Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Phythiosis "Swamp Cancer" in Dogs

It is very common for customers to keep in touch with us after they adopt one of our Cockapoo puppies, and we really appreciate it, we love to see how the dogs grow and develop over time, and even if someone calls with a quick question we hope we are able to help in any way possible. A few weeks ago I had a customer call for some advice, his family had adopted a puppy named Linus from us two years ago and was encountering some health issues. Linus had lost his appetite, was throwing up, had diarrhea, and was lethargic so the family wanted to know if I had any ideas or advice as to what was going on. First we started off by going over the things the family was doing to treat and diagnose his issues. I asked if he had been taken to the vet, he was, and I wanted to know how the vet was handling the situation. When your pet develops health issues it is very important to be sure your vet is educated and doing the proper treatment. I wanted to be sure that Linus was being properly treated so I asked if the family had submitted a stool sample for testing, if blood tests were being done, and if lactated ringers (IV fluid) was administered to help him stay hydrated. Thankfully all the answers were 'yes,' and I was confident that the family, and their vet, were doing exactly what they should to try and find out what the problem was.
Since I am not a vet we just spoke about his symptoms and current treatments so that I could possibly come up with fresh ideas and offer any advice on what I thought what going on. I asked if they had changed his food, they had not too long ago, and their vet also changed it again to try and help battle his vomiting and loose stool. I asked if anything had changed in their household that he may be having a reaction to: new carpet, new cleaning products, did a pest control company treat their house or a close neighbors, had he been exposed to any new dogs recently? All of this was to try and help the owner see if any recent changes to the household or their activity could be affecting Linus. From all the information I was given I thought it would be a good idea to do an allergy test and also to test Linus for Lyme's disease. Their vet also thought that allergies may be affecting him and had rushed a blood sample to the lab for allergy tests. I asked that they keep in touch on the progress and let me know what they had found out about Linus.
After repeated visits to their vet and then a specialist Linus was determined to have contracted Phythiosis, otherwise knows as "Swamp Cancer," and unfortunately had to be put down. Of course I was very upset to hear the news and felt very bad for the family, they certainly were not given enough time to enjoy their wonderful puppy. I had never heard of Phythiosis so I went to work doing research on this potentially fatal disease and wanted to spread the word so that people become more aware of it and be sure to test their dogs if they develop any symptoms.
What is Phythiosis?
Phythiosis is an uncommon fungal infection that can occur in dogs, horses, and also rarely in cats. It is derived from an aquatic mold called Phythium Insidiosum that can be found in stagnant water. It is most commonly found in swampy/tropical areas of the Southern United States but has also been found in the Central Valley of California (Linus lived in Florida.) It generally enters the animals system through their sinuses, esophagus, or wounds on the skin and is most active in Fall or early Winter months where the fungus can thrive in ponds, wetlands, and swamps.
Symptoms and Types of Phythiosis:
There are two types of Phythiosis: Cutaneous and GI. Cutaneous causes non healing lesions on the animals legs, head, tail, neck, and inner thighs. These lesions eventually cause tissue death where the skin turns black and wastes away.
GI Phythiosis is more common and what Linus suffered from. GI Phythiosis affects the dogs digestive tract and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, fever, and abdominal pain. GI is a chronic disease and it will cause the walls of the stomach and intestine to thicken.
Diagnosis:
One of the most scary parts about Phythiosis is that it is a relatively new and emerging infection that many vets may not be aware of. The symptoms caused by GI Phythiosis are often caused by lots of other ailments so your vet may not immediately consider, or be aware of this, and not test for it until it's too late, which was what happened with Linus. To test for this your vet can take a swab sample to be studied with a microscope or material can be cultured in a lab for study and testing. A blood sample can be sent in for testing, a urine sample can be tested, and an ultrasound can also be done to detect thickening in the walls of the intestine or stomach.
Treatment:
The sooner you get treatment the better, if the disease is not diagnosed in a timely manner it may be too late and unfortunately this is what happened with Linus. For the Cutaneous form of Phythiosis affected tissue will need to be surgically removed and any remaining, affected tissue will need further treatment via laser to kill any remaining fungus. For the GI type of Phythiosis your vet may choose to put your dog on Anti-Fungal medications but results may be minimal and can severely affect the liver and kidneys so regular blood tests will be required. Another, newer option, is an immunotherapeutic vaccine that has been approved by the USDA to treat Phythiosis, as soon as your dog is diagnosed as having Phythiosis it is important that they are vaccinated to help their immune system fight against the disease. Dogs may also be given anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and boost their appetite which will also help their immune system to fight against the disease.


I hope I never have to hear about another dog contracting this awful disease, please spread the word to your friends that have pets and also ask your vet if they are aware of it and hopefully we can help spread the word and avoid a late and fatal prognosis.


