Pet first aid – Basic procedures

Emergency treatment and first aid for pets should never be used as a substitute for veterinary care. But it may save your pet’s life before you can get your pet to a veterinarian.

Poisoning and Exposure to Toxins

 

Poisoning is a pet emergency that causes a great deal of confusion for pet owners. In general, any products that are harmful for people are also harmful for pets. Examples include cleaning products, rodent poisons and antifreeze. But you also need to be aware of common food items that may be harmful to your pet. The AVMA brochure Household Hazards offers a summary of what foods and common household items may pose a danger to your pet. Additional information and examples can be found on the other Web sites listed in this section.

If your pet’s skin or eyes are exposed to a toxic product (such as many cleaning products), check the product label for the instructions for people exposed to the product; if the label instructs you to wash your hands with soap and water if you’re exposed, then wash your pet’s skin with soap and water (don’t get any into its eyes, mouth or nose). If the label tells you to flush the skin or eyes with water, do this for your pet as soon as possible (if you can do it safely), and call a veterinarian immediately.

If you know your pet has consumed something that may be harmful, or if the animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone your veterinarian, emergency veterinary clinic or the Animal Poison Control Center hotline (888.426.4435 – available 365 days/year, 24 hours/day) immediately. There is a fee for the consultation.

If possible, have the following information available:

  • Species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved
  • Symptoms
  • Name/description of the substance that is in question; the amount the animal was exposed to; and the length of time of the exposure (how long it’s been since your pet ate it or was exposed to it).
  • Have the product container/packaging available for reference.

Collect any material your pet may have vomited or chewed, and place it in a plastic sealable bag to take with you when you bring your animal in for veterinary treatment.

Additional Information on Animal Poisoning: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) offers additional information and resources:

Another resource is Killer Grapes and Other Concerns in Animal Poison Control, available on the University of Illinois C

Seizures

  • Keep your pet away from any objects (including furniture) that might hurt it. Do not try to restrain the pet.
  • Time the seizure (they usually last 2-3 minutes).
  • After the seizure has stopped, keep your pet as warm and quiet as possible and contact your veterinarian.

Fractures

. Muzzle your pet

  • Gently lay your pet on a flat surface for support.
  • While transporting your injured pet to a veterinarian, use a stretcher (you can use a board or other firm surface as a stretcher, or use a throw rug or blanket as a sling). If possible, secure the pet to the stretcher (make sure you don’t put pressure on the injured area or the animal’s chest) for transport—this may be as simple as wrapping a blanket around them.
  • You can attempt to set the fracture with a homemade splint, but remember that a badly-placed splint may cause more harm than good. If in doubt, it is always best to leave the bandaging and splinting to a veterinarian.

Bleeding (external)

 

  • Muzzle your pet.
  • Press a clean, thick gauze pad over the wound, and keep pressure over the wound with your hand until the blood starts clotting. This will often take several minutes for the clot to be strong enough to stop the bleeding. Instead of checking it every few seconds to see if it has clotted, hold pressure on it for a minimum of 3 minutes and then check it.
  • If bleeding is severe and on the legs, apply a tourniquet (using an elastic band or gauze) between the wound and the body, and apply a bandage and pressure over the wound. Loosen the tourniquet for 20 seconds every 15-20 minutes. Severe bleeding can quickly be life-threatening—get your animal to a veterinarian immediately if this occurs.

Bleeding (internal)

  • Symptoms: bleeding from nose, mouth, rectum, coughing up blood, blood in urine, pale gums, collapse, weak and rapid pulse.
  • Keep animal as warm and quiet as possible and transport immediately to a veterinarian.

Burns

  • Chemical
    • Muzzle the animal.
    • Flush burn immediately with large quantities of water.
  • Severe
    • Muzzle the animal.
    • Quickly apply ice water compress to burned area.

Choking

 

  • Symptoms: difficulty breathing, excessive pawing at the mouth, choking sounds when breathing or coughing, blue-tinged lips/tongue.
  • Use caution – a choking pet is more likely to bite in its panic.
  • If the pet can still breathe, keep it calm and get it to a veterinarian.
  • Look into the pet’s mouth to see if a foreign object is visible. If you see an object, gently try to remove it with pliers or tweezers, but be careful not to push the object further down the throat. Don’t spend a lot of time trying to remove it if it’s not easy to reach—don’t delay, and get your pet to a veterinarian immediately.
  • If you can’t remove the object or your pet collapses, place both hands on the side of your pet’s rib cage and apply firm quick pressure, or lay your pet on its side and strike the rib cage firmly with the palm of your hand 3-4 times. The idea behind this is to sharply push air out of their lungs and push the object out from behind. Keep repeating this until the object is dislodged or until you arrive at the veterinarian’s office.

Heatstroke

  • Never leave your pet in the car on warm days. The temperature inside a car can rise very quickly to dangerous levels, even on milder days. Pets can succumb to heatstroke very easily and must be treated very quickly to give them the best chance of survival.
  • If you cannot immediately get your pet to a veterinarian, move it to a shaded area and out of direct sunlight.
  • Place a cool or cold, wet towel around its neck and head (do not cover your pet’s eyes, nose or mouth).
  • Remove the towel, wring it out, and rewet it and rewrap it every few minutes as you cool the animal.
  • Pour or use a hose to keep water running over the animal’s body (especially the abdomen and between the hind legs), and use your hands to massage its legs and sweep the water away as it absorbs the body heat.
  • Transport the pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Shock

  • Symptoms: weak pulse, shallow breathing, nervousness, dazed eyes.
  • Usually follows severe injury or extreme fright.
  • Keep animal restrained, warm and quiet.
  • If animal is unconscious, keep head level with rest of body.
    • Transport the pet immediately to a veterinarian.

