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Feeding For Good Health

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels UK

Feeding & Health

A growing number of veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbles and canned food) is the main cause of illness and premature death in the modern dog and cat. In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart and other diseases. Hence the reasons we here will not EVER advocate the feeding of our dogs or any dog for that matter a dry or processed diet. There are those inexperienced breeders who also exhibit their dogs who talk the most ridiculous chitter to new owners, listen feeding dogs has gone on from time immemorial its not rocket science, it is PURE COMMON SENSE. Dogs require protein because they are not designed to eat grain, in fact there is a correlation with pet obesity and introduction of dry diets , allergies and some canine cancers .
Carbohydrates are an American invention by Mr Kellogg to feed the masses cheaply and receive huge profits. Why do we as educated human beings believe this rubbish that is put about by vets, nutritionists when we know that our own diets some 40-100 years ago was far more healthy because it contained hardly any carbohydrates.Dogs have evolved for the past 10 million years as primarily meat eaters. They simply do not produce the enzymes necessary to digest grains. This lack of the necessary enzymes, places the burden entirely on the pancreas, forcing it to try to produce large amounts of amylase and cellulase to deal with the starch, cellulose, and carbohydrates in grains and plant matter. (The carnivore’s pancreas was not designed to secrete cellulase to split the cellulose into glucose molecules), nor have dogs “evolved” to become efficient at digesting and assimilating and utilizing gains or plant material as a source of high quality protein. Herbivores do those sorts of things. Read Canine and Feline Nutrition Case, Carey and Hirakawa Published by Mosby, 1995 Today, there are hundreds of known mycotoxins. And more are being discovered all the time. Here are some of the more common ones known to affect dogs…most pet food recalls involve these toxins and they are produced by grains


Studies demonstrate that unlike humans/omnivores, dogs (carnivores) do not ‘carbo-load,’ that is, store up energy from meals high in complex carbohydrates.They simply get fat hence the direct link and correlation with dry diets and pet obesity.Grains can also be responsible for “gunky” ears, yeast infections in the ears or on the skin, ear infections, head shaking, allergies, skin irritation, itchy feet and genitals.I have lost count at how many times I have advised on feeding dry diets to new owners, some listen others don't, the choice is yours but ask yourself, do you want a companion for 7 years or for many many more. I know what my answer is!

Feed your dog from a selection of :


100g of any of the following
quality beef, steak, lamb, chicken, turkey, goat, venison, duck, pheasant, goose, boar, partridge, pigeon, Salmon, Trout, Mackerel, Herring, Sardines ,Pilchards, Kipper, Eel, Whitebait, Tuna (fresh only) Anchovies, Swordfish, Bloater, Cacha, Carp, Hilsa, Jack fish, Katla, Orange roughy, Pangas, Sprats.

30g of any of or a mix of the following:
mashed potatoes cooked, green peas, garden peas, mashed carrots, pumpkin,butternut squash,apple , pear, banana,

Give 10g per day from any of these or a mix of these:
mixed beans, ground oats,goats cheese, goats yoghurt, cranberries, spinach kale, kelp

Liver should not be fed to dogs that are pregnant , kidneys lambs they eat better are a good treat that can be dried once cooked and used for training treats as can beef jerky, chicken jerky.carrot batons are a health alternative to commercial high fat treats.

Supplements that can be given:
lutein and or eyebright foods high in lutein for eye protection.
Cranberry extract for urinary health and also to prevent oxylates, stones and struvites forming
Bonemeal should be given to all dogs daily FOLLOW instructions.
echinacea purpurea during kennel cough season or if your dog is going into kennels
Always check with your breeder or vet before altering a pregnant or whelping dogs diet

Raw eaters require on average for toy dogs a total food value of 175g per day, they will eat less and poop less using this type of diet.

Feeding Naturally

Dr. Billinghurst describes BARF this way:

“BARF is about feeding dogs properly. The aim of BARF is to maximize the health, longevity and reproductive capacity of dogs and by so doing, minimize the need for veterinary intervention. How do you feed a dog properly? You feed it the diet that it evolved to eat. … Artificial grain based dog foods cause innumerable health problems. They are not what your dog was programmed to eat during its long process of evolution. A biologically appropriate diet for a dog is one that consists of raw whole foods similar to those eaten by the dogs’ wild ancestors. The food fed must contain the same balance and type of ingredients as consumed by those wild ancestors. This food will include such things as muscle meat, bone, fat, organ meat and vegetable materials and any other foods that will mimic what was those wild ancestors ate.”
Those who feed BARF point out that kibbled foods have been around for about 60 years but that dogs ate handouts from human tables for millennia before processed foods were marketed. However, the debate rages hot and heavy. Those who develop processed dog foods and those who feed these diets point out the scientific reports that back their claims; those who feed BARF are equally as adamant that their anecdotal evidence about dog health and well-being proves the value of fresh, raw food.

Millions of people around the world feed their pets a raw diet. This is not a fad. If your vet does not support your quest for a healthy pet via a raw diet, please find another vet!

Dogs in the wild did not have little cooked pellets that contained cooked vegetables and grains (or cooked meat, for that matter), thus their systems are not made for digesting these ingredients. A raw diet is a direct evolution of what dogs ate before they became our pets.

Some pet owners who have made the switch have noticed drastic changes in their pets, including:
Shinier, healthier skin
Fresher breath/cleaner teeth
Improved digestion
Improvement with allergy symptoms
Decreased shedding
Increased stamina
Firmer, smaller stools A general increase in overall health

Raw meat products may contain bacteria that could cause illness if mishandled. Keep raw meat separate from other foods; wash working surfaces, utensils and hands with hot soapy water after each feeding. Treat as you would any raw meat product. Dr. Billinghurst’s BARF DIET™ should be used within 2-3 days of thawing. Do not re-freeze once it has been defrosted.

Feed normal active dogs 2% of their body weight per day. For example, a 50 pound dog may do very well on one pound of food per day, a 100 pound dog, 2 pounds of food per day. A highly active dog may require 3% of their body weight per day. In the case of a 50 pound dog, they would then require about one and a half pounds of food per day, a 100 pound dog, 3 pounds per day.

They poop less usually just once per day, their stools are harder and drier thus reducing anal gland poor health
They stay satisfied for longer and are far healthier and less lethargic than those fed commercial diets.

Further Reading

Books on RAW/BARF/Health

• Give Your Dog A Bone (1993) – Dr. Ian Billinghurst
• Grow Your Pups With Bones (1998) – Dr. Ian Billinghurst
• The Barf Diet (2001) – Dr. Ian Billinghurst
• Raw Meaty Bones – Dr. Tom Lonsdale VetMed MRCVS
• The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog – Wendy Volhard and Kerry Brown, DVM – Very good book. Covers health tests and what they mean, raw diet, and a variety of other topics.
• Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats – Kymythy Schultze, A.H.I.
• The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze, A.H.I.
• The Nature of Animal Healing – Martin Goldstein, D.V.M.
• Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats – Dr. Richard M. Pitcairn
• Home Prepared Dog & Cat Diets – Strombeck, Donald

• Switching to Raw – – By Susan K. Johnson ( Price per book – $13.95. Shipping & handling in U.S. – $5.00 for first book, $1.50 each additional book. Add 7.25% sales tax for Texas residents. Send check or money order, payable in U.S. funds to: Susan K. Johnson – Birchrun Basics, P.O. Box 215, Lavon, TX 75166

The Importance of Protein in the Diet.

Many people cite old, outdated research that claims high protein percentages in the food are harmful to dogs and do all kinds of damage, especially to the liver. Fact is that these studies were conducted by feeding dogs foods that were made from poor quality, hard to digest protein sources, such as soy, corn, byproducts, blood meal and so on.Consider a wolf in the wild, who will eat relatively little else but meat if they can help it – these animals don’t get kidney diseases on the same scale domestic dogs do. Their protein comes in the form of quality muscle and organ meat though, not processed leftovers from human food processing. It also contains around 70% moisture, whereas most commercial dry foods contain a maximum of 10%. Dogs and other “dog like” animals (canids) evolved eating a diet that consists primarily of meat, fat and bones, which they have been eating for hundreds of thousands of years. Commercial foods, especially dry food, has only been widely available for the past 60 years and we are still learning how much damage certain aspects of it can do. Things have improved quite a bit from hitting rock bottom in the 70s and 80s, but the majority of pet food manufacturers still produce bad foods from poor quality ingredients.

Dogs need a careful balance of calcium/phosphorus and sufficient vitamin D for strong bones and healthy teeth.
Fats and oils are a source of energy which is important for active and large dogs.
Protein is required to maintain the body muscles.
A cat needs almost twice as much protein as a dog.
Vitamin A is necessary but within very precise limits. Too much liver (rich in vitamin A) can be harmful
The wrong balance in essential fatty acids will take the shine out of a cat’s coat.
Taurine – a vitamin-like substance – is essential to prevent eye and heart disease.
Contrary to widespread belief, each type of rodent has its own specific nutritional requirements.
For example, a hamster needs high levels of protein (meat), whereas a dwarf rabbit is strictly herbivore.
The guinea pig has an imperative need of vitamin C as it cannot synthesize it. It is therefore either systematically present in prepared foods or offered in the form of vitamin supplements.
The protein requirement of dogs is best met with healthy, freshly-concocted homemade dog food which has high biological value. Biological value refers to the percentage of the protein that can be broken down into usable amino acids. Eggs have the highest biological value at 100%, while beef hovers around 78%.
Puppies need a diet that consists of 28% of their diet. Adult dogs need about 18% and performance dogs such as dogs who sled race, need about 35%.

Protein has many functions in the body, but one of the most important is to supply amino acids to build hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Protein also plays a main role in hormone production
Even though they are often fed plant-based diets, dogs are not herbivores. While dogs are technically classified as omnivores, animals that eat both animal- and plant-based foods, they should be treated primarily as carnivores to better fulfill their specific nutritional requirements.

The body structure of domestic dogs is similar to that of their ancestors and relatives—ideal for eating prey. They possess the enlarged canine teeth that carnivores are named after. Their gastrointestinal tract is simple and does not have the capacity to digest large amounts of plant products.

Animal-based proteins help dogs achieve and maintain optimal health.
Just to add, Fat is important in the dogs diet since it has several functions but only one is fundamental. The corporal fat is an accumulated energy that it is part of a cellular structure and a means of transportation. The only indispensable function of the fat is a source of fatty acids, sometimes called “polyunsaturated.” You may find these substances in the majority of the fats and oils, being mainly in some vegetable oils. The precise quantity is very small- an approximate 1% of the diet – although without that the dogs hair will be rough and the skin will crack. The diets that contain a 10% of total fat normally come from mixed sources that contain enough fatty acids.