Since this was my first time ever hearing about Phythiosis I had to do a lot of research online and found the following websites to be very helpful:
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+2102&aid=345


http://pythiosis.com/


http://www.akcchf.org/news-events/library/articles/pythiosis.html



Thursday, October 30, 2014

Health Insurance for Your Pet


Last week my 10 and 1/2 year old kitty, Abbey, started breathing abnormally and I knew something was very wrong, it was late at night, my vet's office was closed, so I grabbed my phone and started video taping her so that I could show my vet the next morning what was going on. Once we got to the vet's office he told me that it looked like she had pleural effusion- a build up of fluid in her chest cavity which could be a sign of heart disease. We did some imaging of her at his office, did some blood work, and the next day I took her to a specialist to do an Echocardiogram ( a test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart,) and in less than 24 hours I had spent $1,000 simply trying to figure out what was wrong with her. Don't get me wrong, she's worth every penny and I will continue to work on treating her but this brought up the thought I just recently had about Pet Insurance. I have lots of pets and do not have any form of pet insurance but have often been curious about it to see if it would benefit me or my customers in any way. Since I have had pets all my life I, unfortunately, have also lost them over time and have spent quite a large amount of money giving them the best care possible before it's time to say goodbye. For those of you who have only a few pets I think pet insurance is something you may want to consider. In doing my research I have discovered that there are tons of companies out there and very specific things that you should look for before purchasing a plan to be sure it is the right one for you. Here are a few things that I have discovered, hopefully they will help you when shopping for a plan:
There are two types of pet insurance plans available out there- Lifetime and Non-lifetime. A lifetime plan is exactly what it sounds like, a plan to cover your pet over the course of its life. A non-lifetime plan is on an annual basis that needs to be renewed, the catch with them is that if your pet has had a health issue in the previous year they may not cover it in the future when you renew your plan, think of it as a pre-existing condition, it can be excluded from any future payouts.

When shopping for a plan always be sure that they cover your breed, and if they do, see if they charge extra for one particular breed over the other. Some plans also have age limits, they may not allow a puppy to be covered until it is 8 weeks old and then they may also terminate coverage after a certain age to avoid the costs of elder care.

If you have multiple pets ask if they offer a multiple pet discount, it doesn't hurt to ask. Also see if they have a free trial period or a money back trail period if you are unhappy with what you get.

Most, if not all, plans will have some sort of deductible. Make sure you are clear about whether it is a straight forward deductible or if it is a per incident deductible. I noticed that one plan I was looking at had a $100 per incident deductible so if your pet has multiple different things wrong at the same time they may count those as individual incidents and you may have to pay $100 for each one to be taken care of.

See if the plan you are looking at has a cap on the amount of coverage. Some plans will only pay out so much and then you have to pick up the rest while other plans do not have limitation on spending. Also see if the plan excludes coverage for genetic or hereditary issues. If you own a breed that is known for something like hip dysplasia and the plan doesn't cover that then it may not be the right one for you. Plans also do not cover pre-existing conditions so if my kitty Abbey is diagnosed with heart disease I can't call up and insure her tomorrow and expect them to cover the cost of her care for that.

Check to see if the plan you are considering is one that just covers accidents or illnesses or if it also covers routine care like vet exams, vaccines, dental care, etc. Some plans that only cover accidents or illnesses also offer routine care coverage but it's an extra expense.

Finally see how you submit a claim and how the company handles payment. Some companies I looked at require you to pay the vet out of pocket and then you have to file a claim and wait for them to reimburse you. I would check to see if some allow the vet to directly bill them, and if they don't and you have to pay up front, see what the average wait time is until you get a check back from them.

There are a lot of companies out there with a wide variety of options to choose from. One website that I really liked is: www.petinsurancereviews.com
It gives real reviews and ratings from actual customers on a ton of different plans. It also has links to pet insurance websites so you can take a look at what everyone has to offer. I also found a website called: www.topconsumerreviews.com/pet-insurance
which also gives reviews of the top rated pet insurance companies. Do your research to see what options are out there and also read the customer reviews to see how they feel about the plans.

Here are links to what seemed to be the most popular pet insurance providers:
24 Pet Watch- www.24petwatch.com
AKC- www.akcpetinsurance.com
ASPCA- www.aspcapetinsurance.com
Embrace- www.embracepetinsurance.com
Healthy Paws- www.healthypawspetinsurance.com
Pet First- www.petfirst.com
Pet Plan- www.gopetplan.com
Pet Premium- www.petpremium.com
Pets Best- www.petsbest.com
Trupanion- www.trupanion.com
VPI- www.petinsurance.com


If you love your pets like I do then they are family and having an insurance plan can really help out in a time of need.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Are My Cockapoo Puppies AKC Registered?!

