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  The Care & Feeding of the Breeding Bitch - part 1
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:19 PM - Forum: Husbandry - No Replies

Article copyright by: Kathleen Hefner, DVM

Copied from the American Kennel Club's responsible breeding pages.

Avoiding malnourishment of a bitch from the pre-breeding phase to parturition is vital to the health of both the bitch and her pups.

We are all aware that good nutrition and proper prenatal care play important roles in ensuring the birth of healthy human children. The same is true in ensuring that our canine friends are born healthy.

Proper care and feeding of a breeding bitch should begin long before she is actually bred and even before her estrous cycle begins. If you and your veterinarian decide a bitch is a good breeding candidate, based upon a thorough physical exam in which she is found to be in good health and free of any physical abnormalities that may jeopardize pregnancy or whelping, as well as any potentially dangerous inheritable conditions, then the real work begins. She should be evaluated and treated for internal as well as external parasites that could impair her health or be transmitted to her offspring. She should also be given all appropriate vaccinations, as determined in consultation with your veterinarian.

The prospective breeding bitch should be weighed to help evaluate her overall nutritional status. Dietary adjustments in amount or type of food should be made at this time to achieve optimal body weight. A bitch who is either overweight or underweight will have less reproductive success.

What Are the Dangers?
Veterinary nutritionists strongly believe that malnourishment of bitches before breeding and during pregnancy is a major factor in neonatal puppy mortality, which is estimated to be between 20 and 30 percent. Just like growth and performance, reproduction is a physiologic state with nutritional requirements that exceed those of a maintenance phase. A bitch who is pregnant or has just given birth draws upon the nutritional reserves deposited in her body before and during pregnancy. A malnourished female will not have sufficient protein, vitamins, minerals and energy to support pregnancy.

Malnourishment of a breeding bitch can occur as the result of feeding poor-quality diets, imbalanced diets or insufficient amounts of good-quality diets. It can happen at any stage of her reproductive cycle, though perhaps the danger is greatest during late pregnancy, when nutritional needs greatly increase. Improper feeding of a breeding bitch can result in impaired health of both the bitch and her offspring, can cause low conception rates and birth defects, problems carrying the entire litter to term, dystocia (labor difficulties), as well as improper mammary development, which reduces the quality and amount of the milk and colostrum produced. Overweight bitches, as well as those who are underweight, may also have many of these problems.

Nutritional deprivation during pregnancy has been shown to affect the immune systems of both the bitch and her pups. The immune system is very sensitive to nutritional inadequacies during its formation and development. It can also affect the immune system's ability to function during future pregnancies as well, even if proper nutrition is restored.

Many times the malnourishment of the bitch is not evident until it is too late. She may appear thin and out of condition once whelped, with inadequate muscle and body-fat reserves to support lactation. The pups may suffer from "fading puppy syndrome," appearing weak, crying frequently, eating poorly and lacking coordination. Many of these pups face early death.

To ensure adequate nutritional status of the bitch prior to breeding, many veterinarians will do some simple blood work to determine whether the bitch is anemic or has low blood protein. If either problem is detected, this would indicate malnourishment and should be corrected prior to breeding.

When She Is Pregnant
Once a bitch is pregnant, she should be fed a high-quality, well-balanced performance diet throughout gestation, even though the pregnant bitch's nutritional requirements increase only minimally during the first half of gestation. As a guideline, choose a highly digestible, very palatable commercial diet. It should contain at least 29 percent protein and 17 percent fat. High amounts of soluble carbohydrates and a low fiber content are important to ensure adequate energy intake and to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in late pregnancy. Adequate intake of calcium (between 1 and 1.8 percent) and phosphorous (between .8 and 1.6 percent) intake is important for adequate milk production by the bitch so that the pups' bones form properly.

Dietary supplements, such as meats, milk, vitamins and minerals are generally not recommended if a high-quality growth/lactation diet is fed. Feeding excessive amounts of calcium or vitamin D can cause calcification of the soft tissues of the fetus, as well as other birth defects. Although lactation requires large amounts of calcium, supplementation during pregnancy does not prevent calcium depletion during lactation (eclampsia) and may actually compound the problem. Supplementation with meat products can reduce the carbohydrate content of the diet and can be associated with hypoglycemia and stillbirths.

If a high-quality, well-balanced growth/lactation ration is being fed, the actual amount of food required by the bitch during the first five to six weeks of pregnancy need not be increased significantly (10 percent maximum). This is because less than 30 percent of fetal growth occurs during these first few weeks. However, fetal growth rapidly increases in the last three to four weeks of gestation.

The bitch's food intake should be gradually increased by a total of 15 to 25 percent by the time of whelping to ensure adequate gain of body weight and increase of nutritional reserves. Because many females suffer from decreased appetite late in pregnancy due to abdominal distention, more frequent meals help maintain nutrient intake during this critical time. She should be fed at least twice daily. Indeed, many breeders will be feeding free choice by the time whelping approaches.

Maintaining adequate nutrition during the last trimester by feeding greater amounts of high-quality, well-balanced and palatable growth/lactation diet in frequent meals is critical to support the bitch and her pups for the next few weeks and to assure future good health.

