Glory’s Surgical AI December 2017 Part 1

After Glory’s last litter went home in April of 2016 I started planning her next litter. There are many months of research, thinking and decision making that go into a breeding. We decided we would do the breeding when Glory came into season the fall/winter of 2017. Glory has all her health clearances done that are one time tests including radiographs of her hips and elbows, DM, EIC, PRA, Long Coat genetic tests. The only test she needed repeated and repeated each year we breed Glory is her CERF eye exam. In March of 2017 we had that eye test done and she came back with a clear exam. The many months were spent researching a suitable stud dog. I found the stud dog I wanted to use, he had his clearances the only thing I needed to know was if he was fertile. I was going to use a stud dog that was never bred before. He went through testing to check his fertility. Some concerns came up with the semen analysis a few months before the breeding. When Glory came into season the wheels started turning fast. I needed to know that the potential stud dog’s semen was good enough for a breeding so another semen analysis was done at that time it was discovered that he had an infection that might hinder a successful pregnancy so I needed to make some major decisions if I was going to go with this stud dog or quickly find another one. After thinking of all my options we decided to use another stud dog. Finding another stud dog doesn’t just happen like that when we are talking we have a week to pull this off, so we decided to do a repeat breeding with the stud dog we used in 2016, which is Lzy Mtn Piper’s 3-D Brown Bear MH.

We knew this breeding was going to be a surgical insemination so we needed to start progesterone testing on Glory. The seventh day of her heat cycle I took her in for her first progesterone test, she of course was low but we needed a baseline and to start somewhere’s. I took her back three days later and she was moving up, since she was getting closer we needed to repeat the progesterone the following day which proved she had just ovulated. Glory was at day 11 of her heat cycle and the results of the test were 5.76 ng/ml. It has been proven that when a canines progesterone reaches 5 ng/ml they have ovulated, since Glory was at 5.76 we knew she ovulated earlier in the day and when doing a surgical insemination you want to inseminate the semen when the eggs are mature. It can take 2-3 days from ovulation for the eggs to mature so the surgical insemination was set up for Wednesday December, 13th 2017. The procedure was going to be done at Veterinary Village the reproduction clinic that does all my dogs reproduction work.

The day of the surgery Glory’s blood was drawn for a pre-surgical complete blood count, chemistries, coagulation panel and another progesterone. All the blood work was normal and her progesterone was 25 which was spot on for the insemination. Glory had a full physical exam and a ECG done of her heart, those tests were normal as well so it was time to premedicate her and get the ball rolling.

An IV catheter was placed, induction medication was administered to make Glory sleepy so a endo tracheal tube could be placed so she could be put on gas anesthetic for general anesthesia. She was hooked up to IV fluids during the surgery. Dr. Kowaleski was the surgeon while John was the technician monitoring Glory while she was under anesthesia.

John was recording Glory’s vital signs while under anesthesia, he was making sure she was handing the anesthesia well, if there were any changes in her vital signs he would adjust the anesthesia and fluids appropriately.

Meanwhile outside the OR Lindsey was waiting for the cue to go ahead and start unthawing the frozen semen sample they had on hand from Bear.

Once the semen is thawed it is analysed under the microscope to make sure it is viable. No sense implanting semen that is dead. Everything looked great, the semen was alive and active, it had about 75% motility. It’s still amazing to me that you can freeze semen and then wake these little guys back up and have a successful pregnancy.

Dr. Kowaleski was getting the uterus prepared, she was looking at the ovaries and uterus to make sure there were no cysts or other problems that might complicate the surgery. Everything looked great, even know Glory has had 2 previous litters with one being a csection you couldn’t tell anything had happened to her uterus.

She packed everything off and was ready for the insemination.

Drawing up the semen into her syringe to implant it in Glory’s uterus.

Implanting the semen.

John is monitoring Glory through out the whole procedure. There are monitors that will give you the vitals of the patient but it is always a good idea to do your own visual and listen to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope.

Dr. Kowaleski finished implanting the semen into the uterus and is closing the uterus, abdominal wall and sub q layer of her incision.

Surgery is complete.

Time to recover Glory. Her incision site is cleaned, she is taken off the gas anesthetic, fluids and monitors. When she can swallow on her own the endo tracheal tube is removed.

Good morning Glorious one!

Glory recovered nicely, she felt most comfort when she was laying her head on my leg. It comforted me as well.

Here is the outline of events to come for Glory.

