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Recalls, Market Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts O’Neal’s Feeders Supply, Inc. Recalls Arrow Brand Dry Dog Food.

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Lyra started her life here at WWC on Aug. 9th, 2010 sired By Ch Larklain Rogers Magic Marker.  At 8 weeks of age the whole litter was evaluated by Pat Hastings at a seminar doing the Puppy Puzzle she is well known for. Lyra was Pat Hastings #1 pick of being structurally sound.  And she was also our pick as well!!!

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA" @ 8 wks old

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA" @ 8 wks old

Giving Lyra time to grow and continuing to evaluate  her through her growth stages she really never ever fell apart…topline was always level and strong, naturally stood square on her legs and strongly, her gait was correct but the mind was young.

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA" @ 4.5 months old

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA" @ 4.5 months old

Starting in Jan. 2011 I was taking Lyra to conformation classes to see how her mind would focus on what she knew with others in a strange place doing their own thing.  She handled it quite well and really did stay focused on what she was suppose to be doing.

Lyra in class Winter 2011

Lyra in class Winter 2011

We continued to work with her lightly letting her mind mature and enjoying recess with all the other Low Riders Frapping in the back yard. Then I noticed a change in her mind…not that it was ever bad but more relaxed and ready for some serious work.  We began our training sessions again and noticed a huge change in expression and following my body ques and she was enjoying it staying completely focused on me even though we were doing our training in the middle of the WWC Pack Playing, weaving in and out of us! It was time to get in the show ring.

Final Picture of evaluation End of April 2011 to enter 1st Show

Final Picture of evaluation End of April 2011 to enter 1st Show

Final Picture of evaluation End of April 2011 to enter 1st Show

Final Picture of evaluation End of April 2011 to enter 1st Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyra’s 1st time out the beginning of May under judge Marian Johnson Your won Reserve Winners Bitch!!! It didn’t take her long to earn her 1st AKC points by winning Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite at the end of May. By her 4th show the middle of June she won Winners Bitch and Best of Winners for a MAJOR!!!!

1st MAJOR WIN 10 months old

1st MAJOR WIN 10 months old

The beginning of August, Lyra won her 2nd MAJOR going Winners Bitch and Best of Winners the 1st day of a 4 day show!

WB BOS BOW MAJOR WIN

WB BOS BOW MAJOR WIN

We were so exstatic we didn’t stop to make sure our calculations of points were correct with AKC and moved Lyra up as a SPECIAL the remaining 3 days. She had earned some pts. towards a Grand Championship that weekend winning Select. This is when you learn a lesson that you will never make again in your life because it costs your bank account and is a major let down but once this show was over still being on Cloud 9 you get a phone call from AKC stating we are 1 pt shy of a championship and our Select win for pts. towards a Grand Championship are no good.  I was so mad at myself I could of cut all of my hair off…all that money I wasted!!!!!

Once I was over my temper tantrum and some what  use to the feeling of wasting money and time,  we sent Lyra out one last time earning her final point for her well deserved CHAMPIONSHIP!!!! Lyra in 10 shows in 5 months earned a Championship!! My very 1st bred by along with 2 other siblings which is another story to be told at a later date.  😉

Lyra has passed her CERF, vWD clear, DM carrier, and prelim Hips GOOD…she is enjoying her time frapping and being a pet at the moment.  She is a very athletic girl who loves to cuddle and gives you the most pathetic look if you try to ignore her.  Her temperament is A1 being bold but gentle, assertive but not nasty and is game for just about anything if it entails FOOD!!!!!!

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA"

CH WENDT WORTHS MEADOWLARK LYRIC "LYRA"

Lyra and I would like to give out a special thank you to our CIA (Corgi Intelligence Agent): Deanna Rotkowski  from        www.snostormacres.com/deanna.htm   Without you,  this would of not been accomplished and most importantly, for making my Low Riders happy and well cared for.  Thank you D!!!! Aaaaarrrroooooo

The holidays are upon us, and as I do each year, I’d like to take a few moments to remind pet owners to stay alert for seasonal hazards.

