We at Flickennel Dachshunds do not profess to be veterinarians, nor to be qualified to give advice that would take the place of consulting a licensed veterinarian. However, many years of practical experience with our own dogs has taught us a lot, and - like so many other people in this computer-driven age - we occasionally come across an authoritative article or item on the Internet that we feel should be shared with our dog-owning friends and family. We believe that a wise pet owner is an informed pet owner.
This page is devoted to addressing various health issues that affect dachshunds and other dogs. It is primarily a listing of links to other sources of information, since this is a breeding kennel, not a veterinarian's office. We do everything in our power to eliminate congenital (inherited) defects, disorders and diseases from our bloodlines, but other problems can and do occasionally crop up, and may appear long after we sell a pup, either in the pup or one of its parents. That is a problem inherent in owning any animal, and is rarely the fault of the breeder. Dogs may become ill for any number of reasons, many of which develop later in life and have nothing to do with where they initially came from. This page is designed to inform the reader and enable you to make wise decisions regarding your dog's care, based on sound information, not just hearsay. Many doctors and veterinarians appreciate dealing with people who have at least some knowledge of the health of the patient in question, and who can thus make intelligent queries and comments, as well as understand most (if not all) of what the physician or veterinarian tells them.
So, this page is going to be a springboard for you, our reader, to launch out into the realm of available dog health information. Many people don't stop to think about anything beyond their pup's basic "puppy shots," and forget that vaccinations and wormings must continue for the entire life of their dog. Because of the plethora of diseases and parasites to which our pets are subject today, some of which have only recently been introduced from around the world, it is vital that responsible pet owners know a lot more than our ancestors did, about what to look for and how to treat what they find. There are certain parasites and diseases for which we at Flickennel do not vaccinate or perform other preventive measures, because they do not exist in our area, and over-vaccinating can be just as harmful as under-vaccinating. However, you should always check with your veterinarian to see what is prevalent in your area, and have your new Dachshund treated accordingly.
If you discover an authoritative website that contains important information on any dog-health issue (especially pertaining to dachshunds - but not necessarily - we do grudgingly admit that there are other dog breeds, and most of the same ailments affect them all), we would appreciate knowing about it. We don't always have much time to surf the Web for such things, and will be pleased to check it out and consider adding a link to it on this page. You may email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will try to be specific in grouping these links, with assorted sections dealing with various parasites, diseases and disorders, adding more material as we find it - or you send it to us. If a particular topic interests you, please let us know.
Basic information (in great depth) is found at: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/167647/dog/15481/Ailments
An interesting overview of the Dachshund breed in general can be found here: http://www.bedogsavvy.com/518/dachshunds/
DOG HEALTH LINKS
DOG/CAT BREED-SPECIFIC WELLNESS INFORMATION (who is prone to what):
Good dental care is CRUCIAL to your Flick Kennel dachshund's good health, so be sure to check out Dental One Associates' page on caring for your dog's teeth (it also applies to all dogs AND cats). Thanks to customer Joan W. for finding & telling us about this site!
DO DOGS REALLY NEED ANNUAL VACCINATIONS? MAYBE NOT!
The University of Wisconsin-Madison's website posted an article on March 14, 2003, which, because of its importance to canine health, is reprinted here in full:
Schultz: Dog vaccines may not be necessary
Once a year, Ronald Schultz checks the antibody levels in his dogs' blood. Why? He says for proof that most annual vaccines are unnecessary.
Schultz, professor and chair of pathobiological sciences at School of Veterinary Medicine, has been studying the effectiveness of canine vaccines since the 1970s; he's learned that immunity can last as long as a dog's lifetime, which suggests that our "best friends" are being over-vaccinated.
Based on his findings, a community of canine vaccine experts has developed new veterinary recommendations that could eliminate a dog's need for annual shots. The guidelines appear in the March/April issue of Trends, the journal of the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). [flickennel.com's emphasis throughout]
Every year, when we take our dogs to the veterinarian's office, they could receive up to 16 different vaccines, many of which are combined into a single shot. Four of these products protect against life-threatening diseases, including rabies, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2), canine distemper virus (CDV) and canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2); the rest protect against milder diseases to which only some dogs are exposed, including Lyme disease.
But, as many veterinarians are realizing, over-vaccination can actually jeopardize a dog's health and even life. Side effects can cause skin problems, allergic reactions and autoimmune disease. Though the case in cats, not dogs, tumors have been reported at the site of vaccine injections.