What to do if your pet is not breathing

 

  • Stay calm
  • If possible, have another person call the veterinarian while you help your pet.
  • Check to see if your pet is unconscious.
  • Open your pet’s airway by gently grasping its tongue and pulling it forward (out of the mouth) until it is flat. Check the animal’s throat to see if there are any foreign objects blocking the airway (see the section above on Choking)
  • Perform rescue breathing by closing your pet’s mouth (hold it closed with your hand) and breathing with your mouth directly into its nose until you see the animal’s chest expand. Once the chest expands, continue the rescue breathing once every 4 or 5 seconds.

What to do if your pet has no heartbeat

Do not begin chest compressions until you’ve secured an airway and started rescue breathing (see the section above, What to do if your pet is not breathing).

  • Gently lay your pet on its right side on a firm surface. The heart is located in the lower half of the chest on the left side, just behind the elbow of the front left leg. Place one hand underneath the pet’s chest for support and place the other hand over the heart.
  • For dogs, press down gently on your pet’s heart about one inch for medium-sized dogs; press harder for larger animals and with less force for smaller animals.
  • To massage the hearts of cats and other tiny pets, cradle your hand around the animal’s chest so your thumb is on the left side of the chest and your fingers are on the right side of the chest, and compress the chest by squeezing it between your thumb and fingers.
  • Press down 80-120 times per minute for larger animals and 100-150 times per minute for smaller ones.
  • Don’t perform rescue breathing and chest compressions at the same exact time; alternate the chest compressions with the rescue breaths, or work as a team with another person so one person performs chest compressions for 4-5 seconds and stops long enough to allow the other person to give one rescue breath.
  • Continue until you can hear a heartbeat and your pet is breathing regularly, or you have arrived at the veterinary clinic and they can take over the resuscitation attempts.

Please remember that your pet’s likelihood of surviving with resuscitation is very low. However, in an emergency it may give your pet its only chance.

Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet’s life until it receives veterinary treatment.

Tear Stains; A Veterinary Guide

A Veterinary Guide to Tear Stains
by greg magnussen

tear stains

Classic “before and after” picture of the type used by tear stain snake oil salesmen.

Oy vey, this topic’s a mess, isn’t it? I tell you what, researching this article revealed a TON of misinformation. I’m going to attempt to clear it up.

Quick rule of thumb – any time there’s a million suggested treatments for something, that means that no one treatment works for everyone.

This much is clear. Some dogs produce excessive tears – primarily because when humans turned wolves into poodles, bichons, Maltese, boxers, bulldogs, etc, that selective breeding created short noses and protruding eyes that contribute to abnormally narrow and often crooked tear ducts. Excessive tears, then, is a problem that can’t necessarily be fixed in most of these dogs (because we bred it into them in the first place), but the effects of too many tears can be managed.

Other veterinary / medical causes for excessive tearing, by the way, include ingrown eye lashes, abnormally large tear producing glands, abnormally small tear duct openings, stress, drugs, poor quality diet, smoking, ear infection, and plastic food bowls. ALL OF THESE SHOULD BE RULED OUT BY YOUR VETERINARIAN BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE.

Importantly, young puppies will tend to produce more tears when they are teething. When the dog reaches maturity, tear staining should lessen.

Now, assuming you and your veterinarian have ruled out medical causes of excessive tear production, what now can be done for the stains that often result? And why do these stains happen in the first place?

Let’s begin! Grab yourself a cup of tea, this might take a minute…

Tear stains are usually caused by dye molecules called porphyrins. Porphyrins are iron-containing molecules, produced when the body breaks down red blood cells. Porphyrins are excreted primarily through bile and the intestinal tract, but in dogs a significant amount of porphyrin is excreted through tears, saliva and also urine.

When porphyrin containing tears or saliva sits on white fur for any length of time, stains result. These iron-related stains intensify/darken in the presence of sunlight.

All dogs produce porphyrin, but of course porphyrin staining is most noticeable on light colored dogs. If you have ever noticed a white dog who has been licking or chewing on his leg, the hair in that area will turn iron-brown in color as well.

Primarily, then, most tear stains in most dogs can be simply prevented by keeping the face meticulously free of porphyrin-containing tears. That means keeping the face hair trimmed, and wiping the face at least twice daily with a slightly damp wash cloth, to dilute out and wash away the tears.

Or, if you want to get really fancy, cleaning under the eyes with ordinary contact lens cleaning solution (containing dilute boric acid, that oxidizes the iron in the porphyrins and lightens the color) will help keep things neat and tidy.

But cleaning the face certainly isn’t the whole story, is it……..? What about Red Yeast?

Oy, Red Yeast, also known on various websites, blogs and forums as ” Ptyrosporin “. Well folks, Ptyrosporin do not exist.

Time to learn about yeast – AFTER A QUICK HISTORY LESSON

Once upon a time (1874), a fellow named Malassez isolated yeast cells from human dandruff scales (ew!). In 1889, a different fellow named Baillon included this group of yeasts under the genus Malassezia, named after the first guy. A third dude named Sabouraud (1904) considered this organism as a cause of dandruff and gave it a new name, Pityrosporum malassez. In the following years, there was controversy regarding the generic name of the fungus, and in 1984, Malassezia finally gained priority over Pityrosporum and was accepted as the generic name for the fungus.

So Malassezia = Pityrosporum, but Ptyrosporin doesn’t exist. Somewhere along the line, probably before the official name change in 1984 (some of these internet legends persist from BEFORE the internet was even invented LOL!) someone boogered up the spelling and mislabelled this yeast as Ptyrosporin. Suffice it to say, the Red Yeast everyone is talking about is not some magical red-stain-making yeast strain found only in dog tears, it’s the same, brown, boring ol’ Malassezia that causes ear infections and skin infections and all kinds of other routine grossness in dogs. This finding was a shock to me, as a tiny little misspelling propagated over thousands of websites has led to a massive misunderstanding of what causes tear stains.