In my next column, I will discuss proper feeding of the bitch during whelping and lactation to support adequate puppy growth and health.

Kathleen Hefner is an award-winning New Jersey USA-based veterinarian.

AKC GAZETTE articles are selected for their general interest and entertainment values. Authors' views do not necessarily represent the policies of the American Kennel Club, nor does their publication constitute an endorsement by the AKC.

This article has been selected for their general informational values. Authors' views do not necessarily represent the policies of Versailles Kennels, nor does their publication constitute an endorsement by the AKC or Versailles Kennels, UK although we find her knowledge similar to that which we value.

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  The Care & Feeding of the Breeding Bitch - part 2
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:18 PM - Forum: Husbandry - No Replies

Article copyright by: Kathleen Hefner, DVM

Copied from the American Kennel Club's responsible breeding pages.

Inadequate intake of calories and nutrients prior to whelping and especially during lactation can have serious, even deadly, consequences.

As we discussed in May, proper nutrition of a breeding bitch is important during all stages of the reproductive cycle in order to ensure the good health and growth of her newborn puppies. Although a dam's nutritional requirements increase tremendously during the last trimester of pregnancy, nutritional deficiencies are most likely to occur after birth, when her body must cope with the stress placed on it by the demands of lactation.

A quality feeding program for a reproducing bitch has two goals: first, to provide adequate nutrition so that her weight increases by 15 to 25 percent by the time of whelping; and second, to help her maintain optimal body weight after parturition, when she must produce sufficient quantities of milk and colostrum to support growth in the newborn pups until they are weaned.

To achieve these goals, you must feed adequate amounts of a good-quality, highly digestible, very palatable commercial growth-and-lactation diet. It should contain at least 29 percent protein, at least 17 percent dietary fat and less than 5 percent dietary fiber. This is measured based on dry-matter weight, not calories. These percentages should provide adequate calories and protein to support the tremendous demands of milk production and puppy growth.

The Consequences of Improper Feeding
If you do not feed the bitch properly, she is likely, by the time of whelping, to be thin and out of condition, with poor muscle tone or brittle fur, and these problems often worsen during lactation. In an attempt to meet her nutritional needs, she may increase her food intake, which can lead to uncontrollable diarrhea. As stated in the May column, pups born to a mother whose health is in this state are prone to a condition called "fading puppy syndrome," appearing weak and lethargic, crying frequently, eating and growing poorly, and lacking coordination. Many of them ultimately die. Improper feeding of the bitch can also cause problems with lactation, ranging from reduced milk production to total failure to produce milk. Astute breeders monitor for these signs and immediately adjust the feeding regimen by improving the quality of the food, increasing the amount fed or both.

By the time of parturition, the pregnant bitch's dietary intake should have increased by 15 to 25 percent. Feed her at least twice daily or free choice. Most breeders do the latter to ensure adequate food intake. Most bitches refuse food approximately 12 hours prior to whelping, coinciding with a 1- to 2-degree decline in body temperature. Make every effort at this time to encourage water or ice intake to prevent dehydration, weakness, labor difficulties and impaired milk letdown. (Milk letdown is the process by which milk is transferred from the upper part of the mammary milk-secretion glands to the lower part for release through the nipples.) After giving birth, she must resume intake of highly palatable, good-quality food as soon as possible. The inexperienced or overattentive mother may be reluctant to leave the pups. Bring food and water to her if necessary. Some females are anorexic for a few days after whelping. Many breeders encourage food intake by offering highly palatable products, such as ice cream, homemade mixtures (for example, mix one can of evaporated milk, one can of water, three egg yolks and one-quarter cup of Karo syrup; heat, then let cool), puppy-milk replacers or a growth-and-lactation commercial cat food.

Nutritional deficiencies are particularly likely to occur when the bitch is lactating. Her physiology will prioritize the utilization of nutrients. The top priority is lactation and puppy growth, and she will actually deplete her body reserves at the expense of her own health for that purpose. Your goal is to provide enough nutrition for her to maintain optimal body weight while the puppies nurse. All nutrients are needed in increased amounts. Simply ensuring sufficient intake of calories is extremely difficult, and therefore her diet should have a fat content of at least 17 percent.

Many factors affect the caloric requirements of the lactating bitch, including the number of pups, the size of the breed and the temperament of the dam. The larger the litter, the greater the nutrient requirements for milk production. On the other hand, smaller breeds tend to have a greater energy requirement per pound of body weight. Some breeders feed smaller dogs a good-quality, growth-and-lactation commercial cat food because of the greater caloric and nutrient content of these products. Likewise, a temperamental or nervous bitch will expend more energy and have a higher requirement. As a rule of thumb, at peak lactation you should increase a bitch's food intake by 25 percent per puppy above what is usually required to maintain her body weight. For example, if a bitch normally requires two cups of dog food to maintain her body weight and has a litter of six pups, feed her a total of five cups a day (two cups divided by 25 percent equals one-half cup; multiplying that by six puppies equals three cups; adding the bitch's normal two cups maintenance equals five cups).