When a person or family decides they want to adopt a Cockapoo Puppy the first thing they usually do, once they see a puppy they like, is to call or email the breeder for more information. This is a great idea and I always appreciate it when someone contacts me wanting to be sure that we are all on the same page about my puppies and they type of breeder that I am. People may not realize it but when they call to interview me I am also interviewing them to be sure I feel comfortable with them and that they will give my puppies a good home. Just because you are interested in one of my puppies does not mean that I will let you adopt one, I have to be sure that, I too, am comfortable with everything before I will let you adopt one. I often get asked a lot of the same questions over and over so I did type up a "FAQ" page on my website to help everyone out but not everyone reads it before calling me and it may not cover everything they want to know anyways so conversations are always good.
Since I've been doing this for awhile I can almost instantly tell if someone is experienced with looking for a dog or if this is totally new for them. I've had phone calls and emails where people ask questions that don't make sense or don't apply to the breed so after I do a little digging with them they tell me that they are new to buying a puppy and were told to ask questions by their friends or neighbors and they honestly don't know if they are relevant or not. One such question, that I just got asked again the other day, was "are your Cockapoos AKC registered?" this question tells me that the person asking it is not familiar with what AKC is or what they stand for and that they might not truly understand what a Cockapoo is. AKC- The American Kennel Club is a canine registration that was founded in 1884 to register Purebred dogs, this is their mission statement that can be found on their website:
(www.akc.org)
AKC Mission Statement
The American Kennel Club is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its Registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, the AKC® and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership.

AKC’s Objective:

  • Advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running and maintenance of purebred dogs.

AKC's Core Values:

  • We love purebred dogs
  • We are committed to advancing the sport of the purebred dog
  • We are dedicated to maintaining the integrity of our Registry
  • We protect the health and well-being of all dogs
  • We cherish dogs as companions
  • We are committed to the interests of dog owners
  • We uphold high standards for the administration and operation of the AKC
  • We recognize the critical importance of our clubs and volunteers
Did you notice the parts that I highlighted in yellow? AKC is a registration for purebred dogs and Cockapoos are hybrids, not purebreds, so they are not currently recognized by AKC, or any other purebred registry, as a true breed meaning that they cannot be AKC registered and are also not accepted by other purebred registries. I think AKC has realized that they are losing a lot of potential income these days by not accepting mixed breeds in the past so they have recently started what they call the "AKC Canine Partners" program which allows you to submit information about your mixed breed dog, they send you a certificate, and then you are allowed to participate in AKC programs, here is what is listed on their website (www.akc.org):
                                                                  AKC Canine Partners
AKC Canine Partners offers ALL dogs to join the AKC family. Joining Canine Partners allows mixed breed dogs and non-eligible AKC registered dogs to participate and earn titles in dog sports such as Agility, Obedience, Rally, Tracking and Coursing Ability. Canine Partners provides for an enhanced relationship between people and their dogs and allows them to connect with other dog owners.


 Registration papers can be important to people adopting purebreds because they want to be sure they are actually getting what they are buying and they are also important to breeders so that they know for sure that they are breeding purebred dogs. Registration papers also help people like me obtain a pedigree so that I can see what colors are in my dog's background and possibly know what to expect when I have a litter of babies born. For a family just looking for a household pet registration papers can be a form of proof of ownership but there are also other ways of doing that with things like microchips which I highly suggest.
There are new registrations that have been formed that recognize mixed breeds including the Cockapoo and I think as time goes on organizations like AKC may also change their minds and start to recognize mixed breeds in more ways, time will tell. So to summarize, my Cockapoo puppies are not AKC registered because they cannot be, but I do register them with an organization that recognizes them as a breed. Anyone who adopts a puppy from me will get a registration application with their puppy and they can choose to register them if they feel the need. My parent dogs are purebred Cocker Spaniels and Mini Poodles and they are all registered, including with AKC and other purebred registries.
 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dogs and Ebola

There has been a lot of scary talk in the news these days about the Ebola virus and when I heard about a dog being euthanized because he was owned by a recent victim of the virus I decided to ask my vet if he thought that dogs were at risk for getting and/or sharing the disease, his answer was 'no, he didn't think so,' and that he had just gotten an article emailed to him that he would print off for me to read and share to my customers. My plan was to simply scan and copy the article for everyone to read but I just got a new computer and printer and they just don't like to cooperate with me so I am going to re-type it below:

Ebola Virus &Dogs: Where Do We Stand
J. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM
Editor in Chief, Clinician's Brief

The recent euthanasia of a dog owned by a Spanish nursing assistant infected with Ebola virus has raised much concern about the canine role in Ebola virus transmission and the risks dogs may pose to humans. As is common with emerging diseases, there are many gaps in our knowledge- and these gaps create fear.
The following key points should be understood:
- There is limited concern about dogs playing a role in natural transmission of Ebola virus in areas where the virus is endemic.
- The likelihood of a dog being exposed to Ebola virus outside of endemic regions in Africa is very unlikely; this would require contact with bodily secretions of a human with symptoms of Ebola virus infection.
- There is evidence that dogs can become infected with Ebola virus, but there is no evidence that they develop disease.*
      -This information comes from a study of dogs in a community where an Ebola virus was underway; 27% of healthy dogs had serum antibodies against the virus, but non had detectable virus in circulation. Evidence of exposure was not surprising, as some dogs scavenged the bodies of animals that had potentially died of Ebola virus infection and had direct contact with humans active with the disease.
     - This situation is profoundly different that that of a household pet with transient exposure to a human that has been exposed or has early infection.
- Irrespective of whether dogs can be exposed to the virus, there is currently no evidence that infected dogs shed the virus.
-In the unlikely event of a pet dog outside of West Africa is exposed to a human with Ebola virus infection, veterinary and public health personnel can investigate the type of contacts between the dog and human (eg, when contact occurred with respect to the presence of symptoms, types and duration of contact,) and determine whether exposure to the virus may have occurred.
-Coordinated efforts are underway to develop guidance for management of dogs exposed to individuals with Ebola virus infection.