Who cares what it’s called, Dr. Magnusson? How do you treat it?

Well, I care, and here’s why. If your dog develops a YEAST INFECTION aside her nose as the result of the fur under her eyes being chronically wet with tears, because you’re not cleaning her face and keeping her fur trimmed, that’s a medical condition easily treated with proper grooming and upkeep.

BROWN staining from yucky yeast infection secondary to poor grooming maintenance, and RED staining from porphyrins, are two different problems, which is why oral supplements aimed at reducing porphyrin production will not work in all dogs.

Now that’s cleared up, why do some dogs make more porphyrin than others? That’s the $64,000 question right there.

The answer, of course, is not a yeast problem but rather a bacterial problem. Which bacteria, exactly, contribute to excessive porphyrin production? We don’t know for sure. There is some suspicion (though nobody has ever proved this) that our old friend Malassezia (aka Pityrosporium, aka NOT Ptyrosporin) are still involved somehow, even though we know very well the problem is primarily bacteria. Some believe the Malassezia somehow interacts with the bacteria in the tears of these dogs, and that somehow Malassezia-fueled bacteria (or bacteria-fueled Malassezia?) then produce porphyrin. The mechanism of this bacterial porphyrin production is unclear.

What is clear, however, is that giving dogs certain antibiotics eliminates excessive porphyrin production in some dogs, so yeast infection is not the only possible cause of tear stains. Tylosin, the antibiotic in Angels’ Eyes, is often effective in these bacterial cases. Since we know Tylosin is NOT effective against Malassezia / Pityrosporium / Ptyrosporin, that MUST mean that chronic low grade bacterial infections are the cause of tear stains in some dogs.

Wait, did you just say that Angels Eyes and Angels Glow are effective because they contain ANTIBIOTICS?!?

Yup.

Why isn’t the FDA more concerned about the OTC use of an antibiotic? Shouldn’t that be illegal? It’s clearly illegal for any company to make a product containing any other antibiotic, but somehow “supplements” containing Tylosin have managed to fly under the radar. Probably not forever, as every other country in the world has outlawed Angels Eyes and their ilk and some have taken action to remove these products from store shelves (here’s a supporting document from the UK).

As with any antibiotic, Tylosin is usually harmless in small doses, but may be harmful to some dogs. At the very least, giving low-dose broad-spectrum antibiotics to any dog is likely to encourage bacterial resistance, a problem the human medical community has been hounding the veterinary community about for years (pardon the pun).

ARE THERE ORAL MEDICATIONS THAT REDUCE PORPHYRIN PRODUCTION AND DO NOT CONTAIN TYLOSIN?

I’m so glad you asked! Of course there are! Naturally, now that we’re getting into the fuzzy realm of nutraceuticals, probiotics and other poorly-studied supplements with little to no oversight or regulation, I can’t really vouch for any of these products. Testimonials abound, you’re mostly on your own when choosing one over the other, but as with any product, you’ll find someone who swears by each of them, and someone else who says it’s voodoo nonsense and doesn’t work.

NO MEDICATION IS HARMLESS. None. Not one. Every drug, supplement, and herb has some type of side effect. To say otherwise is negligent and irresponsible. So buyer beware, and always consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on any supplement please.

Now then… several “natural” supplements have surfaced that claim to reduce tear staining, do not contain obvious antibiotics, and are less likely to be seized by the FDA for breaking the law, so if you want to try one, that’s your prerogative.

Here’s a couple I’ve found that some people like and some people don’t. I don’t endorse any of these, this list is for information purposes only:

NaturVet tear stain supplement  < = discontinued?

Tearlax

HERE’S MY BOTTOM LINE – HOW TO TREAT TEAR STAINS:

STEP 1: Meticulously maintain your dog’s clean face. Wipe face with a damp cloth twice a day to remove excessive tears, and keep regular appointments with the groomer.

STEP 2: Throw away your plastic food bowls. Use stainless steel, porcelain or glass. Plastic food bowls often develop tiny cracks that harbor bacteria and cause facial irritation.

STEP 3: Consider a mild boric acid containing solution as found in some contact lens cleaners, or use liquid vitamin C, on a cotton ball, to wipe the dog’s face and lighten the tear stains that have already formed. Acids like boric and citric (Vit C) presumably oxidize the porphyrin iron compounds and lighten them, whereas sunlight makes the stains darker.

STEP 4: If porphyria remains despite your best grooming efforts, consider a NON-Tylosin containing oral supplement like the ones listed above.

STEP 5: If your tap water happens to be high in mineral content or iron, consider giving the dog bottled water, or use a filter to create cleaner water.

STEP 6: If you insist on using antibiotics, under veterinary supervision, drugs like doxycycline, metronidazole and enrofloxacin have all been used with some success.

BONUS? – STEP 7: Tums or Apple Cider Vinegar? – I have found no evidence that adding a tiny amount of antacid or vinegar to your dog’s giant tub of stomach acid will have any effect at all on the pH of their tears, so I’m calling BS on this one.

BONUS – STEP 8: Does a higher quality diet reduce porphyrin production in some dogs? Certainly. Veterinarians always recommend feeding your dog the highest quality balanced diet you can afford. Some folks swear by homemade or raw diets, others are concerned about nutrient balance issues with homemade diets, most veterinarians prefer you feed a well-studied commercial diet of some kind, from a major manufacturer. No clear right or wrong here, do what works for you and your family.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND you use OTC Tylosin, Terramycin (oft misspelled Teramyacin), makeup remover, milk of magnesia, yogurt, hydrogen peroxide, gold bond, corn syrup, or any other voodoo concoction to remove tear stains, as obviously putting ANY of these things INSIDE the eye is likely to make your dog really unhappy.