Nothing can ruin a holiday and make it a painful memory for years to come like an accident that injures or takes the life of a precious pet.

Ally Oop Oop patiently awaits for Santas arrival

Ally Oop Oop patiently awaits for Santas arrival

A quick review of the following list can avert disaster for your dog or cat, so I encourage everyone reading here today to take this brief ‘refresher course’ in keeping your pet safe throughout the holiday season.

10 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe During the Hectic Holiday Season

  1. Secure your Christmas tree by screwing a hook into the wall or ceiling and running string or fishing line around the tree trunk and fastened to the hook.

    This will anchor your tree and prevent it from being tipped or pulled over by a curious cat or a rambunctious dog.

    It will also keep water at the base of the tree from spilling. Stagnant tree water can harbor bacteria and isn’t something your pet should be drinking, so make sure it isn’t easily accessible.

  2. Place electrical cords, wires and batteries out of your pet’s reach to prevent a potentially deadly electrical shock or burns from a punctured battery.
  3. Especially if you are owned by a cat, skip the tinsel. It’s a real temptation for kitties because it’s sparkly and fun to bat around. But ingestion of tinsel can obstruct your pet’s GI tract and bring on vomiting. Vomiting causes dehydration. And if the situation is dire, surgery could be required to remove the tangle of tinsel inside your pet and repair any damage.

    Also forego breakable tree ornaments. Glass shards can injure pet paws, mouths, and can be very dangerous if swallowed.

  4. Candles are very popular holiday décor, but make sure to never leave lighted candles unattended. Use appropriate holders that prevent candles from being knocked over by curious pets. Take care when using scented candles, especially the food-scented variety, that the smell doesn’t encourage your dog or cat to sample the goods. Candle wax isn’t species-appropriate nutrition for your pet!
  5. Pets and sweets don’t mix, so make sure your dog or cat has zero access to holiday goodies like candy, cookies, chocolate and other sugary foods, including any food that is artificially sweetened.

    And to be on the very safe side, also prevent your pet from counter surfing in the kitchen, sniffing the table at meal time, and nosing around in the garbage. Believe it or not, there’s a long list of people foods that are toxic to pets, so don’t even chance it.

  6. Beverages should also be kept out of your pet’s reach. Beer, wine and liquor can make your dog or cat quite ill, and can even be life threatening.
  7. It’s also a good idea to keep pets separated from tipsy guests. So if the party is getting lively, it’s your cue to tuck your four-legged family member away in a safe, quiet location of the house.
  8. Provide your pet with a quiet place to retreat during holiday festivities. Dogs and especially cats get overwhelmed and over-stimulated just like kids do. Make sure your companion has her own out-of-the-way spot stocked with fresh water, a few treats and toys, and comfy bedding to snuggle up in.

    New Year’s celebrations can be a special problem for pets, so keep yours a safe distance from confetti, streamers, noise makers and other dangers.

  9. Resist the irresistible — those cute and colorful pet toys and stocking stuffers that show up on store displays this time of year. No matter how adorable that stuffed dog toy is, chances are some part of it will wind up inside your pooch. Stick with safe, healthy dog gifts like all-natural dental bones, yummy high-protein treats, and stimulating puzzle toys.

    If there’s a cat on your Christmas gift list, go for toys that stimulate his hunting instincts or how about a new scratching surface? You can also consider a toy that allows you to interact with him and gives him some exercise at the same time, like a laser beam toy or a feather teaser like Da Bird.

  10. Did you know many holiday plants and flowers are highly toxic for dogs and cats? Holly is one. So are many varieties of the lily. Mistletoe is a no-no, as are poinsettias. Take a pass on live holiday plants and opt for silk or plastic greenery instead.

In addition to these tips, it’s also very important for your pet’s health and stress level to maintain her normal daily routine during the holidays.

Merry Christmas from WWC

Merry Christmas from WWC

 

 

Another excellent article we posted last year is Chaos; Its the Holidays!  and another article about puppies as gifts Holiday Shoppers Should Not Give Puppies As Gifts

Merry Christmas From Wendt Worth Corgis

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of HealthyPets.Mercola.com. You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to MercolaHealthyPets.com, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

Today I’m going to discuss a totally disgusting topic, coprophagia.