The lack of information about Ebola virus in dogs makes development of evidence-based practices difficult. Yet, given the available information about Ebola virus in dogs and the broader understanding of Ebola virus and containment practices, reasonable recommendations can be developed for the very unlikely event that more pet dogs become exposed.
Concerns about dogs and Ebola virus cannot be dismissed, and consideration of the role of pets in transmission of this virus is consistent with efforts to promote One Health. At the same time, the risks must be kept in perspective-and reason must outweigh paranoia-to optimize human and animal health and welfare.

*Ebola virus antibody prevalence in dogs and human risk. Allela L. Bourry O, Pouillot R, et at. Emerg Infect Dis.
11: 385-390, 2005.

About J Scott Weese (author)

J. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, DACVIM, is a veterinary internist and microbiologist, chief of infection control at University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College Health Sciences Center, and Canada Research Chair in Zoonotic diseases. As editor in chief of Clinician's Brief, Dr. Weese provides quintessential expertise on infectious and zoonotic diseases (particularly of companion animals,) infection control, and antimicrobial therapy.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

We are Moving in September 2014

I am going to be updating our website with new location and contact information this weekend and wanted to post this so that I don't get anyone confused when they are looking for a Cockapoo puppy from us! As you may know, once you post something online, like an ad, it seems to get spread everywhere so over the years of advertising our puppies I am sure there are ads all over that I don't even know about and it will take me some time to get everything corrected with our new location information. For those of you familiar with Cute Cockapoos we were originally located in Iola, Wisconsin but we are now moving our business to Manawa, Wisconsin which is actually only a few miles away from our original address. Sandy and I (Jamie) are a mother/daughter team that has raised our puppies together with most of the work and customer pickups being done at Sandy's house in Iola. Since there is so much work to do I have been driving back and forth to Sandy's house on a daily basis to do my part and then come home each night to take care of my own farm, etc. In 2010 my husband and I were finally able to purchase a farm of our own and have been steadily working on updating, remodeling, and doing some new construction to the point that we are ready to have the dogs and puppies here :) Sandy is starting to slow down a little bit and my husband and I are at a point that we can now handle things at home, in Manawa, hence the new location and phone number that will soon be posted to the website. Don't worry, Sandy and I will still be the same people raising the same wonderful Cockapoo Puppies, you will just be picking them up at a new location that will be slightly easier to find than Sandy's house (she's way out in the woods!) If you do encounter an old ad that I have not corrected or found yet you will still be able to get in touch with us, I am not changing our email address. Thank you for your patience while I work on getting all of our information switched over and please do contact us if you are looking for a Cockapoo puppy.
Our email address is:  cutecockapoos@gmail.com
Our website is: http://www.cutecockapoos.com
We are now located in Manawa, Wisconsin
Our new phone # is (920) 596-1730



Thursday, June 5, 2014

Progression of a Cockapoo Puppy, Week by Week Photos

Due to the Cockapoo breed being so darn popular I often have people reserve puppies from us in advance, way before their puppy is born so that they can get ahead of the rush and get the color and sex that they desire. Quite often people have either had a Cockapoo, have met one of our Cockapoo puppies, or have done extensive research on the breed so they know they for sure want one and feel completely comfortable picking one out as a newborn without seeing how they grow first. If I am comfortable with a family I have no problem with them doing this but I always try to explain that when a puppy is first born I am not able to answer questions about their coat texture, the color of their eyes or noses, or anything about their personality, they are simply too young and all of that takes time to develop as the puppy grows. Like I said, most people are totally fine with that because they know how well the breed is but I do still get some people who want to know things that are just too hard to answer at a certain age so I have been photographing a puppy as he has grown to help show people how they progress over time, I hope this helps to better explain how the puppies change and develop over time.

The pictures above are of a Red Male Cockapoo that is less than 24 hours old. As you can see his coat is very flat and smooth, his eyes are closed, his skin is bright pink in some spots and his nose is a mix of pink and black, and not all of his hair is developed in places like the top of his nose and eyebrows. When I send people pictures of the babies this young they often ask me what their coats are going to look like and my answer is that it takes several weeks for it to develop. I don't have any way of knowing 100% how much texture his coat will have until it comes in. I also have people ask what color their noses will be and if a puppy is born with a black nose it will stay that way, if a puppy is born with a pink nose it can either turn darker pink or also turn black, this also takes some time. Because this puppy has a mix of colors on his nose I would guess that it will turn black. Their eyes don't open for about 2.5-3 weeks and when they do they are a cloudy blue/gray color, their true color comes later and usually they have brown eyes but we also get ones with Blue or Green eyes, it all depends on the color in their background. I have also had people ask me about personalities at this age and at this stage the puppies mostly eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom so there is not much to say about personality at this point. We sometimes have families want to visit and view the puppies before they pick one out and we do not allow them to come when the babies are this young, they are not vaccinated, need to be with their mom, and really there is not much to see other than what they look like which can be done by photos.