That’s all!! Hopefully, you’ve learned that PROPER GROOMING AND MAINTENANCE of your dog’s face is the primary treatment for tear stains, and do please see your veterinarian to rule out medical causes of excessive tears, before starting your dog on any supplements


Good Breeder/Bad Breeder. Excellant article From Havanese Fanciers of Canada

Good Breeder? Bad Breeder? – How to tell the Difference (this is a great article from Havanese Fanciers of Canada)

Havanese puppies

The table below lists some of the differences between reputable, ethical breeders and disreputable, questionable breeders as well as tips to help you tell the difference.

We hope this is of some use to you in choosing a breeder you can trust.

Also check out List of Questions to Ask a Breeder and About Pet Store Puppies….What is so wrong with buying a puppy at a pet store.

 

The differences between reputable, ethical, and disreputable breeders:

A Good Breeder A Questionable Breeder Tips to help you identify kennels you should perhaps avoid, Red Flags to warn you and little things that bear closer scrutiny
Why they Breed Havanese
  • breed because they love Havanese
  • breed to preserve the Havanese breed for the future.
  • breed to improve the breed
  • breed quality not quantity
  • breed for quantity
  • breed Havanese because they are becoming popular
  • breed for supply and demand
  • breed 2 or more of the “upcoming” popular breeds
  • will tell you Havanese are “perfect” for you regardless of your  family circumstances or plans
Puppy Availability
  • breeds sparingly
  • may have only a few litters per year
  • generally has a waiting list
  • commercial breeders have many litters in a year, always has puppies available and you can pick and choose which puppy you like
  • many litters a year may indicate a love of money rather then the breed
  • if they don’t have what you want they may offer you a different dog perhaps even a different breed
  • always seem to have puppies available or upcoming regardless of when you contact them
  • cater to impulse
  • often will offer you a puppy that you can have now
How Many Breeds Do They Breed
  • specialize in 1 or 2 breeds
  • perhaps 3 or 4 breeds if a very knowledgeable breeder
  • very knowledgeable about their chosen  breed(s)
  • a backyard breeder may have only 1 breed
  • most commercial establishments have 3 – 10 breeds of dogs
  • some puppy mills breed 20 or more types of dogs
  • more than 3 breeds may indicate a Commercial breeding operation
  • a commercial breeder may have general dog information in a brochure format or only know the basics that apply to any breed of dog
  • may also breed cross bred dogs or mixed breed dogs
Basic Information and Questions
  • willing to answer questions
  • willing to talk to you and discuss anything
  • well informed and knowledgeable
  • proud of their name and Kennel name
  • will tell you if they feel a Havanese is not the right breed for your family (and why)
  • keep learning continuously
  • a commercial breeder does not want informed customers as they know they would not stand up to the scrutiny
  • leaves questions unanswered
  • basic contact may be through a general box number
  • may have remote staff to take calls or remote answering
  • may only get a first name
  • may not have a kennel name
  • a commercial breeder may have general dog information in a brochure format or only know basic information that can apply to any breed of dog
  • have little information about their dogs or puppies
  • say they are selling for a friend. relative or other person they are supposedly “helping out”
  • may sweep questions aside as unimportant and avoid them by rushing you to buy a puppy NOW
  • contact person has little to no information about the dogs as they are rarely in contact with them
Membership
  • generally a member of 1 or more clubs such as:
  • National Breed Club
  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • regional association
  • usually are members of more than 1 club
  • are active in the clubs they belong to
  • rarely a member and if so, it is in name only and rarely participate in club activity
  • some Commercial breeders do have a membership to the Canadian Kennel Club as it lends them an air of respectably, and allows them advertising venues
  • Commercial breeders are rarely involved in breed clubs, national clubs, or regional clubs
  • if a member, it is in name only and rarely participate in club activities.
Activities
  • may train and compete in one or more activities such as  : Showing Obedience, Agility or Pet Therapy
  • will refer you to other breeders for information about activities you may be interested in
  • rarely involved in any canine activities
  • rarely refer you to others for activity information
  • commercial breeders rarely take the time or expense of training, competing and campaigning their dogs
  • while they rarely do such activities themselves with their own dogs and have nothing personal to tell you about it, they will be quick to point out that Havanese in general can do any or all of the activities you express interest in
Pictures & Stories
  • will have many pictures and stories to share with you about their dogs
  • usually have albums full of pictures
  • regale you with all sorts of stories about silly antics and special moments
  • often have no photos
  • may promise photos but never have them available
  • commercial breeders may only have one or two photos
  • there may be bad photos taken in haste
  • alternately they may have one or two professional photos to show or perhaps a brochure. These lend an air of credibility and are meant to impress
  • if there are photos, it is usually the same ones used over and over for years, not current
  • may be cute puppy pictures to help sell
Housing
  • dogs are a part of the family
  • each dog is special
  • some large  reputable breeders do have a kennel building which houses their dogs. They usually spend many hours each day in the kennel with the dogs.
  • kennel is clean, roomy, airy, well maintained and temperature controlled – dogs are happy
  • “home raised puppies” usually means in the house and underfoot, cared for and attended to personally
  • dogs live in kennels
  • rarely in the house
  • dogs may be cared for by employed caretakers not by the breeder
  • a commercial kennel area can be a shed or barn
  • conditions may be clean but basic or overcrowded and unsanitary
  • dogs spend most or all of their time in the kennel
  • the term “Home raised puppies” is used in advertising as it sounds more respectable. In many instances it may simply mean born and raised somewhere on their properly, does not necessarily mean personally attended to in the house that the term “Home Raised” insinuates.
Registration
  • all of their breeding dogs are registered with the Canadian Kennel Club
  • all puppies will be registered and will receive registration papers within 6 months of the sale of the puppy
  • no additional charge for registration papers
  • puppies may or may not be registered
  • may prefer to sell unregistered dogs as it allows them to better hide the true numbers of puppies they are producing and is also less paper work for them to attend to
  • Note: in reality, the costs of registration processes and “papers” are minimal, though less reputable breeders often indicate high costs as their reason for not providing papers. It is a ploy to sell unregistered dogs or to charge extra.
  • commercial operations may have many dogs, not all of them registered and not all of them purebred
