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Messages - billybooker

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Doberman Discussions / Re: Joining the Dober ranks!
« on: February 19, 2006, 09:22:26 pm »
Probably one of the best ways to keep a dog's coat shiny, aside from baths once in a while is feeding flax seed or fish oil everyday. (And don't give baths too often so that the natural oils in the skin can come out) I would say unless your treating her for a skin or parasite condition not to give her a bath more than once a month. We usually give Cocoa a bath once every couple of months, unless her coat starts to smell bad, then more often.  :)


Doberman Discussions / Re: Joining the Dober ranks!
« on: February 14, 2006, 11:41:05 pm »

To answer your feeding question, you can do some research on good quality foods on the market. A few off the top of my head are California Natural- great for food sensitivities, Wellness, Eagle Pac, and Innova. If you can afford it, its best to try and go with holistic or more natural diet that contains little or no preservatives, and human grade meats. A great resource is the Whole Dog Journal-they evaluate many of the dog foods on the market. Of course there's nothing better than home cooking. (Making sure you cook food in the proper proportions~25% carbs, 25% veges, 50% meats) This does however, take extra time usually costs a bit more, and requires supplementatio n. In addition to food, you can give vegetables and fruits as treats. (Avoid onions, grapes and chocolate)

As for the amount, it all depends on the caloric content of the kibble you feed-some have a high fat content. My female dobe gets 2 cups of kibble per day with some extra veges etc. This keeps her at a good weight. However, it's different with every dog and may change as the dog ages. A good and easy way to judge is just to look at you dog. You should be able to feel the ribs, but not see them sticking out. If your dog is too thin feed a bit more, if she's too heavy, cut back on food, especially dog milkbone types, which are high fat. If you exercise your dog hard daily, then you probably have to increase her food as she will burn it off quickly.
Good Luck with your new baby!  :) 

Doberman Discussions / Re: Bones
« on: February 14, 2006, 10:29:14 pm »
There are quite a few dogs whose digestive system cannot tolerate raw/cooked bones, or rawhide treats etc. As some people have mentioned, some of the best chew treats, nutritious, and great for teeth, are the raw vegetables like carrots and broccoli stems. Stay away from onion though, as it can wreak havoc on the blood stream. Other things that dogs can tolerate well and are safe are greenies or a rubber Kong stuffed with kibble and peanut butter. :)

Vizsla Discussions / Reputable Vizsla Breeders?
« on: August 23, 2005, 07:09:35 am »
Can anyone recommend some good Vizsla Breeders? Does anyone know if there are any in Canada?