Glory the night after the insemination. Surgery went well, she recovered great, she was already hording her toys. She will need 10-14 days to recover from the surgery. She will need to be kept quite and will need to go outside to potty and back in. No playing with the other dogs as we don’t want to disrupt her skin incision. The 4 week wait to find out if the pregnancy took is going to be the longest 4 weeks ever.

~I’m posting Glory’s breeding events after the fact, I announced on Wednesday that Glory is expecting so we know she is pregnant. What you don’t know is the events that happened after the insemination and that we didn’t know if we would have a successful pregnancy. Stay tuned for part 2.

Get The Nursery Ready

For 20 days I was sitting on pins and needles while giving Glory medication twice a day and tending to her surgical incision wondering if this breeding was going to take place. She got a bad infection after her surgical ai so there was a good chance the pregnancy wouldn’t happen. This truely is a miricle breeding and soon I will share our roller coaster ride not only the after insemination  problems but the ride we took to get her bred.

Right now we are happy and we will continue to care for our glorious one to ensure she has a healthy delivery and healthy puppies.

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Josey’s 2 Year CERF Exam

Josey (Glory and Thunder 2015 pup) went to the UW Veterinary School in Madison, WI on Monday September 18, 2017 to have her second year CERF exam done on her eyes. This was a worrisome day for me as a breeder because if you have been following along you know that Preacher who is Josey’s sister came down with cataracts when she was CERF’ed at 8 months of age. If you didn’t see the post you can read about it here. After we found out about Preacher we took Josey for her first CERF exam in which she passed, she had no signs of cataracts. So the wait began to see if any would develop as she got older as juvenile cataracts can appear between 6-18 months of age.

Outside the UW Vet School in Madison, WI.

Waiting for her appointment.

Waiting for the ophthalmologist.

Josey got a clean bill of heath on her CERF exam, a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders as she should be out of the woods for developing juvenile cataracts as she is nearing 27 months of age. This was the best news I got. Tom had a great experience at the UW Veterinary School. Josey needed sun glasses when she left the building not only because the sun was shining bright but because Tom was as well.

September Is National Pet Insurance Month ~Part 1

September Is National Pet Insurance Month so I’m going to talk about pet insurance in a two part series. Part 1 I will tell you about Nationwide Pet Insurance formerly VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) since this is the pet insurance company I use for Glory. Part 2 I will talk about pet insurance in general.

Part 1:

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I’ve been in the Veterinary field for over 25 years, at the clinics I worked at we accepted pet insurance. The procedure would be the client comes in and has the work done on their animal, pays the bill and has us fill out and sign the pet insurance claim form for them to submit to their insurance company. Once submitted we may or may not have to submit the medical records for what was being claimed. There are many insurance companies out there and I’ve seen many come through our clinic. No matter what company the client had or what was being done they were all happy with their insurance company.

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I have never had pet insurance for any of my animals since I work at a clinic and get a discount on my services and my pets usually are very healthy and need just routine care. A couple times they needed major surgery but it wasn’t anything that set me back. Last October I went to a breeders seminar at Veterinary Village (who does all my reproduction care)  and that is where I learned that if your going to be a breeder then pet insurance is a must and Nationwide Pet Insurance is the only company out there that will cover reproduction work. Since becoming Nationwide they changed their policies and have made them breeder friendly. It was then I signed Glory up for pet insurance as I knew I would be breeding her again last fall and it would be a surgical AI with the possibility of a c-section so after adding up the cost of the premiums/deductable and what I would be paying for all the work that would be done on Glory I would be ahead with having the pet insurance. Now if I don’t breed Glory and don’t have any major veterinary bills (which I hope I don’t) with her then that year the insurance company will be ahead but I will have the peace of mind knowing I have insurance if I need it.

Pre Breeding Screenings

Pre Breeding Screenings

I researched Nationwide Pet Insurance as they have three plans to fit your dogs needs. I went with whole pet with wellness (which cost’s me $93.90 a month) as that is the plan that will cover everything I need for Glory’s reproduction work starting with the progesterone tests to the surgical AI to the ultrasound and then the c-section plus anything else that would come up. I signed up the middle of November having to pay a prorated cost for November and then paid for one month in advance. I called a representative from Nationwide, gave her all my info and Glory’s info, she asked me about Glory’s medical history and told me she would submit the enrollment form and once it was approved Glory’s coverage would begin two weeks later. This was one of the other reason’s why I chose Nationwide for coverage as unlike other companies who require a one year grace period before they will cover ACL (cruciate ligament) surgery Nationwide will cover surgery on not one but both knees after the two week grace period, but you need to have the Whole Pet with Wellness plan.