Coprophagia is a pleasant term for stool eating.

Although the idea of this activity is totally gross, there is actually one stage in a pet’s life when coprophagia is expected.

When mother dogs and cats have litters, they deliberately consume the feces of their puppies or kittens to hide their scent while the litter is vulnerable and sheltered in the den.

Wendt Worth Corgis Jr Low Riders

Wendt Worth Corgis Jr Low Riders

Beyond that, stool eating — although a very common complaint among pet and especially dog owners – is just plain gross.

Reasons Behind Coprophagic Behavior

Pets eat poop for a variety of reasons. Medical problems are a common cause, including pancreatic insufficiency or enzyme deficiency. Intestinal malabsorption and GI parasites are also common medical reasons that can prompt a dog to eat his own poop.

This is why I recommend dogs have their stools checked by the vet’s office every six months to make sure they’re parasite-free. Healthy dogs can acquire intestinal parasites from eating feces, so twice-yearly stool analysis is a great idea for all dogs.

The pancreas of dogs does secrete some digestive enzymes to aid in the processing of food, but many dogs don’t secrete enough of these enzymes and wind up enzyme deficient. Since the feces of other animals are a source of digestive enzymes, dogs with a deficiency will ‘recycle’ by eating the enzyme rich poop. Gross, I know, but true.

Rabbit poop is one of the richest sources not only of digestive enzymes, but also B vitamins. Many dogs, if they stumble upon rabbit droppings, will scarf them right up to take advantage of those nutrients.

And dogs on entirely processed, dry food diets, who eat no living foods at all, will intentionally seek out other sources of digestive enzymes to make up for their own lifelong enzyme deficiency.

Cats with enzyme deficiencies, malabsorption, or who are fed poor-quality diets can provide litter box temptations for dogs in the family. Many cheap dry foods contain ingredients that are not bioavailable, so ingredients are passed out in the stool undigested, providing scavenging dogs with the opportunity to “recycle.”

Feeding your pet a diet containing human-grade protein, probiotics and supplemental digestive enzymes can sometimes curb the urge to find gross sources of free enzymes around the yard or in the litter box.

Coprophagia Can Also Be a Behavioral Problem

Another cause for coprophagia in dogs is behavioral.

Some dogs, especially those in kennel situations, may eat feces because they are anxious and stressed.

Research also suggests dogs who are punished by their owners for inappropriate elimination develop the idea that pooping itself is bad. So they try to eliminate the evidence by consuming their feces.

Another theory that seems to hold some weight is that coprophagia is a trait noted in all canines – wolves, coyotes and domesticated dogs – and arises when food is in short supply.

Sadly, I see this most often in puppy mill dogs. Puppies who go hungry, are weaned too young, have to fight for a place at a communal food dish, or are forced to sit for weeks in a tiny crate with nothing to do, are at high risk of developing habitual stool-eating behavior that becomes impossible to extinguish.

Coprophagic behavior can also be a learned behavior. Older dogs with the repulsive habit can teach it to younger dogs in the household.

Like a dysfunctional game of ‘monkey see, monkey do,’ one dog can teach the rest of the pack that this is what you do while wandering around the backyard.

Wendt Worth Corgis Low Rider

Wendt Worth Corgis Low Rider

When Poop Eating is Compulsive

Some scientists believe dogs eat poop simply because it tastes good to them.

I disagree with this.

Some dogs have weirdly strange ‘standards’ about the poop they eat. It’s strange to think any standard is applied to poop as a food group, but for example, some dogs eat only frozen poop (we affectionately refer to these as poopsicles at my practice).

Others consume only the poop of a specific animal. Still others only eat poop at certain times of the year.

So some dogs who stumble upon feces occasionally decide to sample it, while others become completely obsessed with eating certain specific poop.

Tips for Curbing Your Dog’s Revolting Habit

What we do know for sure is dogs don’t eat poop because they have a poop deficiency!

