD1 gene mutations are involved in human familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and the pathologic spinal lesions of ALS are similar to those of canine DM, making canine DM a potentially useful animal model of ALS.[6] .Known causes of spinal cord dysfunction should be excluded before accepting the diagnosis of degenerative myelopathy; disc disease (protrusions) or spinal cord tumors can cause compression of the spinal cord with similar signs to degenerative myelopathy.[7]


Treatment

Degenerative myelopathy is an irreversible, progressive disease that cannot currently be cured. There are no treatments that have been clearly shown to stop or slow progression of DM.[1]


Exercise

Exercise has been recommended to maintain the dog's ability to walk.[1] Physiotherapy may prolong the length of time that the dog remains mobile and increase survival time.[8] Canine hydrotherapy (swimming) may be more useful than walking.[9] Use of a belly sling or hand-held harness allows the handler the ability to support the dog's hind legs for exercising or going up and down stairs.[citation needed] A 2-wheel dog cart, or "dog wheelchair" can allow the dog to remain active and maintain its quality of life once signs of weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs is detected.


(Appleridge has taken the responsible breeding step of testing every breeding dog. Appleridge can tell you that we have NO dog that can knowingly get genetic DM in our breeding program. That means your pup will not be afflicted by dibilitating DM. All NA's are ALWAYS bred to NN's to protect the offspring from chances of being a AA.  Every GSD breeder needs to make this step to eliminate DM, it can be done. If you are considering breeding your GSD, do the DNA test.  Appleridge will not offer stud services to females not tested for DM. 

Breeding risks for degenerative myelopathy can be calculated using the Punnett Square:

  • If both parents are clear (N/N) then all of the puppies will be clear.
  • If one parent is a carrier (N/A) and one is clear (N/N) each puppy has a 50% chance of being clear and a 50% chance of being a carrier.
  • If both parents are carriers (N/A) each puppy has a 25% chance of being clear (N/N), 50% chance of being a carrier (N/A), and 25% chance of being affected and carrier (A/A)
  • If one parent is clear (N/N) and one parent is affected (A/A) then all puppies will be carriers (N/A)
  • If one parent is a carrier (N/A) and one is at risk (A/A) each puppy has a 50% chance of being a carrier(N/A) and 50% chance of being affected and carrier (A/A)
  • If both parents are at risk (A/A) then all puppies will be affected and carrier (A/A)

Eye Condition seen in GSD's - Pannus ( excessive exposure to sunlight - excellerated) 

Pannus: a bilateral inflammatory disease of the cornea which usually starts as a grayish haze to the inferior or inferiotemporal cornea, followed by the formation of a vascularized subepithelial opacity that begins to spread toward the central cornea; pigmentation may follow the vascularization. If severe, vision impairment occurs. Plasma cell infiltration of the nictitans may occur in conjunction with CSK, or on its own. (Also called “CSK”)

Can my regular vet perform an eye clearance examination?

Only a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist (a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmology – ACVO) may perform an eye clearance examination. For a list of board certified ophthalmologists in your area, visit www.acvo.org and click on “Locate an Ophthalmologist.”

Is there a board certified ophthalmologist in my area?

You can visit the American College of Veterinary Medicine website at www.acvo.org and click on “Locate an Ophthalmologist” to find someone in your area.


Vaccine Preventable Infections -  .( Please speak to your Veterinarian about these topics)
Recommended if in High Exposure Area to Wildlife , cattle, sheep 

Leptospirosis - Still Presenting Problems!Leptospirosis is a spiral bacterium that can infect animals and sometimes humans. Lepto can cause kidney and liver issue in pets and embryo death or late-term abortions in pregnant dogs.

TRANSMISSIONAnimals with Lepto shed live bacteria in their urine. Wild animals, such as raccoons and rodents, can be carriers of the disease, meaning they shed the bacteria but don't show clinical signs. Most infections come from contact with water that is contaminated with infected urine. Lepto hates dry environments and is short-lived in a desert environment; therefore, watering holes become the main source of infection in dry areas. Exercise yards with Lepto-infected water that washes downhill into puddles can be a big source of infection.