As Jaimie has mentioned, it sounds like your dog is becoming fear aggressive. I am dealing with this problem myself, and have consulted with many experts.  There are a few important things that you must understand. First is that you shouldn't be harsh or use choke chains etc. to try to correct this problem. Try not to yell or get overly upset when something sets him off. Dogs have two responses to something that they are afraid of: Fight(Bite) or Flight (Run away) He would probably prefer to run from something that he is afraid of, but if he is trapped such as being on a leash, than you are leaving him with only one option: Fight or Bite. You must assume at this time that he would bite someone so that you are extra careful during this retraining phase. It will take a combination of training and management at this point to help him. Please try to remember also to keep a cool head, because it will get on your nerves and upset you most certainly. A dog will read your stress and frustration and it will make him more stressed. Try to stay calm. OK-let's get down to business. Start to hand-feed your dog each meal for the next year while practicing obedience-this will establish your alpha role. Also, try to bring your dog for hard exercise (ie. fetch, or swimming) in a secluded or enclosed area (ie. empty ball field) where there aren't other dogs or people. When people come to your house, you may want to crate him, or put him in a room until the people are in and sitting down (until things are calm) then let him approach people on his own terms. You can also give visitors treats. You may want to incorporate a muzzle to be used during short periods of known stress just for protection.  As far as introducing him to new situations, you must always give him space. With dogs, space is everything. Something that bothers him at 20 feet, may not bother him at 30 feet.  Dogs have their own comfort distance for everything.  Start just in your driveway  (at the back) and always keep treats on hand- the goal is to have the dog react less and less to things over time as you are able to move closer and closer. Only work for about 15 minutes a day or your dog will become tired and irritable. For example, start in the back of your driveway, a good distance from the road, and when something passes that you know will stress him, try to get him to sit and if the distance is good than he won' t react and you can give a treat. If he reacts than you know you have to move further back. Once you know his comfort distance, then as he is calm you can move a bit closer step by step each day-take it slow. If he does react to something try to laugh and use your happy voice. If you yell or punish, he will just associate that "bike or person or dog" with him getting in trouble and it will be even harder to retrain. Always make light of it and move away from the stressor. Call him to you and get him doing some basic commands to get him more focused on you. A fear aggressive dog is not the same as a dominance aggressive dog, however, they do have some commonalities-such as the way the appear. A fear aggressive dog may appear to want to attack everything, but usually, they are afraid and are doing the only thing they know how to do. (On-leash fear aggression is very common) The last thing for now is that you probably should make a vet appointment to see if there are other underlying reasons for his behaviour. The vet may chose to use medication to help, but I was advised by vets specialized in aggression issues not to use anxiety and prozac type medications as it can remove the fear, and then you just have an aggressive dog without the fear inhibition. You can however try some bach flower remedies-these are natural flower essences that help people and pets with emotional problems. You probably should stop taking him for walks down the street for a while until the problem is more manageable. You also may want to refrain from any obedience class-it will not help your problem and can make things worse. Many trainers do not know how to deal with fear aggressive dogs. A class environment is very stressful. If you can find a knowledgeable trainer giving a small class (2-4 dogs) with much space then give it a try, but be careful he may not be ready for that yet. (Trust me I speak from experience) Work with him in a low stress environment, and if you must take him for walks down the street, try to move to the opposite side of the road (make an arc) from people and other dogs and bikes etc. (Don't let anyone approach-remember that a reaching hand is a threat to some dogs-and they will bite) You have to be alert and see the trigger before he does. Your dog is not a terrible dog who deserves to euthanized, he just needs some extra care and work on your part. I think you should get some books on fear aggression and reactivity in dogs, and consult a dog behaviorist specialized in aggression if you can.
This is a complicated problem to deal with, but can be done, with some understanding and lots of patience on your part. You have to understand that he may never be a "normal" dog, but can still live a happy life. It's worth a try. If you have any questions please let me know.
Good Luck.

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / Re: Books about dog aggression
« on: August 16, 2005, 12:09:39 pm »
I got the info from a well-known Canadian dog psychologist at one of his dog behaviour seminars (Dr. Stanley Coren). My dobe has fear-aggression problems, so I take all the good advise that I can get. People don't realize that when you feed a dog from their dish or the ground that they think the food comes from the floor. They need to understand that food comes from people. Dogs actually think that our hands are mouths. So I guess just like a mother wolf would feed a pup regurgitated food, we feed from our hands. And there are few in the pack who will mess with the leader who provides food. Things like pinning the dog down to establish dominance will not work well and is dangerous. So I grasped the idea of establishing dominance without being physical with the dog. I have been feeding my dog by hand ever since I heard this, while practicing her obedience commands-with time I hope to see a calmer, less fearful and aggressive dog when she meets other dogs.

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Baby Kitten
« on: August 16, 2005, 11:46:12 am »
Please give your co-worker the instructions that I gave. And I'm glad to hear that your were able to find someone to look after it. 

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: I need some advice
« on: August 16, 2005, 11:40:59 am »
I know how you feel, I know what I don't want to do, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do. All I know is that I want to work with or for animals-preferably helping them. I would suggest that when your done work, take a bit of time (a few weeks or months) and do some volunteering at places that you think you may want to work at involving animals. There are so many animal careers nowadays. More than just vet and groomer. There is resuce work, animal behaviour (psychology), training, selling supplies (store), biologist, doggie daycare, wildlife rehab, vet tech, humane educator, etc.
I would stay away from toxicology if you don't want a job that will hurt and kill animals. They conduct lethal 50 tests where they poison animals and when 50% of them die, the test is complete. Some biology and lab work is not fun for someone who really loves animals. Figure out what you love to do most and make it work for you-make your own business if nothing else fits. If its not something your ready to do now, try to get a job to get some experience in your chosen career path. There are many business willing to hire and train people with an interest and passion for animals, especially if you have volunteered there in the past.
Good Luck.