Fortunately, there are some common sense ways to reduce your dog’s coprophagia habit.

  • First on the agenda is to pick up your dog’s poop immediately, as soon after he eliminates as possible. Don’t give him the opportunity to stumble across old feces in his potty spot.
  • Next, if you have cats, get a self-cleaning litter box or place the box in a location in your home where you dog can’t get to it.
  • I also recommend you improve your pet’s diet as much as possible, and add digestive enzymes and probiotics at meal time.
  • Offer toys to your dog that challenge his brain and ease boredom.
  • Sufficient exercise is also crucial in keeping your dog’s body and mind stimulated. Bored dogs tend to develop far stranger, disturbing habits and behaviors than dogs that get plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Lastly, consider trying one (or more than one) of the many over-the-counter coprophagia deterrent products. These are powders you either sprinkle on the stool itself or feed with meals to create an unpalatable stool. But keep in mind these powders contain MSG, including most of the remedies you can buy online.

    Also, you may have heard you can add a meat tenderizer to your dog’s food or stool to discourage poop eating, but most meat tenderizing products also contain MSG.

    I recommend you look for a non-toxic deterrent than doesn’t contain MSG.

If your pet’s coprophagic behavior seems to be going from bad to worse, make sure to talk to your vet about your concerns. You definitely want to rule out any underlying medical reason for this very gross, yet very common behavior problem.

 

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of HealthyPets.Mercola.com. You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to MercolaHealthyPets.com, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

Halloween can be a frightening time for family dogs. Each Halloween, veterinarians nationwide see pet injuries that could have been avoided. Here are some ways we can protect pets:

Wendt Worth Corgis Males

Wendt Worth Corgis Males

* Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a firm grip on the leash; many dogs are frightened by people in costumes.

* Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if you’re giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. Many dogs get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars.

* Make sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag.

* Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in case someone accidentally lets your pet out of the place where he’s confined. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters.

* If your dog has any aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises, or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive.

* Consider crating your pet, which can make him feel more secure and reduce chances of accidental escapes. Provide chew toys, a favorite blanket, a piece of clothing with your scent on it, or whatever comforts the animal. Play soft music or a recording of soothing sounds.

* If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on leash. Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. A nervous dog might feel threatened and growl, lunge or bite.

* Keep dogs indoors. It’s a bad idea to leave dogs out in the yard; in addition to the parade of holiday celebrants frightening and agitating them, there have been reports of taunting, poisonings and pet thefts. Plus they’re likely to bark and howl at the constant flow of treat or treaters.

* As for cats, as the ASPCA and other organizations advise, keep cats indoors at all times.

* Do not leave dogs in cars.

* Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can’t get into the trash. Note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is — and the smaller the lethal dose.

* Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Take young childrenUs candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor.

* Make sure pets can’t reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations or ornaments.

* Halloween costumes can annoy animals and pose safety and health hazards…so think twice before dressing up the dog. Make sure the dog can breathe, see and hear, and that the costume is flame retardant. Remove any small or dangling accessories that could be chewed and swallowed. Avoid rubber bands, which can cut off the animal’s circulation or, if accidentally left on, can burrow and cut into the animal’s skin.

* If the animal is very high-strung, consult your vet about tranquilizing for the night.

* When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound on sidewalks and streets after holidays.

* If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, go to your vet or an emergency vet right away because your pet’s life may be in danger:

Wendt Worth Haunted Kennel

Wendt Worth Haunted Kennel

Excessive drooling
Excessive urination
Pupil dilation
Rapid heartbeat
Vomiting and diarrhea
Hyperactivity
Muscle tremors and seizures
Coma

If Your Dog Eats Chocolate:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_EatChocolate.php

First Aid Kit and Guidance:
Keep a pet First Aid Kit in your home and car. Take the one you keep in your car with you on trips with your pet. This webpage lists items to include:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FirstAid.php

CPR and Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation:
Print these life-saving brochures to have on hand!
http://members.aol.com/henryhbk/acpr.html
http://www.rescuecritters.com/cpr.html

When traveling, you can find a nearby veterinarian using AAHA’s Animal Hospital Locator:
http://www.healthypet.com/hospital_search.aspx

——

For more Dog Tips and other information about pet
care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our
website at:  www.paw-rescue.org

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

You’ve undoubtedly seen them in your mailbox. Cute little reminder cards from your vet that it’s time for Beauregard’s annual vaccinations. But after looking a bit closer at the risks and benefits of these vaccines, you might want to paws before making that appointment.