In the pictures above the puppy is now one week old and you can already see some differences in him compared to the earlier photos. All of his skin that was previously pink or a mix of black and pink has turned black and will stay that way. His hair on top of his nose and eyebrows has grown in more and you can see a texture starting to develop in his coat. His eyes are still closed and he still continues to spend most of his time eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom. At this age we still do not allow visits, we like to wait until the babies begin receiving their vaccines before exposing them to people to try and keep them as healthy as possible.


In the pictures above the puppy is now 15 days old and his eyes have begun to open! His coat has grown longer and thicker and you can see even more texture throughout it as well. He is now starting to crawl around a bit and responds well to being held and having his belly rubbed.




In the photos above the puppy is now three and a half weeks old and has really begun to change. He went from a sleepy blob to looking and acting like a puppy! His eyes are fully opened now, his coat has even more texture and he's much more active. These were the first photos I got of him sitting up, he's beginning to walk around a bit now and responds to me by wagging his tail and kicking his little foot when I get the right spot on his belly. We will soon begin feeding him and his litter softened food so they can start getting used to that and give mom a break from nursing.




In the photos above he is now a bit over four weeks old and is getting more photogenic and active every day. When I first begin to take their photos they rarely pay attention to me, they crawl around and explore and are sometimes afraid of the noise of the camera but at this age he is responding to the sounds I make and poses great for the camera. He and his litter mates are eating soft food very well now, drinking water, beginning to play more, and starting to chew on things as their teeth develop. His coat is beautiful and his eyes are brown. Mom is still spending time with them but likes to take longer breaks from them as she begins her weaning process.




In the photos above he is a little over 5 weeks old and we were playing outside because the sun finally came out, but as you can see, sunlight fades their color and always makes them look lighter. Now that he's older you can really see the nice texture that has develop throughout his coat, much different from the first pictures I took when he was a newborn. At this age he is active, playful, loving, and everything you would expect in a puppy. He is now eating regular puppy food (no longer softened,) drinking water on his own and is getting ready to be weaned from mom. He plays with toys, wrestles with his siblings, and follows at my feet making good photos hard to get! They are very curious at this age and want to see and get into everything. Soon he will begin to receive his vaccines and then, if we have any available for sale at this age, we allow people to come for visits, all by appointment,  if and when we have some free time.






In the photos above he is about six and a half weeks old and will be leaving for his new home in a few days. As you can see, he is gorgeous!! His coat is has a soft and silky fluffy wave to it, his nose has stayed black, and his soft brown eyes are super sweet. Photos at this age are really hard to get because, even though they like to explore, Cockapoos are people puppies and they follow at your feet. The bottom picture where he is standing on my foot is a great example of what happens when I take them out for photo sessions. You may notice that he looks different colors in the pictures, that is because it all depends on whether I take them indoors or outdoors and what type of lighting I take them in. At this age he has begun to receive his vaccines, has been vet checked, and is fully weaned from mom. He and his siblings are eating regular puppy food (no longer softened,) are teething like crazy so we give them bones and pig ears to chew on, and they love, love, love to wrestle, run around, get belly rubs, and play with their toys. He loves people and your lap is his favorite place to be :)
I know I've already said this a million times to people and on my website but if you are very specific in what you are looking for in terms of color, coat, and eyes please let the babies grow and develop before you adopt one! Even though I am the breeder, own the parents, and have lots of experience I am not able to predict exactly what a newborn puppy will look like as an adult. Just like human children, baby puppies take time to grow and develop, so at 2 days old I cannot tell you what style of coat they will have or what their personality is like. As you've seen in the pictures above coat styles take several weeks to develop and even at 8 weeks when a puppy goes home they will still continue to grow and change. The last thing I want is someone to have buyers remorse because they picked out a puppy at a young age and they didn't turn out to have the type of style they were looking for. It's important to me that my puppies go to forever homes and are not loved simply based on their coat styles.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Flea and Tick Topicals

It's Flea and Tick season again. We have a horrible winter in Wisconsin this year, it was below zero for weeks at a time and when it did ever warm up (above freezing) we got covered in snow so we just felt like it would never end. It's now April 30th and we've had several days of rain with high temperatures in the 40's and lows in the 20's so it seems like Spring will never come. Since the weather has been so strange this year I figured it would affect all of the bugs and I was very surprised to find a tick on my cat the other day so I immediately got out the topicals and treated all of my dogs and cats. The market for flea and tick treatment has exploded, there are tons of brands out there, different forms of treatments, and a large variety in the prices so I have found some comparison charts to help you decide what is best for you. I personally prefer to use products that have ingredients that control flea development because if your pet is ever exposed you want to protect them as much as possible. Since I have both dogs and cats I also only use products that are not toxic to one or the other. Since doing my research I have found that some topicals for dogs can be deadly to cats so please be careful!!