  • often call it “papers” rather then Registration
  • will tell you that papers don’t matter if you are getting a ‘pet”
  • commercial breeders may sell puppies with the option of with or without registration papers
  • may charge a higher price for “with papers” indicating a high cost for registration.
  • promised papers often “get lost”, are delayed or never arrive
  • may have mixed breed or cross bred dogs passed off as Havanese without papers
  • registration may be with unofficial organizations
Breeding Dogs
  • may have only a few dogs or may have several
  • few reputable breeders have more then 15 dogs
  • should be willing to tell you how many are breeding, old and retired, young and upcoming
  • know their dogs intimately and can tell you about them
  • may have many dogs
  • unlikely to tell you how many dogs they actually have
  • only have young dogs in their prime (2 to 5 years old)
  • may not know much about the dog
  • excuses of selling for someone else
  • uninformative answers such as they are “really nice”
  • have almost exclusively many females and only a few males
  • dogs are sold when they are no longer useful to the breeding program so commercial breeders rarely have any older or retired senior dogs
Titles
  • usually have titles(s) on one or more of their dogs
  • rarely have titles on their dogs
  • rarely spend the time, effort and money to do so
  • occasionally a commercial breeder will have one of their dogs shown to a Championship title to help give themselves an air of credibility
Pedigree
  • always have extensive, multi generation pedigrees on all of their dogs
  • happy to discuss pedigree information
  • one or both parents are often champions
  • may be many champions in any given pedigree
  • pedigrees are questionable
  • avoid pedigree questions
  • commercial breeders often do not have pedigree information or are unwilling to spend the time talking about it
  • a commercial breeder often refers to dogs by call name only. They may occasionally talk about parents but rarely about grandparents or great grandparents. Or they will say the Breedline is “good” or a dog is “nice”
  • will brag about a “championship pedigree” which in truth may only contain a few champions many generations past
  • parents are rarely champions
Genetic Testing
  • keeps up to date with genetic issues in the breed
  • does genetic screening on their breeding dogs
  • does eye exams yearly
  • willing to share results of genetic testing
  • doesn’t care about genetic issues
  • may cite high costs as a reason for not health testing
  • Note: In actual fact many health tests are quite inexpensive. A patella check can be done as part of a routine veterinary examination. A CERF eye exam costs in the range of $30 to $50.
  • says they don’t have any problems in “their” breedline
  • if they don’t test, there is no way to know
  • will “say” that their dogs are tested and fine but not willing to show the information to support this
Breeding
  • is happy to share why they chose a specific pair of dogs to breed
  • breed sparingly
  • does not over breed a female or male
  • does not breed a female before at least her second season or 18 months of age; and are sure to allow sufficient time for her to recover before breeding another litter
  • little if any thought is used in breeding
  • any male and any female are used together
  • female may be bred as early as first heat and may be bred at each one after that
  • have no time to discuss this with you
  • place emphasis on the puppy you can have rather than the parents or background
  • may only have one male and multiple females and use the same  male for all of them whether the match is right or wrong
  • avoid answering questions
  • may respond defensively with the comment that “if you don’t trust my breeding decisions, then maybe you should not get one of my puppies”
  • commercial breeders do not want informed puppy buyers and will try to get rid of them
  • this effectively stops further scrutiny but also leaves the question unanswered
Type
  • can discuss with you  *coat type * color * size and build *aptitudes *temperament
  • willing to discuss which will be most suited to your family
  • rarely any consistency in the dogs they breed
  • they may have all different sizes and builds
  • cannot tell you the difference between types or tell you it doesn’t matter
  • will tell you that ALL Havanese are similar and that it does not make any difference
  • usually avoid such questions
  • general comments such as “parents are both really nice”
Visiting
  • happy to have visitors
  • happy to let you see the dam and sire if possible
  • parents are a good indication of the temperament of the pups as adults
  • seeing parents is also a good indication of how the dogs are cared for
  • does not encourage visitors
  • sell many dogs by Ads in papers, internet and other means
  • avoid personal contact
  • discourage visitors to the kennel
  • dogs are often poorly cared for and will be unkept and dirty and may be shy or scared or otherwise poorly tempered
  • do not want you to see them so will actively discourage contact
  • will place emphasis on cute puppies
Socializing
  • have definite socializing program in place
  • avoid such questions
  • will often “say” that puppies are socialized simply because it sounds good and as potential puppy buyers become more informed it’s a question that is often asked
Newspaper Advertising
  • often have a waiting list and have little need to advertise in the newspaper
  • some choose to advertise a litter locally to announce the new arrivals. This may facilitate placing puppies closer to home where they can more easily watch them mature and grow up and is not done in an endeavor to sell more puppies
  • regularly advertise in newspapers
  • multiple ads in many locations
  • may have a regular ad posted almost every week
  • try to reach as many people as possible
  • advertise regularly
  • may always seem to have an ad
  • may have an ad in many newspapers in many areas at the same time
  • may have a box number or email address only rather than a phone number
Website and Internet
  • may have a webpage
  • focus in on breed information not puppies
  • may highlight their dogs and accomplishments
  • often have links to many other Havanese websites
  • may have a questionnaire to screen general inquiries
  • do not sell from email or internet inquiries alone
  • Email and Internet inquiries are used as a starting point for questions, phone calls and extensive contact
  • may have a website
  • rarely have links to other breeders or informative sites
  • minimal breed information
  • advertise puppies for sale on websites
  • focus on puppy availability not breed
  • choose your own puppy
  • Internet listing are usually just lists of available puppies with contact information
  • may have lots of puppies that you can pick or choose from
  • may be listed on general “find a pet” websites
  • transaction may be completed totally via Internet with never any personal contact with the breeder at all
  • transaction may be completed quickly ( within a few days)
  • rely on uninformed people
  • cater and promote impulse puppy purchase
Questionnaire
  • may have a lengthy detailed questionnaire for prospective owners
  • stringent criteria for adopting a puppy/dog
  • will have many questions for you about family, lifestyle, goals and expectations to determine suitability
  • know that Havanese may be wonderful family companions for many but are not suitable for everyone