CLINICAL SIGNSIn a kennel, Lepto is not often noticed or diagnosed, unless you are looking for solutions to puppy death – one or two stillborn puppies or a puppy that dies shortly after birth usually isn't sent for diagnostics. When these losses happen in first or second-time mothers, Lepto may be causing the issue. Older mothers don’t often lose puppies because these mothers get enough natural immunity from infection, preventing loss in later litters.

Clinical signs may include lethargy, muscle and joint pain, poor appetite and dehydration. Leptospirosis targets the kidneys, liver, and blood vessels, so acute infections can cause kidney failure, vomiting, dehydration, bleeding, and jaundice. Generally kidney and liver issues are not seen with abortions, but they are seen when a non-pregnant dog becomes infected.

Lepto abortion storms have been occurring with increased frequency. Kennels have abandoned Lepto vaccination, which has led to a population of animals with no Lepto protection. These abortions affect all females (old or young), and they abort whole litters in late gestation. Fetus abortion the last 14 days or term is suspicious of Lepto. Often when Lepto abortion happens, we have several females bred, and they will all abort if we do not increase immunity. Vaccination of the whole kennel to attain herd immunity will shut the issue down but not before major loss of puppies. If wild Lepto is on board, vaccination of a pregnant dog will not prevent litter loss.

VACCINESDogs are generally vaccinated for Leptospirosis once a year with a combination vaccine. When you’re deciding if a Lepto vaccination is appropriate for your dogs, you should evaluate the value of protection against Lepto exposure. Prevention against Lepto is important for breeding dogs on the ground or using exercise yards; however, the Lepto vaccine is more reactive and does increase the risk of reactions to the vaccination.

DIAGNOSISDiagnosis of Lepto is usually based on clinical signs. Titers on unvaccinated mothers after abortion can be diagnostic. If they have a titer and are not vaccinated, you have the cause.

Culturing Lepto bacteria is difficult and often unsuccessful, though new techniques have had improved results.

TREATMENTTreatment of Leptospirosis involves IV fluids, antibiotics such as Penicillin or Doxycycline, and occasionally blood transfusions. Animals with low levels of the organism still carry and shed Leptospira without clinical disease. These carrier infections are difficult to identify. Treatment is important to prevent carriers, even if it looks like the animal has recovered. Infected carriers are a constant source of infection to other animals.

PREVENTIONYou can prevent Leptospirosis by limiting wildlife and rodent access. Limit the brush and tall grass around the kennel and put a fence around the perimeter to discourage the wildlife carriers.

Contaminated standing water is the main source of spread, so kennel designs need to be sloped to limit the amount of standing water. Raised decks and flooring, such as Kennel Deck™ or Dri-Dek®, are also helpful for keeping dogs off of the wet ground. Lepto thrives in wet, moist environments, but has a short life in dry, arid locations, so your environment will help you determine the best approach for preventing Lepto in your kennel.

Vaccination against Lepto is also an important tool for preventing adult infection and puppy loss. All first-time moms should be vaccinated before breeding to elevate immunity with the goal of preventing Lepto losses. If mom’s Lepto immunity is solid, she rarely aborts the litter!


If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health
THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD BREEDING

Virginia (Jenny) Hauber, AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
April 24, 2015

AKC Gazette breed column: Chihuahuas— Being a good breeder entails gathering and putting together many pieces of the puzzle, including pedigree knowledge and understanding of genetics, anatomy, and health testing. 

We all start at the same place, but it doesn’t take long before we think we know everything. Eventually we admit to ourselves this is probably not the case, and we begin again. It is at this point that we really start learning, and hopefully we continue learning for the rest of our lives. 

People tend to learn only their immediate interest. As breeders, we need to broaden our horizons beyond our immediate boundaries. A championship title does not guarantee perfection. Knowing and understanding your breed standard is all important. With that, you also need to know canine anatomy, animal husbandry, and the understanding of genetics and DNA testing. Once all these puzzle pieces are gathered, we put them together to begin a breeding program. 

It is always good to make it a habit to look at virtues first, and faults last. If you are a “fault-finder,” the faults will override the total perspective and leave a lingering impression.  