Could these vaccines not only be unnecessary, but actually harmful to your pet’s health?

Absolutely.

We overvaccinate our children — but at least we eventually stop after puberty. But with our pets, we continue vaccine boosters until they are well into their senior years.

As adults, we don’t assault ourselves with annual boosters, and we certainly wouldn’t do this to our elderly family members. So why do we inflict this upon our pets, regardless of their immune status or age, when common sense would tell us those vaccines should last longer than a year?

Additionally, there are no adjustments in dose for size or age of your animal. Your five-pound Miniature Pinscher receives the same size vaccine as your 150-pound Rottweiler. Your 10-pound housecat gets the same amount as a 400-pound lion.

All of these vaccines are overwhelming your pet’s immune system. Vaccine reactions are at an all-time high.

A study of more than 2,000 cats and dogs in the United Kingdom by Canine Health Concern showed a 1 in 10 risk of adverse reactions from vaccines. This contradicts what the vaccine manufacturers report for rates of adverse reactions, which is “less than 15 adverse reactions in 100,000 animals vaccinated” (0.015 percent).

Additionally, adverse reactions of small breeds are 10 times higher than large breeds, suggesting standard vaccine doses are too high for smaller animals.

A few bold veterinarians have paved the way for ending overvaccination, but the research is sparse and the opposition is great, just as with the human vaccine industry — and for similar reasons.

In this article I will be addressing three main points:

1. There is no scientific evidence that annual vaccines are necessary, and in fact once animals achieve immunity from their initial vaccines, they appear to have immunity that lasts for many years, and often for life, without boosters.

2. There is growing alarm that overvaccination appears to be causing a multitude of serious medical problems, particularly with the immune system, including allergies, seizures, anemia and cancer.

3. Vaccines are a very profitable part of veterinary care — in fact, some vet practices are built around them. Long-term studies of animal immunity would require a substantial outlay of money — the kind of money that only the drug companies have, and Big Pharma is much more interested in selling more vaccines than challenging the need for them.

How Current Vaccine Schedules Were Determined

The current recommendation from many veterinarians is for dogs is to receive rabies, parvovirus, distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, coronavirus, hepatitis, lyme (borelia), and annually, bortadella (kennel cough) sometimes being recommended every 6 months.

Cats are advised to have rabies, feline leukemia (FeLV), distemper (panluekopenia), rhinotracheitis, and calcivirus annually–and depending on risk, chlamydia, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and ringworm can be added.

Many vets advise both puppies and kittens get their “core vaccines” at ages 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks, 12 weeks, 14 weeks, and 16 weeks. Then, they get boosters at one year, and annually thereafter.

All of these shots add up to a tremendous vaccine load over your pet’s lifetime!

How did these recommendations for annual vaccines come about?

One of the veterinary pioneers, Dr. W. Jean Dodds, president of the nonprofit animal version of the Red Cross called Hemopet, reported that the recommendations for annual vaccines were just that — recommendations. They were not based on any scientific evidence.

The recommendations for annual vaccination were put forth jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture and the drug companies, more than twenty years ago. And veterinary medicine has continued to do it that way because, well, that’s the way it’s always been done.

And it’s a good deal for them financially. So far, protests to annual vaccines have been mild.

Now the USDA puts the annual vaccination recommendation right on the product label.

Veterinary Vaccines are Big Money for Many Vets — and Even Bigger Money for Big Pharma

Without some driving force for change, there is no motivation for the industry to change the most lucrative part of its practice.

Many vets cling to annual vaccine schedules because of economic dependence more than maintaining a “cautious” standard of care. This is particularly true for the typical small vet practices (1-3 people, non-specialty, non-emergency practices).