Why Dogs Eat Poop

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels UK

There are lots of reasons why dogs eat poop here are but a few of my thoughts which may help :

Boredom; most kenelled dogs or lab animals eat their poop

Housekeeper dogs- the dogs that clean up their areas

Those suffering malabsorption

Hungry dogs

Genetically predisposed to do it.

Bitches with litters do it – that is instinct.

Some dogs eat poop because it gets their owners attention.

Then there are those who receive severe punishment for pooping so they will hide the evidence and eating is the best way for them.

Firstly we as individual owners must find out the root cause ,no point trying to fix a car engine if it’s the wheels that are knackered!
So if mum or dad did it hey their pups are likely to do it too or at least one in that litter will for certain. Diets high in some fats can encourage it and that will include dried foods that are commonly sprayed with palatable fats to encourage dogs to eat it. Then we come to malabsorption , those dogs also tend to itch a little , have unsweet breath and have rather loose stools.If this is what you see add psyllium husk to bulk it out and cleanse the gut and use a natural diet in place of a dried one. Hungry dogs well enough said always use the recommended daily allowances for type breed etc, not rocket science that one. Must say though that dogs using a raw natural diet only poop once and it is somewhat chalky , never once have I seen a dog eat those type stools. Then the ones that simply do it to get our attention, they are easily sorted by making them work for their dinners to stimulate their natural behaviours of foraging for food. A dog that is mentally stimulated is usually too tired to do mundane actions and Coprophagia can be one of those actions. Dogs that show signs of nervousness like demanding continual attention are also known to eat poo, exercise those dogs before feeding, when it defecates they are usually too tired and will expect you the housekeeper to pick up.
Dogs being dogs we expect them to behave like us in part due to the facts they live with us and if you are like me they too share the bed.One of my males will actually go to the loo and pee up the cistern , that is all copying pack behaviours and poop eating is no different albeit yucky.
Dogs don’t see poo like we do, for them it’s a source of food when times are scarce, it’s a communication tool, it’s a way to eliminate waste. We can look at Wolves to see how much poop for a dog is much more than yuk. They read status , mating ability, size of packs, they also leave their deposits in particular places and this is of significance when living with a pack of dogs rather than just one as a pet. So if the deposit of a pack member isn’t in the right place a lesser member may wish to remove it hence they will eat the turd.
To break this habit and scientifically this is referred to as that we must resolve the reasoning behind it, once you have done that the habit can be broken, with some dogs adding foods that bind to the excrement is enough and these can be placed in the category of malabsorption but what about the others, who have owners who have added just about everything but they still do it. Then I suggest looking at the dogs environment ask yourself if this is a new habit what has happened in between, to some it’s the addition of a litter , to others its the bringing in of a new dog to the pack, a baby in the home all these will alter a dogs perception of its position and that needs addressing.
So look at how you live with your dogs and I know I have been through this with one of mine. I also bought a specific kennel cleaner that was heavy in natural oils which worked for a while.
If the dog isn’t getting enough to occupy its mind fill sterilized bones with its feed and make the dog work for its dinner, you know yourself when you use mental activities its much more tiring than physical activity, dogs are no different. For those who use a dry diet use diets heavy in raw meaty bones more frequently I reckon that the eating of feces will stop very quickly for these dogs.

Just my thoughts and observations.

Hereditary Disease

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels UK

Hereditary and Genetic Disorders of the Havanese Breed

The Havanese is generally a healthy long lived little dog. This does not mean he is perfect. Just like every other dog breed, the Havanese is prone to some genetic hereditary disorders. Like other breeds with a small gene pool, some of these issues may be compounded and widespread. As the breed is still quite young in its rebuilding, some disorders are just now coming to light. If you take into account the other breeds that played a factor in the development of the Havanese, like the Maltese, Bichon Frise and Toy Poodle, it stands to reason that the Havanese will have many similar hereditary problems that are encountered in these other breeds. There are many links to and from Havanese ABC’s. Such links provide an easy-to-navigate network of information about the Havanese but they are not an endorsement of any particular breeder nor a breeder recommendation. It is important that you do your own research as thoroughly as possible.

Choose a breeder with care to ensure you get a quality registered puppy from a reputable ethical breeder.

What your dog can have due to poor breeding:

EYE PROBLEMS HERITABLE CATARACTS – At this time heritable cataracts is the most serious and widespread of the genetic disorders in the Havanese.

There is no clean line; all lines are affected BUT SOME STILL USE THOSE AFFECTED CARRIERS THUS INCREASING THE DISEASE WITHIN THE GENE POOL. This is a somewhat unusual cataract. It cannot be defined as a Juvenile cataract; though it may appear as early as 10-12 months of age, it may also appear as late as 7 years of age. The most common age of diagnosis is 3-4 years of age. A big part of the problem is this late age of onset, as by the time a dog is diagnosed as affected, it may already have been bred several times and perhaps even have a 2nd or 3rd generation bred. It is definitely not a senile cataract. In a long lived breed like the Havanese, a senile cataract is unlikely to show up before 9-10 years of age. This heritable cataract appears to be a recessive gene when a dog must get the defective gene from both parents in order to become affected. At this time there is no test. However, Dr Gellat of the University of Florida is spearheading a study into heritable cataracts in the Bichon Frise and Havanese in order to determine the mode of inheritance and then hopefully to develop a test. Until this test becomes available, it is a wise precaution to get a puppy only from two adult dogs who have current CERF’s. All Havanese owners are encouraged to annually CERF their dogs whether they have companions or show dogs. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, the better chance there is of being able to treat it before blindness occurs. Mysteriously, upon occasion, a cataract appears and seems quite severe and yet a year later it is dissolving or has disappeared.

CHERRY EYE – is a swollen or prolapsed gland of the third eyelid. The gland protrudes and becomes irritated and inflamed. It is strongly suspected that Cherry Eye is due to a weakness of the connective tissue. It appears to be a heritable problem. If one eye develops cherry eye, then the other eye may also be predisposed. Sometimes the gland can simply be tucked back in but it may prolapse again. The most common treatment is to reposition the gland and surgically tack it into place.

VITREOUS DEGENERATION – can be one of several conditions commonly following some types of inflammation. In certain breeds , including the Havanese, it can occur a primary condition. Vitreous degeneration may be diagnosed upon a regular CERF examination. There has been some suggestion that it may leave a dog more susceptible to retinal detachment. If your Havanese is diagnosed with vitreous degeneration , it is important to continue regular eye exams with an ophthalmologist for monitoring. If retinal detachment should occur, the earlier it is caught and treated the better the outcome.

EXCESSIVE TEARING AND STAINING - Also known as Poodle Eye. There are few things more unsightly than rusty tear stains marring the appearance of an otherwise beautifully groomed Havanese. This will of course be most noticeable on white and other light coloured Havanese. Stains are not the only problem, you should take note of tearing and/or eye discharge regardless of the colour of your Havanese. There are a number of reasons for eye discharge and excessive tearing and the unattractive stains that may result. Excessive tearing, blocked tear ducts, acidity or pH of the tears, bacterial or yeast infections, genetics, teething, irritation, allergies, hair in the eyes, environment (smoke & other pollutants) , shampoo and chemicals, diet, food allergy/intolerance are all potential culprits. Camouflaging the stains is a popular option, but in truth, understanding the causes, prevention, and controlling the tear staining are more important than simply covering up. Removing or camouflaging the stains is temporary at best as the stains will reoccur unless the source of the staining is removed.

MECHANICAL, MOVEMENT and STRUCTURE PROBLEMS PATELLA LUXATION – Patellar luxation is the slipping of the kneecap. This may be as a result of injury or be a genetic predisposition. Patellar luxation can affect one or both legs. This condition is quite common in many small breeds. Some signs to watch for are difficulty straightening the leg, a hop / skip in the gait, limping or pain. Mild grades may be almost asymptomatic. Surgery is an option to correct the problem. In most cases the veterinarian can diagnose this condition by physical manipulation of the joint. Luxation may occur at any age. Even in the case of injury related causes, an underlying weakness may have contributed. The predisposition that allows Patella luxation to develop is genetic. Seeing as this condition can occur at any age, breeding dogs should have their patellas checked annually.

HIP DISPLAYSIA - Canine Hip dysplasia is joint malformation that occurs when the ball and socket are misaligned, loosely fitted, or misshapen often leading to arthritic changes, pain and limited mobility. Dysplastic dogs may need expensive corrective surgery as they age. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition and diagnosis before breeding should be a priority to keep breeding stock healthy and limit the occurrence of the disease in offspring. Hip dysplasia can be diagnosed only by x-ray of the hip joint. OFA and PENN hip are two registries for hip certification.

DISK DISEASE- In between each vertebrae in a dog’s backbone is a flexible cushion like disk. Aging and premature disc degeneration can cause the discs can dehydrate losing their cushioning ability. This occurs to some degree in old dogs of all breeds. Dogs with large heads or short legs or long bodies may prematurely develop degeneration of the disks. Problems happen when a portion or the entire disk is displaced from its normal position in the spine and may protrude into the spinal canal causing inflammation, pain and subsequent spinal damage. It can happen very slowly or be quite rapid in its development and can be the result of trauma, or have no apparent cause. The symptoms are dependent on the location and severity of the affected disk(s). Prompt diagnosis and treatment improve the prognosis. Surgical intervention may be necessary.

LEGG PERTHES DISEASE - also known as Calve-Perthes Disease, Perthes Disease and Avascular Necrosis of the femoral head. This condition is a hip malformation occurring mainly in small breeds in which the head of the femur ( thigh bone) deteriorates and dies as a result of insufficient blood supply. Diagnosis is usually by Xray where the vet can clearly see disintegration of the bone. Most often only one leg is affected. Usually this condition strikes young animals of 4-12 months of age. There does appear to be a hereditary component to this disease. Pain, limited movement, atrophy, limping, difficulty walking can all be symptoms. Treatment depends on severity. Some very mild cases can be treated with enforced rest while more severe cases may necessitate surgery. Early intervention is critical. Havanese can be OFA certified at the same time as they are done for their OFA hips as the same X-ray is used.Return to

Top CHONDRODYSPLASIA -or CD – the most recognisable effect of Chondrodysplasia is “Dwarfism” This is often misunderstood as many people assume that all small breeds are dwarf breeds. True, some toy breeds are dwarfs; most are not but rather have been miniaturized or are just small. It is not the same thing at all. A miniature breed retains all the breed characteristics and body proportions of its larger counterparts. It has simply been bred down to its smaller size. For instance the toy poodle. Other toy breeds are simply small dogs and have always been so, like the bichon breeds. A midget is a well proportioned but very small example any given breed. A dwarf breed is neither of these. In a dwarf breed the structure has been altered to produce shortened limbs while the body remains unaffected resulting in a dog with a normal to large body with disproportionately short legs. Chondrodysplasia has become a “normal” variation for breeds that man has manipulated, selecting FOR short legs, but medically….it is a disorder of the bone which may result in premature closure of the growth plates. For certain breeds, Chondrodysplasia is the correct build for their breed standard. This includes breeds like the Basset, Corgi and Dachshund. For most breeds this is a structural anomaly. As with other skeletal conditions, signs can be mild or moderate and not easily recognised or it can be quite severe and easily noticed. The growth plates of CD dogs close prematurely and sometimes unevenly. While some may have straight short legs, others may have bowed legs while others may have one straight leg and one bowed leg.