  • sell only to carefully screened buyers
  • never sell to pet stores or through third parties
  • may have a questionnaire for basic information only
  • may sell to pet stores
  • may sell to or through a third party “puppy broker”
  • may have a basic questionnaire as a formality or in an effort to gain respectability
  • questionnaire is usually based on contact information and puppy choice
  • usually inquire about basic puppy preferences such as breed, sex and colour
  • they may ask about other preferences but little if any attention will be paid to them
  • pressure to sell and to make immediate or impulse puppy purchase “if you don’t want it we have several other people waiting for the puppy” “if you don’t take it now, it may be gone” “we only have one like this and it’s just what you want” “we have the perfect puppy for you available right now and it can be shipped tomorrow”
References
  • happy to provide references from the Club, from their Veterinarian , from previous puppy owners
  • often will offer references
  • may or not have references
  • may stall or delay or promise references and never follow though
  • a line often used by Commercial breeders is to skirt around the issue and make the potential puppy buyer feel in the wrong with comments such as  “if you don’t trust me, then perhaps you should not get one of my puppies”
Choosing a Puppy
  • most will choose the puppy for you or guide your choice according to suitability
  • carefully match puppies to the family most suited to them
  • no care is take to match puppies and families
  • puppies are assigned on a first come first serve basis
  • puppies sold to who ever wants them
  • may allow you to pick your own puppy from pictures or descriptions
  • puppies usually assigned exclusively by colour and sex
Pet/Companion
  • litters are a mix of show potential and companion puppies
  • are very particular and exacting about which puppies are placed as show potential
  • ALL the puppies in a litter are called Show potential
  • or they specifically breed “pets” only Caution – If a breeder does not show or exhibit their dogs but offer show puppies , what assurances can they give you that the puppy actually is “Show” potential. Can they discuss the merits and faults of all the puppies to be able to tell you  why one puppy is show potential while another is pet.
  • Red Flag – Commercial breeders may offer you the same puppy for sale as either a pet or show or breeding dog, depending what you want, but  will charge a higher price for the same puppy if you want it for show or breeding.
Getting Your Puppy
  • puppies will not go home prior to 8 weeks
  • 10 to 12 weeks is very common
  • puppies may go home as early as 6 weeks
  • 7 – 8 weeks is average
  • commercial breeders want to get their stock moving as quickly as possible. As puppies grow they need more care and attention, so they want to get rid of them as soon as possible
Shipping
  • often prefer personal puppy pickup
  • may ship carefully and cautiously
  • take precautions to ensure safe arrival
  • would rather ship– *discourage personal contact
  • may ship to a contact point rather than directly
  • may ship multiple puppies or entire litters at once
  • will offer to ship to “save you the trouble” and expense of coming to pick up the puppy
  • puppy available now, arrangements to ship can be made faster then time and travel arrangements to go in person
Cost and Payment
  • usually willing to discuss or consider alternate payment options if needed
  • often charge the same a reputable breeders
  • may charge more for specific sex
  • may charge more for certain colours
  • may charge more for certain sizes
  • may deliberately breed outside the standard and may charge more for these by suggesting they are rare. Ie.Mini or pocket size.
  • may discount puppies that have a genetic defect
  • may discount puppies that remain unsold past a certain age
  • discount puppies and dogs to try to get rid of them
  • may discount 2 puppies bought together
  • no payment options
Health Guarantee
  • should have a basic health guarantee at the time of sale
  • usually has a genetic health guarantee (2 years is average)
  • guarantee is spelled out as well as what will be done in the case of a problem
  • may have a health guarantee listed on their contract
  • health guarantee (if any) is just listed as such
  • has no details or what it covers or not
  • has no details of what will be done in the case of a problem
  • may indicate only unacceptable or unrealistic options
  • likely to blame the owner for problem
  • will not take responsibility for problems
Sales Contract
  • always has a sales contract
  • specifies that it is a purebred Havanese and that it will receive registration papers (registration papers to be forthcoming within 6 months of the sale of the puppy)
  • financial matters, ownership transfers and breeding rights or restrictions are clearly spelled out
  • for dogs sold as pets or companions – many breeders withhold registration papers until the pet is spayed or neutered as part of the contract
  • should have a return clause on their contract for what do to in case a placement does not work out
  • usually has a contract
  • basic contract may be very short or only 1 or 2 paragraphs long
  • contract does not spell anything out
  • be wary of contracts that specify that you owe puppies or entire litters back when your dog is bred. One puppy back may be legitimate, but numerous puppies back should be examined very carefully. This pyramid is a way that commercial breeders advance their gains by using  trusting unsuspecting owners. Such diversification helps to shield their shady operations. All too often a deemed “show or breeding quality” puppy may not even be a good example of the breed and should not be bred.
Puppy Package
  • often give written instructions on feeding, training etc
  • many breeders also include copies of the latest CERF exam, pedigrees and CKC certificates and other information
  • many breeders also include extras such as photos, a toy, book, blanket or other personal little touches
  • may or not come with information
  • rarely comes with puppy packet
  • rarely includes health information and certification about the parents
  • rarely includes personal tidbits
  • may have a few sheets of basic information
  • information may not be their own information but may be copied or plagiarized from other sources
In the Future
  • happy to spend time talking to you
  • will answer all of your questions
  • available to you for the lifetime of the puppy
  • available for any questions you might have as your Havanese grows up
  • request and expect follow-up contact about their puppies, like to get updates about how the puppies are growing up
  • are always happy to hear stories and get pictures about dogs they have bred
  • take responsibility for every life they create
  • will take a puppy or dog back if a placement does not work out or help to re-home a dog if needed
  • no time or commitment to dogs they have bred
  • no time for new owners
  • little desire for follow-up or updates
  • do not want to hear about any problems, but may be happy to hear about significant accomplishements and then use that in their own advertising to further promote their kennel and sell more puppies
  • have no time to spend talking to you
  • once they have your money, you are no longer important to them
  • any future problems are always blamed on the owner
  • generally will not take a puppy back regardless of circumstances