 
Different Brands of Topicals
 Kills Adult FleasControls Flea DevelopmentKills Ticks(Lyme Disease vectors)Repels & KillsMosquitoes(Heartworm, West Nile Virus carriers)DosageMinimum AgeActive Ingredients
K9 Advantix® IIYesYesYesYesMonthly7 wks or olderimidacloprid, permethrin, IGR pyriproxyfen
Frontline® PlusYesYesYesNoMonthly8 wks or olderfipronil, S-methoprene
Advantage® IIYesYesNoNoMonthly7 wks or olderimidacloprid, IGR pyriproxyfen
FiproGuardTM MAXYesNoYesNoMonthly12 wks or olderfipronil, cyphenothrin
FiproGuardTMYesNoYesNoMonthly8 wks or olderfipronil
Bio Spot® ACTIVE CARE SPOT ON®YesYesYesYesMonthly12 wks or olderetofenprox, IGR pyriproxyfen, S-methoprene, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide
PetArmor®YesNoYesNoMonthly8 wks or olderfipronil
Hartz First DefenseYesNoYesNoMonthly8 wks or olderfipronil
CertifectYesYesYesNoMonthly8 wks; at least 5lbsS-methoprene, amitraz
Virbac Pyrethrin DipYesNoYesYes7 days12 wks or olderpyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide, di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate



Flea & Tick Collars
 Kills Adult FleasControls Flea DevelopmentKills Ticks(Lyme Disease vectors)Repels & KillsMosquitoes(Heartworm, West Nile Virus carriers)DosageMinimum AgeActive Ingredients
Seresto® Flea & Tick CollarsYesYesYesNoevery 8 months7 wks or olderararicide, flumethrin, imidacloprid
Preventic Tick CollarNoNoYesNoevery 3 months12 wks or olderamitraz
AdamsTM Plus Flea & Tick CollarYesYesYesNoup to every 5 months12 wks or olderpropoxur, S-methoprene
Sentry Pro Flea & Tick CollarYesYesYesNoup to every 6 months12 wks or olderpropoxur, phenothrin, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide, pyriproxyfen
Sentry Dual Action Flea & Tick Collar YesNoYesNoup to every 6 months12 wks or olderpropoxur, phenothrin, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide
Scalibor® Protector BandYesNoYesNoup to every 6 months12 wks or olderdeltamethrin
Spectra SHIELDTMFlea & Tick Collar Attached MedallionYesNoYesNoevery 4 months6 months or olderzetacypermethrin, piperonyl butoxide


Shampoos & Sprays
 Kills Adult FleasControls Flea DevelopmentKills Ticks(Lyme Disease vectors)Repels & KillsMosquitoes(Heartworm, West Nile Virus carriers)DosageMinimum AgeActive Ingredients
Frontline® SprayYesNoYesNomonthly8 wks or olderfipronil
Drs. Foster & Smith Advanced Formula Flea & Tick ShampooYesNoYesNo7 days12 wks or olderpyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide,
Adams Plus Flea & Tick Spray and ShampooYesYesYesspray repelsspray protects up to 2 months; shampoo 7-10 days for adults, 28 days pre-adult12 weeks or olderSpray: etofenprox, S-methoprene, piperonyl butoxide. Shampoo: S-methoprene, piperonly butoxide
Bio Spot® ACTIVE CARE Flea and Tick Spray for DogsYesYesYesrepelsfrom 2 wks (new adults) to 2 months (re-infestation) 10 wks or olderetofenprox, S-methoprene, piperonly butoxide
Flys Off®MistYesNoYesrepelsevery 9 days12 wks or olderpyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide, di-n-propyl isocinchomeronate
Vet's Best Natural Flea & Tick Spray and ShampooYesYes - spray onlyYesrepelsRepeat as necessary12 wks or olderpeppermint oil, clove extract, sodium lauryl sulfate
ResultixTM Tick Spray from BayerNoNoYesNoas often as neededall agesisopropyl myristate
Bio-Groom Flea & Tick Shampoo by Bio-DermYesNoYesNoweekly12 wks or olderpyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide
FiproGuard Flea & Tick SprayYesNoYesNomonthly8 wks or olderfipronil
Virbac Ecto-Soothe®3X ShampooYesNoYesNo7 days12 wks or olderpyrethrins, piperonyl butoxide, n-octyl bicycloheptene dicarboximide


Oral Preventatives
 Kills Adult FleasControls Flea DevelopmentKills Ticks(Lyme Disease vectors)Repels & KillsMosquitoes(Heartworm, West Nile Virus carriers)DosageMinimum AgeActive Ingredients
Capstar® TabletsYesNoNoNoone time4 weeks & older; 2 lbsnitenpyram

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sign up for our Facebook Contest!