Consider this …

One dose of rabies vaccine costs the vet about 61 cents. The client is typically charged between $15 and $38, plus a $35 office visit. The markup on the vaccine alone is 2,400 percent to 6,200 percent — a markup equivalent to charging $217 for a loaf of bread.

According to one estimate, removing the one-year rabies vaccination and consequential office visit for dogs alone would decrease the average small vet’s income from $87,000 to $25,000 — and this doesn’t include cats or other vaccinations.

According to James Schwartz, author of Trust Me, I’m Not a Veterinarian, 63 percent of canine and 70 percent of feline vet office visits are for vaccinations.

Clearly, radically changing the vaccine schedule for dogs and cats would result in a huge economic loss for any veterinary practice that is built around shots.

And chances are the vaccines you are paying so much for are creating even more income for vets, because the adverse reactions and other medical issues caused by the vaccines keep Fluffy coming back often!

The profits for vets pale in comparison to the profits being enjoyed by vaccine manufacturers. Veterinary vaccine sales amounted to more than $3.2 million in 2004 and have risen 7 percent per year since 2000. This figure is projected to exceed $4 billion in 2009.

Six companies account for more than 70 percent of world veterinary vaccine sales. The market leader is Intervet, with sales of almost $600 million in 2004. That’s a whole lot of 61-cent vaccines.

The United States has by far the largest share of the national market with revenues of $935 million, and Japan comes in second with $236 million.

Medical Risks Outweigh Benefits

In 1991, an unfortunate observation led many vets to begin rethinking the vaccine protocol.

A lab at the University of Pennsylvania noted a connection between a troubling increase in sarcomas (a type of cancerous tumor) and vaccinations in cats. Mandatory annual rabies vaccinations were leading to an inflammatory reaction under the skin, which later turned malignant.

At about the same time, researchers at University of California at Davis confirmed that feline leukemia vaccines were also leading to sarcomas, even more than the rabies vaccine.

Further investigations led to alarming statistics: vaccine-induced sarcomas were estimated to be one cat in 1,000, or up to 22,000 new cases of sarcoma per year.

It wasn’t long before veterinary professionals began to suspect vaccination as a risk factor in other serious autoimmune diseases. Vaccines were causing the animals’ immune system to turn against their own tissues, resulting in potentially fatal diseases such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia in dogs (AIHA).

Delayed vaccine reactions were also the cause of thyroid disease, allergies, arthritis, tumors and seizures in both cats and dogs.

These findings led to a 1995 article in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association that concluded:

“There is little scientific documentation that backs up label claims for annual administration of most vaccines.”

And then there’s the issue of adjuvants.

Thimerosal, mercury, and aluminum-based adjuvants are still being allowed in veterinary vaccines. So, your pet is being exposed to potential antigens that could abnormally stimulate his immune system, but last a lifetime and cause chronic disease. The less of this, the better.

For more on thimerosal, mercury, and aluminum, please visit Dr. Mercola’s site.

Is Non-Vaccination a Greater Danger?

Giving your dog or cat a vaccine when it is already immune does not give any additional immunity, and it creates an unnecessary risk to your animal.

Evidence suggests that, like humans, dogs and cats could be vaccinated with certain vaccines early in life and be protected for a lifetime. With the exception of rabies, the core vaccines probably last at least seven years and should not be given more often than every three years.

In one study, the antibody levels of more than 1,400 healthy dogs of all ages were measured for parvo and distemper. Nearly all the dogs were immune (95-98 percent), suggesting that annual revaccination may not be necessary.

Many of the non-core vaccines are bactrins, vaccines created to treat non-viral infections (Lyme disease and Chlamydia, for example) and may have a shorter duration; about one year. But not all animals are at risk of exposure, and the vaccines have proven to be significantly more reactive to the immune system, so assessing risk versus benefit is very important before considering these very reactive vaccines. .

Researchers say there has been no increase in disease rates among dogs who have gone to vaccines every three years. And there is ample evidence that the dangers of repeated vaccinations are real.