Pre Surgical ECG

Pre Surgical ECG

The process for breeding Glory went like this:

  • Progesterone testing
  • Pre surgical bloodwork
  • Surgical AI using frozen semen
  • Ultrasound after 30 days
  • Radiograph after 55 days
  • C-section

Glory's surgical AI.

Glory’s surgical AI.

After each Veterinary visit I paid my bill at the Veterinary Clinic I then filled out my Nationwide Pet Insurance claim form and faxed it along with a copy of the receipt back to Nationwide. You can also email the form if you like. Once they got the claim they reviewed it and if they needed additional information they would contact me or the Veterinary clinic for the medical records (they never contacted me or the clinic for any records during this whole claim process). I could log in to my online account to check the status of the reimbursement. They reimbursed me within two weeks on all my claims. The first reimbursement was minus my $100 deductible.  When you sign up for the pet insurance Nationwide offers a $100 or a $250 deductible, I chose to go with the $100. Nationwide reimburses you 90% of what you paid the Veterinary Clinic. The whole process was very easy and straight forward.

Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.

Ultrasound to confirm pregnancy.

To see what is all covered in Nationwide’s plans click HERE. Now in the what’s covered page it won’t list the reproduction work but believe me it is covered. They will also cover the semen collection but not any sort of shipping on anything. I used frozen semen so I had to pay for the shipping of the semen.

To see what isn’t covered you can click HERE. Nationwide states that they don’t cover pre-existing conditions but if your pet has been cleared by a Veterinarian for at least 6 months for that condition you may be able to get that conditioned covered.

Radiograph to count puppies.

Radiograph to count puppies.

Glory’s reproduction costs and reimbursements:

submitted                             paid
12/2/15       $114.90                               $13.41(minus my $100 deductible) – progesterone testing
12/3/15       $131.28                               $118.15 – progesterone testing
12/5/15       $136.64                               $122.98 – progesterone and pre surgical bloodwork
12/8/15       $932.33                               $551.10 – surgical ai
1/6/16         $99.14                                 $89.23 – ultrasound
2/3/16         $2622.16                             $2359.94 – radiograph and c-section including dewclaws on puppies

Glory's C-Section

Glory’s C-Section

Other medical care:

submitted                             paid

3/22/16      $53.12                                 $47.81 – yearly vaccinations
3/31/16      $209.88                               $188.89 – revolution treatment for one year
4/7/16        $68.56                                 $61.71 – yearly vaccinations and heartworm testing

The puppies.

The puppies.

A breakdown on Veterinary cost, reimbursed and premiums paid:

Veterinary Costs from 12/15 – 9/16   $4368.01

Nationwide reimbursed                     $3553.22

Jo paid  in vet care                           $814.79

Premiums paid                                 $1025.50

With what I paid in vet care and premiums of $1840.29 I had a savings of $2527.72 so far in less than a year of having Nationwide as my pet insurance company.

A win win for JoAnn's pocket book on this breeding.

A win win for JoAnn’s pocket book on this breeding.

Nationwide also has a refer a friend program. If you refer a friend and they mention you referred them to Nationwide you will get a $20.00 Amazon gift card. So if you were thinking about getting pet insurance and you are going to sign up with Nationwide then be sure to mention my name 🙂

As a side note I’m not plugging Nationwide just so I can get a gift card, what I have wrote about my experience is the truth and I will continue to use Nationwide as my pet insurance for Glory and any future breeding bitches as long as their coverage doesn’t change. I’ve been very happy with the service and time frame on my claims for this past year!

 

 

Genetic Testing ~Should They Be Done If I’m Not Breeding?

The end of July I wrote about GenSol Canine Genetics which is a laboratory that does genetic testing on your dog, if you missed it you can read about it here. I wrote about which tests the laboratory will do on Chesapeake’s and how to do the sampling. Once I got the results which was about a week later I wrote about the results of the tests which you can read here. Jan from Wag ‘N Woof Pets had a couple of very good questions which I would like to address today.

Genetic Testing ~Should They Be Done If I’m Not Breeding?