LIVER SHUNT - A portosystemic shunt is the most common congenital liver problem. Most often this is the result of blood bypassing the liver and flowing directly into the system. This bypass of the liver is normal during fetal development. The bypass normally closes off shortly after birth. The liver has many functions including metabolism, temperature regulation, circulation, detoxification and waste removal. In the case of a dog with a shunt, the liver cannot do its job properly and resulting in non-detoxified blood circulating freely through the body slowly poisoning the body’s tissues and cells. This poisoning can express itself as a wide-ranging impairment of bodily functions including failure to thrive, poor weight gain, sleepiness, vomiting, blindness and seizures. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment offer the best outcomes. The success of surgery depends on the severity and the location of the shunt. Medical management may be tried for inoperable shunts but can be difficult and very expensive with limited success. Responsible breeding can drastically reduce/eliminate this problem.

CARDIAC PROBLEMS HEART DISEASE - Cardiomyopathy occurs when one or more diseases cause inflammation and scarring of the heart muscle which become less efficient in supplying the body and organs with blood. The heart eventually weakens leading to congestive heart failure and death. Heart disease appears to be genetic. Though the disease itself may start at an early age ( 2-5 years) the signs may not appear for several more years (9-12 years of age) when the disease becomes severe and signs appear rapidly over a matter of days. By then, the dog may already be in the stage of severe heart failure. Symptoms of unexplained lethargy, sudden weight loss, cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath may be signs of a dog developing a heart problem. Congestive Heart failure is life threatening. A visit to the veterinarian is essential to diagnose the problem and begin medical treatment. Medications are not curative but rather may help compensate for the increasing failure of the heart .

Murmurs are the turbulent sounds created from blood flowing through a faulty or leaky valve. Congenital murmurs ( present at birth) are identified as puppies are clearly genetic. In Havanese, for the most part, non-congential murmurs appear to be an insufficiency of the mitral valve which may develop at any time. Murmurs are quite common in elderly dogs (over 10 years) because of normal aging processes. In some Havanese , the mitral valve ages prematurely, and murmurs may develop in middle age ( 6 to 9 yrs). In other instances, Havanese are developing murmurs in young adulthood ( 2 to 5 yrs) . This very premature aging of the heart valves is likely genetic in nature. By the time this is discovered a dog may have already been bred one or more times. Heart murmurs discovered in young dogs may or may not impact their quality of life, though it is likely to increase the chances of heart failure as they age and may lessen their life span. Like Cerf and patella checks, an annual cardiac check is a wise precaution in any breeding dogs. A single check is not sufficient to predict future cardiac health.

such as epilepsy have been diagnosed in the Havanese but are relatively uncommon at this time. The most evident symptom of epilepsy is seizures. Seizures can be inherited or they may be caused by medical diseases such as diabetes, liver disease, etc They may be seen as spells in which the dog demonstrates repeated jerking of the entire body or just one part, followed by a period of disorientation. Multiple seizures are usually required to make a correct diagnosis. Determining the cause is essential to make appropriate treatment choices as well as future breeding decisions. Not all seizures are due to epilepsy. Hypoglycemia low blood sugar – is a common cause of seizures in toy breeds. Dehydration, electrolyte abnormalities, kidney or liver disease may also produce seizures as can internal parasites, infections, food allergies and chemical toxins.If no other reason can be found, then epilepsy is the likeliest cause of the seizures. Treatments for epilepsy include medications to prevent and control seizures.

THYROID DEFICIENCY Hypothyroidism – low thyroid is a common cause of skin and hair problems. Some Havanese with low thyroid will show no symptoms at all or only a few symptoms, while others show numerous symptoms. Possible symptoms include dry brittle hair, hair breakage and thinning coat, dry flaky skin, skin infections, unusual weight gain with low/normal food consumption, inconsistent bowel movements, lethargy and fatigue, irregular heat cycles, and heat and cold sensitivity. A blood test from your Veterinarian is the only way to determine a thyroid deficiency. Thyroid replacement therapy is very simple and effective. Once replacement therapy is started, it must continue for life.

ALLERGY - This condition is a disorder of the immune system leading to hypersensitivity to assorted environmental allergens. The primary sign in most dogs is itching. This symptom can exhibit many forms, licking or chewing of the feet, and groin area; chewing tail, excessive rubbing and scratching the face, ears, and chest; and rubbing body along furniture. Dogs with allergies can also display reversed sneezing, reddened weepy eyes, skin irritations, extensive shedding and hair loss. The most common environmental allergens are dander, pollens, dust and moulds and certain chemicals. These can be seasonal and be much worse at certain times of year. Other allergies or intolerances can occur in response to food such as wheat, corn and soy or chemical and artificial additives and preservatives. Food allergies can show up as the itching above but may also produce vomiting diarrhea , gas, corpophagia, and loose and frequent stools. Ideally, avoiding the irritating substance is the best means of treatment. This can be achieved in some cases (particularly food) , but in most cases of environmental allergens, this is not always possible or practical. There are a number of medical treatments including bathing in special shampoos, herbal preparations, steroids and antihistamines.

SKIN DISORDERS – Problems of the skin are among the most troublesome and difficult to diagnose and treat. Among these is a perplexing condition called SEBACEOUS ADENITIS . In SA, the skin’s sebaceous glands which normally produce fatty secretions to help prevent drying of the skin, become inflamed and are eventually destroyed. Clinical signs vary with severity. In long-coated breeds like the Havanese, the condition develops as dry, scaly, flaky skin and silvery dandruff along with patches of hair loss. More severely affected Havanese will have extensive hair loss and a moth eaten look. They may also have areas of thickened skin (“hyperkeratosis”) accompanied by a rancid, musty odour and secondary skin infections. Sebaceous adenitis is primarily a cosmetic disorder as it affects the appearance of the dog rather than general health. SA affected dogs can be otherwise healthy and happy but are distressing to look at and unpleasant to smell and touch which make it a frustrating condition to cope with. SA cannot be cured. Symptomatic treatments are long term and can be extensive, time consuming and expensive. SA is best diagnosed by the examination of skin biopsies.Return to Top

DEAFNESS – In the past several years, deafness has been identified in Havanese. Affected Havanese generally are not completely deaf but rather are “hearing impaired”, they may still have some hearing at certain levels and tones. In terms of quality of life, “hearing impaired” Havanese appear to fare better than breeds that have total deafness. It appears to be a heritable disorder but one with a complex mode of inheritance. At this time, we do not know if deafness found in Havanese “may” be colour/ pattern linked as in other breeds, but more studies will be needed to determine if this is so in Havanese. You cannot check hearing yourself. Most people with unilaterally affected dogs are completely unaware that there is any problem until a bilaterally deaf puppy is produced. There is a test available to check hearing. It is the BAER test. It is a very simple test and can be done at anytime after a puppy is about 6 weeks old. Unlike CERF, the BAER test does not need to be repeated yearly. It is a one time test. It is a wise precaution to test breeding stock and test the pups. It is generally felt that affected dogs should not be bred. BAER testing clinics can be difficult to locate though are generally available at veterinary colleges. A single test may be expensive but prices are usually substantially lower if done at a hearing clinic. Some veterinarians recommend sedating the dogs to preform the test. In Havanese, sedation is generally unnecessary. Even our 8 week old puppies took it all in stride. At this time, there appears to be a small number of unilaterally affected dogs and very few bilaterally affected dogs, however this number may rapidly rise as untested affected dogs are bred and produce bilaterally affected offspring. Testing takes approximately 10-15 minutes. Three tiny electrodes and two small earphones are all that is needed.

SHORT HAIRED GENE – A Havanese which inherits two copies of this recessive gene will appear as a short coated Havanese. The coat is smooth on the face and legs with longer fringes on the ears, body and tail. In appearance, it is very different from a typical long haired Havanese. This gene appears to have been a spontaneous genetic mutation several generations ago. The trait is genetic. Dogs with only one copy of the gene will be long haired though they still carry a copy of the short haired gene which can then be passed along to offspring. Coat differences within a litter can usually be discerned at about 6-8 weeks of age. Short haired Havanese have all the same personality traits and all attributes of the Havanese except the long coat. The short coat does shed. Some people have nicknamed them “Shavanese” for Short Haired Havanese.

Photos submitted by Mischief and Dog Info Last but certainly not least is the recently identified
OCKHAM SYNDROME. While somewhat scary to read about, its discovery hopefully a step towards banishing many genetic issues in Havanese. OS is not a single disease but rather is a syndrome which encompasses a myriad of symptoms affecting Havanese including cataracts, liver & heart problems, some birth defects, missing dentition, skin conditions, Legg Calve Perthes Disease, patellar luxation, chondrodysplasia, and potentially other issues as well. The exciting part of the discovery of this syndrom is that all of these issues (and more) may be related to this one single entity which appears to stem from a defect in cholesterol metabolism. Studies which simply started in an endeavour to find a genetic marker for cataracts have evolved to encompass the bigger picture. The discovery of a marker and development of a test to screen for it, would go a long way towards eliminating these potentially disabling conditions in Havanese. For more in depth information about Ockham Syndrome and for updates on the ongoing studies and how you can help, please visit the HEART website.