Always weigh the faults against the virtues. Do the qualities outweigh the faults? Because of the complexities of genetics and the many variables of inherited characteristics, a breeder must be willing to gamble with nature, taking the worst along with the best. With conviction and courage, triumph will eventually emerge, and a great dog will be born. 

A breeder must realize that every puppy, in reality, is two different beings and therefore cannot be bred with any degree of certainty. Phenotype is what the animal looks like on the outside. Certain genes have come together to create his physical appearance. What a dog looks like on the inside is genotype, a blueprint of inherited traits from his ancestors.  

If you like jigsaw puzzles, you will enjoy putting your genetic knowledge to work—but remember, 75 percent is luck, and 25 percent is skill. 

Now that we know everything is inherited, even the dog’s show spirit or ability to perform tricks, we can make better choices. Many faults can be eliminated from a bloodline, and superior qualities introduced, through selection and understanding of the laws of heredity. Therefore, a dog’s true qualities are not necessarily evidenced in his physical appearance but are also concealed in his genetic framework. 

As breeders, we all understand that there is no perfect dog. Don’t be in a hurry for that great one. It is far better for a breeder to move slowly toward an eventual goal by tackling one problem at a time, collecting virtues into the genotype and discarding faults through strict selection. The “overall” dog must be kept in mind. The best package has the best chance in the show ring. Not only does it require a quality dog but also a dog who is properly raised, conditioned, trained, groomed, and handled. This is hard work, and there are no shortcuts. 

The all-important pedigree should never be ignored. What a dog transmits to his progeny depends on the genetics and actually has little to do with the number of champions we see in the pedigree. The idea that an inferior dog will produce something greater than himself because he has an impressive pedigree is a fallacy. Unless he carries in his genetic makeup a combination for a desired quality, he cannot pass it to his progeny.  

Probably one rule stands out above any other, and that is “breed only the best to the best, and don’t be satisfied with anything less.”  

Happy breeding!  —V.H. (December 2014), Chihuahua Club of America 


Dog Vaccine AbbreviationsAs you browse our dog vaccines, here’s a handy guide to help you identify the various letter combinations.( Please speak to your Veterinarian about these topics)


Dog Vaccine AbbreviationsAs you browse our dog vaccines, here’s a handy guide to help you identify the various letter combinations.

“D”: Distemper. The leading cause of death in dogs, Distemper is a contagious disease of the intestinal tract and respiratory system, and it eventually spreads to the brain. There is no treatment for Distemper, but supportive therapy can help some side effects.

“A”, "A2": Adenovirus. There are two strains of Adenovirus: Hepatitis (type 1), which is a disease of the liver, and Respiratory (type 2), which can contribute to Kennel Cough. Adenovirus type 2 is used to make vaccines, and it protects against both strains.

“P”: Parainfluenza. This respiratory disease is one of the culprits of canine Bronchitis, or Kennel Cough, which causes a dry hacking cough that can last for weeks. Parainfluenza is easily spread, especially when dogs are in close confinement.

“PV”, “Pv”, “CPV”: Canine Parvovirus. This is a highly contagious disease of the intestinal tract. It also progresses quickly, so death is very common. There is no direct treatment for Parvo, but supportive therapy may help some of the side effects.

“CV”, “CvK”: Coronavirus. Puppies are at the greatest risk for this intestinal disease, which causes severe diarrhea and sometimes death. As with many other viruses, there is no specific treatment, but supportive therapy can alleviate the side effects.

“L2”, “4L”, "L4": Leptospirosis. This is a bacterial disease in the liver and kidneys. There are four prominent subtypes (or serovars) of Lepto, and one serovar will not cover the rest. Some vaccines protect against the two most common serovars, while others protect against all four. Not all dogs should receive the Lepto vaccine, so talk to your veterinarian first.

“M”: Measles. This is closely related to canine Distemper. The Measles virus vaccine induces immunity to canine Distemper virus. A combined canine Distemper and Measles virus vaccine increases the protection of puppies against Distemper during the period when they commonly carry maternal antibodies.

“B”, “Bb”: Bordetella bronchiseptica. Bordetella bronchiseptica is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the trachea and bronchi. Bordetella spreads through direct contact, through the air, and through contaminated objects. Transmission can occur between dogs and cats.


If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-The Revival Education Team

WHAT IS KENNEL COUGH?