DSC_0642 Here were Jan’s questions:

  1. Do you think it serves much purpose if you don’t breed?

  2. Could you do anything to prevent any of these things if you knew about them ahead of time?

Two very good questions Jan, both questions I will answer with a yes and a yes.

DSC_0655 1. Do you think it serves much purpose if you don’t breed?

This would depend on the breed of dog and the genetic tests available. For the Chesapeake Bay Retriever I would say yes running the tests would serve a purpose even if I didn’t breed. I would want to run the genetic tests on the diseases that are hereditary if I didn’t know what the status of the parents were. In hence I wouldn’t know what the status of my dog was, if I knew I would know of potential problems that may arise later in life.

If people test their breeding stock and submit the results to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) database you can read the parents results and know what your dog might be. If the parents are clear for a certain genetic disease the offspring will be clear too, now that is the easy one to read and the offspring would be Clear By Parentage and testing isn’t necessary unless you would want to confirm it and have it in writing. If one parent was a clear and one parent was a carrier then the offspring would be either clear or carriers of the genetic disease. If one parent was a clear and one was affected then all puppies would be carriers.  If two carrier parents were bred together then the offspring would be affected that meaning the dog may or may not come down with the genetic disease. You wouldn’t know by looking at the puppy what it’s status is, that is where the test would come in handy.DSC_0657 So now that I completely confused you I’ll give you an example of what those results mean. Say you were testing your dog for EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse) this is what the results would be depending on who was bred together.

CLEAR/NORMAL: These dogs have two copies of the normal gene and will neither develop Exercise Induced Collapse nor pass this mutation to their offspring.

CARRIER/NOT AFFECTED: These dogs have one copy of the normal gene and one copy of the mutation associated with this disease. They will not develop Exercise Induced Collapse but will, if bred, pass the mutation to 50% of its offspring, on average.

AT RISK/AFFECTED: These dogs have two copies of the mutation associated with this disease and are susceptible to collapse following periods of extreme exercise.

These results lead me into question #2.DSC_0663  2. Could you do anything to prevent any of these things if you knew about them ahead of time?

Again depending on the breed and the genetic testing being done if you knew what the results were for your dog you could be prepared for what may happen and know how to handle it or prevent it. When talking about EIC from above if you knew your dog was affected then you would know that when doing performance events with your dog it has the potential to over heat and collapse. This could be prevented if you knew the EIC status of your dog.

This is what happened with a friend of mine. He bought a Labrador, the parents didn’t have any genetic testing done, I think he was lucky if the parents even had their hips done. He wanted to run hunt tests with his dog so we started helping him train for it. When he became 7 months old while running marks he started panting more became weak and would collapse. He would lay there and just pant. I suspected EIC so I took his temperature and it was 106. Normal for a dog is 101-102.5. He had him tested and he was affected with EIC. If he knew what the EIC status was he would of known he couldn’t run his dog like that or at lease would know why he was doing the stuff he was doing when out in the field and know when to quit. Even if you weren’t running performance events if you run with your dog or it is just playing hard in the yard it could have the potential of collapsing.

So depending on the genetic disease  you can do things differently with your dog if you know the results even if you aren’t breeding.

GenSol Canine Genetics

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Canine Genetic Testing

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GenSol Diagnostics offers accurate and affordable genetic testing for a multitude of genetic disorders affecting our canine companions.  Genetic screening is an excellent tool for determining and cultivating genetically healthy breeding practices, as well as a diagnostic tool for preventive wellness planning for your beloved dog. GenSol – Canine Genetic Testing

Genetic tests/coat tests that can be run on Chesapeake Bay Retrievers at GenSol are:

  • Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) results accepted by OFA
  • Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) results accepted by OFA
  • Progressive Rod-Cone Degeneration (PRA-PRCD)
  • Coat Length /Fluffy Locus (LENGTH)

GenSol’s everyday bulk discount on tests is buy 5+ tests and they cost $30.00. They can be use one different animals at different times. Watch for their discounts as they will have a sale where you buy 5+ tests and they are $25.00 each, this is what I did to get the tests needed to test my three dogs. Gambler and Glory both needed PRA-PRCD tests as they are clear by parentage (CBP) but I wanted to test to make sure and have a certificate stating their results. Guilty is CBP on her three genetic tests so I wanted to test her for the same reasons so I got swabs to test for PRA-PRCD, EIC and DM.