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Help please..anyone that's cat savvy...
« on: August 16, 2005, 11:20:13 am »
Hi , Just some advise to anyone who has a cat with an obstruction. I have experience with rabbits, and particularly with GI stasis, where the GI tract slows and obstructions occur. What I have done, and this has saved my rabbit's life 4 times already, is manually massage the abdomen. If the cat stops eating, you'll want to give an electrolyte solution like pedialyte by syrige. If the cat is eating and drinking don't worry about it. It actually probably wouldn't hurt to give water to your cat by syringe during this time to get all the fluid it can. I know that with rabbits, oil-based laxatives can actually make things worse by moving the obstruction into an even worse position. I know rabbits and cats aren't the same, but they're not too far apart either. The first time that my rabbit had this I took him to two vets who basically did nothing but give him a vitamin B shot. He went a long time without eating or using the bathroom and nearly died until I got info off the internet that saved his life. Anyway, try a deep gentle massage with the cat lying down, its back end propped up on a towel, and massage every few hours. It may do the trick, and if not I don't think it can make things worse. (It's much less expensive than surgery)

Anything Non-Dog Related / Re: Baby Kitten
« on: August 16, 2005, 11:07:06 am »
If the kitten's eyes arn't open, it is less than 10 days old (they open at 10 days).  I just finished raising 2 week old kittens, so I can help you out. The kitten should be kept warm with towels or blanket, preferably in the house in a box or a crate with air holes. You can cover it to keep it warmer. Did you actually see fleas? Or are you just assuming it has fleas because it is a stray? If you don't see fleas, don't give it a bath now until its older. If you did see fleas, you can give it a bath (carefully-do not get anything in the eyes or nose) with a mild kitten shampoo. You should also have it checked at the vet. Many vets (around here anyway-NB Canada) will not charge you anything for the visit if they know you are helping a stray kitten. You must get a kitten bottle (like a small baby bottle) from your vet. To feed the kitten you must buy kitten formula, which has all the vitamins or make your own. I had a recipe and used some formula. It required 80 ml water, 3 egg yolks, 80 ml carnation milk, and 100ml plain yogurt. You must feed the kitten at least every 3-5 hours, this includes during the night. Don't forget to rub the kitten's belly afterward to burp them, and to wipe its face so their eyes don't get stuck shut from formula.  You must also make the kitten go to the bathroom, as it is not old enough to go on its own yet. A mother cat would lick them to stimulate them to go. You can use a damp cloth or paper towel, and massage their lower stomach ad genitals to do this. It's not that difficult, kinda weird, but it will not survive if you don't. Don't forget to hold the kitten carefully and pet it. This kitten is on its own, and will need all the human contact that you can give. At this age, the kitten's survival is so-so. However, if you do all that is required and try your best, it will probably do fine. The kitten will start picking at food at around 4-5 weeks or longer. Once this happens you can reduce the bottle feeding. (At this point you will not be able to tell the sex of the kitten) Kittens at this age need a lot of care just like a human baby, so if you don't think you have the time, please try to find someone who can. Sometimes shelters have a mother cat who just had kittens who will accept another one. Don't be scared to ask you vet and other animal experts for advise. Please try to do what you can, it is worth it to try to save a life.
Please let me know if you have questions.