Another guideline used by many is to increase the bitch's food intake by one-and-a-half, two and three times above her maintenance requirements by weeks one, two and three of lactation, respectively. Again, most breeders will feed free choice. If meal-fed, feed at least three times daily.

Most commercial dog foods do not contain sufficient nutrient density, especially caloric content, to support lactation. The feeding of these products is the most common cause of malnutrition. If a bitch who is being fed free choice is thin by the time of weaning, then the quality of her food, as well as its caloric density, is inadequate. If this occurs, I recommend changing to a higher-quality, more calorie-dense product. A less desirable alternative is to supplement the current diet with a fat source (1 tablespoon of fat per cup of dry food). Grease, lard, tallow or vegetable oil is acceptable and will raise the number of calories by 30 percent.

The importance of proper nutrition of the breeding bitch cannot be overemphasized. In the final article in this series we will discuss the unique nutritional problems associated with peak lactation, along with guidelines for the bitch at weaning.

Kathleen Hefner is an award-winning New Jersey, USA-based veterinarian.

AKC GAZETTE articles are selected for their general interest and entertainment values. Authors' views do not necessarily represent the policies of the American Kennel Club, nor does their publication constitute an endorsement by the AKC.

This article has been selected for their general informational values. Authors' views do not necessarily represent the policies of Versailles Kennels, nor does their publication constitute an endorsement by the AKC or Versailles Kennels, UK although we find her knowledge similar to that which we value.

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  The Versailles Method to Wean Your Dog
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:17 PM - Forum: Husbandry - No Replies

Thank you for adding one or more of our pups to your family. We have taken the time, love and care to wean them from their mom's the very best way possible and we are passing along our method to you. Please copy our "recipe" and do adhere to it as it will be the one true way to keep optimal health and nutrition for your new family member/s.

Your pup has been weaned using these products: 

Butchers puppy food in tins 
Venison ears 
Pork and lamb chops warmed thru NOT COOKED 
pease pudding 
Dried black pudding 
mackerel fillets (deboned) 
cottage cheese (plain) 
burns ocean bites 
prize choice raw food natures diet (Tesco) 
Bakers dried puppy food 
Scrambled eggs 
boiled eggs 
Chicken broth 
Sirloin Steak grilled 
Lambs Liver 
Chicken livers 
Raw Chicken wing 
green beans 
haricot beans 
tomatoes (deseeded) 
broccoli (tiny amount) 
Salmon (fresh) 
roast salmon 
white fish 
Sardine in oil 
Pheasant and Pheasant Pate 
Venison and venison pate 
Game and Rabbit Pate 
Minced lamb 
Brown bread 
Butter cream 
Goats milk yoghurt 
Natural probiotic yoghurt 
puppy meals - buy direct from them to save money 
custard baby food 
Goats milk 
Delmere puppy milk 
Skinners puppy milk 
Bottled water
Filtered water 

All of the above have been well tolerated. We do recommend giving fish on a daily basis as with some green vegetables and oatmeal. Each dog is an individual and therefore we do not set amounts, These dogs do not have huge appetites so play this by watching YOUR OWN DOG. Remember TREATS ARE HIGH IN CALORIES, so reduce food amounts when giving them to avoid obesity. Pork and Duck are good sources of protein and far more beneficial to all dogs than chicken. WE do not recommend moving away from the foods above, it is a comprehensive list and should provide your pup with a variety of foods in their diets, that will be easy to use when they reach adulthood. 
We also have used blueberries, raspberries in a dried form (from our dehydrator) sprinkled on yoghurt as a treat. 

Feeding times for our pups are: 0800, 1200, 1600, 1800 Hrs NO FOOD SHOULD BE GIVEN AFTER 1800 HRS This will encourage bowel movements overnight. 
WATER SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM THEM AT 2000 HRS TO AVOID PEEING AT NIGHT, BUT you MUST get up at 0600 to give water and feed. 

If your pup sleeps through the last feeding (he skips it) then DO NOT give them it later on. Dogs must set a routine around you not you them!

Cranberry tablets 1 daily (especially if on dried food a lot) Lutein Supplements 1 Daily (prevents cataracts, reduce if present) Omega 3,6.9 1 Tablet Daily (helps bones, teeth, coat, also assists with allergies ) Chondroitin, Glucosamine 1 daily(supports Synovial fluid production on joints)

Please note that all our articles are copyrighted to their authors and are used with permission. 
You cannot use, replicate, duplicate, sell, print or anything of the like any of the images or words without express written consent from the author.

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  Feeding for good health
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:16 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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 – 
http://www.switchingtoraw.com/ – By Susan K. Johnson (Birchrun5@aol.com). 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.

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  Why Dogs Eat Poop
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:15 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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.

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  Hereditary Diseases
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:15 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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!

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  Are Havanese Hypoallergenic Type dogs?
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:14 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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)

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  Herb Care
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:14 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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.

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  Dental Care
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:13 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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 © (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 © (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.

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  Liver Shunts
Posted by: Versi - 03-05-2020, 06:13 PM - Forum: Health - No Replies

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.

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