I ordered the tests online at GenSol which was very easy to do. It automatically calculated the sale price on the tests that I entered. There were no additional costs for shipping or the return shipping on the tests. The tests were shipped out on July 8th and I received them on July 12th. I took the samples on the swabs that I needed, let them dry overnight and sent back in the prepaid envelope on July 15, 2016. I am still awaiting my results.

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Paperwork, labels, swabs.

The test package came with the collection form, id stickers and the testing swabs. To see the instructions for collecting in full click here.

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Gambler having the swab rolled around in his cheek pouch.

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Gambler having the swab rolled around in his cheek pouch.

I removed a swab from the package, rolled it around in the dogs cheek for 10 seconds on each side.

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Samples set aside to dry before packaging up to mail.

Once all the samples were taken I set them aside to dry, you need to let them dry for 20 minutes away from other pets.

Samples packaged up and ready to be mailed.

Samples packaged up and ready to be mailed.

Once dry they can be put in the package and sealed with the id sticker and put in the prepaid package to be mailed out.

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Form filled out with appropriate information.

I filled out the form with the appropriate information on each dog for each test I submitted.

Pre Paid Envelope

Pre Paid Envelope

Put in the mail waiting for the results. Once I have the results I will share them here on my blog. This was a very easy process with fast turnaround on getting the tests to me. The prices and availability to have your results listed on the OFA database makes this a no brainer for anyone wanting to breed their dog the right way by knowing their genetic makeup on certain diseases that are hereditary. With these genetic screening tests and results you can make the right breeding choices when pairing two Chesapeakes. It takes the wonder out of your breeding program and makes your program top notch these days with all the hereditary conditions out there, we can hopefully put a stop to some of the debilitating diseases.

Have you had your dog tested for any genetic diseases?

 

Juvenile Cataracts

If you didn’t get to read my previous post about how I learned Preacher had Juvenile Cataracts and the decision I made about them you can read it here. I am now going to talk a bit about Juvenile Cataracts and hopefully will have answered some questions you may have about them. I am going to share with you the email conversation I had with my ophthalmologist and the references he gave me regarding genetic ocular diseases in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Taken from Ocular Disorders presumed to be inherited in purebred dogs, Seventh Edition 2014 – Genetics committee of the American College Of Veterinary Ophthalmologist.

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Cataract: A partial or complete opacity of the lens and/or its capsule. In cases where cataracts are complete and affect both eyes, blindness results. The prudent approach is to assume cataracts to be hereditary except in cases known to be associated with trauma, other causes of ocular inflammation, specific metabolic diseases, persistent papillary membrane, persistent hyaloid or nutritional deficiencies. Cataracts may involve the lens completely (diffuse) or in a localized region.

Hereditary cataracts have been described in the Chesapeake Bay Retriever and affect the young adult dog. They appear as posterior cortical, axial, triangular opacities and the Y suture tips can be affected in both the anterior and posterior cortices. Extension of the cataract into the posterior cortex and progression to impair vision can occur. An autosomal dominant inheritance with incomplete penetrance  has been proposed; however, the genetics have not been completely defined and additional studies will be required.

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When I heard Preacher had Juvenile Cataracts at her eye appointment I was in shock that I couldn’t even ask Dr. Collins any questions. I pretty much knew any questions I would have I would know the answers to since I myself am a Veterinary Technician but I needed to ask in case I was missing something and wanted to make sure I had all the information I could gather so I knew what I needed to do when decision time came. Here is one of the email’s I got from Dr. Collins after I wrote him and asked him a bunch of questions. I didn’t save my original email and he didn’t send it back with his reply so all you get to see is his response which you can pretty much figure out my questions.

Dear Ms. Stancer:

All good questions, and my answers are in no specific order.  The age of onset for this type of cataract is variable.  I have seen this type of cataract in dogs as early as 6 months of age, though not necessarily in this breed.  Can these cataracts be detected in non-dilated eyes?  That depends on the examiner and the stage of development of the cataracts.  Your dog’s cataracts are relatively small and would be hard to detect early in a non-dilated eye.

As per your request, I have attached a copy of current breeding guidelines for ocular disorders in the Chesapeake Bay retriever and circled the relevant areas.  Your second question relates to what percentage of affected dogs might progress to blindness, and we do not have this data.  The estimate I provided was based on my experience with Golden retrievers that develop a cataract in the same location; it was not a specific estimate for the Chesapeake, though they might be expected to have a similar incidence.