A study published by Purdue in 2005 found correlations between vaccine reactions in dogs and variables such as age, size, and number of vaccines given. The study found:

  • Smaller dogs are more prone to vaccine reactions than larger dogs
  • Risk of reactions increased by 27 percent for each additional vaccine given per office visit in dogs under 22 pounds, and by 12 percent in dogs over 22 pounds
  • Risk increased for dogs up to 2 years old, then declined with age
  • Risk increased for pregnant dogs and dogs in heat
  • More reactions were found in small dogs given Leptospirosis vaccine

As in humans, one of the reasons why dogs and cats need vaccine protection at all is that they aren’t eating an ideal diet. The better your pet’s nutrition is, the healthier his immune system will be, and better able to fend off pathogens.

My Vaccine Recommendations

  1. Wellness visits are important for other reasons than vaccines, such as checking for heartworm and tumors and assessing general health status. I do recommend continuing these checkups every six months, although I do not recommend annual vaccines.
  2. Rabies vaccines are required by law. There are approved 1-year and 3-year rabies vaccines. They are the same product. Please ask for the 3-year vaccine, if you opt to vaccinate your pet against rabies. I also recommend you consider finding a holistic vet that will provide you with the homeopathic rabies vaccine detox, called Lyssin.
  3. Ask for a Vaccine Titer Test: this is a how you can determine if your pet has adequate immunological protection from previously administered vaccines (puppy or kitten shots). Antibody levels can be measured from a blood draw, in place of revaccination. The type of titer that best assesses immune system’s response to vaccinesis called IFA, or indirect immunofluorescent antibody.

    Please discuss with your vet the risks versus benefits of the diseases you are considering vaccinating for, before you automatically assume additional vaccines are necessary.

  1. Indoor housecats should not be vaccinated annually, especially if they never go outside or have access to other cats (potentially exposing them to infectious disease). I believe overvaccination is one of the main reasons the general health of our feline patients is deteriorating.
  2. Do not vaccinate your dog or cat if it has had a serious life-threatening vaccine reaction.
  3. Do not patronize any boarding facility, groomer, training facility or veterinarian that requires you to vaccinate your pet more than necessary.

The decision by some vets to come forward with the truth about pet vaccines is a positive step toward changing our animal health care system. Veterinary vaccines are one more unfortunate example of the corporate greed that permeates the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of HealthyPets.Mercola.com. You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to MercolaHealthyPets.com, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.

 

By Dr. Becker

Puppies go through several development stages on their way to adulthood.

The goal of any breeder or pet owner should be to take maximum advantage of each sensitive stage by providing the puppy with age-appropriate social and learning opportunities.

  • Between 4 and 8+ weeks, puppies learn best how to interact with other dogs.
  • Between 5 and 10+ weeks, they grow adept at interacting with humans.
  • Between 5 and 16 weeks, they are most able to investigate new environments and stimuli. And in fact, a puppy not given a full range of socialization opportunities by about 10 weeks can develop fear of the unfamiliar.
Wendt Worth Corgis Litter

Wendt Worth Corgis Litter

How a Puppy Learns Dog-to-Dog Skills

Prior to about 8½ weeks of age, puppies are primarily working on their dog-to-dog skills. It’s beneficial and therefore preferable during this period for a puppy to remain with his parents and littermates. The better your puppy’s social foundation with other dogs, the more equipped he’ll be to manage a brand new world – your world.

Responsible breeders keep new litters for at least 8½ weeks and sometimes longer if they plan to begin housetraining and socialization before sending the pups to their new homes.

The biggest advantage to leaving your puppy with the breeder until she’s at least 8½ weeks is to allow her to develop socially with other dogs.

Other ways to socialize young puppies (those receiving timely core vaccines and other preventive healthcare) include play dates with other puppies and puppy day care or kindergarten.

An older dog in the family can also be a great teacher for a new pup. Just make sure the current dog is well-behaved, or puppy will learn the older pet’s bad habits!

It’s not a foregone conclusion a puppy who doesn’t receive the right experiences at the right stages of development will grow into a dog with behavior problems. But why take the risk? Why not try to do everything right, right off the bat, with your new furry bundle?