At first glance all this may appear alarming and certainly there is cause for concern but at the same time one must not lose sight of the fact that ALL breeds have heritable disorders and that some are more serious and widespread than others. The conditions mentioned here have all been diagnosed in Havanese and all have a hereditary component. Some are widespread like the cataracts while others like Legg Perthes are much more limited in their occurrence. While all of the above have a genetic component and may be heritable, one must also keep in mind that some of these conditions can be caused or aggravated by environment, lack of education and lack of care. A blow, serious tumble or head trauma can lead to Epilepsy. Other types of seizures can be caused by chemicals, poisoning etc. Luxating patellas can be caused by unlimited jumping before the growth plates are closed. Hip dysplaysia will be aggravated by obesity and lack of exercise. Poor diet can contribute to Diabetes as well as allergies. Allergies can also be due to chemical products used in the house and yard. Getting a puppy from a reputable breeder is only the first step. Care and attention to training, activities and feeding are just as important in keeping your puppy in as good health as possible. This information was presented to inform about both upsides and downsides of owning a Havanese and to stress the importance of researching a breed thoroughly before choosing to add a Havanese or any dog to your family.
Please choose a breeder with care to ensure that you are getting a quality puppy from a reputable ethical breeder who tests their breeding stock regularly for heritable disorders. Though these cannot be eliminated completely, careful breeding practices help to minimize problems. Do not choose a puppy on impulse. Always get a copy of your breeders health certificate, one or two will make the excuse you can see but cannot have, RUBBISH THEY ARE SCAMMERS ! It is imperative that you hold a copy of any health certificate for your puppy or dog. One breeder we became aware of Makes his and her own via photoshop , if your dog lives in either the UK or IRELAND they will hold current BVA/KC Health certificates IF NOT WALK AWAY -DONT BE FOOLED BY LIARS CHEATS AND PEOPLE JUST WANTING YOUR MONEY EVEN IF THE SHOW THEIR DOGS-Some even buy trophies in flea markets in places like Pest ….their place y of origin to fool YOU!

Are Havanese Hypoallergenic type dogs?

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels UK

Do Havanese Have Dander?

Due to the ridiculous answers that breeders and owners had posted I set the record straight, What worries me is that people actually think that because they own a Havanese they're the latest internet freakin' expert.

So, this is FACT !

Q Do Havanese Have Dander ?

A: I have just been reading on a Hav fancy site , well actually its the canada havanese site about hypoallergenic dogs which although has some facts correct not all are , so here is the truth Dander is NOT the fur or hair of an animal its old skin cells , the OLDER the animal the more dander they will produce, the primary source of dander that people will come into contact with is Felis domesticus allergen I ans II this is a glycoprotein found in the sebaceous glands of the cat’s hair roots and in their sublingual salivary glands. It is also present in the urine of male cats.YOU DONT NEED TO HAVE A CAT LIVE WITH YOU TO HAVE THIS ALLERGEN IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD, this is because this sticks to clothing is on public transport in fact its almost everywhere.Dander is all around us and even found in pet free environments in part as its airborne so in fact we cant really escape it, Havanese HAVE dander just because they shed within themselves means nothing and has little if any effect upon how much they produce, what people seem to get confused with is that if a dog sheds within itself like Havanese then some will say its hypoallergenic, absolute twaddle,! A havanese loses hair of course it does but it doesnt shed hair like many other breeds, it will still have dust settle on and in its coat and will still in some people cause an allergic reaction. To reduce dander and dust within the home CLEAN UP using a warm wet damp cloth and bathe pets weekly, wont do much for their coats but it will help allergen sufferers !

Dander aslo has NOTHING to do with dry skin , here is some science showing the less informed that its protein based when the cat protein Fel d 1 is in the presence of very low doses of the ubiquitous environmental bacterial toxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), it activates the pathogen recognition receptor Toll-like receptor 4. Until now, it was not understood how Fel d 1 generated such a large inflammatory response in the immune system.Allergic reactions are the result of the immune system overreacting to a perceived danger. Instead of identifying and responding to a harmful virus or bacteria, it misidentifies different allergens, including dander (microscopic pieces of animal skin often accompanied by dried saliva from grooming), as dangerous and mounts an immune response.
In order to find out how Fel d 1 triggers these allergic reactions, the researchers exposed human cells to cat and dog dander proteins in the presence or absence of low levels of LPS. The researchers found that when the bacterial toxin LPS is present, it increases the signalling to the body’s immune system, intensifying the body’s inflammatory response to the cat protein Fel d 1.
They also discovered that the part of the immune system that recognises the LPS contaminated Fel d 1 is the pathogen recognition receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). (TLR4 also plays a role in a heightened immune response, and subsequent allergic reaction, to dust mite allergens and as well as the metal nickel.) The researchers then used a drug which inhibits the TLR4 response and found that it blocks the effects of the cat dander protein on human cells, thereby preventing an inflammatory response.

- See more at:
New research reveals how cat dander triggers allergic responses
Immune system’s extreme reaction to cat allergen... (click the above link to read full article)

Herb Care

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels UK

Herbs for Pets

The most outstanding attributes of licorice root is it’s action as an anti-inflammatory agent. In Chinese medicine, licorice root is commonly used as a liver detoxifier and in several studies it has been shown to benefit animals suffering from liver damage.

For ringworm infections - thoroughly soak your companion with a strong, cooled sage tea twice daily. A strong sage tea or tincture can also be used to treat and prevent gingivitis and dental infections.

1/4 teaspoon of marshmallow tea is good for lubricating and expelling
fur balls in cats. You can also give 1/4 teaspoon of bran, psyllium, or ground flaxseed to provide fiber and lubricating mucilage to help remove hair balls.

Yucca is commonly added to dog, cat, horse, or cattle feed to optimize the nutritional value of an animal’s food, and to reduce unpleasant odors in urine and feces in house pets.

Working dogs and those who are subject to
physiological stress benefit from hawthorn as a daily supplement, as do older animals who suffer from chronic heart problems.

Fennel Plant - It is one of the plants which is said to be disliked by fleas, and powdered Fennel has the effect of driving away fleas from kennels and stables. The plant gives off ozone most readily.

Cleavers is used to increase circulation of lymph in impaired areas of the body. This action along with its mild astringency make it useful to speed healing of gastric ulcers, drainage of lymph engorged cysts, tumors and inflamed urinary tract, and upper digestive tract. In cats, these actions make cleavers a safe long-term aid in the treatment of feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), and the herb may also be useful for chronic low-grade kidney inflammation.

Dogs at some time in their lives may require a calmer, maybe during the usual Uk firework season, going to the vets, or facing kennels when you jet off to sunnier climes. By making and following the ingredients below you may use this as often as you like without overdosing fido.Its sweet so dogs tend to like it (a lot) 1 teaspoon German chamomile 1 teaspoon catnip 1 teaspoon scull-cap ½ cup water 2-3 tablespoons honey Heat the water in a microwave-safe mug or glass measuring cup to simmering. Add the herbs to the hot water and cover to prevent the loss of oils from evaporation. Allow to steep for five to six minutes then strain, pressing the herbs in the strainer to express as much fluid as possible. Mix with honey and store in an airtight container.
Offer the syrup to your dog on a large spoon, allowing him to lick it off. There is no chance of overdosing, so give him as much as he wants. They usually refuse more than two or three spoonfuls, though some dogs have a sweet tooth, just like people. Use your better judgement. You will typically see visible results within 15 – 30 minutes, with your dog slipping into a relaxed, restful sleep. Offer more as often as needed.Keep this in a brown bottle in a cool place.

Natural Tips To Improve Your Dogs Health and Wellbeing.

Ecinacea Purpurea
Used daily to help stem
kennel cough, hacking dry coughs in dogs and sneezes brought on by a weather change etc. Has similar results to Kennel Cough Vaccine yet with fewer if any side effects at all.

Lecithin Grains (which we use in some of our products)
Use 1 tspoon daily for dogs that have seizures, heart trouble and aids good nerve stimulation.

Milk Thistle
This is one of the most important herbs for dogs with any liver disorder and for any dog taking steroids , using heartworm medication or after vaccines as all these directly affect how the liver works , milk thistle promotes active liver production.

Neem Oil
External agent for fleas, mites, hot spots, skin infection, skin irritation, eczema dry skin.

Peppermint tea (Infuse peppermint with hot water steep allow to cool then serve)
Great for wind (all dogs fart) also good for motion sickness Traveling and improving appetite in dogs.

Apple mashed (include skin and pulp)
Use warmed through for loose stools the cellulose binds the stool whilst the natural antibiotic effect of the apple fruit cleanses the stomach and intestinal tract.

Bee pollen
Use as required for allergies and pain relief, can also be used to improve digestion and is a superb source of protein and carbohydrates for all dog needing a boost.

Chamomile (can be used as a tea)
Great for nervous or clingy dogs getting rid of worms, aids digestion can also be used to treat k9 asthma Used externally it is great for conjunctivitis and dandruff.

Co Enzyme Q10
Great to treat feline aids and improves heart circulation in dogs and cats.

Dental Care

Article copyright to: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels, UK

This information below is a little trial I have done with my own dogs and I found it to be accurate and true.

We are always striving to ensure that you enjoy your doggies for a very long time, so, that comes with the responsibility to ensure that whatever we CAN do we WILL do to help you.

I have just ran a two week teeth trial for older doggies (Havanese ), those new to the breed will hopefully have had a good breeder that advised bones as a natural teeth cleaner, but those alone will not prevent plaque build up if they eat a dry diet or a very wet diet. Like us, as our dogs age teeth may start to show signs of problems, like tartar plaque, decay, gingivitis. Dogs that eat a different diet to one they are used to due to sudden illness will also show signs of one or all of the above.

Dogs aged between 9 - 4 years all Havanese, all Female all subject to similar diets (fresh made daily)
Dogs (a) (b) aged 9 otherwise healthy signs of gingivitis , plaque tartar
Dogs (c) (d) aged 4 - <6 otherwise healthy signs of minimal plaque tartar no gingivitis
Dogs (e) aged 5 meningitis recovery 2014 otherwise healthy, has medication gabapentin plaque minimal, no decay no gingivitis
all dogs eat fresh meat have fresh bones and eat carrots, green beans apple, drink water, take normal daily activity none are breeding.

With a daily application of Plaque gel and a scoop of plaque off and a continuance of diet, all dogs showed great improvement.

Dogs (a) & (b) no signs of gums being red at all, all plaque and tartar gone from every tooth with exception to canines and that is top only residual and I expect that to go within two more weeks. What a vet advised one owner to get was a tooth clean before doing this, its now evident that that may have been a little premature.
Dogs (c) (d) (e) all plaque disappeared no signs of decay no signs of gingivitis brilliant white teeth again, (e) dog small residual left 1 canine, but again expect that to be gone within 1 - 2 weeks.