One item is not enough, you must look at everything as a whole. One or two items on the “questionnable” side may simply mean you need to ask a few more questions but many red flags should be a warning to investigate thoroughly and perhaps look elsewhere to find the breeder that is right for you. We hope this is of some use to you in choosing a breeder you can trust.



Havanese: a rainbow of colours

rainbow21 The Havanese are uniquely different from other breeds in so many ways. One of the most interesting of these, is coat colour. Few other breeds carry such a wide range of colours, markings, and patterns in their coats as the Havanese . The Havanese breed comes in an amazing array of shades; from white, cream, champagne, gold, and red, to sable, brindle, chocolate, silver, and black, displayed as single solid colours or in a myriad of two and three colour combinations.  This site Rainbow is the ultimate destination to explore the fascinating world of colours in the Havanese. I go to it often.

http://www.havanesecolors.com/index.html

Enjoy!

Kim

 

 

 


Olympics and Havanese

canadian flag

What could be a better day. The sun is shining, the weather is still cold but tolerable and our medal count in Sochi keeps on climbing. The American womens hockey team were the favoured team coming into the games and let everyone know it. But with grace and dignity the Canadian girls just kept their focus on the games to come and today they just played and played well. They defeated the Americans in a game that was nail biting  to the last 10 seconds. Well nail biting to me that is,  the dogs were happy to be groomed and hugged while the games are on.

Not sure if they cared who played who, winners or losers but they delighted in our excitement when Canadians did well in their events and would snuggle in closer or look up to see what the big deal was. I swear Inka, and one of Hannahs pups were watching the televison at times.

House is filled with puppy energy right now and it is exciting to see Hannahs puppies not just socializing with each other but enjoying and seeking out our company and wanting to be held and part of the family. We are handling them more and getting them used to bathing,  grooming and just sitting together snuggled on a couch  with each pup getting its own “me” time with us  away from siblings. We see so many personality characteristics of this delightful crew and they are a joy to have and so beautiful  as well.  Tonight more Olympics, with dogs, fireplace and jammies..What could be better!

Here is perhaps another Canadian winter sport! Proud to say we can laugh at ourselves!

canadian swimming

 


Littermate Syndrome: The risky downside to raising sibling puppies

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An excellant article when you are thinking of buying not one but two at the same time!  Do not listen to any breeder who says, yes it is not a problem. John Mairs who owns Tamsu (one of the finest trainers in Canada) and  has not only taught many dogs but is one of the Go to Guys when hollywood north is in town says absoloutely not . This article is  a good read and concurs.

By Jeff Stallings, CPDT-KA

Littermate syndrome is a condition in which hyper-bonded sibling dogs have difficulty relating to humans and other dogs. In my most recent case, an owner’s email could serve as a go-to primer for this syndrome: At 12 weeks old, the two puppies were terrified of people and other dogs and frightened of everything outside of their home: Airplanes flying overhead, leaves blowing in the wind, passing cars, and all novel stimuli. It was almost impossible to get the attention of the two puppies even for an instant as they were so focused on each other. They then began fighting frequently.

It is important to note that there are exceptions and that not all sibling pairs will have symptoms, but the risk seems to be fairly high. Anecdotal evidence suggests that littermate syndrome manifests because, during a crucial early development period—when puppies should be bonding with humans, learning the nuances of canine and human communication, and discovering the world—the two puppies instead bond tightly with each other to the exclusion of humans. The symptoms are different in each case, but can include:

  • Not bonding with humans nor socializing with other dogs
  • Not learning to read human signals
  • Not learning to trust people
  • Playing only with each other to the exclusion of other dogs
  • Not learning basic skills, such as potty training and bite inhibition
  • Severe distress when separated from each other even for a few minutes
  • Fighting with each other, sometimes brutally, as they reach adolescence (at about 8 – 10 months)

The puppies come to rely on each other, which can weaken the confidence of both of themoften to the extent that they become withdrawn from everything other than themselves. One of the dogs may appear bold and the other timid but in reality the bold one is also withdrawn and timid when his littermate is not present to provide support. Unfortunately this is a false boldness as he has been emboldened by the other sibling’s weakness.