Kennel Cough Dogs are social and everyone is a friend. We love this friendly side, but interaction means they’re going to be exposed to respiratory pathogens. Just as being in an airplane exposes humans to respiratory disease, there’s no way for your dog to avoid exposure to respiratory bugs.

WHAT IS KENNEL COUGH?Kennel Cough is also called Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex and Infectious Tracheobronchitis. Kennel Cough is coughing due to an infectious agent. It seldom causes the loss of life, but it does last three weeks and keeps us up at night. Coughing all night is why people typically take them to the veterinarian – they wake us up! Kennel Cough is caused by many different infections. Early Distemper looks like Kennel Cough, as does 12 other organisms. The key is to prevent coughing from getting a foothold.

HOW DO DOGS GET KENNEL COUGH?Being social, dogs share their space with other dogs readily, which means they share their bugs as well. A common area where they socialize and are exposed to coughing bacteria is the boarding kennel. This is how the name came to be.

Exposure happens at:
  • Groomers
  • Dog parks
  • Veterinary clinics
  • Dog shows
  • Boarding kennels
  • Any place dogs are within 15 feet of each other when they cough
You can see the need for insurance against coughing!

TREATMENTCoughing dogs usually have secondary bacterial infections, and that is the focus of the treatment. The cough has to run its course. Be aware that the support you give in treatment is just that – support until the puppy can remove the virus from the body and heal the sore throat.

Treatment involves:
  • Vaccination is often used to bring the immune system to the respiratory tract and to bring immunity of all dogs to the same level. Vaccinating every dog when coughing happens brings your “herd” immunity up and shuts down the new cases.
  • Antibiotics – Doxycycline is our choice.
  • Cough Suppressants – Cough Tablets™ are effective.
    • You do not want to stop the cough, just slow it down. Puppies will cough so much that they make their throats sore, which makes them cough even more!
    • The guaifenesin in cough tabs slows coughing but also breaks up congestion so it can be removed when coughing.
  • Nutrition
    • These guys have sore throats so be sure the tiny dogs are eating regularly and feed soft food. You don’t want to deal with hypoglycemia as well.
  • Other Remedies
    • We often put Vicks® or eucalyptus oil on a cloth and let the puppy sleep with it. We find the tiny dogs breathe easier and sleep better.

PREVENTIONWith respiratory disease transmitted so easily, prevention through vaccination is the best control. Kennel Cough vaccines will reduce the chance of disease, and they include protection against the three most common causes: Adenovirus, Parainfluenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Other two more common causes include Influenza and Distemper.

Influenza is now an issue in dogs and can be prevented with vaccination. Boarding kennels often require this vaccine to protect your dog from transmitting or getting influenza. If you show dogs, you can expect the Influenza vaccine to be required to enter the show arena.

Yearly vaccination also includes protection against Distemper, preventing the coughing and neurologic disease Distemper causes.

That totals five diseases we vaccinate for that can cause coughing. These are the “bad boys” we want to prevent.

PREVENTION THROUGH DISINFECTIONAn important part of any disease prevention plan is disinfection. Disinfectants keep your dog’s living areas clean and wild bacteria and virus numbers low. If dogs never get a large dose of a respiratory virus, your dog will handle the exposure without coughing. Large doses of viruses will always bring respiratory disease, just as someone coughing in your face gives you a cold every time.

Common disinfectants that get Parvovirus are effective against Kennel Cough. Our preferences areVirkon®, OXINE®, and Accel®. OXINE® can be used in a fogger to decrease the wild bugs in kennels or boarding facilities and is often used in pet shops safely. Although it does not penetrate, household bleach at 1:30 dilution is an effective disinfectant for your pet’s crates, food and water bowls, or sleeping area.

Coughing is rarely life-threatening to a puppy, but the constant coughing will drive you crazy and keep you up at night. Once started, the cough lingers three weeks and is not easily treated. Lower the coughing risk by vaccinating them with Kennel Cough vaccines. You and your puppy will sleep easier if you do!


If you need help, call us at 1-800-786-4751.