Overall a complete success, if you have been asked to have a vet dental clean and your doggy is older so you are worried, this is well worth a try and may help keep your doggy safe. Anesthesia carries risks and not all Doctors are great and it carries risks that we may not want to consider.

Liver Shunts

Article copyright to: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels, UK

Liver shunts

In Some Havanese Liver Shunts are becoming rather more common.

Firstly I have to state THIS IS SEEN IN SOME UK LINES FAR MORE THAN OTHERS, yet these breeders don’t inform you… why you may well ask, well it’s called being irresponsible, disease happens , that is of no doubt BUT, by informing and recognising disease and by DECLARING disease we:


Breeders should NOT be ashamed of telling owners that a disease has been found in fact they should be congratulated. Disease as I have said happens we cannot make perfect dogs but we can make them become more perfect examples of a breed by correct management of disease , breeding with pedigrees that help promote improvements. What we don’t want is to be simply putting A to B and hoping we get C, it really isn’t that simple. I like to read web ads for their kennels in any breed to see how they manage to deceive new potential owners into the misleading information stating they are so good. My own kennels contain facts and all test results can be viewed at either KC or the BVA or on my sites, either way you are told if I find any issues. It may not be what you want to hear but it will continued to be done and then advice for successful management follows, disease generally don’t place a noose around your pets neck.

This year alone some dogs born in the UK have been sold with this issue, known from those lines in particular. If they had told owners initially then just maybe those owners would have been able to manage finding its presence with some equity. How to tell if your doggy has Portosystemic liver shunt.

Affected dogs appear stunted, fail to grow, and have clinical signs consistent with hepatoencephalopathy, e.g., anorexia, depression, and lethargy. Clinical signs of hepatoencephalopathy (HE) tend to wax and wane and are often interspersed with normal periods. Signs of HE may be exacerbated by a protein-rich meal, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, or by supplementation with methionine-containing urinary acidifiers. Gastrointestinal signs of intermittent anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea are common nonspecific features of hepatic dysfunction. PU/PD is another common clinical sign in dogs with portasystemic shunting. Onset of clinical signs with feeding and delayed recovery from anesthetic events are reported more frequently with canine portosystemic shunts. Affected dogs and cats may have only subtle laboratory abnormalities (mild increases in ALT & AST; mild hypoalbuminemia, hypoglycemia, and hypocholesterolemia; low blood urea nitrogen; and microcytosis). Diagnosis is best achieved by coupling a liver function test (bile salts and/or NH3 quantitations) to a liver imaging technique, e.g., ultrasonography, scintigraphy, or contrast portal venography. Liver biopsy typically reveals hypoplasia of the portal tracts.

By recognising these signs the dog can be treated, hence why it is important for breeders to declare they have it within their lines.

I was wiser as I chose my dogs for their pedigrees rather than the breeder. I did plenty of research after buying a Frise that was purchased through the Frise Breed Club and found to be rather poor.

I get quite angry when people advise using breed clubs to buy pups, in the main breed clubs are nothing more than a bunch of people wanting to promote themselves moreso In Havanese in the past 5 years. It is like a little clique for the poorer breeders that will sell you anything , give no aftercare advice or will lie and cheat you out of your money. Being as vocal as I am on the international stage should tell you that I am as honest and blunt as they come. If I make a balls of things YOU ALL KNOW because I ensure you know.

Managing Liver Shunt in your dog.

The diet must be highly palatable and high in energy, and provide adequate protein, fat, and all essential micronutrients. Feeding small amounts frequently and slightly warming canned food can increase palatability. Protein quantity is gradually increased at weekly or biweekly intervals when the dog becomes neurologically asymptomatic. Serum proteins should be monitored to prevent hypoalbuminemia, in which case dietary protein content should be increased in association with more aggressive adjunct treatment. When HE persists despite a protein-restricted diet and adjunct medication, it may be helpful to replace meat proteins with highly digestible vegetable and/or milk proteins. Addition of soluble fiber (psyllium 1 - 3 tsp mixed with food daily) can also help by acidifying colonic contents and minimizing ammonia absorption.

Vaccine Reactions - When should Pups be Vaccinated

Article copyright to: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels, UK

Vaccine Reactions - When should Pups be Vaccinated, Conflict and Maternal Antibodies

The Facts:

As part of my PhD I am studying why both animals and humans react to some vaccines given to protect their future health. They are factually a preventative measure , a just in case either we or they come into contact with the disease they are designed and modified to protect against. So, why then do let’s take animals firstly react in some cases adversely. Albeit rare given the amount of vaccines given annually to domesticated small animals. I choose these as I have exceptional knowledge of these in two areas, one lifetime ownership and secondly treatment of said small animals both my own and those I rescue or come into contact with through their owners. Let me make this clear I am NOT a veterinarian but I have worked with some and also chat regularly with many in varied fields to ensure my own knowledge is up to date and more specifically science based not merely owner based, this can and does on occasion cause conflict.

We have mentioned vaccines are a preventative measure for future health and I don’t believe any sane person would argue that point, however some are known as core vaccines both in medicine for humans and also veterinary medicine. Others are elective like holiday vaccines for us, Lepto and many others for small animals. The reason I am writing this is as I say for use within my studies and also to help owners realise facts rather than googling what is in the main owner biased views across the internet which causes conflict and can be dangerous to your pets. Many owners are unaware of what is a core vaccine , simply it is a vaccine designated as CORE is highly recommended for administration to all dogs and all cats. Vaccines placed in this category are designed to protect dogs from highly virulent, life-threatening infections (especially virus infections) and zoonotic disease (rabies). A vaccine designated as NON-CORE is considered optional and generally should only be administered to those dogs/cats with a known or suspected risk for exposure.This INCLUDES Lepto.

There are types of vaccines available and here they are. Vaccines available for use in dogs and cats can be divided into 3 types based on current manufacturing technology: Inactivated (killed), Attenuated (modified live); and Recombinant. Inactivated Vaccines contain killed antigens (bacteria or virus). As such they are “noninfectious” and cannot replicate or revert to virulence post-injection. Because of that, they are often classified as “very safe” vaccines. However, inactivated vaccines tend to contain extraneous proteins (excipient), many also contain adjuvant, which can increase risk for development of acute vaccine reactions (facial edema, shock) and have been attributed to causing delayed onset adverse reactions, eg, “injection-site sarcoma” in cats. In addition, inactivated vaccines tend to have the shortest durations of immunity (typically 1-year). Veterinarians should be alert to the package label, which must classify the immunizing antigen as “killed”. When an alternative choice is available, it is generally preferable to use either an attenuated or recombinant product…the potential advantages being longer duration of immunity and reduced reaction risk. Modified-Live (attenuated, or MLV) Vaccines contain either bacteria or virus capable of replicating in the patient following inoculation, hence they are also called “infectious” vaccines. Because vaccine virus/bacteria have been attenuated, the risk of causing clinical signs/illness post-inoculation is significantly low today. Attenuated vaccines induce a sustained protective immune response lasting, typically, for several years following initial immunization. Unless combined with a killed antigen, attenuated vaccines do not contain adjuvant. The safety of MLV vaccines used today is excellent. For this reason, MLV vaccines are recommended over killed vaccines when the choice is available. Technically speaking, there is a slight risk that, in some patients, replicating virus/bacteria in the vaccine will cause clinical signs consistent with the disease the vaccine intends to prevent following inoculation. Occasional reports of illness have been linked to IN Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccines, MLV Distemper and Parvovirus (dog and cat) vaccines. True reversion of attenuated vaccine virus to a virulent virus is not likely today.

There is an issue currently with the Lepto 4 vaccine , reactions vary but it is being seen now that some not all dogs are showing a reaction. These range from allergies that did not exist previously not even with the parental lines used or the siblings from a litter to death. Sadly yes some dogs have died after being given this vaccine. The BVA have issued a statement which is what can be best described as a non-committal statement , after all they do not want their members being sued for wrongful deaths of beloved pets across the UK. The very same type of non-committal statement was issued by the BMA during the Thalidomide vaccine reactions in the 1960’s and 70’s. We have come to expect this from these organisations and can look to the shoddy statements that have since been proven factually wrong like the Hillsboro issues etc, some may argue what has that got to do with vaccines, well in one way nothing, but in many ways lots as it is the reactions we receive that then assume the lay person is not understanding facts. When in reality it is nothing more than a blame saving exercise issued by large organisations that are effectively unions for groups of person that practice within that field.

So lets begin with facts:

No veterinarian wants to harm an animal. It’s more comfortable to blame the problem on coincidence, genetic defects, other medications, etc.

Vets don’t tie the reaction to the vaccine … unless it happens almost immediately. Here is what the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the BVA tells dog or cat owners to watch for after vaccination.

Note that most reactions listed are only those happening almost immediately:

* Discomfort and swelling at the vaccination site
* Mild fever
* Decreased appetite and activity
* Persistent vomiting or diarrhea
* Hives
* Swelling of the muzzle. face, neck or eyes
* Severe coughing or difficulty breathing
* Collapse
* Respiratory distress occurring 2-5 days after your pet receives an intranasal Bordetella [kennel cough vaccine]

Veterinarians practicing in the UK, Europe, the US, and Canada, appear to have incorporated at least some of the recommendations put forward in the latest Vaccination Guidelines offered by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (2010) 2 , Vaccine Guidelines Group), the American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccination Guidelines (2011)3 and the American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Vaccination Guidelines (2013)4 . However, as the list of vaccines licensed for use in veterinary medicine continues to grow and vaccine technologies change, veterinarians continue to be challenged with new, sometimes complex, even conflicting, information regarding the selection and use of companion animal vaccines. FACT: Administering several vaccine to dogs at the same appointment may pose increased risk for an acute-onset reaction (hypersensitivity)…this is especially true for small breed ( ≤10 kg adult body weight). Today, it is recommended that, especially in small breed dogs, that veterinarians consider delaying administration of NON-core vaccine until 2 to 4 weeks after completion of the CORE vaccines. Then, administration of any NON-core vaccine should be limited to those patients having a reasonable risk of exposure to the pathogen.

REF: Moore GE, Guptill LF, Ward MP, et al. Adverse events diagnosed within three days of vaccine administration in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 227:1102–1108, 2005.