I can’t guarantee you’ll wind up with a perfect pet. But I can promise your efforts will accomplish two things:

  • You’ll reduce your dog’s risk of developing behavioral problems.
  • You’ll dramatically increase your chances of sharing your life with a balanced, confident canine companion.

Your Job Once Puppy Comes Home: Socialization and More Socialization

In his first two months with you, your puppy should:

  • Learn to accept being handled and having all his body parts touched.
  • Be introduced to as many healthy and safe people, animals, places, situations, sights and sounds as possible.
  • Be encouraged to explore and investigate his environment, with supervision.
  • Be exposed to lots of toys, games, surfaces and other stimuli.
  • Take car rides with you to new, unfamiliar environments.

One of the most important challenges in socializing your puppy is to minimize the fear he feels while you expose him to a wide range of unfamiliar stimuli he will encounter in his new life with you. This means you need to recognize and understand puppy fear.

 

Graduation Day

Graduation Day

How to Recognize Puppy Fears and What to Do About Them

Your pup may act a bit startled when she encounters someone or something new or unfamiliar. This is fine as long as she recovers quickly, remains curious, and is willing to continue on with the adventure. This indicates she’s adapting normally to strange stimuli.

If, however, she doesn’t recover within a few minutes, it’s not okay.

And certainly if your puppy is so upset she starts crying, pees or poops out of fear, or tries to find a place to hide, it’s not okay. It’s also never okay to ‘toughen up’ a puppy by deliberately scaring her. This will only intensify the problem.

Other signs of fear in your dog can include:

  • Whining
  • Avoidance
  • Salivating
  • Withdrawal
  • Excessive panting
  • Refusal to eat
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting; diarrhea
  • Scanning
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Vigilance

Research shows puppies can inherit fearful tendencies which can be spotted as early as 5 weeks of age.

And pups who are anxious worriers at 3 months will grow into worried, anxious adults without proper intervention.

The earlier you recognize and seek help for fear-related behaviors in your puppy, the better the outcome. I recommend you talk with your holistic vet, a responsible breeder, and/or an animal behavior specialist about how to help an abnormally fearful or anxious puppy.

Please don’t make the mistake of assuming if you continue to expose your dog to a fearful situation she’ll overcome her fear. In fact, the opposite will happen and you and your furry companion will end up dealing with a long-term, intractable problem.

When Your Puppy is Ready for Housetraining

Among the many things your puppy needs to learn in his first months of life is that his bathroom is outdoors.

The age to begin house training your puppy is around 8½ weeks. Before 8 weeks of age, most puppies haven’t yet developed the neurological control to hold back eliminating –they have no choice but to go when nature calls, wherever they happen to be at the moment.

At 8½ weeks, your pup will be at the right age to select his preferred surface (for example, grass or cement or another outdoor substrate) and take action.

A dog at 8½ weeks is able to make a mental connection between the scent and surface of his potty spot and the act of going potty. And nature has arranged it that this is also the age at which your puppy becomes aware he can control when and where he piddles and poops. It’s fine to begin the process of housebreaking a puppy the minute you bring him home, but he may not begin to fully understand the process until 8½ weeks of age.

The goal of house training is actually two goals:

  1. Teaching puppy to go in his potty spot
  2. Teaching him to wait to go until he reaches that potty spot

Not every 8.5-week-old puppy is the same. Some puppies will pick up the whole outside potty thing quickly. Others will take more time, effort and patience.

You should anticipate and prepare for the occasional accident as your canine youngster learns this crucial but complex skill.

Remember — your new puppy is much more than an adorable ball of energy. He’s also a furry little sponge, ready to soak up everything you can show him about how to get along in his new life with you.

Make those precious first six months of your puppy’s life really count. You’ll be so glad you did!

Dr. Becker is the resident proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian of HealthyPets.Mercola.com. You can learn holistic ways of preventing illness in your pets by subscribing to MercolaHealthyPets.com, an online resource for animal lovers. For more pet care tips, subscribe for FREE to Mercola Healthy Pet Newsletter.