"These adverse reactions have caused many veterinarians to rethink the issue of vaccination," says Schultz. "The idea that unnecessary vaccines can cause serious side effects is in direct conflict with sound medical practices."
For 30 years, Schultz has been examining the need to vaccinate animals so often and for so many diseases. "In the 1970s, I started thinking about our immune response to pathogens and how similar it is in other animals," says Schultz. "That's when I started to question veterinary vaccination practices."
Just like ours, a canine's immune system fires up when a pathogen, like a virus, enters the body. The pathogen releases a protein called an antigen, which calls into action the immune system's special disease-fighting cells. Called B and T lymphocytes, these cells not only destroy the virus, but they remember what it looked like so they can fend it off in the future.
It's this immunological memory that enables vaccines, which purposely contain live, weakened or dead pathogens, to protect against future disease.
But, as Schultz points out, vaccines can keep people immune for a lifetime: we're usually inoculated for measles, mumps and rubella as children but never as adults. So, can dogs be vaccinated as pups and then never again?
While evidence from Schultz's studies on both his own dogs and many other dogs from controlled studies suggests the answer is yes, Schultz recommends a more conservative plan based on duration of immunity and individual risk.
Schultz says that core vaccines, or the ones that protect against life-threatening disease, are essential for all dogs, yet he does not recommend dogs receive these shots yearly. "With the exception of rabies, the vaccines for CDV, CPV-2 and CAV trigger an immunological memory of at least seven years," he explains. (Studies testing the duration of immunity for rabies shots show it lasts about three years.)
For these reasons, Schultz suggests that dogs receive rabies shots every three years (as is required by law in most states) and the other core vaccines no more frequently than every three years.
Some non-core vaccines, on the other hand, have a much shorter duration of immunity, lasting around one year. But, as Schultz points out, not every dog should get these types of vaccines, because not every dog is at risk for exposure.
Today, many vaccinated dogs receive a shot for Lyme disease. However, Schultz says that the ticks carrying the Lyme disease pathogen can be found in only a few regions of the United States. More importantly, Schultz adds, "The vaccine can cause adverse effects such as mild arthritis, allergy or other immune diseases. Like all vaccines, it should only be used when the animal is at significant risk." He notes that the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine rarely administers the Lyme disease vaccine.
Another common vaccine that Schultz says is unnecessary protects against "kennel cough," an often mild and transient disease contracted during boarding or dog shows. "Most pet dogs that do not live in breeding kennels, are not boarded, do not go to dog shows and have only occasional contact with dogs outside their immediate family," Schultz recommends, "rarely need to be vaccinated or re-vaccinated for kennel cough."
Schultz says that it's important for veterinarians to recognize an individual dog's risk for developing a particular disease when considering the benefits of a vaccine. "Vaccines have many exceptional benefits, but, like any drug, they also have the potential to cause significant harm." Giving a vaccine that's not needed, he explains, creates an unnecessary risk to the animal.
Recommending that dogs receive fewer vaccines, Schultz admits, may spark controversy, especially when veterinarians rely on annual vaccines to bring in clients, along with income.
But, as he mentions, annual visits are important for many reasons other than shots.
"Checking for heartworm, tumors, dermatological problems and tooth decay should be done on a yearly basis," he says. "Plus, some dogs, depending on their risk, may need certain vaccines annually." Rather than vaccinating on each visit, veterinarians can use a recently developed test which checks dogs' immunity against certain diseases.
Schultz adds that veterinarians who have switched to the three-year, instead of annual, vaccination program have found no increase in the number of dogs with vaccine-preventable diseases.
"Everyday, more and more people in the profession are embracing the change," notes Schultz. And, that the new vaccination guidelines supported by the AAHA, along with the task force members representing the American Colleges of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Veterinary Microbiology and the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, is evidence of just that.
Canine Coronavirus: Highly Contagious, But Relatively Mild Disease
"Despite what vaccine manufacturers and even some veterinarians would have you believe, canine coronavirus (CCV), while highly contagious, is a mild condition when it occurs alone. It’s when coronavirus is present along with parvovirus or another intestinal infection that it becomes a serious risk to a dog’s health."
Read the rest of the article by clicking here.
Speaking of parvovirus, click here for the full story on THAT!