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Re: BLOAT
« on: August 14, 2005, 09:00:36 am »
I recently took a dog first aid/CPR course and learned a few things about bloat.
Although they are not exactly sure what causes bloat, there are a few things that you can be prepared for to save your dog's life incase it does happen. (Every dog owner should have at least one of these in their pet first aid kit-especially those of us with deep-chested dogs like danes and dobes)
The first and probably the best is a 14 gauge or more needle to stab into the dog's stomach from side (in front on flank) to relieve gas pressure. You can get one from your vet to have on hand. You'll want to drive it in and hold, the stomach will pull away from the needle. Put it into whichever side is biggest. If the needle blocks off blow into it. I got one of these needles for $1.00 from my vet. The second thing that you can keep on hand is a long siphon tube. You'll have to put this down the dog's throat until it reaches the stomach. (The tube must be long enough to reach the 13th rib) This is a difficult thing to do, so get an explaination from your vet or just use the needle. Don't worry about the hole you make in the dog from the needle, a secondary infection if much easier to deal with than bloat, as it is immediately life-threatening. You always want to get the dog to the vet as quick as possible.
You can also try to relieve bloat by gently changing the dog's position. Stand them on their hind legs, and jiggle or shake the dog, with the front feet on your shoulders, lie the dog on the right side, and the roll to the left side.  Some symptoms of bloat include:
-Unproductive attempts to belch or gag
-Labored breathing
-Rapid heart rate
-Obvious bloating or distention of rib cage and flanks (dog looks inflated)
-Weakness, distress and pain

Hope this helps.

Book Club & Noteworthy Reads / Re: Books about dog aggression
« on: August 14, 2005, 08:28:41 am »
I have a two suggestions for these problems. The first is to hand-feed any dog with any aggressive tendencies.  Do this for six months to a year or more if that's what it takes-maybe for life. Hand-feeding establishes that You are the leader of the pack and You control the resources. (Everyone who gets a new puppy should be doing this for the first few months) If there is one true leader (human) than fighting among others in the pack should be minimal. Actually, get everyone in the family involved, including children (with supervision), so that the dogs see that All humans are higher up than them. The second is exercise, exercise, exercise! (Not a walk on leash around the block) These large working or sporting dogs need to get the led out as they are so rarely used for their actual in-bred duties anymore. Bring the dog to an empty ball field for example and play fetch for half hour to an hour until the dog is pooped.  Do this 4-5 times a week and the dog will be so tired that he will not spend so much time and energy squabbling among others within the house.
Hope this helps.   

Rottweiler Discussions / Re: Anyone had a dog go thru chemo?
« on: August 12, 2005, 08:47:58 pm »
Sorry to hear that. Your not alone, there are so many that have been there and are going through the same thing as you now. A friend of mine's dog died of leukemia. She did chemo and found that it was quite hard on him, very expensive, and he lived only a short while after. She said that if she had to do it again, she wouldn't go for chemo next time. But it all depends on the type of cancer, some people have success with chemo, others have great success with diet, and supplements.
Have you heard of Essiac and Pau D'Arco? These are two herbal remedies that have been very effective and I believed have even cured cancer in some cases. Your homeopathic vet may have mentioned them. Here is a website I found with lots of great info, check it out:
p.s. don't underestimate the power of prayer
When the vets thought my dog had cancer in his toe and even amputated it, my whole family laid our hands on him and prayed, and when the results of the biopsy returned, there was no cancer.
Good Luck.

Saint Bernard General Discussions / Re: Chapped Chin??
« on: August 12, 2005, 07:42:16 pm »
My dobe had acne on her chin quite bad and we used some panalog creme (I think) from the vet and were told to wash it with soap and water a few times a day, we were also told to use metal dishes and wash them regularly. None of this worked! I will tell you what did work-hand feeding. Do not use a dish at all to feed your dog for a few weeks or months. Your dog is probably slamming his chin into the bowl while eating and smashing food particles into it. Give hand feeding a try, it worked for me.

Medical Conditions & Diseases / Re: Flank Sucking Dobe
« on: August 12, 2005, 06:52:04 pm »
I believe that lick granuloma is the technical term for sucking type behaviours. Flank Sucking Syndrome is a compulsion type of disorder, believed to be genetic, seen most commonly in Dobes.  Basically, she sucks her side or hip(flank) for short or long periods of time throughout the day. (It's sorta like a child sucking a thumb-it's a stress reducer) It is worst when driving in the car. She had this problem when we got her from the SPCA at 14 months old, only I didn't know what it was at the time. We tried bitter apple, she gets hard exercise, and also tried Bach Flower remedies.  She is a nervous dog with many other fear based issues, but I thought someone might have an idea that I havn't tried yet. She isn't actually doing any damage so far, so I'm not overly concerned about it yet.

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