Your remaining questions about incomplete dominant inheritance are difficult to answer because the mode of inheritance for cataracts in this breed has not been proven.  It is merely suspected to be incomplete dominant.  Disorders that are inherited as autosomal dominant with incomplete penetrance means that not all genetically affected dogs show clinical symptoms (in this instance the cataract).  It is possible for clinically affected dogs to skip generations, so one can only assume that either the sire or the dam is a genetic carrier.  I am unaware of a genetic test available for early detection of the cataract in this breed, and that makes it difficult to control.

I regret that I cannot provide more definitive information, but I am unaware of anyone that can.

Dr. Collins

Here is a couple links that are on the American Chesapeake Club’s website, it is a write up that Wendy Shepard Chisholm, DVM did, you can view part 1 & part 2.

So what does this all mean for Preacher?

DSC_0458First off we spayed Preacher so there is no risk of her becoming pregnant and passing this condition on. You can read about that procedure here. Her cataracts are assumed hereditary since we ruled out the other causes that might cause cataracts. Second thing we need to do is watch her eyes closely for any conditions that might come up with them, mostly watch for Uveitis which is inflammation of the part of the eye that supplies blood to the eye. Cataract formation is one cause of Uveitis. Preacher should have her eyes CERF’ed once a year from here on out to monitor the progression or non progression of the cataracts. If they progress (mature) and cause vision loss then surgery to remove the cataract will be considered. If we’re lucky she will have the type of cataract that remains the same and doesn’t cause a problem.

If surgery is warranted here is a video:

DSC_0440Preacher’s spay surgery is healing up nicely and she is non the wiser that there is something wrong with her. She is living life to the fullest and will continue to do so!

I hope this post answered some questions you may have had. If it didn’t please ask and I will get the answers for you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Eyes Tell All

DSC_0462 “Juvenile Cataracts”  were the devastating words I heard during Preacher’s CERF exam. Actually what I really heard from the ophthalmologist right after he held his lens up to Preacher’s dilated eye was “Oh Shit!” I knew at that time her eye exam wasn’t going to end well. I’ve known Dr. Collins from Eye Care For Animals in Pewaukee, WI for as long as I have been a Veterinary Technician, he is a board certified Ophthalmologist that can be a jokster but this time he wasn’t joking around.There was a spring heath clinic at Veterinary Village in March, I was planning on taking Gambler and Glory as they were being bred and needed their yearly CERF exam. Since the price was reduced I thought what the heck I might as well take Preacher and have her eyes looked at too. I normally don’t CERF my dogs until it is closer to them being bred. I usually start with the other health clearances first like hips and elbows at 2 years of age. If those pass and I have a breeding lined up I will then check their eyes. After this exam I have a whole other respect for doing testing if you can earlier. As hard as it was to hear she has a genetic disease and that she shouldn’t be bred it is much easier to absorb now verses later after we would have put 2 years of training and hunt test titles on her then to find out she can’t be bred. DSC_0437 We now have a different plan for Preacher which starts with continued training but not hunt test training she will be trained to be a hunting dog. As you know Preacher was spayed last week, it was one of the steps taken to ensure this genetic disease isn’t passed on. With a intact male in the household I couldn’t take a chance of a accident happening. She is recovering nicely and in another week she will be back in training. DSC_0466Hearing that one of our dogs from a breeding we did has a genetic disease is definitely a blow to the stomach. We are just sick about this. We choose our breeding’s very closely, research the lines to make sure we are going to produce sound dogs. We make sure the health clearances are all in order, talk with other breeders to find out if they “heard” of anything cropping up in the lines and there was no red flags that went up so the breeding was done. When we breed we breed knowing most likely we will be keeping a dog for our future breeding program. Before any decisions were made I did take Preacher for a second opinion, I also took her grandma Nellie since she hasn’t had a CERF in a few years just to make sure nothing cropped up in her. The second board certified ophthalmologist gave me the same results. She had Cataracts and they were there to stay.DSC_0445 A decision had to be made on where we go from here.  The first business we had to decide on was if we were going to submit the failed CERF results to OFA. This was a no brainier, of course we were going to submit the results that is what a good breeder does. They submit the good the bad and the ugly. If you don’t submit you aren’t doing the breeding pool any favors. 