What I noticed this week was a new Vet and his comments to my statements when he asked why I didn’t want Lepto 4 Vaccine. He the added anaphylaxis and delayed reactions but did not go into them. I know the reactions mostly seen post vaccine , I have a son with Aspergers he was developmentally fine until he received MMA then he became quite poorly and withdrawn, was that coincidence, well Drs say yes, I cannot believe that at all. I also have seen and advised owners when they have called me in early hours frantically because the reactions are severe and their dogs have been placed on IV drips to save them. Some reactions are fatal this is fact albeit rare. I have also been noting with interest the reactions one dog has had post vaccine and will watch this for life of that animal, his owner is aware I do NOT want that dog to receive any other vaccines not any for 4 years. I bet his health will improve greatly. Both vaccine safety and effectiveness depend to a variable extent on how individual pets react to the immune stimulus of the vaccine, as well as to its intrinsic qualities. The latter of these-the vaccines’ intrinsic qualities-is one reason that vaccines are never entirely free of reactions, some of which may be severe, eg, anaphylactic shock. Nevertheless, the incidence of significant adverse effects such as anaphylaxis are generally quite low (1/10,000 to 10/10,000 pets vaccinated) and the risk/benefit ratio is extremely favourable. protective level of antibody. The reason: immune “memory” derived from a population of effector B cells .

Vaccine manufacturers generally test vaccines for reactions for only one year, with the exception of the 3-year rabies vaccine. Testing is expensive so they do only what is required to get approval. Post-vaccination adverse reactions can be classified into the following degrees of severity:

* Class I - Not related to vaccine
* Class II - Lump/swelling at vaccination site
* Class III - Facial swelling; generalized urticaria
* Class IV - Systemic signs; fever, vomiting, diarrhea
* Class V - Anaphylaxis, shock, collapse, death

The incidence of post-vaccination adverse reactions in dogs remains relatively low. According to data from our practice’s reporting system, only 16 dogs out of every 10,000 vaccinated showed any kind of adverse reaction, as detailed in Table 1. The rate of anaphylaxis was much lower, at 2/10,000 vaccinated dogs. Most recorded reactions were in reaction Classes II and III.

National Data (2003) Banfield Reporting System

In 838,015 vaccinated doses given 1365 reactions were noted that means the reaction rate is 0.16% (16/10,000 vaccinates). 186 of those were serious anaphylaxis meaning that the rate of anaphylaxis rate is 0.02% (2/10,000 vaccinates).

If we look at relationship between breed size and reactions we see that:



Clearly adverse reactions in small breeds versus large breeds shows a clear increase in incidence in smaller breeds This phenomenon (more reactions seen in smaller breeds) has been noted by others, and the breed and family susceptibility suggest a genetic predisposition to adverse reactions [1]. A vaccine specially developed for smaller breeds may be warranted but is highly unlikely as this costs money and simply they just don’t care enough to do this. All vaccines may be associated with several different types of reactions, but the overall incidence rate is very low.

1. AVMA Principles of vaccination. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;5:219. 

2. 2010 WSAVA Guidelines for the Vaccination of Dogs and Cats, available at

3. 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines are available at

4. 2013 AAFP Feline Vaccine Guidelines are available at

This is the universal protocol for adult vaccines.

BOOSTER Recommendations for ADULT DOGS:

* After completing the initial series CORE vaccines (distemper+parvovirus+adenovirus-2) it is recommended to administer a single dose (combination vaccine) every 3 years or longer. 

NOTE: substantial data exists to demonstrate that dogs derive protective immunity for several years following administration of MLV Core vaccines. So then we must question why vets still insist on vaccination annually when their own guidelines suggest 3 yearly . Non-CORE vaccines: administer annually where risk of exposure is sustained yet still again some vets want to do non-core vaccines even when there is NO risk ? : Concern is over the role of adjuvant-containing vaccines (virtually all killed feline vaccines contain adjuvant) in causing fibrosarcoma. This continues to be a highly controversial issue. A few facts are worth considering: adjuvants, by their very nature, induce inflammation, typically...chronic inflammation lasting days to weeks (or longer). The cellular response associated with adjuvant-induced inflammation is still regarded by most oncologists and other academicians who work with vaccines to be responsible for the DNA injury (oxidative injury) associated with metaplasia in fibroblasts. In genetically pre-disposed cats (it appears), there is risk of neoplastic transformation of fibroblasts into fibrosarcoma (or other types of mesenchymal tumor). BE PRACTICAL...avoid adjuvanted vaccines in cats!

REF: AAFP Feline Vaccine Guidelines-2006; available at
REF: Martano M. et al. Feline Injection-site Sarcoma: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives. Vet. J. 2011 (188) 136-141.
REF: Woodward KN. Origins of Injection-Site Sarcomas in Cats: The Possible Role of Chronic Inflammation- A Review. ISRN Vet. Sci. 2011. Article ID 210982

“When are my dogs protected once vaccinated?”, is a question asked by almost every owner to the breeder , well - KILLED VACCINE-assuming no maternal antibody, 2 doses are required, 2 to 4 weeks apart, then about 7 days later (~ 21 to 24 days minimum). - MODIFIED-LIVE VACCINE-assuming no maternal antibody, about 5 to 7 days following a single dose. - RECOMBINANT VACCINE...depends on the antigen. Recombinant CDV canine distemper virus (rCDV) vaccine has been shown to immunize dogs 2 weeks earlier than MLV following a single dose…due to less interference from maternally derived antibody. Recombinant LYME and Recombiant FeLV vaccine both require 2 doses, 2 to 4 weeks apart…protection is expected within 7 days following the second dose.

REF: Greene CE and Schultz RD. Immunoprophylaxis. Chpt 100, in CE Greene (ed): Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 3rd ed. pp. 1069-1119, 2006.
REF: Larson, L and Schultz, RD. Effect of vaccination with rCDV vaccine immediately before exposure under shelter-like conditions. Vet Therap 7(2):113-118, 2006.
REF; Pardo MC, Tanner P, Bauman J, et al: Immunization of puppies in the presence of maternally derived antibodies against canine distemper virus. J Comp Path. 137:S72- S75, 2007.
REF: Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control . MMWR Recomm Rep. 2011 Nov 4;60(RR-6):1-17

Buying rom a responsible breeder all your pups will carry maternal antibodies and be better protected, breeders should have the knowledge to advise owners for vaccines, If not they shouldn’t be breeding. Breeding is NOT a hobby it’s a responsibility to a genetic pool of live animals!

Titer Testing- Is this good or bad, Is my pet protected?

Antibody titers as an assessment of immunity. Specific limitations apply to titers when assessing the immune status of an individual patient. Fact: titers for CDV, CPV, and feline parvovirus (panleukopenia) correlate extremely well with protective immunity...dogs/cats that have a “positive” titer are considered immune…quite likely for many years. Fact: a “negative” antibody titer for CDV, CPV and Feline Panleukopenia GENERALLY indicates susceptibility, especially in a young animal or in an animal determined to be a “genetic non-responder”

However, antibody (Ab) is a glycoprotein and plasma concentrations may decline over time in the absence of revaccination or exposure. Animals that were previously vaccinated may lose Ab over time; however, immunologic “memory” (B-lymphocytes) is retained for many years, especially following vaccination with attenuated viral vaccines. Exposure to virulent virus in a previously vaccinated, but antibody-negative patient, typically results in a rapid anamnestic ‘boost’ of antibody titer and a protective immune response. For other diseases, antibody titers are not good correlates of protective immunity. Feline herpesvirus-1 and feline calicivirus titers can be obtained, but are not recommended for the assessment of the individual patient’s immunity to those diseases. FeLV titers are not valid at all because of the lack of a valid test method. Leptospirosis titers are routinely performed but generally are used to define exposure/infection…not immunity.

REF: Greene CE and Schultz RD. Immunoprohylaxis. Chpt 100, in CE Greene (ed): Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 3rd ed. pp. 1069-1119, 2006

To determine whether or not a puppy or kitten RESPONDED TO THE INITIAL VACCINATION SERIES, a titer can be submitted 2 or more weeks following the last dose of the initial series. - To assess whether an adult animal has maintained an antibody titer (CDV, CPV, Feline parvovirus) following previous vaccination (e.g., years earlier, with no recent revaccination). - Veterinarians may elect to determine titers, rather than administer booster vaccines in patients with a history of having had a SERIOUS VACCINE REACTION-or- having been treated for and recovered from an immune-mediated disorder (e.g., hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia) can be tested to determine their immune status.

REF: 2011 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines; available at:

What many do not realise is that an adult dog that was appropriately immunized as a pup and received DHP boosters at 1 year. Although the licensed duration of immunity (DOI) for the core vaccine components (DHP) is three years, there is now evidence for a minimum DOI of 9 years for CDV and CPV and, in reality, a dog that is appropriately immunized as a pup probably never requires another core vaccine during its lifetime. The emerging vaccine-related concerns have focused on the necessity of "annual" vaccines of adult dogs combined with the mounting evidence that vaccines can cause serious systemic diseases. The resulting debates, ongoing scientific studies and biological manufacturers' initiatives are changing the way we recommend vaccines for both the house dog and the sporting dog breeds. Vaccine risk awareness, cost factors, antigen overload considerations, and regional variations now necessitate that the owner and veterinarian to make rational and balanced vaccine selection decisions based on risk assessment of their animals. This is why breeders that act responsibly should be sought out by pup buyers, a breeder with knowledge on animal health well being and mental fitness is far more important than the breeder with trophies for showing their dog, how many times has Crufts BIS been dead within 3 years and how many times has the winner been shown to be a mass producer of illness within its specific breed. These are the questions any buyers should be asking. This is why the UK Kennel Clubs ABS is a sham to scam buyers.

Some systemic diseases are linked to vaccines yet you are not told this ! Unlike allergic reactions, the cause and effect of various canine vaccines with these diseases are less clear cut and the scientific basis for the relationship is often anecdotal. The following conditions in dogs has been associated with or implicated as possibly caused by various vaccinations: 
* Anosmia
* Allergic reactions
* Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
* Immune mediated thrombocytopenia
* Immune Thyroiditis (hypothyroidism)
* Immunosupression
* Epilepsy
* Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

The evolving trend in small animal biologicals has been to incorporate numerous antigens (polyvalent vaccines) into a single "all-in-one" dose. Recent concerns have surfaced regarding the widespread use of polyvalent vaccines because they are believed to cause a significant decrease in immune function. Note the similarity in human medicine . Possible Immunosuppression may result when the amount of antigen introduced into the dog exceeds the ability of the immune system to respond. Such a condition is termed antigen-overload. While the various study results are often conflicting, several clinical studies exploring different polyvalent vaccines have demonstrated some degree of immunosuppression associated with inoculation with polyvalent vaccines. Vaccinating puppies every 14 days using polyvalent vaccines, the pup's immune system will be challenged during the immunosuppressive period. The use of monovalent vaccines in stressed puppies and vaccinating every three weeks might be a better immunization strategy. Something each breeder or owner should discuss with their vet, I know mine will do as I ask even if delayed. My own pups are not vaccinated until they are aged about 13 weeks just as maternal antibodies are starting to lessen, this is because I am fully aware that vaccines given to pups are at best only 65% effective due to the conflict with maternal antibodies.