-Dr. B
Don Bramlage, DVM, Director of Veterinary Services at Revival Animal Health

Mange - Skin Mites - Normal Natural Co exhistance - Symbiotic Relationship -
 Mites can get of control during periods of Immune system Stress like Adolescence , Surgery, Whelping and  Family Dynamics Changes are some examples.

MangeMange is an intensely itchy disease caused by parasitic mites. It is hard to imagine that something as tiny as a mite could cause such severe itching, but it does.

TYPES OF MANGE
  • The most common types in dogs are Demodectic mange and Sarcoptic mange.
  • Cheyletiella, known as “Walking Dandruff," can affect dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens and humans.
  • In cats, Demodex mites are commonly diagnosed.
  • Mange in cats is often a result of FeLV suppressing the immune system.
UNDERSTANDING MANGEDemodex mange mites live in the hair follicles and glands of the skin, while Sarcoptic and Cheyletiella mange mites tend to burrow into the skin. The resulting irritation of the hair follicle causes severe itching, hair loss and scratching trauma.

Demodectic mange, also known as “Red Mange,” occurs when mites suddenly multiply beyond what the dog can tolerate. Demodex can occur in both dogs and cats and is not contagious. Demodex mites can only transfer during the first week of life while nursing – animals cannot get it as adults. Demodex mites are common in many species of animals, and some have suggested it is a normal inhabitant of the skin.

CLINICAL SIGNS IN DOGSClinical signs may vary from dog to dog, since symptoms are related to the dog's ability to resist the mites. Some dogs are genetically resistant and will never show signs of mange. Dogs with no resistance suffer from hair loss, itching and pain. Any dog with a suppressed immune system is at risk to show signs, and normal adult dogs with thyroid or cancer problems often break with Demodex. The primary symptom is patchy hair loss, usually occurring around the eyes or on parts of the face. With time, crusty red skin progressing to a greasy, moist appearance develops.

TREATMENTTreatment of mange involves clipping the hair and removing the crusty lesions. Topical treatment involves ointments, dips or medicated shampoos.

Veterinarians often prescribe Ivermectin products orally to treat mange from the inside out (Plumb). Note: Ivermectin cannot be used on a Collie, Sheltie, or breeds containing Collie/Sheltie.

Topical Ivomec 0.5% also called Ivomec/Ivermectin Pour-On is advantageous as we know we are getting an accurate dose in the animal. It’s used between the shoulder blades so that the animal can't lick it. Licking it won’t hurt a dog or cat, but the alcohol carrier makes them salivate and look terrible. If you have Collies or Shelties, use Revolution® to get the same effect.

Injectable Ivomec 1% is used orally and usually mixed with Propylene Glycol to sweeten the taste for dogs, making it easier to get down them. Cats cannot have propylene glycol, so use Doc Roy's® Forti Cal™or Meg-A-Cal to sweeten the dose. Most take it well, but if they vomit or spit out the dose, you will have to redo as we need everyone’s parasites killed at the same time to avoid sharing back into the group.

Goodwinol Ointment has been very successful for localized lesions, and antibiotics may be needed for secondary bacterial infections. Insecticidal dips or VET BASICS® Lime Sulfur Dip is used to get at the mites in the hair follicles – both work well. Weekly bathing with VET BASICS® ParaSeb Shampoo to regain skin health will speed recovery.

Mange dogs will benefit from fatty acid supplements and a high quality pet food; both help your pet fight mange by enhancing his natural defenses.

Some dogs may need regular treatment if the mange won't clear up permanently. Using Frontline® Plus orFiproguard® Max monthly after the initial treatment may help control chronic mange.

An In-Depth Look at  Congenital Pet Defects From a Veterinarian's Perspective with Dr. Ingrid Pyka


Abnormalities of the body that are present at the time of birth are called congenital defects. Such anomalies may involve any organ system or any part of the body.

Some may be minor and resolve with growth, while others may prevent normal development and function or even cause premature death.

Though certain defects may be quite obvious at birth, many may remain hidden for months, years, and some even lifelong.

Congenital defects can occur for no known reason, can be inherited, can be caused by environmental factors, or can be a combination of any of these.

Embryonal/Fetal Development

Defects can occur anytime in the developmental stages of the embryo or fetus. The occurrence or severity of the defect can depend on the stage of development when an insult occurs.  The earlier in the pregnancy an insult occurs, the more risk there is to the embryo or fetus.