A person can only make decisions on what they know and what they are told. If diseases are swept under the rug how can you improve the gene pool? With submitting the results and writing about it on my blog comes the potential talk behind my back. We will be known as the breeder that has cataracts in their lines, if we didn’t submit the results we would be known as the breeder’s that tried to hide something. Either way it is a no win situation for us. We are taking the high road and dealing with this head on! We have nothing to hide and will continue to do the best that we can for the breed. I leave you with Shit Happens and if you breed long enough stuff will come out and you deal with it at that time. I won’t be the first breeder that has skeleton’s in my closet and I for sure won’t be the last one but mark my words I will be the breeder that won’t keep things a secret and will move on to the best of our ability.

Canine Ovariohysterectomy – Preacher’s Procedure

Canine Ovariohysterectomy – Preacher’s Procedure

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Canine Ovariohysterectomy otherwise known to the lay person as canine spay, known to us in the Veterinary field as OHE. This is a surgical sterilization process done on a female dog when they aren’t going to be used for breeding, the female dog’s ovaries and uterus are removed.
I won’t be using Preacher for my breeding program so I made the decision to spay her. When she was eight months old she was diagnosed with an assumed hereditary condition, that being said after a second opinion, talking with my doctors and much research I chose to do the right thing as a breeder and spay her. Living with an intact male and not wanting an unwanted pregnancy made my decision to spay Preacher just shy of one year old before she came into heat.

Follow along with her procedure that was done at my place of work Harmony Pet Clinic.
The night before surgery Preacher was fed her supper and then was held off food the next morning so she had an empty stomach for surgery. You want them to be fasted in case they vomit while under anesthesia as it will reduce the chance of aspiration causing aspiration pneumonia.

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The morning of surgery she was weighted in so the medications administered could be calculated.IMG_0341

Blood was drawn for her pre-anesthetic bloodwork which was run on the clinics in house chemistry machine. The bloodwork is a 12 panel test that will include checking kidney and liver function which are the vital organs that will be removing the anesthetic given to her. It will also test for diabetes and other organ functions.

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A hemaocrit was done to make sure she wasn’t anemic. The level of pre-anesthetic bloodwork done is based on the age of the animal.

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A pre-surgical examination was done while the bloodwork was being analyzed. She needed to be healthy for this procedure so a general “check over” was done which included a head to toe exam, checking her color, listening to her heart, palpating her stomach, temperature taken and counting her respiration’s.IMG_0354

Once the results were in on her bloodwork and all was normal as well as a normal exam she was given a premedication to “take the edge off” so we could place a IV catheter. A IV catheter was placed for giving the induction anesthesia and for administrating IV fluids during the procedure.IMG_0360IMG_0358

Once the catheter was in place she was induced, a endotracheal tube was placed in her trachea so gas anesthetic could be administered during the procedure. IMG_0361 IMG_0362

Her abdomen was shaved to remove all the fur, it was then scrubbed with surgical soap to create a sterile surgical field. This was all being done while the surgeon scrubbed in herself for the surgery.

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She was hooked up to the surgical monitors which monitored her heart rate, blood pressure and pulse O2. IV fluids were started also. Donning a hat, mask and sterile gloves Dr. Johansen was ready to spay Preacher while I assisted in surgery doing a visual and hands on monitoring as well as getting any supplies needed during the procedure.

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A laser surgical unit was used instead of a scalpel blade for cutting into the abdomen and doing the procedure. The laser cuts and cauterizes so there is very minimal bleeding. Surgeries heal up much faster with this way of doing surgeries.

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Once into the abdominal cavity the uterine horns were located, the ovaries were removed at this time along with the uterine horns and the uterine body. Once everything is removed, sutured and no bleeding the abdominal wall is then closed and then the skin layer. Surgical glue is then applied to the incision.

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Preacher was then taken to recovery where she was monitored again while waking up. Once she started swallowing the endotracheal tube was removed and she was kept warm while she recovered from her surgery. When she was fully recovered her IV catheter was removed, more pain medications were administrated and she waited until I was done with work and we both headed home.

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The discharge instructions were to feed small amount of food and water after I took her home since she would still be a bit groggy she shouldn’t have her full meal. She would be back to normal the following morning where her normal amount of food can be given. I am to look at her incision throughout the day and make sure there is no swelling, redness or discharge. She is to be kept from licking at her incision. If she licks she will need to wear a cone collar. She is not to have any bathes while recovering from her surgery. Recovery time is 10-14 days. She will need to be leashed walked and no playing with the other dogs. She will be given a pain medication twice a day for 5 days. There are no surgical sutures that will need to be removed but a surgery recheck will be done in 10-14 days. Once healed she will be able to go back to training.