***SWEEPSTAKES***

Check out our Brand New Sweepstakes contest! We are giving away a 6lb bag of Diamond Small Breed puppy food, a home made fleece blanket, and a large squeak toy! Just follow these steps:

1: Click this Link: http://a.pgtb.me/HkC5Z
2: Enter your email and click submit!
3: Share with your friends and receive 2 extra entries for each friend that enters. 


The contest runs from 3/25/14-5/6/14, the winner will be announced 5/6/14.
Even if you don't have a pet or don't use Diamond Brand dog food you can still enter and donate the prize to a local Humane Society or Shelter. Good luck to everyone!


Friday, March 7, 2014

How Our Waiting List for Cockapoo Puppies Works

During the Spring and Summer months and during certain Holidays we get really busy with families wanting to adopt our Cockapoo puppies so we generally develop a waiting list. People have paid attention to how fast our puppies are adopted and they have learned that the sooner they reserve in advance the better because that way they don't have to worry about not getting a puppy when they want one. As soon as I post online that we have a waiting list for puppies I get flooded with questions, people often want to know how long our list is and they always fear that they won't get a puppy. It's really hard to give specifics on exactly when a person on our waiting list will get a puppy because it all depends on what they want, how many puppies are born, and what color/sex combination they are. I'll have people call me wanting specific answers and I feel bad because I always have to tell them it depends on the litter and I have to wait until they arrive before I can go into specific details. Here is an example, I am hoping that it helps clear up some of the common questions I get:


When a family gets on our waiting list to reserve a puppy in advance they place a $300 deposit and I ask them to tell me what they are looking for which would be color(s,) sex of the puppy, and if they have a certain time of year that they would prefer getting one. Here is an example of a waiting list that I would have, I will explain how it all works as we go through it.


Family #1 wants a Red Female only and they don't want one until June
Family # 2 wants a Red, Buff, or Apricot Female starting in May
Family #3 wants a Red Male only, any time of year
Family #4 wants a Chocolate Male, any time of year
Family #5 wants a Black Female, starting in May
Family #6 will take any color/sex as soon as possible
Family #7 will take any color female as soon as possible
Family #8 wants a Parti or Merle Male or Female as soon as possible
Family #9 wants any color Male as soon as possible
Family #10 wants a Chocolate Female any time of year


Okay, so the above is my pretend waiting list and lets say it's February 16th and I have a litter of puppies born with a total of 3 Black Females, one Parti Male, and one Chocolate Female and they will be ready for home the beginning of April. Once I know what is born I go to my waiting list and see who is on it and what they are looking for. Family #1 is instantly skipped over because they don't want a puppy until June, Family #2 is skipped because I don't have the color/sex that they want, Family #3 is skipped because I don't have the color/sex they want, Family #4 is skipped because I don't have the sex they want, Family #5 is skipped because they don't want one until May, Family #6 is contacted first because they will take any color or sex as soon as possible, so they went from being #6 on the list to #1 because of what was born in the litter. Once I figure out who is first to contact I send them an email with pictures of the available puppies and ask them to look them over and let me know within 24 hours if they see a puppy they like. If they don't want any of the ones that are available I will move onto the next family in line. So lets say Family #6 looks over the pictures and takes a Black Female, they are happy and now off of my list, leaving 9 families left on the list. I will now contact Family #7 because they will take any color female, so lets say they too take a Black Female, they are now off the list, leaving 8 families left. I then contact Family #8 and tell them I have a Parti Male, fabulous, they are happy with him and take him, one more family off the list and now I am down to 7 people waiting. I skip over Family #9 because they only want a Male and he was adopted by Family #8 and I then contact Family #10 and tell them I have a Chocolate Female, they are happy and adopt her, leaving 6 families on a list that was 10 long. So now I have one Black Female available and no one on my list wants her so I then post her on the website for the public to view and adopt. The remaining people on my waiting list will be contacted when my next litter is born as long as the puppies match what they are looking for. From my example you can see that if you are more open minded about a color/sex combination you can go from being #10 on the list all the way up to #1 because other people are very specific about what they want and you are not.


I hope this example makes it more clear as to why I cannot specifically tell you when I will have a puppy for you, it all depends on what you want and who is born, that is why I don't take deposits for a specific litter. I also hope that it makes the number of people on my waiting list less scary because your turn in line can change, again, all depending on what you want and what I get for puppies.


I have said this a million times but I will say it again, we do not know what color or sex combination we will get until the puppies are born! Our dogs have a ton of different colors in their bloodlines, we do this on purpose so that we can get a nice variety of colors, and each litter is a nice surprise!