Anomalies in the earliest stages of the embryo generally lead to embryonal/fetal death. During the first month of a dog or cat pregnancy, the fetus develops the majority of its organ systems. Abnormalities occurring within this period can cause serious functional defects.

The latter portion of the pregnancy focuses on growth and maturation of the already existing fetal body and its organs. Defects during this phase may be less severe. However, a few systems still undergo significant development during the second half of pregnancy, including the oral palate, cerebellum (the portion of the brain coordinating movement), urinary and genital systems. Abnormalities here can still produce serious complications.

Causes of Congenital Pet Defects

The cause of many congenital defects is unknown. Environmental circumstances during pregnancy may lead to a predisposition to certain defects.  Abnormalities to the maternal metabolism, trauma, or temperature extremes may cause problems in fetal development.  Examples of general congenital defects include cleft palates, polydactylism (extra toes), pectus excavatum (intrusion of the breastbone into the thoracic cavity), dwarfism, extra vertebrae, and hydrocephalus.

Exposure to specific infections, chemicals or drugs (known as teratogens) during pregnancy will also increase risks for specific birth defects. A drug called Griseofulvin, often used to treat ringworm, is one example of a medication with known teratogenic effects causing cleft palate in the fetus. Similarly, viral panleukopenia infection of the pregnant cat may result in cerebellar hypoplasia of the kittens, potentially producing brain damage with severe incoordination.

Some congenital defects are specific to certain breeds and are a result of exaggerated features that characterize the breed. Brachycephalic syndrome is most commonly seen in bulldogs, or other short-nosed breeds of dogs, and results in abnormal development of different parts of their airway.  Animals with these defects can have breathing difficulties leading to airway obstruction.  Another example is entropion, which is rolling-in of the eyelids, commonly seen in the Shar Pei.


Many animals with congenital defects can still maintain a high quality of life. Treatment options for abnormalities vary as for any health issue.

Many congenital abnormalities are believed to be inherited, although the exact mode of inheritance is often unknown.  Examples include portosystemic shunts in Yorkshire terriers, dilated cardiomyopathy in Dobermans, and kidney disease in Wheaten terriers.   Ragdoll cats have been known to have an increased tendency toward eyelid defects (colobomas) at birth.

Some congenital defects have been proven to be hereditary in certain breeds, being passed on through parental genes. The breed name is often included in the disease description.  Examples include Collie eye anomaly, Scotty cramp, and copper toxicosis in Bedlington terriers.

Detecting Congenital Pet Defects

Most external anatomical abnormalities are recognizable at birth or shortly after. Cleft palates, umbilical hernias, or limb deformities may be readily visible. Subtle abnormalities, such as heart murmurs caused by improperly developed heart valves, may require veterinary assessment for diagnosis.

Some defects, such as cryptorchidism (the failure of both testicles to descend into the scrotum) or dental issues, may take several weeks to months to become evident. A number of congenital defects, however, may not be detected until the animal gets much older. In such cases, it may be only abnormalities in routine screening tests that raise early concerns. 

Other times, it is not until suspicious medical issues develop that a diagnostic search is triggered. A “healthy” maturing puppy or kitten, for example, may have a congenital portosystemic shunt in the liver. It would not be until mental confusion, disorientation or seizures occur, or, until the pre-spay/neuter blood tests reveal abnormalities, that your veterinarian would run relevant additional testing.

Monitoring for Congenital Defects

As the cause of many congenital defects is unknown, preventing them can be difficult.  Having a thorough physical examination of your pet by your veterinarian can help detect potential abnormalities early in life.  If the abnormality can be modified or fixed, the earlier the problem is detected the better outcome for your pet.

Responsible breeders generally seek regular veterinary care and have a close relationship with their veterinarian.  Keeping the breeding animals up-to-date on vaccines, free from intestinal parasites, and on a balanced diet are all important factors in providing optimal health for the parent and offspring. If medications are necessary while the female dog is pregnant or lactating, the veterinarian may choose to alter the course of treatment for increased safety of the litter, or the veterinarian may advise not to treat at all. Even some vaccines can be detrimental to the fetus and may not be given. Often the veterinarian will recommend appropriate screening tests and/or prophylactic treatments.