Siblings living together often bark at other dogs and may attack to chase other dogs away. This is fear-based; they become so engrossed with each other that other dogs are seen as a threat to their mutual alliance. The siblings become super attuned to anything that may be invading their territory. This unfortunate pair may come to fear all other dogs and unknown people, plus any situation where they are separated from each other.

Seven to eight week-old puppies are ready to leave their mother and littermates to develop normally as individuals. I work with my clients to implement an intensive socialization program to expose puppies to a large variety of people (gold standard: 100 people before 12 weeks of age), children, places, animals, noises, bicycles, cars and so forth. Weeks 8 through 14 are the most crucial, and during this period I encourage my clients to take their puppies to as many puppy socials as feasible. Learning that there are other dogs in the world is an important part of normal social development, and play between puppies is how they learn and practice many adult behaviors and communication skills, including the “calming signals” that dogs use to diffuse otherwise fraught situations.

In some cases, when siblings are homed together this socialization process is stopped in its tracks. The puppies are unable to develop the confidence that comes with slowly learning about our manmade world. Their intense bond with each other precludes bonding with humans and muddles their learning how the world works. This causes fearful responses to even mundane experiences, including meeting new people or seeing other dogs on the street, or even watching a paper bag blow in the wind. Sure, we’ve all laughed at a puppy who gets startled by the blowing leaf, but he will quickly learn that blowing leaves are normal and in fact fun to chase. Littermate syndrome puppies are unable to process such occurrences to file them under “normal and fun”, and will instead grow suspect of anything or anyone new.

I mentioned earlier that I had witnessed this syndrome before: A family simultaneously adopted two Shiba Inu puppies that were exactly same age, but from different litters. By the time they contacted me, the 8-month old puppies were holy terrors around the house and next to impossible to communicate with, much less train. To make matters worse, they had no intention of neutering these dogs but instead planned to breed them—with each other. I tried to convince them to neuter both dogs immediately and to re-home one of them and to begin an intensive training and remedial socialization program with the other. They refused each of these recommendations, so I was forced to drop them as clients. (The more unruly of the two was weeks from coming into heat the first time; my reminding them that there a reason for the term “bitch in heat” fell on deaf ears.)

Thankfully my more recent case has ended better. During our first appointment, I took each of the two females puppies out individually and spent time working on treat/retreat to gain trust. Both puppies were initially terrified of everything we encountered on a short walk, but within 30 minutes the puppy would take treats from my hand and respond to cues to sit. With the first puppy, I was able to then enter the home and continue treat/retreat; this is the puppy they ended up keeping—she is now thriving. The other puppy had developed a deeper, unhealthy bond to the first and is having a more difficult time in her new home.

My recommendation is to adopt a single puppy, and to then focus your energy and resources towards teaching that individual all she needs to know to get on with all people and all dogs, in all situations all the time. This is a daunting prospect with just one puppy, let alone two! That said, if someone were to insist on adopting siblings, I would recommend that the puppies:

  • Be crated separately, in opposing parts of the house
  • Be fed separately
  • Be walked and played with separately
  • Be trained separately
  • Be taken to different puppy socials
  • Be taken to the vet at different times

You can see that this would be a nearly impossible task. So take your time picking out the puppy that suits your home and your life, spend the next year showing him or her the world, keeping in mind that all your hard work will pay off with many years of peaceful coexistence.

And once your puppy is a dog, by all means, get a second or third since the animals will be at completely different stages of life. At this point, the older one very well may become a great teacher of love and life to the little one.

 


New Babies Feb 9th

Pepper BIS Sire Grand Champion Multiple Best in Show Ashtones Rock n Roll Heart

Is there anything more exciting than new life? It has been a very busy weekend here at Hearts Delite. On Saturday I took hearts Delite Coco Monet to the Wildwood show just to start acclimatizing her to the show environment, the rings, and the crowds.It was an exciting weekend for my handler Norman Fargo.  I am always in awe when I watch him  show a dog. His dedication and professionalism is beyond compare. The dog show world can be very harsh but his professionalism always shines through and he has no problem sharing his knowledge  with other  handlers and teaching the tricks of the trade. It is an honour to have him show my dogs and he handles some of the best dogs  in North America. Coco  had an opportunity to go into the sweeps and walked with Norm in the ring, (well), some times galloped!

Came home to the rest of my babies and they are always a happy loving crowd. Never matters what I wear, how I feel, they are just the best company and delight in being with you. I went Sunday afternoon to tape my radio show A View From A Broad on Musiclynk radio and got to meet two extrordinary performers  who with a large cast and crew will be performing The Power Of Love, A Tribute To Luther Vandross on Feb 13, 2014. That will be an amazing Valentines present for anyone. I heard the preview and the voices are like butter and I got goosebumps when I heard them sing.  I came home to Peter in the whelping pen with Nellie who is as cool as a cucumber and had just delivered four puppies. She waited  another few hours and had her fifth and now they are all snuggled in feeding. She really is an exceptional loving girl, and now I will not have one of my bed companions with me for the next couple of months. Still crazy snow out here but today beautifully sunny and so Inka, Howard, Coco, Hannah and I ventured out for a little play and everyone cavorted and frolicked in the snow…. I came back inside with red cheeks, and my entourage came back with snow balls attached to tummies!

Best

K


Snow Belles

dead snowman

 

I might feel like this when it comes to this winter,

But my girls love to play in the snow  and sometimes

come back covered in snow balls.

 

 

 

Nellie                                                                                                                      Inka

norm prepping for show 069norm prepping for show 071                 norm prepping for show 067 Coco Monet