Please do contact us if you want to get on our waiting list and reserve a puppy in advance, we take deposits anytime. When a litter is born and it is your turn to pick I will email you pictures of the babies to look over and choose from. You will have 24 hours from the time I email you to make your decision, if I don't hear back from you within that amount of time I will move onto the next family in line. I do not allow visits to pick out newborns in person. Our deposits are non-refundable and once you pick out a puppy the deposit is applied to that specific puppy. We do not transfer deposits to another puppy if you later change your mind and want a different one, the deposit is an agreement that you are going to adopt a specific puppy and that I am not going to sell that specific puppy to anyone else.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tail Docking: Long and Waggy Tails are Welcomed Here!

Tail docking or cropping is the act of intentionally removing part of an animals tail. This practice, depending on the type of animal, is often done by a licensed vet, a breeder, or by a farmer and can be done in various ways ranging from cutting to banding and burning. Because I am a dog breeder I am going to focus on tail docking in dogs. For canines tail docking is originally thought to have started way back in the Roman Empire, and the most popular reason was to prevent working and hunting dogs from being hurt by the animals they were hunting or by their long tails being caught in the underbrush they were traveling through. In more modern times tail docking was made popular by people thinking it made certain breeds more attractive when they had shorter tails and also during the 1950's rules for pedigree dog shows established standards requiring docked tails for particular breeds. For example, a Cocker Spaniel would be required to have a docked tail and would not be "show worthy" if they had their naturally long tail.
The debate over whether tail docking is ethical has a long history, for a time it was totally acceptable to have a dog with a docked tail, people fully expected certain breeds to automatically have their tails docked when born, and some of that is still true to this day, but I have found that more people have shifted to the other side and prefer their dog's tails naturally long and not docked. I'm not sure that everyone adopting a dog with a docked tail is fully aware of what a painful procedure it is. I think most people like to believe that their dog, when first born, was taken to the vet where it was given  medication and the tail was removed with minimal pain, but the truth is most breeders do it themselves with a knife or tool similar to a nail clippers and the puppy is not given any type of pain medicine. The tail is cut off, the puppy screams, and a powder called 'blood stop' is put on the wound to stop the bleeding. If done wrong it can cause infections, bone can be exposed, and it can later lead to future issues throughout the dogs life.
(The above picture was downloaded off the internet to show tail docking, I do not dock tails, so it is not my personal picture!!)
Having dogs and other animals with tails my entire life I fully realize that the tail is something much more than a cosmetic feature, it is a way for the animal to communicate their emotions with you and other animals. If a dog is scared where does the tail go-right between their legs. If a dog is happy and excited, where does the tail go-all over the place and they usually wag it as hard as they can to express how excited they are. If a dog spots something they aren't sure of or that they want to point out, where does the tail go-usually straight out in a 'pointed' position. If a female is in heat and she is put in with a male, where does the tail go- up and to the side to tell him she's ready to breed. Studies have also shown that even though a dog may be wagging their tail, the direction and pattern of that wag may express different emotions and signals that we, not being dogs, don't understand but others of their kind do.
In the early 90's in the United Kingdom the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ruled tail docking to be unethical unless it was done for medically necessary reasons, not simply cosmetic. Vets found guilty of doing tail docking for cosmetic purposes face very high fines and potential time in jail. In 1987 Norway banned tail docking, in 2006 it was banned in England, Scotland, and Wales and other countries that have banned the practice include Australia, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden amongst many others. I wonder if America will ever change its breed standards and also participate in the tail docking ban?
                   (Again, not my photo, I downloaded it off the internet to show tail docking!!)
We raise Cockapoo puppies and do not dock their tails. A Cockapoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle and Cockapoos are born with naturally long tails. Cocker Spaniels have a breed standard and are known to have docked tails and I have found that people go either way with Poodles, some breeders automatically dock tails and don't think a Poodle is 'right' without it being done while others leave them natural. We sometimes raise Cocker Spaniels or Poodle puppies when we want new ones for breeding and do not dock either breeds tails. We recently just had a litter of Cocker Spaniel puppies, we were hoping for females but got Males, so we sold them with naturally long tails and were happy to see that people accepted them for who they are, tails and all. I do on occasion have people call me inquiring about a puppy and tell me that they don't want one if it doesn't have a docked tail and I am fine with that, I respect their opinion, but they will have to go elsewhere for a puppy because I will not do it. If having a docked tail is something you are adamant about when adopting a puppy please be sure to ask the breeder about it before you put down a deposit on a puppy. In the past I have had people reserve a puppy and then ask me later if I would dock its tail and the answer will always be no, even if they offer to pay for it.  I have found customers that were unsure about their puppies having a long tail now really appreciate that we did not dock them and I get a lot of comments from people thanking us for not participating in the practice. If you have a dog, or a cat, or another animal that has a long tail sit down and pay attention to how they use their tail and you will see it is much more than a cosmetic feature.
                                                              Cocker Spaniel with a docked tail (not our dog)

                                                              Mini Poodle with a docked tail (not our dog)
                                   One of our Cockapoo puppies, look at that beautiful tail :)
                      Another one of our beautiful Cockapoo puppies with a long and waggy tail!!