Reputable breeders strive to eliminate carriers of specific congenital defects from their lineage. Registries have been established to list breeding animals screened as free from specific defects. The advent of DNA testing has also allowed registration of animals as being carrier-free of a particular gene.

Choosing a Pet

If you elect to adopt a specific breed, research the breed. Be aware of the known genetic defects. Research the breeder. Find out the lineage of the litter’s parents, preferably at least two to three generations back. Verify the breeder’s registration for absence of congenital defects.

Before you sign any sales contract, understand your options if a congenital defect (or any other health issue) is found. Observe the newborn for any unusual symptoms and report them to your veterinarian. Once you have chosen your puppy or kitten, whether it is purebred or a mix-breed, have your veterinarian perform a thorough physical examination immediately. Some breeders will allow you to have your veterinarian examine the animal prior to purchase.

Unless there is suspicion of a specific problem, generally puppies and kittens are not routinely tested for every known infection or systemic abnormality. Hence, some medical defects, though present at birth, may not be diagnosed until later in life. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for screening tests – especially prior to any anesthesia.

Many animals with congenital defects can still maintain a high quality of life. Treatment options for abnormalities vary as for any health issue. Whether or not a cure can be achieved through medications or surgery, your veterinarian will guide you with options that will optimize the quality of life for your companion.


Dr. Ingrid Pyka is the medical director at Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital in Denver, Colo., a non-profit veterinary hospital for qualified low income pet owners. As a veterinarian, Dr. Pyka emphasizes educating her clients to give them the tools to best care for their furry companions. She strongly feels that combining the highest quality medicine with complete client understanding allows patients and their owners to receive the best and most appropriate veterinary care.

 with Dr. Ingrid Pyka

Abnormalities of the body that are present at the time of birth are called congenital defects. Such anomalies may involve any organ system or any part of the body.

Some may be minor and resolve with growth, while others may prevent normal development and function or even cause premature death.

Though certain defects may be quite obvious at birth, many may remain hidden for months, years, and some even lifelong.

Congenital defects can occur for no known reason, can be inherited, can be caused by environmental factors, or can be a combination of any of these.

Embryonal/Fetal Development

Defects can occur anytime in the developmental stages of the embryo or fetus. The occurrence or severity of the defect can depend on the stage of development when an insult occurs.  The earlier in the pregnancy an insult occurs, the more risk there is to the embryo or fetus.

Anomalies in the earliest stages of the embryo generally lead to embryonal/fetal death. During the first month of a dog or cat pregnancy, the fetus develops the majority of its organ systems. Abnormalities occurring within this period can cause serious functional defects.

The latter portion of the pregnancy focuses on growth and maturation of the already existing fetal body and its organs. Defects during this phase may be less severe. However, a few systems still undergo significant development during the second half of pregnancy, including the oral palate, cerebellum (the portion of the brain coordinating movement), urinary and genital systems. Abnormalities here can still produce serious complications.

Causes of Congenital Pet Defects

The cause of many congenital defects is unknown. Environmental circumstances during pregnancy may lead to a predisposition to certain defects.  Abnormalities to the maternal metabolism, trauma, or temperature extremes may cause problems in fetal development.  Examples of general congenital defects include cleft palates, polydactylism (extra toes), pectus excavatum (intrusion of the breastbone into the thoracic cavity), dwarfism, extra vertebrae, and hydrocephalus.

Exposure to specific infections, chemicals or drugs (known as teratogens) during pregnancy will also increase risks for specific birth defects. A drug called Griseofulvin, often used to treat ringworm, is one example of a medication with known teratogenic effects causing cleft palate in the fetus. Similarly, viral panleukopenia infection of the pregnant cat may result in cerebellar hypoplasia of the kittens, potentially producing brain damage with severe incoordination.

Some congenital defects are specific to certain breeds and are a result of exaggerated features that characterize the breed. Brachycephalic syndrome is most commonly seen in bulldogs, or other short-nosed breeds of dogs, and results in abnormal development of different parts of their airway.  Animals with these defects can have breathing difficulties leading to airway obstruction.  Another example is entropion, which is rolling-in of the eyelids, commonly seen in the Shar Pei.