Most common canine poisons in the home

Article copyright by: Karen Clark, Versailles Kennels, UK

Most Common Canine Poisons in or Around The Home.

Rat / Mice / Rodent Poison

The most important issue is identification of type of poison contained within the blue blocks or pellets etc… Several different classes of rodenticides exist, including those that contain bromethalin, zinc phosphide, cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), and LAACs. Pet owners should be appropriately educated on how to pet-proof the house, and be trained on what common household products and kitchen items are poisonous. Pet owners should also be appropriately educated on crate training to help minimize toxin exposure. Once a pet is exposed to a toxicant, it is imperative to determine if emesis is appropriate, and to understand when it may be contraindicated (e.g., symptomatic patient, delayed time since exposure, hydrocarbons, etc.). Knowledge of the underlying mechanism of action, the pharmacokinetics (including absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), and the toxic dose of the toxicant are imperative in determining appropriate decontamination and therapy for the patient.

Bromethalin, a neurotoxic rodenticide, Bromethalin is not an anticoagulant rodenticide and should not be treated with Vitamin K1 as an antidote. Bromethalin works by uncoupling oxidative phosphorylation in the brain and liver mitochondria. This results in decreased ATP production, which affects sodium and potassium pumps; as a result, lipid peroxidation occurs, resulting in sodium accumulation within the cell. Edema of the central nervous system (CNS) may result. Lethal dose in dogs is 2.38-3.65 mg/kg, cats far worse (0.54 mg/kg) With recent ingestion in an asymptomatic patient, the use of decontamination (e.g., emesis induction, activated charcoal) is warranted. As bromethalin undergoes enterohepatic recirculation, the use of multiple doses of activated charcoal (without a cathartic) can be administered q 6 hours for 24 hours.

Rodenticides have been used since the 1930’s and are still readily available on the market. Formulations of phosphides have a unique, distinctive odor similar to rotten fish, garlic, or acetylene. The toxic dose of zinc phosphide in dogs is approximately 20-40 mg/kg, but up to 300 mg/kg on empty stomachs. Emesis – whether intentionally induced or occurring due to clinical signs - can result in poisoning to the pet owner or the veterinary professional secondary to exposure of phosphine gas. Clinical signs of nausea and difficulty breathing have been reported in humans exposed. To minimize these risks, emesis induction should always be performed in a well-ventilated area (e.g., opening the car window if the patient vomits or inducing emesis outside or in a well-ventilated area). Pet owners should be appropriately educated on the toxic gas exposure to themselves also. Pet owners should be informed not to feed their pet to prevent further production of phosphine gas. In addition, the administration of an antacid (e.g., aluminum hydroxide) prior to emesis induction may help decrease the presence of phosphine gas. With recent ingestion in an asymptomatic patient, the use of emesis induction (following antacid administration) and one dose of activated charcoal with a cathartic is warranted to minimize toxic effects of zinc phosphide. Symptomatic supportive care, including anti-emetic therapy, IV fluid therapy, gastric protectants, and analgesics are warranted.

Cholecalciferol, the chemical name for vitamin D3, is one of the most deadly – and costly – rodenticides to pets. Ingestion of toxic levels of cholecalciferol can result in severe hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia, with secondary ARF developing as a result of dystrophic mineralization to the soft tissue and kidneys. Common sources of Vitamin D3 include over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription vitamins (typically found in a calcium/Vitamin D3 combination), psoriasis creams (in the form of calcipotriene), and rodenticides. In dogs, cholecalciferol has an LD50 of 85 mg/kg (based on the rodenticide concentration of 0.075%).9 Doses of Vitamin D3 > 0.1-0.5 mg/kg can result in clinical signs and hypercalcemia, respectively. renal failure can occur within 12-36 hours following toxic ingestion. Clinical signs and clinicopathologic findings include increased thirst and urination, weakness, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, generalized malaise, uremic halitosis, dehydration, hypercalcemia, hyperphosphatemia, azotemia, melena, hemorrhagic diarrhea, and death. Decontamination should include emesis induction, if ingestion was recent and the patient is asymptomatic. As cholecalciferol undergoes enterohepatic recirculation, the. administration of multiple doses of activated charcoal (without a cathartic) is warranted q 6 hours X 24 hours. Additional treatment includes the aggressive use of IV fluid therapy to promote calciuresis (e.g., 0.9% NaCl), calcium monitoring, gastrointestinal support (e.g., anti-emetics, H2 blockers, sucralfate, phosphate binders, etc.), and the use of medications to increase calciuresis (e.g., prednisone, furosemide) and prevent hypercalcemia (e.g., pamidronate, calcitonin). Treatment is often expensive, and requires hospitalization for an extended period of time. Most patients are continued on oral furosemide and prednisone for weeks, following discharge from the hospital. Frequent monitoring of renal function and electrolytes is imperative. Calcium, phosphorous, BUN, creatinine, and ionized calcium should be evaluated every 12-24 hours while hospitalized, and then every 2-3 days thereafter for the next 2-4 weeks.

First and second generation LAAC anticoagulants result in inhibition of Vitamin K epoxide reductase, resulting in inactivation of clotting factors II, VII, IX, and X. First generation rodenticides (e.g., warfarin, pindone) have been largely replaced by more potent second generation anticoagulants (e.g., brodifacoum, bromadiolone, diphacinone, chlorophacinone, etc.) keep in mind that species differences exist; cats are much more resistant to the effects of LAAC as compared to dogs.

Canine LD50                  Feline LD50

Difethialone: 4 mg/kg >            16 mg/kg

Brodifacoum: 0.25-4 mg/kg>    25 mg/kg

Bromadiolone: 11-20 mg/kg >   25 mg/kg

Diphacinone: 3-7.5 mg/kg >      15 mg/kg

The most common clinical signs include lethargy, exercise intolerance, inappetence, pallor, dyspnea, coughing, hemoptysis, etc. Hemoabdomen, hemothorax, pericardial effusion may also occur. Rarer clinical signs include gingival bleeding, epistaxis, ecchymoses, petecchia, hematuria, bleeding into the subcutaneous space or joint space, and melena.

When treating LAAC rodenticides, two considerations for treatments should be utilized. With an acute, one-time ingestion of a LAAC, one can decontaminate and check a PT 48 hours post-initial ingestion. If the PT is prolonged at 48 hours, 3-4 weeks of Vitamin K1 therapy should be initiated (3-5 mg/kg PO, divided SID-BID X 4 weeks). A recheck PT should be performed 48 hours after the last dose; if prolonged, an additional 2 weeks of therapy is indicated, with another PT performed 48 hours after the last dose OR 1. With an acute one-time ingestion of a LAAC, one can just prophylatically treat with Vitamin K1 therapy, particularly if the patient is young, debilitated, geriatric, or has underlying liver pathology. Treatment includes Vitamin K1 therapy (3-5 mg/kg PO, divided SID-BID X 4 weeks), with a recheck PT being performed 48 hours after the last dose; if prolonged, an additional 2 weeks of therapy is indicated, with another PT performed 48 hours after the last dose.

Chocolate, a naturally occurring alkaloid found primarily in the Theobrema cacao plant, contains methylated xanthine derivatives (e.g., theobromine, methylxanthine). As chocolate is prevalent in pet owners’ households, this is a very common toxicosis.
Depending on the type of chocolate ingested, clinical signs may include vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, polyuria, and hyperthermia (secondary to hyperactivity, tremoring, anxiety, etc.). With severe cases, cardiotoxicity (e.g., ventricular premature contractions, tachyarrhythmias, etc.) may be seen, along with neurotoxicity (e.g., tremors, seizures, etc.). With chocolate toxicosis, clinical signs can be seen when the amount of theobromine ingested is > 20 mg/kg (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea). With higher doses (> 40 mg/kg), cardiotoxicity may be seen, while doses > 60 mg/kg can result in neurotoxicity. As chocolate often stays in the GI tract for a prolonged period of time, emesis induction up to 4-6 hours post-ingestion may be of benefit, provided the patient remains asymptomatic. Treatment includes multiple doses of activated charcoal, as chocolate undergoes enterohepatic recirculation. Depending on the severity of clinical signs and onset of decontamination (e.g., emesis induction with administration of activated charcoal), treatment may include fluid therapy (either subcutaneously or intravenously), anti-emetic therapy, sedation (if the patient is agitated, tachycardiac, and hypertensive), cardiovascular monitoring (e.g., continuous electrocardiogram monitoring, blood pressure monitoring), and potential beta-blocker therapy (if the heart rate is persistently over 180 beats per minute – canine). As methylxanthines may be reabsorbed through the bladder, frequent walks outside to urinate (or even urinary catheter collection) can be used. As chocolate has a long half-life (approximately 17 hours), clinical signs can be seen for up to 72 hours, and treatment should be continued until clinical signs resolve. Overall, the prognosis is excellent with supportive care. Some patients may develop secondary pancreatitis from chocolate ingestion, particularly if other ingredients were involved (e.g., macadamia nuts).

Grapes and raisins (Vitis spp.) have been recently associated with development of acute renal failure (ARF) with ingestion. All types have been implemented with toxicosis, including organic grapes, commercial grapes, homegrown grapes, and seedless or seeded grapes. While the mechanism of toxicosis is unknown, there are several suspected hypotheses, including individual inability to metabolize certain components of the fruit (e.g., tannins, high monosaccharide content), the presence of mycotoxins or pesticide residues on the fruit, or salicylate-like chemicals within the grape or raisin. Common kitchen items also contain grapes, raisins, or currants in their active ingredient, including raisin bread, trail mix, chocolate-covered raisins, cereal with raisins, etc. Currently, grapeseed extract has not been associated with nephrotoxicity. Treatment for grape and raisin ingestion includes aggressive decontamination as the first-line of therapy. Grapes and raisins seem to stay in the stomach for a prolonged period of time, and are not rapidly broken down or absorbed from the GI tract; hence, delayed emesis induction even several hours post-ingestion can still be initiated to maximize decontamination methods. One dose of activated charcoal can also be administered to prevent absorption of the unknown nephrotoxin. As there is no current veterinary peer-reviewed, scientific published toxic dose of grapes and raisins, all ingestions should be treated as potentially idiosyncratic and be appropriately
decontaminated and treated. Initially, vomiting may be observed within the first 24 hours of ingestion.2 Within the next 12-24 hours, clinical signs of lethargy, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, abdominal pain, uremic breath, and diarrhea may be seen. Azotemia may develop within 24 hours, with hypercalcemia and hyperphosphatemia occurring first. Oliguria and anuria may develop. 48-72 hours post-ingestion, at which point the prognosis is poorer. Treatment includes decontamination, aggressive IV fluid therapy, anti-emetics, blood pressure and urine output monitoring, and serial blood work monitoring (q. 12-24 hours). In severe cases, hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis may be necessary.