13501862_10154023515914724_5670085782066398989_nPreacher is doing great after surgery. She gets to hang out on the bed for the next 10-14 days.

List Of Supplies For New Puppy Owners

A while back one of my puppy buyers asked if I could get her a list of supplies for when she brings her new puppy home. I was honored that she wanted my advice on what I recommended for my puppies and asked ahead of time so she could be prepared for the arrival of the new puppy.

Here is my list of supplies I gave her and then the other puppy buyers in no particular order.

  1. Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug

My gang just loves this Tug-A-Jug they will play with it for a long time. I got it to put in the kennel with Glory when she was having some separation anxiety issues and it helped her to adjust to her kennel. It gave her something to do instead of sit in the kennel and wonder when I was coming home. She no longer needs this toy in her kennel but she still loves to play with it and get the treats out.

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Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug
              2. Adaptil Collar
Great Idea for when you bring the puppy home to help it adjust to the new home and crate. It contains pheromones that mimic mom.
They also make room diffusers, spray and wipes.
                3. Purina Pro Plan Sport Dog Food
They will be going home on Pro Plan Sport All Stages Dog Food, you will be getting a small bag of this to use or to help with the transition to a food of your choice. My gang and previous puppies have really done well on this. One owner switched to another food and had some skin issues so put back on pro plan and doing great with a beautiful coat. If your not going to stick with Pro Plan I suggest a gradual change to a new food so you don’t give the puppy diarrhea.

              4. Kong toys
I use this when playing in water. I don’t like to use bumpers as bumpers are used for hunt test training and if just playing like to use something different to distinguish work from play.
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               5. Kong Extreme
Love these for stuffing stuff inside to put in crate when leave to give them something to do, helps prevent separation anxiety. I stuff them with peanut butter mixed with dog kibbles and applesauce ect, stuff and freeze. Can stuff with Greek yogurt mixed with pumpkin and freeze. Will get a list of stuffing ideas in another post.
Kong Wobbler is another Kong toy/food dispenser I like.

              6. Ethical Pet Skinneez Forest Series Fox Stuffingless Dog Toy
I really like the stuffingless dog toys. No stuffing to pull out and they are long so dogs can whip them around.
                 7. Jolly Balls
Love love love them for outside toys. All the dogs play with them. If a chewer the handle can be chewed off but if not they hold up for years.
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               8. Puzzle toys
Any puzzle toys that you can put food in or just play with to help stimulate the brain. Keeps them busy when they have to work for their food.
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               9. Slow Feeder – Any type of slow feeder if the puppy starts gobbling down their food.
             10. Dog Doormat
Love any type of dog doormat, I use them in the cages when travel. They are great for training days and getting wet. Hold the water well and wash up nicely. I got these types of rugs at Ikea for 10.00.
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             11. Furminator FurDry
Just love these wraps for putting on the dog after a bath or after being in water when cold out. It really wicks the water off the dog and drys them faster. Nice for when after a bath they are in the house and want to lay next to you.
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                12. Jones Natural Chews
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I feed the puppies and dog Jones Natural Chews knuckle bones, L shaped bones, trachea’s basically anything from Jones. They don’t splinter like other bones do and they last for longer periods of time.
             13. Puppy Culture Videos
Last but not least I recommend getting the Puppy Culture videos. I follow the Puppy Culture program with my puppies from day one until they leave at 8 weeks. There is so much more that the new owners can do to continue the Puppy Culture program once they are in their new home. It makes for much more cultured/confident does that will adapt to any situation.
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Puppy Culture DVD If you click on this picture it should bring you to the Puppy Culture website where you can purchase a video. I do get a small commission for recommending these videos. Well worth the investment as your puppy is a life long investment why not start them out right.

Some extra things that I do for my puppies: 
I put a radio on when in crate and left alone. I did this all during the puppies stay at my house from day one until they left. The TV was left on until they made their way down to the basement where the radio was left on for them.
I put potty pads in crate if going to be gone for long periods of time. They will chew on them at times and make a mess with the fibers so need to not use when they start shredding them.
Crate for crate training.
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Hunting/Training supplies:
I get stuff from these companies for best prices.
I use canvas bumpers when the puppy is teething which is 3-6 months. Can use plastic bumpers but if dropping them and not wanting to bring them back it might be hard on the teeth.
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I use sm dokken’s when a puppy.
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Happy shopping all! Anything that anyone would like to add to my list?