Many animals with congenital defects can still maintain a high quality of life. Treatment options for abnormalities vary as for any health issue.

Many congenital abnormalities are believed to be inherited, although the exact mode of inheritance is often unknown.  Examples include portosystemic shunts in Yorkshire terriers, dilated cardiomyopathy in Dobermans, and kidney disease in Wheaten terriers.   Ragdoll cats have been known to have an increased tendency toward eyelid defects (colobomas) at birth.

Some congenital defects have been proven to be hereditary in certain breeds, being passed on through parental genes. The breed name is often included in the disease description.  Examples include Collie eye anomaly, Scotty cramp, and copper toxicosis in Bedlington terriers.

Detecting Congenital Pet Defects

Most external anatomical abnormalities are recognizable at birth or shortly after. Cleft palates, umbilical hernias, or limb deformities may be readily visible. Subtle abnormalities, such as heart murmurs caused by improperly developed heart valves, may require veterinary assessment for diagnosis.

Some defects, such as cryptorchidism (the failure of both testicles to descend into the scrotum) or dental issues, may take several weeks to months to become evident. A number of congenital defects, however, may not be detected until the animal gets much older. In such cases, it may be only abnormalities in routine screening tests that raise early concerns. 

Other times, it is not until suspicious medical issues develop that a diagnostic search is triggered. A “healthy” maturing puppy or kitten, for example, may have a congenital portosystemic shunt in the liver. It would not be until mental confusion, disorientation or seizures occur, or, until the pre-spay/neuter blood tests reveal abnormalities, that your veterinarian would run relevant additional testing.

Monitoring for Congenital Defects

As the cause of many congenital defects is unknown, preventing them can be difficult.  Having a thorough physical examination of your pet by your veterinarian can help detect potential abnormalities early in life.  If the abnormality can be modified or fixed, the earlier the problem is detected the better outcome for your pet.

Responsible breeders generally seek regular veterinary care and have a close relationship with their veterinarian.  Keeping the breeding animals up-to-date on vaccines, free from intestinal parasites, and on a balanced diet are all important factors in providing optimal health for the parent and offspring. If medications are necessary while the female dog is pregnant or lactating, the veterinarian may choose to alter the course of treatment for increased safety of the litter, or the veterinarian may advise not to treat at all. Even some vaccines can be detrimental to the fetus and may not be given. Often the veterinarian will recommend appropriate screening tests and/or prophylactic treatments.

Reputable breeders strive to eliminate carriers of specific congenital defects from their lineage. Registries have been established to list breeding animals screened as free from specific defects. The advent of DNA testing has also allowed registration of animals as being carrier-free of a particular gene.

Choosing a Pet

If you elect to adopt a specific breed, research the breed. Be aware of the known genetic defects. Research the breeder. Find out the lineage of the litter’s parents, preferably at least two to three generations back. Verify the breeder’s registration for absence of congenital defects.

Before you sign any sales contract, understand your options if a congenital defect (or any other health issue) is found. Observe the newborn for any unusual symptoms and report them to your veterinarian. Once you have chosen your puppy or kitten, whether it is purebred or a mix-breed, have your veterinarian perform a thorough physical examination immediately. Some breeders will allow you to have your veterinarian examine the animal prior to purchase.

Unless there is suspicion of a specific problem, generally puppies and kittens are not routinely tested for every known infection or systemic abnormality. Hence, some medical defects, though present at birth, may not be diagnosed until later in life. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for screening tests – especially prior to any anesthesia.

Many animals with congenital defects can still maintain a high quality of life. Treatment options for abnormalities vary as for any health issue. Whether or not a cure can be achieved through medications or surgery, your veterinarian will guide you with options that will optimize the quality of life for your companion.


Dr. Ingrid Pyka is the medical director at Harrison Memorial Animal Hospital in Denver, Colo., a non-profit veterinary hospital for qualified low income pet owners. As a veterinarian, Dr. Pyka emphasizes educating her clients to give them the tools to best care for their furry companions. She strongly feels that combining the highest quality medicine with complete client understanding allows patients and their owners to receive the best and most appropriate veterinary care.

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