NSAIDs are competitive inhibitors of prostaglandin synthesis (cyclooxygenase or “COX” inhibitors) and result in decreased prostaglandin, which is important for normal homeostatic function (including maintaining renal blood flow, maintaining mucous production in the stomach, etc.). Common OTC human NSAIDs include active ingredients such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium. Common prescription veterinary NSAIDs can also result in toxicosis, particularly when available in the chewable, palatable formulation. Examples of veterinary NSAIDs include carprofen, deracoxib, etogesic, previcoxib, etc. With NSAID toxicosis, the GI tract, kidneys, CNS, and platelets can be affected. Cats and certain breeds of dogs (e.g., German shepherds) seem to be more sensitive to NSAIDs, and should be treated aggressively. With cats, severe ARF is often more clinically seen with NSAID toxicosis at lower doses (as compared to dogs). With dogs, signs secondary to GI ulceration (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea, melena, hematemesis, etc.) are more commonly seen initially, followed by secondary ARF. With NSAID toxicosis, it is important to keep in mind that each NSAID has a different toxic dose, margin of safety, half-life, and route of excretion, and an animal poison helpline should be contacted to identify what specific NSAID and toxic dose was ingested. For example, in dogs, ibuprofen results in GI signs at doses as low as 16-50 mg/kg, while severe GI signs may be seen at 50-100 mg/kg. Renal compromise may be seen at doses of 100-250 mg/kg (resulting in potential ARF), and fatalities have been reported at doses > 300 mg/kg. This differs tremendously from naproxen sodium (dogs), where severe clinical signs can be seen at doses as low as 5 mg/kg. With naproxen, experimental canine doses of 22 mg/kg orally once a day for 3 days have resulted in perforation of the GI tract with secondary septic peritonitis occurring. Clinical signs of NSAID toxicosis include anorexia, vomiting, hematemesis, diarrhea, melena, abdominal pain, lethargy, malaise, uremic halitosis, dehydration, etc. Treatment includes decontamination, the use of activated charcoal (often multiple doses due to enterohepatic recirculation, if appropriate), GI protectants (e.g., H2 blockers, sucralfate), aggressive IV fluid therapy (to help maintain renal blood flow) for 24-72 hours, anti-emetic therapy, and symptomatic and supportive care. With high doses, anti-convulsants may also be necessary if CNS signs develop.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in small quantities in certain fruit. Xylitol has gained recent popularity because it is sugar-free, and is often found in diabetic snacks, foods, baked foods, mouthwashes, toothpastes, chewing gum, mints, candies, and chewable multivitamins. With xylitol toxicosis, it is imperative to calculate whether a toxic dose has been ingested. Doses > 0.1 g/kg are considered toxic and result in profound, sudden hypoglycemia from insulin stimulation.4 Higher doses (> 0.5 g/kg) of xylitol have been associated with acute hepatic necrosis. Clinical signs of xylitol toxicosis include lethargy, weakness, vomiting, collapse, anorexia, etc. When hepatotoxic doses are ingested, clinical signs and clinicopathologic findings may include melena, icterus, increased liver enzymes, diarrhea, hypoglycemia, hypocholesterolemia, decreased BUN, hypoalbuminemia, etc. When presented a patient that has ingested a toxic amount of xylitol, a blood glucose should be checked immediately upon presentation; if hypoglycemic, a bolus of 1 ml/kg of 50% dextrose, diluted with an additional amount of 0.9% NaCl (in a 1:3 ratio) should be given IV over 1-2 minutes.
Emesis induction should not be performed until the patient is euglycemic. Keep in mind that activated charcoal does not reliably bind to xylitol, and is not routinely recommended for xylitol toxicosis. Hypoglycemic patients should be hospitalized for IV fluid therapy [supplemented with dextrose (2.5 to 5% dextrose, CRI, IV)] for approximately 24 hours, and frequent blood glucose check should be performed every 1-4 hours. For patients ingesting a hepatotoxic amount of xylitol, the use of hepatoprotectants (e.g., SAMe), anti-emetics, and supportive care (including frequent liver enzyme monitoring) are warranted.

Acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol), a cyclooxygenase (COX)-3 inhibitor, is a popular over-the-counter (OTC) analgesic and antipyretic medication used frequently in humans. It is not considered a true NSAID as it lacks anti-inflammatory properties. While this drug is very safe for human use, it has a narrow margin of safety in dogs and cats; the severity of toxicosis and development of clinical signs is species-dependent. Cats have an altered glucuronidation pathway and a decreased ability to metabolize acetaminophen, making them much more susceptible to toxicosis. In cats, red blood cell injury is more likely to occur in the form of methemoglobinemia (metHb), and toxicity can develop at doses as low as 10 mg/kg. In cats, lethargy, swelling of the face or paws, respiratory distress, brown mucous membranes, cyanosis, vomiting, and anorexia may be seen secondary to metHb. In dogs, hepatic injury is more likely to occur; acetaminophen toxicosis can occur at doses > 100 mg/kg, while metHb can develop at doses of > 200 mg/kg. Dogs may develop clinical signs of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye), malaise, anorexia, hepatic encephalopathy, vomiting, melena, and icterus secondary to hepatotoxicity. Treatment includes decontamination, administration of one dose of activated charcoal with a cathartic, IV fluid therapy, antioxidant therapy (Vitamin C), provision of a glutathione source (S-adenosyl-methionine or SAMe), and N-acetylcysteine to limit formation of the toxic metabolite NAPQI by providing additional glutathione substrate. Baseline blood work and follow-up biochemical panels should be performed to monitor for hepatotoxicity. Generally, prognosis is fair with therapy. Those with severe hepatic failure have a poorer prognosis.

It is IMPORTANT that all pups going to new homes should not be given full access to any new home, more-so a new home that is new to dogs. Most good breeders will advise the use of a pen and crate system to ensure that a pup remains safe whilst new owners adapt to life with a new 4 legged little one. I have attended many an emergency to prevent death of both young pups and even much older young dogs when owners have simply not put prescription drugs out of reach of these investigative animals. One day they cant jump onto kitchen cupboards the next they sire can, breeders know their dogs very well so it is important no matter how well you think you know dogs to listen and take in the advice. IT MAY SAVE YOUR PETS LIFE ONE DAY!

How to establish fast or slow heart rate:


How to Induce Vomiting in emergency care of dogs and cats:

There are two products commonly found in the home that can help induce vomiting, 3 percent Hydrogen Peroxide or good old table salt. The general rule for peroxide is 5mls (or 1 teaspoon) per 10 pounds, orally. Repeat every 15-20 minutes, up to three times, until the animal vomits.

When Should You NOT Induce Vomiting?

Circumstances in which you should not make your pet throw up include:

• When he's already throwing up. Don't induce more vomiting in an already vomiting animal, because you can incite a worse vomition response.

• If your pet has lost consciousness and/or if she's very weak or has trouble standing. Do not induce vomiting in this situation because aspiration pneumonia, which can result when an animal inhales vomit into its lungs, can become a secondary problem.

• If your pet has swallowed bleach, a drain cleaner, or a petroleum distillate. These chemicals can cause burning as they are swallowed, and secondary additional burns as they come back up. Don't induce vomiting if your pet has swallowed a caustic substance.

• If it has been over two hours since your pet ingested a potential toxin. Once a substance enters your pet's small intestine, vomiting will not clear the stomach of that toxin. Inducing vomiting in a dog or cat that has already digested a potential toxin won't be effective in ridding her body of the substance.

When Should You Absolutely Induce Vomiting?

• When your pet has consumed antifreeze (#3) within the last two hours.

• When you've called your veterinarian, discussed the specific circumstances around your pet's swallowing a potential toxin, and your vet instructs you to induce vomiting.

Hydrogen Peroxide to Induce Vomiting

I recommend (and probably your own veterinarian will as well) the only substance you use at home to make your pet throw up is hydrogen peroxide.

I'm talking about three percent hydrogen peroxide – the kind you purchase at any pharmacy. Do not use the stronger, concentrated peroxide found in hair color, use only the three percent kind.

The dose is one teaspoon (five milliliters, or cc's) for every 10 pounds of body weight.

The hydrogen peroxide must be given orally to your pet. At my clinic, especially if the patient is a dog, we mix it with a little vanilla ice cream to make it palatable. I don't advocate feeding ice cream to dogs, of course, but in a situation where it's necessary to make a pet vomit, hydrogen peroxide hidden in sugary ice cream usually gets gobbled up with no argument.

You can also try using a little bit of honey if there's no ice cream on hand.

Sometimes, however, we just syringe the stuff down an animal's throat. With kitty patients, it's usually easier and more effective to syringe it.

If your pet is a dog, after you get the hydrogen peroxide down, you should walk her around for a few minutes to get her moving, which will help the hydrogen peroxide do its work.

Cats, of course, are a little harder to get moving, but getting them in motion will encourage absorption of the hydrogen peroxide.

Hydrogen peroxide is an irritant to the gastrointestinal tract, so it typically induces vomiting of stomach contents within 15 minutes of use. If your pet doesn't vomit within 15 minutes, you can give him a second dose. However, if another 15 minutes pass and he still hasn't vomited, don't give him a third dose of the hydrogen peroxide. It's time to call your veterinarian.

Veterinarians use specific drugs to induce vomiting in pets – apomorphine is used for dogs, and xylazine is used for kitties.

These medications are by prescription only and can only be administered by a veterinarian. They can be much more effective at inducing vomiting than hydrogen peroxide. So if your pet isn't throwing up from your at-home hydrogen peroxide treatment, you should seek veterinary care immediately.

DO NOT induce vomiting if the animal is having difficulty breathing, having seizures/convulsions, seems depressed, in shock or unconscious.

DO NOT induce vomiting if the animal's heart rate is very slow, if the object eaten was pointed or sharp, or when the poison container says not to.

I hope this helps.

Hereditary Evaluation of Multiple Developmental Abnormalities in the Havanese Dog Breed

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